An idyllic lakefront heritage estate minutes from Vancouver’s downtown, Hart House invites you to retreat from the bustle and enjoy the best in food and wine. Renowned for its culinary excellence, tranquil setting, and friendly service, Hart House is the critics’ pick year after year. Sunday brunch service.
3 of us went there recently, not having eaten at this restaurant for over 10 years. The place has been renovated, yet maintains its heritage feel, although I would have preferred more partioning between the various dining areas, to avoid the "big canteen feel". More sophisticated lighting could have helped too. The bar was a bit too overwhelming in size and very cluttered, but otherwise, the decor, colour scheme, and the wainscotting along the walls were very nice.
The food was absolutely fabulous. Instead of going for the traditional appetizer, main course, and dessert, I just had 4 different appetizers, and combined with what my dining companions had, there were 9 different dishes altogether (including desserts). Every single dish was amazing. This is fusion done right, and our taste buds were amply rewarded.
Service was impeccable. All in all, we had a most enjoyable evening, and will be back.
I came here for sunday brunch with my wife. It's a cute place and staff are friendly. The service was quick here also. We ate...
TAGLIATELLE CARBONARA for $16 - Dish looked nice and tasted good.
YARROW MEADOWS DUCK LEG CONFIT for $17 - The duck was cooked perfectly and tasted great.
For dessert we had the ESPRESSO CRÈME BRÛLÉE for $7 and that was yummy also.
With a glass each of pinot gris it was an overall good meal. Portions were between average and on the smaller side. Good thing they brought bread, butter, croissants and jam to our table with the meal!
Would I return? Sure if it was close by or a friend wanted to go. Menu seemed a little small.
My friend bought the Groupon for Hart House, so we decided to go for dinner there on Wednesday. The bookings were surprisingly full for a weekday, we were only able to get in at 5:30, otherwise we had to wait until 8:30!
The restaurant is situated inside Deer Lake Park. It's a cute little cottage style building with a gorgeous view of Deer Lake from the back. It was elegent without being too "stuffy". They also had outside seating; We initially wanted to sit outside, but when ants and tiny flies started to invade our table, we decided that we should get a table inside.
The menu was not very big, limited choices when it comes to starters, so we just ordered 2 entrees for our dinner. My friend ordered the pork chop and I ordered their duck breast entree. The presentations was really good. But while the food looked great on the plate, the taste was a different story. My friend said his pork chop was definitely overcooked; the flavour was alright, but it was tough from being overcooked. My duck breast entree, although it looked a little more done than I liked, the meat was surprisingly tender. The only complaint I had with my dish was that it tasted very greasy. The confit hash was flavourful but was extremely greasy, and I thought that they could have seared the skin on the breast a little longer to render off some of the fat. Because the fat on the skin was still quite thick, it made it quite hard to chew. It was just too greasy and it left a greasy after-taste in my mouth.
Definitely a little disappointed in the food from such a beautiful restaurant.
With Groupons in hand a group of us went for dinner. From the start our waiter was great. Some of our party was very late, but he was very patient and never rushed us. Unfortunately after waiting 45 minutes we found out the friends we were waiting for weren't going to show up, but our waiter was still very nice. He told us about the steak special for two which sounded great, and we all ordered it. But then he came back and asked if we had Groupons, because they don't apply to this special. He allowed us to change our orders so we could us our coupons...he was very helpful and nice about it. Throughout our meal he regaled us with stories about his cats, and even walked us to the door when we finally left.
The food was not bad. I would've given the food 4 stars if my mussels and frites weren't overly salty and the mussels themselves were bigger. They were more like clams, they were so small. Other dishes looked good: the lamb shoulder was tender and a good sized portion, the duck breast was still slightly pink and looked tasty, prawns and scallops were presented nicely (though I didn't get to taste it). They refilled our basket of bread and piled it high so we could mop up the mussel sauce with it. I had ordered a salad to start and asked if it was big enough to share. I was pleasantly surprised when they brought out the salad already split onto two plates...I didn't even ask them to do it. Overall the portions were more substantial than what I expected.
I appreciated that the tables were quite spaced apart so that conversations can be intimate and private if that's what you're looking for. The meal was a great deal with the groupon. However it was our waiter that made the experience a top notch one. He encouraged us to come back and gave us a coupon for free desserts next time. We walked out with full stomachs and smiles on our faces...can't complain about that.
