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Feb 3, 2010 07:14 AM

Corner Suite Bistro is finally opening!

I got an email this morning that says:

Thanks so much for waiting with us. Thanks for your support, your patience and continued interest.

We are proud and excited to say we will open for dinner on February 3rd through the 7th at 5pm. As of Monday, February 8th we will offer service from Noon until 2am. Reservations can be made at

We look forward to meeting you all soon!

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  1. I expect an early report from you, ck ;-)

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      I hope they get a boost from opening prior to the Owelympics. Maybe a Chowdown there in March??

      1. re: fmed

        I would love to say I will do that for you, but I haven't been inside a restaurant for a month now and won't be while I'm dieting. :-( We've been to one salad bar and I brought my own dressing, so it's not really like going out! I did almost convince myself to cheat on Superbowl this weekend and order from Bo Laska King's. But, I've talked myself out of it though I spent a lot of time looking at the menu! This is worse than quitting smoking was!

        Someone else will have to do the first report! Can't wait to hear!

        1. re: fmed

          Popped down on Monday for their first "official" lunch opening. Pretty surprised that there is no specific lunch menu. Probably a little too pricey for it to become a popular lunch spot, but what do I know? There is a brunch menu on the website, but it may just be for weekends. I would like some or all of those dishes to be available for weekday lunches.
          Had the skate and my friends had the steak and fries, and a croque madame. All were very good, although the hollandaise sauce with my skate was starting to cool and curdle. My dish was probably done first and then sat while the others finished. The skate was very good and done perfectly, but the portion was quite small. The steak and the sandwich were good sizes. I asked about whiskys available and my waitress only named 2. When I looked later there were at least 5 or 6 behind the bar. She was very good and excited about the food, but she needs a bit more time with the bar items.

          All in all, it was good, but it didn't blow me away. Also I have to mention that the chairs are a horrible shade of blue (turquoise?). The decor overall is fine, but the chairs are way too much.

        2. Oooh man. I'm so stoked!! Now i'm contemplating whether to go before or after the olympics...

          1. I haven't ever post a report but I think I may be one of the first CH-er's to have dinner at Corner Suite, so here goes:

            Overall, my friend J and i had a good time that devolved into a not-great time at Corner Suite. Since we both live in the neighbourhood, we had been looking forward to this opening for a while, but my expectations were not overly inflated; there were a couple of warning signs - like the prominence of the owners' photos on their website - that kept me from placing my precious hopes too high.

            The first thing that you will notice is the sheer girth of the cocktail list. It's a tome that perhaps could have been a little easier to navigate from a design perspective, but they did send out an amuse of gougere so i was pretty happy. After 10 minutes of flipping through, we settled on a couple of cocktails. Both were good, perhaps a touch sweeter than either of us like but a good start.

            Food started with apps of seafood chowder and arugula & sunchoke salad, also good. All the food items on the menu looked tasty and approachable. When i first saw their menu online last year, it was a lot larger and more complicated-looking. I saw this trim menu as a good thing - that they didn't want to overwhelm the kitchen with too much stuff.

            J had the skate wing which came with good, pillowy gnocchi, almond green beans and lemony hollandaise; i had the duck confit on kale, lentils and cherries. Both mains were fine, but there were little problems. J felt his sauce was a little out of balance (again, too sweet); i thought it was fine but unspectacular. However, my confit was dry. Not bone dry, but dry for something that you know has been cooked in its own fat - probably left under the salamander a minute too long. This is when my scaled-back expectations started to do the i-told-you-so dance.

            Now my next comment i have to foreground by saying food is my favourite splurge. my mother would probably disown me if she found out how much of my income i spend on food and going out. and i appreciate the cost of doing business - i usually side with the restaurant when people complain about "value" just because something costs more than $6 and isn't as big as their face. My definition of value definitely skews on the side of what i perceive to be quality - but the dessert course totally brought out the ranting cheapskate inside me - and it was the real let-down moment of the night...

            All evening long, these enticingly opaque paper bags of what i knew were beignets kept coming out of the kitchen and landing on people's tables. As soon as my plate was cleared, i was ready to get my hands on some - i love doughnuts! i love desserts you can take with you! And, funnily enough, i had *just* finished telling J how please i was with the modest portion sizing of our mains - i love having room for dessert! - when my brown paper bag landed on the table. I was excited... Then so disappointed. There were 6 TINY doughnut holes at the bottom of a kid's lunch-sized paper bag. Six - as J observed, not even enough to fill a layer of this 5" bag, so they kept rattling the sides - so sad. I paid $5 for 6 balls of fried cake that were smaller than a loonie. They were also a little dry. Now, i might be wrong but i think that when a restaurant takes on nostalgia food - be it cupcakes, doughnuts or PB&J - they have to step it up. i expected a really mini-doughnut - but these weren't even as good as the ones i now crave from the Richmond Night Market - and those are made by machines! Seriously!

            At this point, even little things that we would normally both let slide started to annoy us - J was brought the wrong dessert at first which meant me sharing my pathetically tiny bounty; his 'bread pudding' was really just a cake and its toffee sauce had an unappealing malty syrup flavour; J then discovered he was charged for both what he did and didn't order. Normally, neither of us is a complainer, but an accumulation of small, totally avoidable things lead me to post this rant (i believe his is going on Yelp), which goes to show how a little care - especially with the things that come at the end - can really put a smile on otherwise neutral faces.

            Anyhow, i will give the Corner Suite another go after they've had a chance to settle in, but, overall, meh!

            2 Replies
            1. re: NoMoreSnuggles

              Nice first report, NMS. We've all been waiting for so long to hear a first-hand 'Hound report on CSB so thanks. I wouldn't call it a rant at all -- you gave credit where it was due and docked points where they lost 'em. Seems pretty fair to me. You also have a bit of a way with words that I appreciate, and a sense of humour to boot. Here's to more reports from you, and soon!

              1. re: NoMoreSnuggles

                I dropped in for a burger and a beer for lunch this past week. Burger was solid, pretty messy, but tasty. Not ReFuel tasty, but still very good.

                Going back on Valentines, I believe. Will report back. Won't be ordering the Duck. Thanks for the report.

              2. kudos for a first- rate ' opener ' review. hope the owners read it. appreciate that you were so fair and willing to give the establishment another try.

                3 Replies
                1. re: slugsunderfoot

                  Yes, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! If I get underwhelmed with a first visit/experience I am highly unlikely to go back, like our recent visit to Cafe Barcelona. I think it's great you are willing to give it another try...

                  I would hope the food there will be GREAT given the profile of this restaurant - though I do think it sets the expectations high, but was glad to hear you didn't set yours up there! (I try not to but often do and experience a lot of disappointment).

                  1. re: ck1234

                    Thanks to everyone for the encouragement - i don't know why i've been so shy all this time; it's funny cause i'm really loud in person. i try to be more reporty in future.

                    1. re: NoMoreSnuggles

                      Keep 'em coming NMS. Great report on Corner Suite. It took so long to open that the prolonged hype really does set some pretty high expectations. (I'm thinking now about Hawksworth and how that will fare given the long lead time before it opens).