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Birthday suggestions for Vancouver SVP

Hey all, I've just had the loveliest offer. Some girlfriends want to take me out for my natal day which is looming and they've asked me to pick a resto. Anywhere you're particularly loving? I don't care much about the cuisine but it should have a bit of festive ambiance given the occasion. Really high end probably not appropriate as they are paying and I don't want to be greedy :-). Here are some places I'm considering but open to others of course...

* = haven't tried yet

*Peckinpah

Zakkushi, *Kakurenbou, *Toratatsu, *Kingyo or another not-too-boisterous izakaya

La Buca

*The Danube

Au Petit Chavignol

Sushi Kimura

Cibo Trattoria

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  1. La Buca, hands down. Just took my parents there for their wedding anniversary. We got the family-style menu (chef's menu, about 9 different dishes) and my parents are still raving about it.

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

    1. Your choice might also depend on whether you want to be within stumbling distance of other places. For that reason alone, Peckinpah might be a good choice considering its location.

      I would add La Quercia to that list. Definitely a good night out without breaking the bank.

      (And a happy birthday in advance!)

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

      12 Replies
      1. re: clutterer

        This Just In-Sanpachi and Bibo would both be more than suitable.

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          We'll prolly be doing a Sunday thing, so just dinner.

          I do love La Buca and we haven't had the alla famiglia for a while. I haven't tried it at La Quercia yet mostly because my two dinners there didn't blow me away but I have heard great things about it. Thanks for the good wishes!

          Were you thinking the downtown Sanpachi or the new one on Broadway, Sam? And Bibo definitely appeals if only for convenience. I'm not much of an early adopter so will have to do a bit more research...

          1. re: grayelf

            Broadway-haven't been to the downtown branch.

            Of late I've taken to Guu Garden as well-not quite as raucous as other Guus but the food is good and booze isn't expensive.

            1. re: grayelf

              I'd be happy with a birthday at either La B or La Q (my last two meals at Quercia were just fine and I'd love to do their family style as I've heard good things about it).
              Pied a Terre is another nice choice as long as your crowd isn't too rowdy although the big 35 can get a bit boisterous if I recall....

              Another fun place might be Federico's on the Drive. Looks like Romy Prassad is still there so the food is going to be good and they have jazz on Sunday nights.

              1. re: eatrustic

                Thanks Sam -- Guu Garden is a nice setting; I wasn't blown away by the food but it was serviceable for sure.

                Jeez, eatrustic, way to lay on the flattery... wait, don't stop :-). It's been a while since the big 35! Federico's would be a hoot. I didn't know that's where Prasad was so thanks for that.

                1. re: grayelf

                  Hey Grayelf, just wondering where you ended up as I have been asked to pick a place for my belated bday celebration with a few friends. We usually have Japanese so thinking maybe Chambar for a change (of taste and 'hood).

                  1. re: waver

                    Oops, my bad for not reporting back -- thanks for the nudge and happy belated ;-). We went with La Buca but ordered a la carte because we had three (!) people avoiding gluten and also a number of the short-listed places turned out to be closed on Sundays.

                    So delicious, as always. The only (small) quibble I had was with a prawn/arancini appetizer that felt a bit chintzy. The salads were excellent and the mains were uniformly lauded. The lamb was falling off the bone, and the bisteca fiorentina for two was cooked to perfection (and I got all the onion rings because of aforementioned gluten avoidance, so I was in heaven). Brilliant apple stuffed doughnuti (forgot the proper Italian name) and of course the panna cotta of my dreams for dessert. Even a rice pudding for the GFers. Happy overindulged sighs all around.

                    Re Chambar, FWIW I do enjoy it (had my bday dinner there, albeit a deux, last year) but La Buca is more my style (or lack of style!). I find Chambar a mite sceney and it can be loud, though it depends where you're sitting. Interesting food which usually means I don't like one component on the plate but the rest make up for it. I think I am older than you so YMMV on the scene part :-).

                    1. re: grayelf

                      Thanks for the report. Glad you had fun at La Buca. I love it too but I do find the portion sizes inconsistent which can make it hard to order a coherent meal. Luckily trial and error is a good thing in this context, as is a la famiglia : )

                      Normally not too interested in "scene" but with a group of Moms who have managed to finally synch childcare, I think we will try get out of the westside (gasp) and take the scene on (loud is bad though as it can make one feel a little old - not a good thing on a birthday). I know the friends are keen try some French/continental food (often not my fave). Intrigued though by possibility of moitie/moitie fondue at Petit Chavignol but don't know about the atmosphere??

                      1. re: waver

                        I know you are not just asking me waver but here's a couple thoughts about APC FWIW: At night it is quite atmospheric and welcoming. The issue could be how large your group is. I like the tables at the front by the window but they are small (maybe could be grouped together?). The tables at the back are tall, with high stools/booth seating. That's where we sat for brunch recently which was fine (though I wasn't nuts about the food). I did see a tweet yesterday announcing a new chef there, female, forgot to make note of her name. Haven't tried the fondue as yet but could be fun with a group o' gals, and then you're awfully close to other spots in Gastown for follow up festivities. Wherever you go, have a great time.

                        1. re: waver

                          La Brasserie?

                          -----
                          La Brasserie
                          1091 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E1M5, CA

                          1. re: islandgirl

                            Oooo, thanks, it looks perfect alas the no reservation policy doesn't work for us. Sad.

                          2. re: waver

                            i wasnt feeling the food that much at APC, the fondue seems like something you could put together to better effect at home, bread served was flavourless white fillery cubes- rye would have been nice. Other things I had were a not so good eggs benny and poutine with great fries, croque madame was nice, haven't tried anything main-y.