After a time at the Pear Tree Restaurant, I began to feel like the Merovingian from The Matrix as he spoke French, akin to wiping your…well, you know…with silk. I’d like to say “that” word, but most of the review sites discourage it. It felt like the luxury it truly wanted to be.
From the outside, The Pear Tree is rather unspectacular, yet being that stands out among rainbow walls and neon signs—the restaurant next door was salmon-colored with a yellow awning, leaving The Pear Tree’s shale tiles as somewhat reserved. This perfectly exemplifies how simplicity can be scenic. At least I wasn’t assaulted by varying shades of brown, the apparent default décor of every restaurant nowadays. A glass wall of wine divides the serving area from the colossal pristine kitchen. My girlfriend and I were shoehorned to a miniscule table at a far corner, a depressing point given our reservation days in advance. That would be the only criticism of the evening. Since Araxi the previous week, I had been waiting for a truly pampered experience, and The Pear Tree shared space with Araxi in a restaurant guide claiming both among a thousand restaurants across the world one must enjoy before dying. That’s a…big list. I got five down so far though. I better get off my butt.
The menu was Spartan, barely ten entrees, indicating the courses were made to order. We had already decided upon the seasonal table d-hote, akin to the chef’s menu. Three fixed courses for 64 dollars intermixed with pallet cleansers and bread. Yeah, not cheap. Quick spoiler warning, the dishes were all incredible. Against a canvas of ceramic white, each plate was a moment of beauty, fleeting until I rammed them down my gullet like a voracious duck. I’d be honest and doubtful to remember if I even chewed. Green was a dominant color used, offset with whites and browns. After the brioche opener, we were treated to glazed pork cheek with chargrilled green asparagus, mustard textures and bacon wrapped leeks. In truth, I’m not sure what mustard textures is meant to imply. It was grainy mustard; just say its grainy mustard. And I wasn’t kidding about varying textures, combine the asparagus with the leeks or the leeks with the pork cheek, toss one of the crisps that top the dish if you want. The same was extended to the main, pan roasted “Haida Gwaii” halibut, with Yukon gold potato pave, spinach fluid gel and spring vegetables.
Now I know what you’re going to say—I made up half those words, but that was a direct quote from the menu. So let’s do a Google search. I honestly didn’t know Haida Gwaii was once the Queen Charlotte Islands and that the name changed only a few years ago, did you? Potato Pave refers to the French word for paving stones, and was coined by the world famous chef Thomas Keller—so basically it’s a square potato. Fluid gel? Well, it’s pureed spinach mixed with a gelling agent like xanthan gum… yummm. Actually it was. Finally, the meal concluded with a simple dessert. Though still delicious, it was oddly subdued. In the end, that was The Pear Tree’s strongest note, how it doesn’t go overboard. It skirts the outer periphery of molecular gastronomy without fully embracing it. My girlfriend selected the pear sorbet while I dove into the chocolate ganache with a crisp nut base, salted caramel and orange/chocolate sorbet.
Pear Tree was an amazing experience but not transcendent…and I honestly don’t know if that translates to being a disappointment or not. I mean it’s less expensive than other places promising the world. I think the fault has to lie with hype. We picked it out from only a handful of restaurants in Vancouver listed in this restaurant guide. It listed only seven restaurants in Vancouver, and I had already been to Vij’s. But Vij’s wasn’t divine either, only fantastic, but I didn’t have a book that attempted to sell me on otherwise. I guess that means it’s all the book’s fault. I’m okay with that. The Pear Tree is worth a visit, certainly. It falls into a slot of restaurant I didn’t know existed—the one just below the best of the city, but one not trying to be better. Leave the top spot for the likes of Chambar or Absinthe, for those wanting to spend half as much but still feel they got 70% of an pinnacled experience, the Pear Tree is a worthy compromise.
Oh and one other thing, we were given a utensil that insanely combined fork and spoon, but I dare not call it a spork. We agreed it will forever be called a “foon”, as it was more fork than spoon. Crazy talk.
Enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Fable while visiting Vancouver. The atmosphere is fun, hip, friendly, casual, and warm. Dishes were variable and tasty, especially the sausage stuffed pork loin and the smores desert. Service was friendly and helpful. Reasonably priced, wonderful service. This is perhaps the best farm to table place I've ever been to. I will return every time I come back to Vancouver.
This place has excellent pizza. We dropped in for a couple of slices for a quick dinner. Don't expect great décor, just great pizza. No pizza in my entire life has come close to this. I always order the pesto and artichoke and veggie pizza, 1 large pizza with half and half. I love the sesame seeds in the crust. Delicious, exquisite and so well made. Romanos pizza’s awesomely amazing!
La Grotta has been a local favourite for sandwiches. It has always been their legacy to pack a sheer amount of meat in every sandwich, giving the customers a tasteful treat. I have never been let down with a single sandwich I've ordered from them. For every order, you are sure that you are paying for the premium meats, best cheese and fresh vegetables. The main thing people come for are the paninis and for good reason they are amazing! To top it off, the staff was super friendly & helpful.
This little gem in Vancouver serves great pasta! The staff were accommodating and happy to guide us through the menu, and we enjoyed a fine meal that was well presented and beautifully cooked. I came here once for lunch and dinner. I personally like their angel hair pasta with the seafood. It was rich and delicious. On the other time, I felt adventurous and ordered the seafood risotto, which I thought has excellent flavours. If this was just nearer to our home, I would visit and eat here regularly.
Hubby wanted to go here because it was close. Lunch time on a weekend restaurant mostly empty. I remember many years ago there was always a line up. Waitress seemed bored and disinterested. Opened the menu and it was the same as last time I was there many years ago. Yawn.
Hubby had a burger that was ok( can u screw up a burger?) few fries and they were cold steak fries and tasteless. Child 10 - had grilled cheese that came cut up in about 10 mini pieces- like she can't handle a whole sandwich. Filled with plastic process cheese- she said it was gross. She ate almost nothing except for the drink which came in a glass with a plastic lid on it like she was 2. Waitress did not ask why it wasn't eaten. Looking for something smallish and healthier - other than. $12 salad. I opted for soup of the day and garlic toast. The soup was corn chowder. Sounded good. What I hot was a bowl of vegetarian chilli precursors. Sautéed onions carrots celery black beans and corn it about a teaspoon of broth with taco seasoning. That wasn't soup - soup is liquid. It was disgusting. I only ate the few tortilla strips on top and again was not asked why I didn't set it. The " garlic toast" were two mini slices of baguette and burned. Just terrible .
This place is way past it's prime and needs to close so that a restaurant from this century can more in.
I loved this place up until this past week. While the food is excellent, the service is absolutely horrible and has tainted my entire opinion of this business. My fiance and I looked forward to going to Shiraz for our anniversary dinner, especially since we were in talks of having them cater our wedding, only to be turned away three nights in a row with a list of random, contradicting excuses. When we requested to speak to the owner we had been emailing, a front of house staff member got upset with us, told us we couldn't eat there without a longstanding reservation (another lie), and that there was nobody else we needed to speak to. She for the past four days she has told us to "come back tomorrow," only to be greeted with more excuses, attitude, and disrespect. Needless to say they have lost our business and a our recommendations to friends.
I purposely went to dine here because it was rated as one of the top new restaurants in town in Vancouver Magazine. I had the pho with rare beef. The soup base was excellent, very flavorful without tasting like MSG (I did not feel thirsty afterwards). The beef slices had more fat content than the ones elsewhere, which I really liked, because they did not taste "fatty" per se or oily but were very tender, the most tender I have had at any Vietnamese restaurant. I also had a chicken sandwich, and at $4.50, it was very reasonably priced. Very tasty, with fresh veggies inside, and a roll that was toasted to perfection.
