The Portly Chef offers fine dining in North Vancouver prepared from scratch, with care. The menu features Asian and French influenced West Coast cuisine, including a good balance of seafood and chops. There is also a rotating chalkboard menu featuring cheeses, charcuterie, and fresh oysters. Executive Chef / Owner Jeff Batt
Right on Lonsdale near 12th right beside Bravo Cuccina. Went for lunch and had the roasted beet salad ($11) and sampled the calamari ($10), both were really good withthe calamari a bit of a Asian twist with some chilies. Then had the fish duo ($16), salmon and tuna. Both cooked perfectly on top of an chinese blackbean type of sauce. It came with a piece of fried squash, almost tempura like as well as 2 bean curd egg rolls. These are very much like the fried ones you would get a a chinese restaurant at dim sum. It may sound odd but the Asian style and fish matched. Great service even though waiter was buy himeself with 4-5 tables occupied. Value is decent for this level of food and nice a bright restaurant. Would return.
Came here on opening week and have meant to review ever since. What a great spot; the food and service were both phenomenal. Pretty much every item on the menu has something that jumps out at you. I wound up ordering a whole bunch of appetizers, all super tasty (highlight was the deconstructed poutine; fries, gravy, cheese fondue, mix and match as you please), and for the entree I had the flat iron steak. Not something I would normally order as I'm generally not a huge fan of that cut, but as I mentioned, each menu item has something on it that you're definitely gonna wanna eat. In this case it was a beef bone with the marrow in, which you're meant to spread on the steak. If you don't eat marrow that may sound gross, but it was the selling factor for me and I regret nothing! Steak was perfectly cooked and very tender, and the marrow was such a nice accompaniment. Such a great meal. Can't say enough good things about the service either, very "small room style"; personal, attentive, intimate. Will be going back for sure.
It is not the Cucina right next store but a far better affair. We heard about the soft opening last week and we thought it would be good to check this new fine dining restaurant out. Once inside we found the staff was friendly, decent, and attentive. The decor was good and a notch up from what was seen in the Tutu Bene that used to reside here. This restaurant has a whole new atmosphere and a entirely different menu. We had a variety of appetizers to start and all were unique and superb tasting. The main courses were delicious too. And the pastries?! The pastries are to die for. The pastries are created by the same person who supplied pastries to the Chambar over in Vancouver. Overall the food was tasty, well presented, smartly priced, and the portions were good. The ambiance was good but the music was a little all over the map. I am sure that will improve once the restaurant further defines itself. If you are like us and have been longing for finer dining on the North Shore, check out the latest in fine dining on central Lonsdale. And congratulations to the new owner and Chef for putting together a good team.
Had somewhat high expectations for this place and left rather disappointed. Wild mushrooms with chevre had lots of sauce and oil, lacked in flavour and there was no salt or grind of pepper. There was NO puff pastry, as advertised, but was told that the tiny cheese crisp on top was puff pastry. It was not. Since the 2 tiny crostini did not even begin to suffice for the sauce I asked for made bread. Given 2 more tiny pieces of crostini...and not that willingly either. Kitchen was accomodating in serving us bouillabaise from the dinner menu; that came with bread...so they did have some on the premises after all! Plenty of seafood, also lots of potatoes and again, bland with no offer of pepper etc. I find that somewhat presumptuous, as some people like a little spice!
Decor is pleasant and maybe dinner is better, but I for one will not be rushing back.
We checked the reviews for both Bravo Cucina and Portly Chef as they are next door to each other. They both received good reviews, but since we were wanting Italian food, tried to get into Bravo Cucina. They were completely reserved, so we went next door to the Portly Chef. We arrived just as they opened, and we were told since we did not have reservations there was about a 90 minute window to enjoy our meal, which was fine. They provided fresh bread and butter; we enjoyed that so much that we asked for two more orders (must have been hungry). I ordered the Seafood Treats pasta and Yummer ordered the Filet Oscar. Yummer's meal was good except for the overdone rubbery prawns and scallops (ditto for my pasta meal). In a city famous for its well prepared seafood, we expected more. Service was professional and engaging. Might return but there are many other places on the North Shore to try first.
The Portly Chef is worth the drive to North Vancouver. This little restaurant has everything you want for a great night out. When you walk in the door you feel like you are at home. The service is friendly, knowledgeable and unobtrusive. The food is simply divine. Seldom do you have a group of seven people where everyone thoroughly enjoys their meal. Kudos to the team at The Portly Chef as everyone at our table raved about the food, the standouts being the Lamb two ways and the Seared Tuna. I am a bit of food snob and I will happily be recommending this restaurant to everyone looking for an exceptional meal.
They have been open for 3 weeks and the place was packed. As it should be. North Vancouver has a new gem of a restaurant on Lonsdale. The service, music, wine selection, and ambiance were all excellent, but the incredible food blew me away. I was so happy with all the dishes we ordered (especially loved the mussels and lamb two way) that I'm going to be finding a good excuse to treat myself to another dinner shortly. Thanks for making my birthday dinner great!