We love coming to Hart House to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or special event! The food is always delicious, the ambiance romantic and service top-notch. We got married right outside Hart House by the lake 2 years ago and have been coming back every single anniversary to celebrate! We are always thrilled to try their menu and specials - everything is always presented nicely and tastes great! We loved working with them for our wedding and their venue coordinator, Sonja is fabulous!! She made our special day amazing and we had a wonderful magical time at Hart House! We will always love Hart House for everything it has to offer. Even though they've gone through a chef change in the past 2 years, they've still managed to maintain a quality and standard that makes the food at Hart House delicious and memorable. Also their wait staff are awesome, especially Ian, who we get every time we go there! Thanks Hart House for being so wonderful! =)
We attended an office party in the gazebo. The setting was beautiful. The group had the gazebo to themselves and it was nicely decorated. Christmas carolers came later in the evening and sang so it was very festive.
Appetizers were served before dinner and they were very good. The best part of the meal in fact. We had smoked salmon, goat cheese tartlets, spring rolls and prawn and scallop skewers. For dinner we had a choice of beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, chicken breast or a vegetarian dish. I requested beef tenderloin and the server asked how I would like it. I requested rare. A few minutes later I was told that they could not do rare, everything was done ahead of time and the only way this dish was being served was medium rare. Needless to say people who had requested this item any way by medium rare were disappointed. At the prices that I'm certain were being charged you should be able to order your entree the way you would like. Dessert was either a lemon tart or chocolate mousse. Neither one of these desserts would make you sit up and take notice. Coffee or tea was offered. I requested tea. The server presented me with an assortment of herbal teas and I asked if they had just plain old orange pekoe tea. She came back after 10 minutes and informed me that they did not have it but would I like Earl Grey or English Breakfast. I said that I would like English Breakfast. She gave me a tea bag and said that someone would be by with hot water. I asked for a tea pot. They didn't have any tea pots. I thought only Americans served their tea like this. I'm surprised she didn't give me a styrofoam cup. I passed on the tea.
We have also had dinner here on our own and I wasn't impressed with it at the time either. My opinion of Hart House hasn't changed but at least this time someone else was picking up the tab.
I wouldn't go back if I had to pay for it.
Love the ambiance. Spacious dining areas but might also depend on which area/room you get seated in. Beautiful lawn outside and garden house for receptions and/or other special parties/events.
Service is friendly & the rooms are elegant without being stifling. Food is great! Love their soups! Their mains are delicious as well. Though the brunch menu is somewhat limited in variety, each of the dishes is well-prepared anyway. Go for regular lunch or dinner and try the other dishes. You might find something you can enjoy better than brunch!
Go for the atmosphere! Very relaxing and pleasant--although with the trees that are somewhat in the way, not sure which window you should try to sit by to get a better view of the lake... as one of the rooms with a good view of the garden and a little opening displaying the lake, is still somewhat blocked by branches & trees though I've only been during the fall and winter seasons, I wonder if at other times of the year, when the trees are at full bloom, if you'd get any good view of the water from inside the restaurant/house.
I went to Hart House for the first time last December for their famous Christmas lunch buffet. It was outstanding!! Although the line-up for the food was quite long (they only have 3 seatings, so you can't "come as you please", reservations a must!), the food never ran out. They had really delicious items on the menu. A little pricey, but I would say anyone should try it at least once.
Have been to Hart House a couple times now and have enjoyed my time there. Although it is difficult to make a reservation and have been frustrated in the past to go elsewhere. Not sure why my messages weren't returned.
The first time I went was with my parents and it was a very nice meal and service was good although seemingly 'snobbish' for a restaurant in a character home. We were seated in the corner and told there were reservations made but there were other tables available after we finished eating and had left (perhaps these are colonial services that are befitting a restaurant in a character home?).
The second time was a friend's wedding and the food was good but seemed to be sub-par from the quality when I previously went. Although to be fair - a buffet is different from a menu.
Took my family here for mother's day brunch and was VERY disappointed with their offer - however they do know how to charge.
We were ushered to an upstairs room that looked like a cash-grab for the restaurant and did not have the same elegance as their main dining room. They ran out of the smoked salmon - however the server did go downstairs to retrieve some from the main dining room. This reinforced my notion that we were being treated like second-class diners.
After I paid the bill and left - I contacted restaurant management and let them know of my dissatisfaction - at spending $400+ and they could care less. They actually came across CONDESCENDING.
Will NEVER return and have no good things to say about my experience
Went here for Dineout with the entire family as a treat, wanting something moderately fancy and elegant.
Ambiance: The building is wonderfully charming, with a gorgeous vaulted ceiling and a burning fireplace in the front. This is a place I would not have minded waiting in, though we had a reservation and sadly weren't able to take in all the charming heritage sights in the front. Since it was night, we weren't able to take in the scenic location as it was pitch black out of the windows. The dining room, though, was a cozy and rustic setting, with mood lighting, and even a candle on the table. I really liked the chairs and how comfortable they were!