The waitress was attentive without being intrusive. All in all, a very positive experience.
I hadn't been to this location before. But our group had a toddler and new baby ... on a week night ... so seemed a good choice. I do not believe the food is worth the prices they charge but it is consistent. What made the difference here was the staff. They were very helpful and REALLY REALLY nice. Going into a restaurant with little kids is not easy and we try to not disturb other dinners - if a kid starts to cry we either calm them down instantly or we take the kid out of the restaurant asap. Our server was fast, efficient, and actually seemed to like the kids (a lot pretend they are invisible). The bill says her name was Natalie and she had longish white blonde hair - a great server!
We decided to take a drive and ended up here. So not what I expected. Tiny parking lot and from the outside like a small unsophisticated neighbourhood café.... same inside. There is no ambiance here, tables are too close together and whole place is very small. I counted 5 waiters which seemed very excessive. We chose our dessert and were served quickly. Good but not really impressive. Skimpy with sauce and whip cream. As soon as plate with clear, it was taken away. The bill was brought so fast my son-in-law was offended and changed his mind about buying more to take home. Frankly, this place is set up to get you in and out ASAP. Not a quiet place to relax and savour a special treat.
We live right next door to this place. They have a simple menu, they aren't trying to reinvent the wheel here. The burgers including the cod and salmon ones are scrumptious. They make everything fresh. The ahi tuna dish is a big serving, I don't really like the sauce so I just get them to grill it with salt and pepper because it's great quality tuna and doesn't need to be all dressed up. There seems to be something for everyone on the menu. Prices are reasonable in comparison to other area eateries. We enjoy spending time with Seth at the bar, sometimes we just pop over for a glass of vino and a draft, shoot the breeze a little. We enjoy having this addition to the neighbourhood and we feel really at home when we pop in to grab a bite or just a couple of drinks. Easy going neighbourhood eatery, exactly what we needed right next door.
Yes, we've been here quite a few times. Sometimes they're smokin' busy and sometimes, like just this past Tuesday, there's only a handful of tables. We have had wildly inconsistent experiences from really good food with fairly attentive and pleasant service to completely the opposite. This last time we ordered Peking duck, crispy chicken chow mean and Buddha's feast veggies. Basically, this restaurant just seems tired. The food was fine, no real complaints but nothing outstanding. There was one guy (maitre'd?) running around like crazy, one busser/waiter delivering food and carrying bus pans of dirty dishes around with his eyes permanently downcast and a guy in jeans walking around picking up credit cards and delivering the odd dish (owner?). When we were done eating it took them ages to clear our plates, then we asked for and paid the bill and sat for about 10 minutes before leaving. Then, with 2 of us already in the parking lot the busser comes out with the dessert that was included in with our Peking duck. Seriously? No one said, hey you still have dessert coming or what not when we were paying our bill 10 minutes before we actually left. There were exactly 7 tables occupied in the restaurant... So you can't say it was because they were swamped. Anyway, we'll be moving on, Pelican you have underwhelmed us probably for the last time. We're not having a great run with the Chinese restaurants lately **SIGH**.
We've been to the Richmond location where they really delivered on food quality and service, therefore when we had out of town visitors we chose Sun Sui Wah, Main St. Location for a casual meal after airport pick up. We were 5 and ordered roast duck, free range chicken, lettuce wrap, scallops and veggies, salty spicy deep fried tofu and sauteed snow pea shoots. The waiter tried to talk us into a soy chicken instead of the steamed ginger chicken we wanted but our visitors wanted the ginger dish so we stuck with ordering that only to be told 10 min later by the waiter that they were out of that and only had the soy chicken left. We said that was fine but he should have been honest in the first place, that was annoying. The best dish was the snow pea shoots, hard to go wrong with that. The duck was dry and probably the worst chinese style roast duck I've ever had in Vancouver and I would say we've had that in about 50 different chinese restaurants. The free range soy chicken was ok, just ok. The filling for the lettuce wrap (pork) was bland and anemic looking. The scallops and veggies were fine, and for the price a good amount of scallops. My son ordered a coke and it took them 15 minutes to bring it. The whole meal was completely underwhelming and if I hadn't experienced the Richmond location first I would not have any clue as to how Sun Sui Wah holds the reputation they do in Vancouver for being one of the best Chinese restaurants. By the way, I am Chinese so I know about the off the cuff service style in these restaurants but the service here was even less remarkable than say, Hon's, so that's not up to snuff. Maybe dim sum is really the only thing they do well or maybe we hit them on an off night, nevertheless we probably won't go back there any time soon.
