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Short Vancouver Trip Report

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michaelstl Jun 29, 2012 02:38 PM

Spent a long weekend in Vancouver last week and hit a few spots mentioned on this board:

Nicli Antica- Early dinner here on the night of our arrival. I'm a big fan of Neapolitan style pizza and found the pizza here good, not great, but that's likely just due to personal preference. Tried the margherita, pesto and one of their nightly specials. The wine/beer/cocktail list has quite a few interesting options and we received good service. If I was a local, I'm sure I'd dine here regularly.

L'abattoir- stopped here for dessert and a drink after Nicli Antica and really enjoyed our visit. I wish there would've been time for a proper meal as our desserts were great and we really enjoyed our interactions with the staff (especially the main bartender) and the savory dishes that went by look delicious. We split the coffee custard and Caramelized pain perdu and had the Slaugherhouse and Clover Club Refashioned cocktails. Even from my limited experience of just desserts and drinks, I'd definitely recommend this place.

Hawksworth- Had another early dinner here and ordered a la carte. I had the cioppino followed by the grilled sturgeon. Once again, the food was good, but not especially memorable. Everything was cooked properly and I have to say the that sturgeon was a really solid, summer dish (it's definitely summer where I'm from although not in Vancouver). The other members of my group had the beet salad, the vegetarian pasta and the steelhead. Service was spot on and impressive in the attention to detail. They noticed my wife was not enjoying her pasta and handled the situation perfectly (the pasta was surprisingly spicy and anyone who doesn't like spicy or wasn't in the mood for such a dish could not have been pleased, heat was the dominant flavor of the dish even the the pasta and ingredients were well prepared). Some of the better service I've experienced lately. Great wine list, but insanely expensive relative to what wines retail or would be sold in restaurants for in the US (not necessarily the fault of the restaurant as a stop in a wine store confirmed that even basic wines retail in Canada for twice the price they do in the US). Overall, another place that didn't wow food wise, but with the great service and beautiful dining room it's somewhere I'd still recommend and I'm sure I'd enjoy more if I could return with relative frequency in order to get to know what the kitchen does best. I do have to say that the charge for bread is ridiculous and if they're going to charge for bread it really should be a helluva lot better than it is.

Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Pacific Rim- Spent a rainy afternoon doing the Japanese Tea here and was a great way to relax and get out of the rain. Definitely not cheap, but after having the afternoon tea experience at a few of the better hotels in London, I thought the tea experience was the best I've had. Good selection of quality teas and the pastries and sandwiches/sushi were well made and delicious. I'd definitely recommend this.

Revolver- really cool coffee shop and I had one of the best traditional cappuccinos ever here. Worth taking the time to visit and offers incomparably better coffee than the chain places.

Yew Restaurant- Dinner here on the last night and continued the theme from Hawksworth of good service, nice space and solid food. I had the scallops appetizer, arctic char main and apple pie for dessert. I felt that Yew offered better value than Hawksworth especially with bread being included and receiving a take-home treat. Took advantage of the 50% off wine special the night we were there so wine prices were closer to a level as that in Us restaurants. I'd probably return here before Hawksworth just because the service and experience felt a little more genuine and as I said offered better value for the money.

  1. grayelf Jun 29, 2012 05:23 PM

    Thanks for the report, especially your comments about Hawksworth and Yew, very interesting. And yeah, Revolver rocks!

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