Service: The staff there seemed very eager to help, with an easy but still cordial manner. We had out coats taken by the hostess, and the servers were nice. Our waiter in particular was quite a charming fellow, being not only attentive but also having some wit. That being said, the 3 courses we ordered were spaced apart by quite the wide margin, with us waiting a long while for each course. I also would've liked for our dishes to have been cleared more promptly, though they re-filled our water and my brother's coffee often.
Value: The Dineout menu is a great deal, but, if you order the right things, you can still have a rather affordable meal that can fill you up. I didn't once do a double-take at any of the prices; they seem genuinely reasonable, though the steaks have an additional charge for side dishes. I like how for our Dineout desserts, they gave us a full portion rather than halving it, as I am told can sometimes happen.
Food: First off, the bread disappointed - it seems like they cut up a Safeway baguette and stuffed it in a basket. Not fresh, not particularly tasty. For appetizers, we had the mushroom soup which was rich and creamy though bland and lacking much mushroom flavor, the shrimp-avocado salad which was average and the ham hock terrine which was tasty but looked more like ground pork stuffing than anything. For entrees, I had the coq au vin. It had great flavor, but the chicken lacked crispy skin and the texture was mushy rather than tender. My brother had the steak with potatoes and mushrooms as sides. The steak was done well, and the sides had generous portions, enough for all of us to share. We also had the braised short-ribs, which, like the chicken, was overcooked and stringy; the ruby trout, which was quite small in portion; as well as the mussels with fries. Now that was a generous portion as well, with a huge bowl of mussels, and some crispy fries could have used some salt. The desserts were the pear cake (kinda like an upside down cake really) that had a sickly-sweet rum-caramel sauce and coffee creme brulee. The creme brulee was very good, though it was oddly served chilled. It came with an orange flavored biscotti that was tasty.
At the end of the night, we had an enjoyable time, and left feeling full. The food is somewhat hit and miss, and they need to step up their game since they are sitting on something that has so much potential. I will be returning, as I hope that they will continue to improve. Don't forget to grab some mini Italian fruit candies from the martini glass on your way out!
My husband and I had a very nice lunch at the Hart House. Even though we felt under-dressed they did not say anything. The food was delicious and the service was great! We especially were thankful to Ian who told us some great tourist spots around the restaurant: the beach, a nice picnic area, and the museum. He took the time to talk to us and even went back inside to get us a brochure. He was very friendly and kind. It made my husband very happy. It was a great experience and even though we had a late lunch, they didn't make us feel like we had to rush. I would totally recommend this place to everyone and would love to go there again. The portions were reasonable and the taste was great! We especially enjoyed the veal. It was very tasty and soft. the place was warm with fireplaces and the table and chairs were set up very fancy as if we were at a reception. We particularly enjoyed the few from the bay window.
The Hart House is a classic in a beautiful park setting - too bad the food is so horribly disappointing. Very pricey. Odd pairings - scallops with veal? Halibut with beef short rib? Of four seafood offerings, three included meat. Had the chicken with gnocchi....or at least I think that's what those ill-shaped globs overpowered by the balsamic sauce were supposed to be. At least the chicken was tender. The whole evening was a sad disappointment, including an extremely noisy room (we were reduced to silence because we couldn't hear each other over others' conversations anyway - odd acoustics). Might be back for a summer lunch by the lake. Won't be back for dinner.
We went there a couple of times for dinner. This recent weekend, my wife and I both tried the $35 Table d'Hôte. I had the duck confit for appetizer, the roasted ling cod entree, and finished with a cheesecake and a coffee after. They were all delicious. Our guest had the rack of lamb and portions were generous and he enjoyed it as well. The house is beautiful and have a lot of character. Our server this time is friendly. Last time, the server was a little stiff and serious, no smiles, but service was still professional. Will definitely go back for special occassions.
We took our best client to this place after visiting its website. This was mistake #1 as the lesson learned here is not to trust everything a restaurant's own website say. Like a sitcom, everything that could have gone wrong, did.
1. SLOW service. All 5 of us ordered entree only for our lunch. Took them over 20 minutes to bring them out. At the 15 minute mark, the waiter who sensed that things took longer than usual, came by and instead of saying that the food is on its way, told us that he should have encouraged us to order appetizers. As we were fully engaged in our business conversation, this only emphasized the slow service.
2. THOUGHTLESS service. When the entrees finally arrived, they only had 4 out of 5. So the fifth guest had to wait over 5 minutes for his. Being polite guests, others waited until the fifth plate arrives before starting. This made the food colder than it should be.
3. VALUE-SUBTRACTED service. The portions were ridiculously small, practically appetizer size. For the price charged, we don't see where the value was. The service wasn't it. The ambiance (or there lack of) wasn't it. And the food quality wasn't it.