We arrived, party of 4 around 5:30 pm and were seated on the downstairs patio right away. We were given all the right menus and our drink order was taken after a few minutes. We ordered 36 oysters, buck a shuck local variety we were familiar with to start. They took awhile to arrive but were worth the wait. Cleanly shucked, cold and delicious. Followed on with half price applies, Poutine with braised rib, calamari, flatbread, tuna and chicken soft tacos, spiced frites, and carpaccio. The standout was the poutine, everything else was ok but lacking in seasoning. The calamari looked good but tasted bland and a bit soggy. The soft tacos, edible but unremarkable. Carpaccio needed some infused olive oil or any seasoning for that matter, but quality and quantity of beef was decent. A different drink special every night some for $5. We loved the view, the oysters, pleasantly efficient service from our waitress, and the excellent appy hour deal. Yes, the food needs work but with a bit of salt and pepper added, it's not the end of the world. We were too stuffed to have any mains but did squeeze in a piece of cheesecake which was a nice size portion, attractively presented with berry compote and coulis. It got inhaled by my teenage son which could mean anything as far as whether it was good or not (just being honest) but we'll just say it was fine. When we got the bill we wanted to yell "Start the car !!"But we did leave a ridiculously good tip. Would go back for happy hour, definitely.
Sunday night, don't feel like cooking or doing dishes, no kids around for a change. We surfed around for a new place to try and settle on Wishes and Luck. We frequent the Drive alot and this place looked interesting. We arrive with no reso's around 8:00 pm. There aren't a whole lot of seats (35?) and the tables were full (good sign) so we sat at the bar. We are happy bar stool dwellers so that was not a problem. Usually we find bar service to be more personable because you are so close to the action. Here we had 2 bartenders working in a not very large space, yet oddly they were both rather shy and reserved. We ordered wine and a Negroni, followed by beet salad, pork bites, tartare, and meatballs. Strangely even though we were practically sitting on top of them we had to initiate asking for everything from the (maybe they're a couple?) barkeeps who were very busy slicing, dicing, mashing, swirling behind the bar and didn't seem to have any time left over to serve us (only 2 guests) sitting at the bar. The beet salad was outstanding, tricolor beets, goats cheese, nicely dressed. The pork bites, we didn't like, kind of dry and honestly can't remember anything else about them except we wouldn't order them again. They forgot to bring our meatballs and then when they did, they said it was on the house, but they appeared on the bill anyways. We paid and left without saying anything. Funny thing is that the owner (Dolly?) chased after us to apologize for not taking the meatballs off the bill, she seemed genuine when she said next time you come in we'll do something special for you. The thing is to do something special for people the FIRST time they come in. We may or may or may not return but nice to know she actually cared enough to run down the street after us, we give her 10 points for that, no 15 points, she had heels on.
Last Saturday we had a nice treat, chauffered in an SUV limo, dinner at this gold standard of a steakhouse, pampered for a few hours. The room was elegant, the food classic, the service impeccable. We ordered iceberg wedge, spinach salad, beefsteak tomato salad, calamari, rib eye steaks and blackened ahi tuna with roasted beets, asparagus and mashed potato sides. All the food was well prepared and nicely seasoned. Excellent dressings on all the salads. Great wine selection with some surprisingly reasonable selections, although if you're at all price conscious you really should not come here because dinner for 4 could easily set you back a mortgage payment on the average Vancouver condo. We were seated on the upper level at an excellent table overlooking all the action. The service as expected was unobtrusive, understated yet always there, and well timed. We did feel that the steaks, while tender and tasty, was not the best we've ever tasted, although to be fair we've had some amazing steak. It is not dry aged, rather wet aged 30+ days, so we were told by our waiter. Anyway, enough first world whining... It was an elegant meal with good company, fine wine and classy service. And at least we didn't get shot (ha ha).
Because we practice the fine art of breakfast cookery at home we don't often go out for the morning meal, but on this particular Sunday we didn't have breakfast or lunch so decided to finally come for a 2:15 pm "dunch" because every time we drive by we say, "we've got to try that place". It was surprisingly busy still at that time and there were 2 or 3 other small parties waiting at the door when we arrived. but it didn't take long to get seated. It's very basic inside. They erased all traces of the brave bull, quick paint job, table and chairs, and bam, breakfast joint. Didn't hire any designers here, and who cares for a cheap n cheerful breaky? Except it's not cheap. Hubby ordered the special eggs benny with avocado fritter, side of bacon (extra), side of home fries (extra), me, benny style eggs on arugula and lemon truffle potatoes. The food took AGES to come, easily over 30 minutes, seemed like an hour for my tummy. Way too long to wait for breakfast food. By the time it came we were both so hungry we would have eaten cotton balls sautéed in butter. Thank goodness the food was tasty, but not very hot. The portions were fine for us because we are both watching our waistlines but they weren't generous portions by any stretch. Our waitress was saccharin sweet and narrated each thing she was about to do, "I'm going to get some more water for you now", "I'm going to get some more coffee for you now". If it was actual breakfast time when some people might be sporting hangovers, her life could be in peril. Still, the food was definitely flavourful, although the hollandaise was a little thin for my liking. The coffee was good quality and we saw some yummy looking waffles and beignets cruise by our table. Our bill came to $40.00 for two breakfasts and 1 bottomless coffee. We were kind of surprised. So, finally I'd say we would come again if there were no line ups but we wouldn't wait in line again just to have to wait a long time for the food. Also, I noticed on the menu they put 18% gratuity on large parties... really? For this kind of service? I would expect that at Gotham's where we had dined the night before, but no way at Yolk's. Craaazy.
Brand spanking new place serving alternative / gluten free pastas located in the Safeway plaza on the way up to Mount Seymour. We are local diners and since there are only about 4 decent eateries in the area we zoomed over as soon as they opened to see the digs and check out the food. We always want to like and support the local eateries but judging by our initial visit this will not be anywhere on the top of our "local" bites list.
Let's start with the positive. The decor is well done. Stone, wood, glass elements all carefully integrated... it's a nice place to walk into. It goes a little downhill from here...
Onto the service. They have modeled this place after places like Formosa Pizzeria on the drive where they give you a menu and a seat then you go order at the counter (a tip is expected when you pay for the food) and then take your own drinks and water to the table and wait for someone to bring your food. Question begs why is a tip expected up front when you're not sure what the quality of food or service is going to be? My dinner partner ordered and paid and tipped 10% instead of our usual 15% and said he felt stupid giving them anything but was too embarrassed not to. Still, if the food was good we could deal with this set up.
So, the food: We ordered a Salumi plate (antipasto), a mixed green salad and kamut pasta. Pay attention people, go to Via Tevere on Victoria Drive and see how to do a real antipasto platter!
The best thing was the bread, proper semi-dunkel rustic european style bread. When a restaurant puts the bread on the platter you know they're just filling up real estate with it. Bread should be served on the side or serve it on a larger board. The salad was drenched and I mean drenched in vinaigrette. Both of us are salad lovers and will eat almost anything resembling a salad, but the dressing was way too sweet and did I say drenched? It came in a little 70's era soup bowl and was basically a clump of soggy greens with a ton of either raisins or dried berries and some sunflower or other seeds. All we could say was YUCK. The kamut pasta was tossed with peas, I think ricotta and arugula. Somehow it managed to be hot only in the very middle and pretty much cold radiating out. It was edible, that's the best I can say. All pastas are about $15.00. Cheap for a restaurant but expensive for a self service place....
I told my dining partner we should let them get their training wheels off and go back and try them again in a few weeks but he said I'd have to go with someone else, he was so not impressed!
Living in the Cove, we are so lucky.... except for the limited selection of eateries in our tiny little enclave of perfection. The last place I reviewed was the new pasta place up at Parkgate, which was pretty much a miss for us. So, when we walked into this new Cafe Orso, we were a little reserved about what to expect. Nicely decked out, urban chicque crosses wood finishes and carefully chosen art, original and unique fixtures. We likey, but then the new places pretty much all look good. But was this going to be another pretty face with no personality? Thank gawd, not this time. We ordered a savoury waffle with arugula, bresaola, pecorino(?), avocado and avocado on toast with a side of bresaola. We paid for our food at the counter and had a nice chat with the owner who introduced himself and shook our hand. So basic, yet no other restaurant owner has ever done that that we can remember in the Cove. Good manners, Luca, your Mama should be proud. We found a comfy couch to sit on and someone brought chilled water and cutlery to us right away. We waited about 10 min for the food and when it came it was very simple, nicely presented. It's not rocket science, good bread, ripe avocados, nicely seasoned, good portion for the prices charged, and a check back on the food after it was served. And they're awake enough to actually remember you and what you ordered without plonking a giant number on your table. We also saw some other food go by that looked scrumptious (tomato melted cheese toast) yet again, simple. Afterwards came the real test, does this "Cafe" actually serve good coffee? After we ate we ordered a long Americano and an Espresso. I judge all coffees by the Espresso. It's got to be properly balanced slightly bitter, nice crema on top. Yes, we have a winner here. Biggest bonus, wait for it......they have a liquor license! We'll be back for some vino and appies, that's for sure. We were also told they have live music, I think they said Friday and Sunday nights. Finally, maybe a place we can make our favourite local hang out, we've literally been waiting for something like this for years. Yes, home run, first visit. It so rarely happens, we are in shock. Also, they don't stick a giant tip jar in your face, just a small tip cup beside the cash. We spent about $25, and I popped over a fiver tip because I felt they deserved it not because I felt pressured to tip, because technically it's self service and tipping isn't a given. Anyway, we'll be back and we'll be bringing others. Our only complaint, if it could even be called that is that there seems to be very limited seating. At 2 pm on a Friday every seat was full so I think they might need to rethink their seating before too long.
The food was in comparable with the authentic Chinese restaurants. They have incredible customer service. My plates were always taken away when I was done and my glass of water was always kept full. The prices are kind of expensive, but for the quality and size of the portions I would say it’s worth it. The vegetables are always crisp and well marinated. The vegetarian hot and sour soup is pretty good. I especially liked the Fried Pea Pods, Chinese Mushroom, and Bamboo Shoots.
|1.||Stepho's Greek Taverna|
|3.||Anton's Pasta Bar|
|5.||Fish On Rice|
|9.||Phnom Penh Restaurant|
|11.||Kobe Japanese Steak House|
|13.||Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar|
|2.||Steveston Pizza Co.|
|3.||Sushi Shelter 101|
|4.||Seasons in the Park|
|6.||Talay Thai Restaurant|
|7.||Diva at The Met|
|8.||La Charcuterie Delicatessen|
|11.||Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie|
|12.||Guu with Garlic|
|13.||Firehall Bistro, The|
|15.||La Grotta Del Formaggio|
|16.||Salade de Fruits Cafe|
|19.||Pink Peppercorn Seafood House|
|20.||Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar|