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Help me choose in Vancouver - special occasion

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Need some help picking out a place for dinner next week. It's my sister's bday and I'm surprising her. So I'm looking to stay in Vancouver, no crossing bridges into downtown or anywhere else. Some place with a nice wine list and that can handle a well behaved 7 year old. Price point is not a factor.

I thought about Bishops or La Buca as they're both great but am I forgetting other places or new places I haven't heard of, being out of Vancouver for so long?

Thanks everyone.

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La Buca Restaurant
4025 MacDonald St, Vancouver, BC V6L2N8, CA

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    1. re: Philx

      West? But really out of that list I'd say Bishop's because it is such a lovely warm room with great service. I know it is for your sis but the little one will likely be made to feel very special there too. I love La Buca and have seen youngish kiddies dining there but it is not quite as occasiony as Bishop's IMO.

    2. If price point is no factor, I'd say Lumiere! I just got taken here for an Xmas dinner and it was divine! We did the prix fixe for $65 and I loved it. Let us know what you choose and how it was!

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      Lumiere
      2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

      4 Replies
      1. re: ck1234

        CK, how's the consistency of the kitchen at Lumiere? That's what we're concerned about, that the kitchen is uneven.

        Oh, I've never been to Pied a Terre and La Quercia and it wouldn't be too far a drive for either as we're based in Kits. Thanks Philx for the suggestions.

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        La Quercia
        3689 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6R1P2, CA

        Lumiere
        2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

        1. re: bdachow

          If you like La Buca I think Pied a Terre would suit you well and it has a little more space and ambience but overall I would support what Greyelf says above about Bishop's - great place for a special night with your sister.

          1. re: bdachow

            Unfortunately, this was my first trip to Lumiere so I can't say about inconsistencies. I can tell you that my meal was amazing this visit though and the wine list is terrific. We did pairings. I love good service and it was first class here too.

            However, I have been to DB Bistro at least 10 times now, and I do think it can be inconsistent - the plates can range from stellar to average at times...

            I know you're not going downtown, but it's Le Crocodile for me next week. :-)

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            Lumiere
            2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

            Le Crocodile Restaurant
            909 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z2N2, CA

            1. re: ck1234

              Based on what I've heard and experienced, I totally agree with ck re lumierre and db. Hope you'll report back on le crocodile, ck. Never been to la Quercia buy everthing else suggested are good options. Cru is also an option. Though I would lean on lumierre personally for a memorable overall experience.

        2. So I did try for PAT but sadly, the times they had available just wouldn't work for my group. Ended up back at La Buca but this time, it was a la famiglia for the size of our group (7 people). And it was really delicious. I have no love of Italian food really, always running across somewhat mediocre versions of it so have never been fussed about it but now I can see why it's universally loved. They did platters, 3 starters, 3 starches and 2 meats and a veggie side. Then dessert.

          Starters:
          Beetroot, goat cheese, arugula salad - I love beet root and this particular combination, classic and one of my favourites. Sprinkled with pistachios and perfectly dressed, this was a great start to the meal with creamy, tangy goat cheese, slightly bitter arugula, crunchy pistachios and tender sweet beets.
          Duck confit with frisee and pear vinaigrette - very nice salad, it was light and fresh and tasty and the duck was really good. Everyone loved this one and it got polished off quickly.
          Chili shrimp - a little spicy for the little one but nice medium sized in a slightly spicy sauce, this disappeared in a flash.

          Starches:
          Pea risotto with truffle oil - a nice creamy risotto, love peas and they were perfectly cooked without being mushy, my only downside was I found the truffle oil a bit overwhelming
          Spaghetti with prosciutto and sun dried tomatos - sadly I missed out on this one as the niece really loved this dish and I gave up my portion. Oh well!
          Tagliatelle with wild mushrooms - DELICIOUS, this was my inspired moment as to what Italian cooking should be. Delicious tender noodles (not mushy) with a little snap to it and wonderful mix of earthy mushrooms (not as overwhelming earthy as truffle oil). This was the best dish of the night for me.

          Meats
          Grilled rib steak - perfectly medium rare and nice and tender, sadly I was beginning to feel the effects of all the food
          Seared striped seabass - excellent sear job with a nice crispy crunchy exterior and moist tender fish on the inside
          Veggie sides included carrots, brocolli rabe, fennel bulb

          Dessert:
          Panna cotta with orange and grapefruit segments - fabulously custardy and silky texture yet still really light and refreshing, too many places use too much gelatin
          Pannetone bread pudding - ok for me but I've never been a bread pudding kind of gal
          Zeppoli with milk chocolate sauce - Italian doughnuts?!?! Sign me up, really light and crisp exterior and lightly custard interior, the way I believe that cannelles should be. Not sure if I like the interior still seeming a bit undercooked but it was delicious nevertheless.

          Overall, a great meal, service was impeccable but on the cold night, the room did have temperature control issues with the heat vents blowing a bit on the hot side. And when I say it's warm in a room, you know it's warm, everyone else is usually sweating to death by then. Ha ha...

          Definitely one of the best meals I've had in a long time and everyone there agreed.

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          La Buca Restaurant
          4025 MacDonald St, Vancouver, BC V6L2N8, CA