3 Autumn Menus to Try Right Now in Vancouver

YEW’s pan-fried scallops; Sourced from Shingo Kido

Autumn is by far my favourite season in Vancouver, with the changing colours of the leaves, the more contemplative weather, and, above all, the delicious comfort food available at restaurants around the city.

Fall cooking has the kind of robust flavours that are perfect for warming up on a chilly day. And with an abundance of exciting local ingredients, chefs in Vancouver have dreamed up some sumptuous dishes. Here are three menus to try in the city this season:

Dockside Restaurant (Granville Island Hotel, 1253 Johnston Street)

Located on picturesque Granville Island, Dockside Restaurant is well known for its waterfront views of False Creek, Yaletown across the water, and the North Shore mountains. The food showcases local west coast ingredients, with an especial focus on Ocean Wise certified seafood.

This season, executive chef Mark Crofton has come up with new menu creations that are perfect for fall eating. You can begin with the warm fall harvest kale salad with roasted root vegetables, Okanagan honey crisp apples, buttermilk dressing, and grana padano cheese.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

A particularly lovely main course is the grilled Haida Gwaii halibut with lemon-herb spaetzle, Dungeness crab bisque, as well as house pickled and roasted organic vegetables. The dish has some really delicate flavours paired with the heartier tastes of the spaetzle and vegetables.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

For deep, rich flavours, make sure to order the braised lamb shank with Israeli couscous, butternut squash, Okanagan plum jus, dukkah, and seasonal organic vegetables. It’s the ultimate in fall comfort dining.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

YEW seafood + bar (Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, 791 West Georgia Street)

With soaring ceilings and sleek Pacific Northwest-inspired décor, YEW is the perfect venue for everything from a well-crafted cocktail at the bar, to a more casually elaborate meal in the main dining area. The restaurant is also committed to celebrating local bounty and Ocean Wise seafood.

Executive chef Weimar Gomez has outdone himself this season with dishes that evidence skilled technique while still allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves.

Pan-fried scallops with cauliflower salad and parmesan crumble is a dish that really allows the star–the scallops–to shine, while the cauliflower and crumble add textural and heightening flavour contrast.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

A Dungeness crab salad with fennel, celery, grapefruit, and white balsamic and olive oil dressing shows the beauty of culinary restraint, the flavours subtle enough not to overpower the Dungeness crab. It’s a wonderfully balanced and nuanced creation.

Sourced from Shingo Kido

You can’t leave the restaurant without ordering the YEW seafood pot. This dish is a stunner, perfect for sharing with a group. It comes absolutely packed with clams, mussels, half a lobster, sustainable tiger prawns, steamed heirloom potatoes, and scallops–all in a white wine sauce. It’s almost too amazing to dig into, but you will.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Wildebeest (120 West Hastings Street)

Wildebeest’s dark heritage interiors, complete with brick and long communal tables, make for the ideal autumn dining. And the menu will have you swooning, with the kind of ingredient-driven cooking that is unapologetic in its commitment to the local, the seasonal, and the delectable. The flavours have a distinctive Wildebeest stamp to them, crafted by chef Alessandro Vianello and his talented team.

Case in point is a beetroot and burrata offering, which consists of fresh burrata, salt-baked beets, spiced maple granola, pickled Okanagan apricots, smoked yogurt, and basil oil. It’s the ultimate play with textures and a variety of balanced flavours (eg sweet, tangy, salty).

Photo Credit: Jonathan Norton; Sourced from Wildebeest Facebook page

Be still my beating heart. The chanterelle pappardelle sings the earthly flavours of fall, with handmade pasta, foraged mushrooms, fresh sage, toasted pumpkin seeds, cabernet vinegar, and grana padana.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Norton; Sourced from Wildebeest Facebook page

Another recommended pasta option (carbs call to me when the weather chills) is the game lasagna with braised goat and venison (what a combo!), handmade pasta, pickled cherries, mushroom and madeira purée, crispy leeks, and bordelaise sauce. Each bite of this intense dish is a reminder of what makes fall cooking so beguiling.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Norton; Sourced from Wildebeest Facebook page

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