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Birthday restaurant suggestion in Vancouver?

I've received most helpful suggestions about Vancouver restaurants from the folks here and I thought I'd ask for recommendations. My parents will be driving up from Seattle and spend most of their time eating Chinese food in Richmond. My Mom is celebrating her birthday on Tuesday and I'd like to send them to a lovely Western restaurant in Vancouver for her celebration dinner. Something cozy and delicious, not stuffy or too formal, I'd welcome your suggestions and thank you in advance!

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  1. La Buca is cozy, delicious, not stuffy or too formal. It is Italian, if that is considered Western. The zeppole would make a delightful birthday dessert :-).

    2 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      It is. I saw that recommendation on other threads and will look La Buca, too Thanks so much, Grayelf!
      .

      1. re: amyleechen

        Two caveats: 1) it can be loud in there if you have a larger group seated next to you. This has only happened to us once. 2) ask for seating on the south side of the resto or at the back. At this time of year, there is a breeze from the front door opening, despite the thick curtain they've installed. If they go, tell them to look hard at the daily specials. Good luck in finding the perfect spot for the parentals.

        If they're pushing the boat out a bit further, Bishop's could work too. I find it quite cozy though more formal than La B with actual white tablecloths :-). I like the candles and the setup of the room which is rather more Zen. Service is silly good too which adds to the special occasion feeling.

    2. If yor parents are foodies, I would take the suggestions of others, but if your parents, like my West Asian parents, can't distinguish that line between good and amazing Western food, I would send them to a memorable view restaurant such as Salmon House on the Hill or Fraiche in West Vancouver.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lunchslut

        In the other thread the OP started http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822374 she mentioned that quality of food is critical.

        1. re: grayelf

          Hmm, that might rule out most of my list below, except La Belle Auberge maybe. At least parking ain't a problem there !

      2. Hi ALC !

        What are some of the key things you think your parents will enjoy most ? View ? Ambiance ? Genre and quantity of food (as per Lunchslut's question) ? What area(s) of town are accessible, familiar or preferrable, to them ? And is this a milestone birthday ?

        When I read your post, a few places came to mind for whatever reasons. They may or may not fall into your radar scope of consideration:

        - Water Street Cafe (Gastown)
        - Cafe Pacifica, and Five Sails Restaurant (Pan Pacific Center, nee Canada Place Convention Centre #1)
        http://www2.panpacific.com/en/Vancouv...

        - Salmon House (West Vancouver
        )- Raincity Grill (Davie St)
        - Griffins (Fairmont Hotel Vancouver)
        - Sylvia's Restaurant & Bistro (Sylvia Hotel, English Bay)
        - Shaughnessy Restaurant (Van Dusen Garden, Oak St @ 33 Ave)
        - Seasons in the Park (Queen Elizabeth Park)
        - La Belle Auberge (Ladner, Delta, south of Hwy #99 Deas Tunnel)
        http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/777403...

        The latter (Auberge) I've not been since 2000/01 (?) as part of a family milestone b-day celebration. The ambiance isn't for me, but the food did impress and then some !

        4 Replies
        1. re: LotusRapper

          LR, I am guessing you have never eaten at Sylvia's before...the ambiance restaurants above are on the whole decent but most are not chow-worthy. Sylvia's is...a Gordon Ramsay kitchen nightmare. IMHO, food at Sylvia's is on par with the Sodexho cafeteria at VGH but the service at the cafeteria is better.

          1. re: lunchslut

            Interesting-I feel much the same about Salmon House on the Hill-it's the kind of place that gives the term abomination such a bad name.

            1. re: Sam Salmon

              Haven't been there in a long time but would trust the word of someone with salmon as ther moniker...

            2. re: lunchslut

              No I've not eaten at Sylvia. Only on the impressions of relatives who have.