Vancouver Private Dining Room Guide: 6 Spots for Your Next Intimate Meal

Miku Restaurant's Blue Sky Room - stunning views paired with your food.

Miku Restaurant’s Blue Sky Room – stunning views paired with your food.

Sometimes your group just needs a little privacy. Whether it’s for a hush hush surprise birthday or an ultra important business meeting, Vancouver has plenty of great rooms for private party planners to pick from.

If you’re like an event-minded extrovert like me, you’ve likely been ‘volun-told’ to organize your staff Christmas party. Friends often approach me for suggestions so I thought I would round up my picks for this season’s private, winter shindigs.

Whether you want to nibble innovative sushi, share pedigreed pub fare or feast on rich Italian fare, Vancouver restaurants have you covered.

Below you’ll find a short list of some of new, and tried and true private dining spots in our foodie-filled city.

Continue reading:
Vancouver Private Dining Room Guide: 6 Spots for Your Next Intimate Meal

Inside the Restaurant of the Year: Hawksworth

Photo courtesy of Hawksworth Restaurant.

Since opening in 2011, Hawksworth Restaurant in the refurbished Hotel Georgia has generated plenty of buzz in Vancouver.  The upscale eatery cleaned up at the 2012 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, taking home honors for Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year, among others.  It seems to be the rare restaurant in Vancouver that everyone – from your mother-in-law to the food critic at the Sun – raves about.

But with all the build up, can it really be that good?

I checked out Hawksworth over the weekend, on a busy Friday night.  The first big surprise: the ambiance.  Continue reading:
Inside the Restaurant of the Year: Hawksworth

The “New” Goldfish: Goldfish Seafood & Chops

Yaletown's Goldfish Seafood & Chops. Photo: Dana Lynch

For most Vancouverites, Yaletown’s Goldfish restaurant needs no introduction. Owned by renowned Vancouver restaurateur Bud Kanke and the sister-restaurant of the famous Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, Goldfish has long been a local favourite, inspiring a loyal following both in Yaletown and across the Lower Mainland. I’ve met people from Burnaby to Delta that travel to Vancouver just to dine at Goldfish.

Still, Goldfish didn’t achieve its accolades and popularity by resting on its laurels. Always dynamic, the restaurant upped the ante last month by renaming itself Goldfish Seafood & Chops (formerly Goldfish Pacific Kitchen) and revitalizing its menu and identity by focusing on strong, clean flavours, simple and perfectly-prepared seafood, and gorgeous meats.

Don’t worry: the beloved Braised Beef Short Ribs are still there—along with other signature dishes—but now you can pair your favourites with an array of new seafood options, from Goldfish’s premium oysters to the famous Joe Fortes Seafood Tower.

Continue reading:
The “New” Goldfish: Goldfish Seafood & Chops

Dining at West Restaurant – Vancouver Dining Par Excellance

In Vancouver—a city with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to world-class cuisine—it’s difficult to name a single restaurant as the “best.” But if that title could be claimed, West Restaurant + Bar would certainly be among the very top contenders.

The recipient of an enormous array of awards (including AAA’s Four Diamond Award and four consecutive wins for Restaurant of the Year by Vancouver Restaurant Magazine) and famed for its outstanding contemporary cuisine by Chef David Gunawan, perfect service, and bartender extraordinaire David Wolowidnyk* (himself a frequent winner of Bartender of the Year), West has a grandiose reputation. But it takes just one visit to this South Granville institution to confirm that that reputation is well-earned.

Or, to put it more simply: After dining at West last night, my partner and I declared it one of the best meals we’d had in our life. (And as someone who often writes about food, we’ve tried a lot of restaurants!)

Continue reading:
Dining at West Restaurant – Vancouver Dining Par Excellance

A Decade of Eating Fresh and Local: West Restaurant

(c) Remy Scalza

These days it seems like every other restaurant in Vancouver is offering a hundred-mile menu and embracing seasonal ingredients.  But few have been championing the eat-fresh, eat-local mantra longer – or with better results – than West, the venerable Vancouver institution in the South Granville neighborhood.

Lauded annually by Vancouver Magazine and food critics across Canada, West will be celebrating its 10th birthday this year.  Back when it first opened its doors, the vibrant Vancouver restaurant scene we know today was still in its infancy – a few great bistros, lots of staid old Continental restaurants serving up middling European fare.   West – as the name suggests – helped bring the food focus a little closer to home, emphasizing fish and produce from the Pacific Northwest and a lighter, more contemporary cooking style.

Continue reading:
A Decade of Eating Fresh and Local: West Restaurant