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Mar 20, 2011 07:56 PM

Lumiere closing. Now what?

My husband and I are travelling to Vancouver staying near waterfront. We had planned for almost a year to go to Lumiere and now hear the news that we will miss it by a month. But Vancouver is a large vibrant city - there must be something else wonderful? So bring it on Vanvouverites - what is the new latest and greatest thing for a tasting with pairings?

2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

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  1. Unfortunately there aren't too many new restaurants that are going the tasting menu route these days, a sign of the economic times across N. America perhaps.
    The good news is that there are a few top notch eateries in Vancouver that continue to offer tasting menus: West, Bishops, Le Crocodile to name a few.
    I recently worked my way through the tasting menus being offered (on-line) and ended up going with Bishops (offered on request).
    At the time Lumiere was in the mix but Bishops won out for various reasons and I was very very happy with my experience not only for the excellence of the food but for their top notch service.
    My second choice would have been West and I'll probably go there next but I'm sure that there are other interesting places that would be happy to offer a tasting menu if asked. I even approached Cin Cin to do a nice rustic Italian based tasting menu and they were more than happy to oblige.

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

    1. C Restaurant has various tasting menus as well, with wine pairings. Worth looking at.

      1. Hawksworth is opening very soon in the Hotel Georgia (wonder if they'll make the March/2011 opening that was last reported). Looking forward to experiencing David Hawksworth's outstanding cuisine again!

        7 Replies
        1. re: kinnickinnik

          Spoke to David's general manager today, and learned that they are still aiming for a soft opening late next month with the formal debut in early May. Got a sense of the menu approach in the main room and learned that there will be a tasting menu for around $ 70, with starters nine to $18 dollars and not higher than $ 30 for mains -- very reasonable for what should be genius level food. Also sounds like the wine cellar and service will be very special.

          1. re: Peter Rodgers

            I heard that Hotel Georgia has pused back opening for July but perhaps the restaurant is separate and will be opening. If it is open I will take your recommendation. Any backups?

            1. re: jsfoodchat

              My concierge checked on it and confirmed they will not be open yet for my visit. She made the following recommendations:

              - Market
              - West
              - Salt

              Any thoughts?

              1. re: jsfoodchat

                Market - worth keeping an eye on as they are doing a complete revamp of their menu with a visit by Jean Georges himself on March 30.
                West - a good choice, nice room great food (and from what friends tell me some of the best cocktails in the city at the moment).
                Salt - fun place but nothing like the other two, all small plates based on charcuterie and cheeses for the most part. I'd go there for a drink and a snack and then cab it back to one of the other two restaurants or perhaps stay in Gastown and try one of the hip new restaurants around the corner.

                1. re: eatrustic

                  The food at Market has been good and consistent, but the menu has gotten boring. Hope eatrustic is right about the revamp, although if you've not been there, it is worth a try.

                  I have not been to West since the new chef has taken over, but judging from how busy it was two Saturday nights ago when I tried to grab a drink there, it must be doing something right. And the bartender indeed is fantastic -- ask him to invent something for you or give you one of his signature drinks.

                  1. re: Peter Rodgers

                    Salt doesn't have a proper kitchen. Has a decent mid price wine list.
                    Jay Jones is at Market now. So the drink's at Market would be just as good if not better than West. Haven't tried the cocktails at west so i cant compare.
                    Not sure if I fully agree that the food at Market is consistent. But I agree the menu needs a re-vamp. It is good value if you consider the food here fine dining.
                    I've been reluctant to give West another try. But I suppose it's time to toftt. Anyone been recently?

                    1. re: betterthanbourdain

                      I was at West a month ago, and had the February seafood tasting menu. It was good, but not spectacular. Hard to pinpoint exactly what was lacking, but though a couple of dishes were great (scallops on a maple porridge, for example) I just wasn't fully satisfied with it. And price-wise, I didn't find it good value partly because I went for the wine pairing and the first one is a they sell by the glass for about $30 so it brings the whole pairing price up quite a bit, and not being a fan of any sparkling wine it was sort of lost on me. My view might also be clouded by the fact that I ate at BlueWater the night before and that is hard to beat for seafood.

                      Market - I think it is pretty consistent but I don't really think it is super high-end. I was there last week for lunch, and they were doing the new menu already. It has a few new items, a few of the old ones. Didn't see the dinner menu, but server said it has more new items on it. Major difference at lunch is that the prix fixe lunch now has limited choices, whereas it used to be anything on the menu.

                      I don't know if they do a tasting menu, but if I wanted something 'wonderful' as the original post says, I would do Bishops. Ate there for the first time last Saturday and it may be the best meal I have had in Vancouver, if not in terms of food (though it may's hard to compare a place like Chambar and Bishops when they are so different) the overall experience would be hard to beat.

        2. Hello,

          I would suggest the Pear Tree in Burnaby. A short taxi ride from the downtown. With regards to technique and refinement it is the only restaurant in the Vancouver area in the same league as the r.i.p. Lumiere.

          2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA