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Nov 19, 2005 10:43 PM

Vancouver-Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts restaurant?

  • d

Has anybody had any experiences with going to the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts restaurant in Vancouver by Granville Island?

I can't seem to find any reviews on their food or prices. I would also like to have an idea about their menus. Their website doesn't give any specifc details.

I'd love to give them a try but would like to hear anything about them.

Also any info on the Vancouver Community College restaurant as well. I've been going to their bakery for years and am very happy with it but have never gone to the restaurant.


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  1. Have only been to the PICA once; food was good but not exceptional and service reflected the "training nature". Several friends have been to the VCC restaurant and claim it is excellent value for money. Some of the more regular contributors from Vancouver may have comment.

    6 Replies
    1. re: J and V

      Thanks for the reply.
      Do you happen to remember the kind of prices they charged? Do you think it was worth it?
      I have out of town guests coming and thought it might be fun while going to Granville Island...

      1. re: dlkbc

        Here's a link to the restaurant website for the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts which should contain all the information that you're looking for.

        To quote their website: "Lunch is served Monday - Saturday, 11:30AM - 2:00PM - $22.00 (3 courses); Dinner is served Monday - Saturday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM - $34.00 (3 courses), Saturday $36.00. Reservations recommended 604-734-4488."


        1. re: Mooshmouse

          thanks guys!

          Don't know if I want to pay that much for a so-so lunch...but I also read somewhere that seniors are half price so I was thinking of treating my Dad there.

          Anybody know about the restaurant at Vancouver Community College?

          1. re: dlkbc

            If you're celebrating an occasion, or just looking for a memorable meal (which it sounds like, since you're treating your Dad/hosting out of town guests), I would avoid both places (PICA, VCC) and go to a tried, tested and true place (with moderate prices? seems like this is what you're looking for).

            Here's what comes to mind: Chambar, Ocean 6-17, Cassis, Aurora Bistro, Feenie's, Mistral, Adesso Bistro.

            For prixe fixe: Parkside (downtown on Denman), Cru.

            Early bird Prixe Fix: West (or any Top Table establishment), Raincity Grill.

            1. re: goremay

              whoops, Parkside is on Haro Street, not on Denman.

              Their set menu is delicious, and the garden patio is lovely in the warm weather.


        2. re: dlkbc

          I had lunch at PICA recently. Can't remember exactly the pricing, but it was either a la carte or 3 courses for approx $28.
          Food was ok. You get a choice of 3 appetizers, 3 mains and 3 desserts. I had french onion soup and fish. Usually I find this soup too salty, the PICA version didn't have the problem, but it was less savory. Fish was ok. Dessert was some chocolate thing. Overall, it was a fair meal.
          Moderate value for the money. The room is nice with good views on the water and service was ok. If you're taking guests to Granville Island, PICA is a possible option for something more formal than Keg casualness. Don't think I would go to PICA just for the food.

      2. I regularly enjoy PICA. I would give it further consideration. I usually go on Monday or Tuesday when they have "2 for 1" at lunch and dinner. This special is for the three course meal. My last lunch was a ragout with grilled shrimp for the starter, braised lamb w/a wine reduction, and a lime creme brule for desert. $22C split two ways plus tax and tip. A bottle of bin 555 topped things off. Support the school! Support the students! Enjoy a nice meal!

        1 Reply
        1. re: CurtA

          a friend of mine went through PICA's program, which makes working on their restaurant mandatory. she basically told me never to eat there again after seeing first-hand the extreme lack of quality in the ingredients. she said the value was dreadful and shared a few other stories about the operation that made me feel not-so-hungry. this was a few years ago so, i can't say that it's still the case but it certainly made me cautious.

          as an aside, in addition to getting labour that is not only unpaid but that *pays to work there* (over $12,000 in tuition), the school also pocketed all the tips left by diners. that's some cheek in my opinion.