For Christmas, I bought my parents the full-on tasting menu (11 courses) plus the optional wine pairings. The total damage with tip was just a hair under $500. Was it worth it? Well, after getting a full report from my parents, I'd say yes. Here's their report:
Food: Sublime. My parents raved about every dish. Everything was delicious, well-planned, creative, beautifully presented and perfectly cooked. Portions were smaller, but that was appropriate for the number of courses. A+
Service: Extraordinary. Personal but not intrusive attention by Mr. Butler, a warm congenial environment, 4 hours+ for the dinner with no hint of a rush, just superb service. A+
Ambiance: Very nice. They've put a lot of work into the details. Unfortunately, there are obvious limitations on the space - no grand vistas of the city's twinkling lights here, I'm afraid. However, they've sacrificed seats to allow people some breathing room, which is nice. Aesthetically, everything was first rate - the china, the stemware, linens, etc, etc. B
Wine: Decent, but not outstanding. There was plenty of wine, as each course of the many courses had a drink to match. So for $60 per person for the wine, not bad value. However, as I stated, my folks simply did not find any of the wines to be exceptional. Personal taste, really. B
Value: Tough one. $500 for dinner for 2 is no joke. By the same token, it included: a fabulous multi-course meal fit for royalty, wines to accompany each dish, attentive and friendly service, individualized dishes, an immaculately set table, and a totally non-rushed environment. I'd have to say pretty good value. B
Overall: A fabulous dining experience. Mr. Butler should be as synonymous with fine dining in Vancouver as Feenie, Menghi and Bishop. Obviously, it's not the place to go if you're on a tight budget. However, if you want to wildly impress somebody, celebrate a special occasion, or just feel like a real treat, go to CB.