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Oct 11, 2008 12:21 PM

Two Chefs and a Table (YVR)

I can't find any discussion of this place on chowhound yet, but I have a feeling that it would have come up. It opened three and a half months ago. Anyways- I stopped in to 'two chefs and a table' (305 Alexander Street, just on the edge of gastown) for a drink last night and I would like to go back for dinner some time. Have any of you eaten here yet? What do you think? My drink was very good and they looked like they knew what they were doing in the kitchen. Maybe a little apprehensive, but poised for good things.

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  1. been by there a few times , haven't eaten there, ended up @ H.a.v.e or Pat's pub instead, looks good but a pretty challenging location to say the least even Sean Heather, not one to shy away from places like Blood Alley backed off his plans to open Pepper in that location

    1 Reply
    1. re: vandan

      Actually Sean backed off for other reasons than the location. He had to deal with moving The Irish Heather etc and Lucky Diner was closing.

      I haven't been by yet but hear good things.

    2. I've been twice, once for lunch and once for weekend brunch. They were both good meals, the lunch especially - $9 for an excellent burger and fries. The only real downside to the place is its size - it seats 30 total at the outside, and is plenty busy at lunch. I plan to go back for dinner.

      1. I finally made it here for dinner on NYE and I have to admit that I was disappointed. Its not that my food was bad- it just wasn't very good. I like the room though and the hospitality was great. I spend a lot of time in that area for some reason so the location wasn't a big deal for me- other than watching a large rat cross the street and a man peeing on a building it was uneventful. It's just Vancouver.... The food fell flat though. The fondue I had wasn't made that well. It got rubbery and oily. The cheese plate seemed cute almost. It had a little wedge of that really cheep 'brie' that comes from Sysco and it was dolled up with a 'Salt' style pairing of almonds or something. There were three cheeses and each had something with it, but they weren't good cheeses or pairings. It was like if your University friend who didn't know how to cook went to Salt and then tried to do something like it 'to impress' at a dinner party. My beet salad was the best thing I had- it was tiny and impressive, but my sable fish main was dry. It wasn't terrible but it seemed flat. Like it came out of a bag. It just didn't show any inspiration and the quality was not there. That all said it could certainly be worse overall. Everything was well priced and they seemed to really want my group to have a good time- they treated us well. The wine list was good. They weren't taking any big risks with the food so nothing was abysmal. I think they should get better quality ingredients and charge a bit more though. Or if they are going to buy cheeper stuff then maybe avoid buying cheep versions of otherwise expensive things and try to pass it off, but instead just buy things that are really good and cheep. Avoid the cheap sablefish and buy top quality less expensive fish and do it well. I'd like to give them a second chance sometime as I could see it getting better. They seem to still be figuring it out.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Mawson Plan

          In my experience NYE, Valentine's Day etc aren't usually a shining example of what a restaurant can do they're usually understaffed and over-booked... never a good recipe for success.

          1. re: maplesugar

            True- but they were actually not busy there for NYE. It was us and I think one other table.

          2. re: Mawson Plan

            Love how you reference Salt.

            When I am at Salt I feel like this is exactly what my university friends would do if they were trying to be classy.

            Agreed on the NYE comment. But it seems that these issues are more institutional than staffing related. Luckily as you say, everything shifts in those first few months. They could still do great things. I'll stop by for a drink and look at someone else's food. (I am on a university budget.)

            How is the ambience? Does it feel like Salt?

            Do you notice that Salt looks just like Soma? Down to the chandelier. Same decorator? Anyone know?

            1. re: sophie.

              Salt came first.

              I've eaten at 2 Chefs and the food was great, no problems with service. And I think the 5 course meal for $44 is great!

              I'll go back.

              1. re: starlady

                Salt came first before Soma relocated and became a restaurant.

                I was in Seattle then. What occupied Soma's present location before it was Soma?

                1. re: sophie.

                  I'm not sure what was in the Soma spot before but I will ask next time I'm there. As for Salt's ambience vs. two chefs, I would say that Salt feels more professional. I think Two Chefs is owner operated, and although its important to have owners around they don't always make the best servers. They were really nice though- just not as professional.

                  1. re: Mawson Plan

                    One year on and I've now been to Two Chefs three times, all brunches. I really want to like this place as it is very convenient for us to meet certain friends, and it is a cute space for sure. We've had very pleasant service, and haven't had to wait which can be an issue for Vancouver brunching. The problem is the food. The first time we went I had the eggs Benedict which were tasty and well prepared but the potatoes were very undercooked on both my plate and the SO's. So next time I ordered the breakfast risotto which was very fine indeed. SO still noticed spuds were sub par but he is not a complainer so... we went back again recently. I decided to ask for my potatoes crispy, thinking to avoid the underdoneness. Not such a bright idea -- they came out verging on burnt. Everyone else's were underdone. I and one DC had the benny again and it was not up to par -- the English muffin was too thick and not toasted (barely warm), it was undersauced, the eggs were even a bit lackluster and again, the spuds were a problem. My DC actually said something this time (I've never heard her register a concern in a restaurant before) and when the bill came her benny was not on it, which was a nice gesture. Brunch to me is all about consistency: cook the eggs right, pan fry your spuds with a decent bit of grease to make 'em crispy and tasty, present your guests with meals they can count on every time. It's almost more important at breakfast time for me than at other meals. FWIW one of the other DC's was very happy with his omelette (but not his spuds...).