Office Christmas Lunch Venue in Vancouver
This one is a challenge. Can anyone recommend a good place for an office Christmas Lunch? My organization is a government funded non-profit and due to spending restrictions, we will be paying for our own lunches. As a result the critieria are:
1. Venue that can comfortably serve a large group of 17, preferably in a private area
2. Menu that would appeal to a mixed aged crowd ranging in food sophistication
3. Restaurant with a vegetarian friendly menu that will not try to serve side dishes to vegetarians as entrees despite several warnings about their presence in the group (cough, Nu)
4. Value for money and ability to have generous lunch for no more than $25
5. Nice atmosphere that would help make the meal feel special.
6. Reasonable distance (downtown OK), from Cambie and Broadway Corridor?
Thank you for recommendations. Cactus Club is across the street from my work place and our every day special event (birthdays, babies) place. Medina does do private functions but their $25 menu is pretty well a sandwich menu -- not very Christmasy. We are checking out Hamilton Street Grill and Pourhouse in Gastown.
Hamilton Street Grill
1009 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2R9, CA
I had my Xmas lunch at Pourhouse today. Before I start, no fmed, I didn't take any pictures. Even my dining partners asked why I didn't take my camera out when our plates started arriving. I was simply not in the mood - I'm not a food blogger! ;-)
This is always my fave lunch - there is only 3 of us, but each year I get to pick where we go with no discussion and with no price limit - what more can you ask for? I love being able to choose and was sad it couldn't be Corner Suite Bistro this year.
2 of us arrived before the 3rd and were sat. Water was brought immediately. Hostess sat us with 3 menus. The 3rd arrived about 10 minutes later. Water was brought for him but it was a long wait for a drink order after that - about 15 minutes? Then, when that was given another 15 minutes went by with no drinks. The waitress came over and apologized about the drinks, asked if we were waiting for a 4th - said the hostess told her we were. After we told her no & pointed out the 3 menus, she apologized again and took our food order. Still another 10 minutes went by before drinks were brought over.
For drinks we ordered a caesar, a Belvedere dirty, DIRTY martini, and I ordered a "Pall Mall" which was Beefeater24 gin, Noilly Prat, Cinzano rosso, mint & orange bitters for $12 I think. I'd never had one before and I thought it was ok, but knew another wasn't in store for me. My dirty martini guy said his was NOT good at all. The caesar guy said his was great even though it was in a short highball glass with nothing but a lime at the bottom of the glass. We joked(?) that good booze needs no garnishes!
When our waitress came to ask how our drinks were, I told her that my friend didn't like his dirty martini. She claimed it was because their olive juice was not infact dirty. She then said she'd take it off the bill. We weren't sure if she was being really snotty, but she really did march off after she said that! Then she came back and told us she had taken the whole round off our bill because we had to wait so long for our drinks. Nice touch and she did warm up after that...
We ordered the house salad & caesar salad. Then one paparedelle, one triple chicken and I had short ribs - the menu is at their site. The house salad dressing was super, super SALTY! Wow! I don't use salt at all, and it was saltier than reaching for S&V chips! The caesar was perfect though that dressing could have used a little garlic & some pep to it, but very tasty otherwise- croutons & bacon were great.
Entrees were good, no complaints by anyone. Nothing outstanding, but enjoyable. Finished with a couple of baileys/espresso drinks and called it an afternoon. The waitress also took another one of those drinks off our bill because she said we were great fun to serve and enjoyed us. We enjoyed her too - service was great - after the rocky start! Restaurant was comfortable & pleasing. A very enjoyable afternoon!
I forgot to mention, when we were looking at the menus...one asked me, "What are you ordering?" I said, "I think caesar salad & the short ribs"...then I quickly, loudly, said, "and neither of you can order that! Pick your own food!" Last lunch at DB Bistro, they both copied me and ordered the Coq au Vin! I had a fit!!! You have to order a different entree!!!
My one friend quipped as he was eating his chicken that he would have got the short ribs if he had been allowed!
We had our Christmas lunch today at Pourhouse and it was a big success. As we had a large group, we had pre-arranged a prix fixe menu with a selection off their regular menu. Our menu included a choice of appetizers, entrees and a non-alcoholic drink for $27 including gratuity and tip.
Those who had selected the mushroom soup and squash soups as their appetizer were raving from the first spoonfuls. The four entrees included a welsh rarebit, roast chicken, braised short ribs, and trout. Everyone was pleased with the flavours and textures of their meals. My braised short ribs with expresso sauce fell off the bone and the sauce was rich and complex.
The service was excellent. Our waitresses were efficient and unobtrusive. Our water glasses were filled, our drinks replenished, requests quickly met, and yet we hardly noticed that they were even there. Even more important, the often painful procedure of 17 individuals paying their bills was handled smoothly and without any incidents.
Perhaps the best sign of success was the fact that several people commented they would be returning even without the great company (no pun intended).