A few of us decided to get together for a bite at this place last night, as storming new territory can often have unexpected pleasures. Holy crap! I had no idea what I was in for. I'd like to think that I've been to most of the best restaurants Vancouver has to offer, but now I'm thinking that I may have to spend more time on the North Shore and in the suburbs to find true gems such as this.
The service was simply outstanding. Our beautiful waitress and handsome bartender had impeccable service. I remember dining at the Burj-Al-Arab several years ago in Dubai, the world's only 7-star hotel. Their service was akin to that experience. Drinks were never empty, politeness at the forefront, smiles from all the chefs; you could tell that this was a happy place where everyone wanted to take care of you. And that, they did.
Let's start with the cocktails. My girlfriend and I had some serious trouble choosing cocktails, because they all sounded so delectable. You could tell that the mixologist who designed these drinks was an artisan in their craft. My girlfriend had one that had hints of lychee and cucumber. I ended up trying one called the Southside which was fantastic! I highly recommend it as a refreshing summer aperitif.
And the food... my god, the food! We ended up splitting some appetizers after much trouble deciding and serious debate. Lobster corn dogs? Are you kidding me? WOW! Three of us ended up splitting a deconstructed poutine and the heirloom tomato salad. I love heirloom tomatoes, and this may be the best heirloom tomato salad in the city. A perfect balance of ripeness and succulence in the tomato coupled with arugula and cheese, drizzled with their profound dressing. In the poutine, each component was separated; the fries were crisp perfection on the outside with those soft innards that we all love so much. The gravy and gruyere cheeses were a knockout match for them in one's mouth. Which brings me to my first complaint (if you can call it that): there was seemingly too much cheese for the poutine. Sacrilege? Perhaps. We remedied this situation by dipping the incredible fresh baked bread that was complimentary in the gruyere. I nearly fell off my chair. Absolute magic.
And our mains? Best food in the city, no holds barred. After serious indecision (a thank you again to our server for her patience, life is full of worse problems!), I ended up trying the Lamb Two Ways. On the one hand, you have the lamb chops with an aioli beyond belief, which paired have established supremacy over any grilled lamb dish I have ever had. As if holding that throne wasn't enough, there was a lamb shepherd's pie to go with it. The veggies it came with were dipped in some sort of light tempura batter, adding a wonderful texture of crispness to them. I also had the luxury of trying a few bites of the flat iron steak with bone marrow spread upon it. In all honestly, every main sounds this good.
The wine list looked spectacular; I must say that there really is something for everyone here at any price range, region and grape varietal.
We were unfortunately too full to try dessert, so till next time!
I honestly cannot wait to return to this restaurant again. The warm, cozy, inviting atmosphere; the exquisite level of service beyond any expectation; the wonderful selection of cocktails; the utterly delicious and unparalleled food; the diversity of the wine list; and the friendliness of all the staff... it all comes together with such flawless execution. I am salivating just reminiscing of last night as I write this. Thank you to everyone there for the wonderful time, and looking forward to nothing else but our next visit!
I was on my way out to another place last night but when I saw the Portly Chef open I quickly parked and went there. I have to say I am quite critical of restaurants I guess because I like to cook myself. This place was the best food I have ever been served, it was so beautiful I didn't want to cut into it, but when I did it tasted as beautiful as it looked. I seldom write reviews on things but this place was so amazing I had to write one. So not only was the food the best I have ever eaten, the portions were good and price was good, and to top it off the house wine is my all time favourite JLhor. The service was excellent!! I cannot say enough good about this place, I am taking my staff there next week and am so excited for them to try everything and feel the same as I do.
My wife and I were walking Lonsdale for dinner. We decided to try The Portly Chef. As it turns out they are not actually having a grand opening till next week but are open on what they called a "soft open".
The food and service was excellent. The food was very well presented and tasted amazing. I had a poutine appitizer and my wife had a tomato salad. She actually took a picture of the food.
For dinner I had lamb that was cooked two ways; a rack plus a lamb shepard pie. My wife had the pork chop. Portions were large enough that we shared from each others plate. Will definitely go back and can't wait to see what this place will be like when they fully launch.
I agree with the other review that the music was a little off for the restaurant.
Went for lunch with a friend. Food was stellar but a bit pricey. Waitress could have been a bit more attentive for first time customers. Had to ask for the music to be turned down. A bit disappointed overall. Missed meeting The Portly Chef. Maybe dinner would be a better time for ambience.
Food to die for, no doubt. Service great. But overshadowed by sound---too loud too noisy. Can't hear the person next to you, and not comfortable. Needs sound dampening big time. So sorry, neighborhood restaurant, husband will not return. Want to go again, please help us out. All food items for the 4 of us so good. No advertising yet and place packed.