looking for just one; it has to be "the one"
flying in to vancouver tomorrow from New York.
Have opportunity for just one meal in vancouver.
Looking for something memorable and awesome, seafood/fish/pacific northwest.
Myself and 4 professional colleagues.
It has to be the one place to talk about in a positive way.
(had received suggestions of Joe Forte, raincity, boathouse, bridges).
Goodness the suggestions you received were pretty poor, I have to say. Bridges is terrible.
Seafood: Blue Water Cafe or YEW at the Four Seasons (respectfully disagree about C Restaurant - went there last October and it was *woeful*). BWC is more of a Vancouver "scene", YEW is a bit more homey.
Fine Dining: The Pear Tree in Burnaby or Fraiche in West Van - both are a bit of a hike but both have served me the best meals I've had in Vancouver. Fraiche also has a stunning view across the ocean & into downtown, and Chef Alvarez worked at Murgaritz in San Sebastian so he does a fair bit of the experimental molecular stuff.
I would also highly highly recommend Bishops, though have only observed in their kitchen but never actually eaten a full meal there.
The answer is probably Blue Water (I, personally, have never *really* loved it there but everyone else raves). C Restaurant also has nice seafood but for some reason it's not what I would call "the one." Bishop's is excellent and what I'd consider a Vancouver institution at this point; it's very Pacific Northwest but not specifically seafood-oriented.
As for the places you mentioned, definitely NOT The Boathouse! As Anne M has noted, it's good for the view, not the food (same goes for Bridges). It would be a terrible shame if that were to be your one Vancouver experience.
for pure, sustainable, unadulterated, top quality seafood in vancouver, it doesn't get much better than Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar - in the heart of yaletown: http://www.bluewatercafe.net/menus/index.php?id=3
but to be completely honest, my first choice would be newly opened, Fable. unpretentious, firm farm to table philosophy and a menu that is highly indicative of vancouver and west coast cuisine. one of the best pieces of salmon / meals i've had in the city: http://www.straight.com/article-71397...
tough decisions ahead. best of luck!