4. SUICIDAL service. Finally, to shoot themselves in the foot, the waiter tried to make it up by bringing us complimentary desserts. Two mistakes here. One, the size of the chocolate cakes he brought were absolutely ridiculously small. It was smaller than your safeway brownies. One bite and it was gong. Two, the waiter, with the help of two other servers, brought only 4 desserts. So the one guest left without dessert waited, and waited, and waited, for his dessert that never came. We had hoped that at least the waiter would have noticed when he came back to collect the plates, but no....not a word.
5. THANKLESS service. Thankless here refers to how the waiter, hostess, and the restaurant manager did not utter one "thank you for coming and see you again" to anyone of us.
None of us will be back, and no, we're not sorry.
In my experience, dining here on a normal day (not mother's day or valentines or any holiday when they do a brunch or buffet) is excellent. Coming on a special day is not. The menu is excellent, superb food and priced accordingly to the kind of restaurant it is. Service is attentive and gracious and the setting is very pretty. My two experiences with "special occasions" has been less appealing, their buffet's mediocre and overpriced.
Food: We ordered the romaine salad & oysters to start. The salad was an 'authentic' caesar salad. The leaves were kept whole and the small artichoke added a nice flavour to the dish. I enjoyed it, though I wish there were more leaves for a $10 salad. The oysters were $14 for 6, which I thought was decent. They were tasty. For entrees, we had the duck breast and the rib steak (add truffle fries). Both dishes were alright. The truffle fries were good and were served in a tin. I would recommend this side.
Service: It was very pleasant. From when we entered, they were very welcoming. Our glasses were always topped off and our dishes were promptly cleared. The server even said 'wonderful' when he saw that we had a Groupon. Thank you!
I enjoyed the service much more than the food...but I don't think I would be back soon as I didn't think there was anything on the menu that really stood out.
Came here for Dine Out Vancouver at my mom's behest, with most of the family. Let's just say it was a forgettable experience. Their Dine Out Vancouver menu consisted of an appetizer choice between Tuna Carpaccio or Butternut Squash soup, an entree choice between Beef Short Ribs, Scallops, or Vegetarian Risotto, and a dessert choice between a Cinnamon Donut or an Upside-down Banana Cake. Let's just say between the five of us, we tried everything except the risotto. I mean, who wants to order rice for a main course for $38?
The soup was quite alright and the cinnamon marshmallows served with it were intriguing, but the tuna carpaccio had just too much rock salt and mayonnaise drizzled over it for anyone's taste. I had the short rib for an entree an it was very tender, but again, very salty. The other entree, the scallops, were not only salty as well, but came four on a plate with a few veggies and some mashed potatoes. I mean, four scallops? Come on, this is an entree! A bag of chips would be more of a meal. My bro-in-law ordered this (and he's a bigger eater than I) and he finished the plate in 2 minutes. Why was this even on the menu as an entree? Luckily, they brought us another basket of bread after the first one. Lastly, as if in some effort to redeem themselves, the desserts were very good with the banana cake being quite delectable. I half expected them to be salty, however.
So, with mediocre food and mediocre service (it wasn't a busy night, even for DOV), the only highlight was the restaurant itself. The Hart House is a mansion by Vancouver's standards and feels very cozy as a dining experience. They may have difficulty accommodating large parties however, but you can always book a room if you roll that way.
A truly truly unspectacular DOV experience. I would not recommend, but if you enjoy a quiet night out, you could do worse than the Hart House. If you come here for DOV, order the soup, the short ribs and the banana cake. That is all.
My company and I went there for our xmas lunch, which was buffet for $40 inc. tax. Everything was pretty nice until we tried the food and it was not worth the amount we paid. Turkey was nowhere close to tender, no juice was presented when carving it. The gravy was cold so no good either. I went on with the ham, but it made no difference from the turkey. Also dry with no juice at all. The Shrimp was very basic which I swear I could do better. Their pasta was nothing particular either very plan and tasteless. Salad was ok.. but i was just say that I can enjoy my food at earls or cactus club much better. They had 3 different type of salmon.. it was also ok but just wasnt what I expected for the price as well. The desserts did look a little fancy but it was to my expectations. The Cream was not fluffy soft, infact, it seemed like the cakes where there for hours. I would atleast give some satisfaction only if they had some soup during the meal or maybe like some mashed potatoes or turkey stuffings... but guess what?? It totally didn't feel like a xmas meal.... i felt so ripped off. sigh!
been there three times,great place so far, pretty excellent service that means much more to us. staff are warm and nice, food is fair, location convenient, fresh bread, flexible service, not too slow for us. wish the menu can be more options. will go back and brings friends in. please give it a try