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interactbizNorth VanSince September 15, 200734 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.4)
  • Food3.5 (3.4)
  • Service3.5 (3.4)
  • Value3 (3.1)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.4)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 34 Reviews Found
Beachside Forno1362 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Back in the big leagues
Submitted Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 2:12am [Dine in]

Dining here over the years has been mostly fine. During our latest visit, it wasn't fine, it was memorable. Every dish commanded attention. Chef Jason Harris joined Beachside Forno about a year ago and has succeeded in elevating simple dishes by adding complex finishes.

An example was the chilled fresh pea soup with a small centrepiece: a butter flaked crouton topped with smoked ham and creme fraiche. My entree was poached chicken ballotine, not itself a simple dish but a melange of barely cooked fresh vegetables and light saucing kept it from being decadent. Dining partner, who usiually thinks BBQ should be served to moonshiners, loved the ribs and sides. One was a cauliflower potato salad with creamy dressing with tiny sparks of candied bacon; the other a fresh coleslaw flavoured with fennel seeds.

One of our young guests raved about the Beef Bavette, a full flavoured skirt steak that is under-appreciated because is not readily available. The other enjoyed the Wagyu beef burger even though she had them hold the trim, being the caramelized onions, crisp pancetta and white cheddar. Something about enjoying the meat, I think. I haven't even mentioned the house baked flatbreads, specialties that you will re-order.

With knowledgeable and prompt service, the evening was quite perfect. Excellent entrees, creative desserts, fine coffee and a bottle of Joie Noble Blend, an irresistible mixing of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois and Schoenberger. Finally, a BC wine that is a really fine beverage and a reasonable value.

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Calvin's Cafe and Catering3720 Mt. Seymour Parkway, North Vancouver
Uninspired food, inadequate service
Submitted Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 6:47pm [Dine in]

Room is attractive and comfortable but food was mediocre and service inadequate. Maybe it's hard to stay interested when serving in a mostly empty room. Maybe the room is mostly empty because the service is disinterested. The restaurant promotes itself as Swiss but the dinner menu does not reflect that in any meaningful way. The choices include numerous pasta dishes and is mostly mainstream fare.

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Belmondo Cafe2075 Old Dollarton Road, North Vancouver
One of North Van's best place for simple meal or snack
Submitted Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 5:46pm [Dine in]

This is my favourite spot for a real coffee latte, made with freshly ground beans that were roasted nearby a few days before. Great hot or cold sandwiches along with freshly baked pastries, cookies and snacks. Simple surroundings kept impeccably clean.

Instead of buying from international chains that offer factory foods, at Belmondo Cafe, you get healthier, tastier food and support local merchants.

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Closed
Edge Bistro, The3135 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver
Excellent neighbourhood bistro
Submitted Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 1:43am [Dine in]

We've dined here a few times and thoroughly enjoyed each visit. Tonight, I started with an amuse-bouche of salmon, then a crab and lobster bisque and and a wonderful crusted halibut entree. It was a perfectly cooked filet of fish with subtle crusting, cooked through but moist. A small piece of mascarpone cheesecake with berry puree and whipped cream brought the meal to a satisfying conclusion.

My partner had pan seared prawns with cranberries in a grand marnier sauce and an entree of veal scallopine with wild mushrooms in creamy demi-glace. She thought the sauces unusually good and asked about preparation. The server, proud to talk about the kitchen's techniques, said excellent sauces resulted from careful reductions done very slowly. Her only complaint about dinner was that the tiramisu dessert was too large to finish.

Service was excellent and they offer a good selection of wines by the glass or half litre along with a number of half bottles. That is a good response to today's super tough driving rules where a second glass of wine with dinner rules out driving.

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Campagnolo Roma2297 Hastings Street East, Vancouver
Could be a sophisticated neighbourhood dining experience, but
Submitted Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 2:23pm [Dine in]

We've been happy diners at Campagnolo on Main Street so expected the same satisfaction at the Hastings St. location. Four of us enjoyed an early dinner at the newest bistro but results were mixed. Two glasses of house ale, two bellinis and four plates of salad greens (exotic organics) were the start. OK, except the tab was already over a hundred bucks, allowing for tax and gratuity.

This is from Alan Richman's GQ review of a New York diner, "The best dish of this meal was the massive, underpriced ($9) blue-cheese salad with monstrous chunks of cheese and hunks of candied walnuts as big and burnished as jeweled Fabergé eggs. At Campagnolo Roma, salad was a simple handful of greens dressed lightly with a vinaigrette, but $12.

My plate of cannelloni, pasta tubes with a stuffing of chard and fennel sausage, was served without heavy saucing and risked being too dry. But, no it was a taste delight, quite perfect but left me wanting more. The other mains were rigatoni with pork and tomato and two pizzas, all quite fine.

For dessert, two of us ordered a special, meringue with berry sauce. The meringue was uncooked and I would have preferred the texture contract of one that had been at least lightly baked. For me and another diner, the dessert was a disappointment but another person might prefer Campagnolo's style.

If eating at Nick's Spaghetti House on Commercial Drive is your style, Campagnolo Roma may not be perfect. The East Hastings spot had the feel of newness, not quite sorted out. At $15, the cannelloni was good value, at $12, the salad was not. Service could have been more involved; our server removed one plate of salad greens that had been barely touched but made no inquiry or comment.

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Closed
Casual Gourmet Bistro333 Brooksbank, #770, North Vancouver
Two inedible take-out meals
Submitted Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - 9:53pm [Take-out]

We paid full price for a Kung Pao Chicken ($18.50) and a Beef Stroganoff ($24). Either food dish would have been overpriced at one tenth its actual cost, given the kitchen's execution. The latter had been a long time favorite of our family at Casual Gourmet so that was a disappointing sign of change. Both dishes were remarkably poor. Kung Pao included burned noodles and overcooked, dry nuggets of tasteless chicken chunks covered with a muddy sauce with no spark. The dessert table provided a tasty lemon tart so not all was lost.

A restaurant must have a commitment to quality in each plate served if they aim to survive. Lose the desire to serve excellent food and you will lose your customers and your business soon after.

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Capilano Heights Chinese Restaurant5020 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Chinese Food North American Style
Submitted Friday, January 14, 2011 - 9:20pm [Dine in]

Approximately 200 seats in two large and clean rooms, which probably look as they did a decade or two ago. Service is quick but a bit impersonal. Dishes not overwhelmed by sauces which were bland but not overly sweet. Prawns with broccoli and black bean sauce were too lightly sauced. The shellfish were well cooked but broccoli was little more than warmed through; crisp, not tender-crisp. No debit card facility.

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Baci Ristorante3728 East Hastings, Burnaby
Classic Vancouver version of an Italian Restaurant
Submitted Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 10:39pm [Dine in]

Excellent service and solid food ensure that dinner will be quite fine, although it may not be particularly creative or challenging. Sometimes, that's what you want; generous portions, quality ingredients and familiar flavors. The dining room is large, slightly apart from the small bandstand and dance floor. Walls are painted in scenes of Venice and Rome; common images of rustic Italy that would not been out of place in a 1975 restaurant.

IMO, the list of house wines needs updating. Many diners enjoy drinking wine with dinner in small amounts so a good variety of carefully chosen selections by the glass is pleasing, maybe even vital. The main list has some good selections but a few too many over-advertised names like Blue Nun and Yellow Tail.

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Closed
Social Restaurant & Lounge332 Water Street, #200, Vancouver
Perfection times four
Submitted Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 2:33am [Dine in]

We hit this place Dec 28, looking for a change from Christmas fare. Good things have been happening at So.cial during recent times and this is our new favourite in town. I've always enjoyed the look of the place and finally, food and service measure up.

It's a quick walk from the sea bus and skytrain in Downtown at the western edge of Gastown. Using transit gives freedom to enjoy the bar. Our group with guests from Surrey and the North Shore appreciated that convenience.

The dinner menu is broad but they are also doing creative small plates and servers are happy to match the right glass of wine with each course. Seafood is strong whether you enjoy shellfish, sable fish, arctic char or one of the special choices. I don't know if is going to be a new regular but our entire table loved the savoury bread served after the amuse bouches. We asked for a few refills of that along with the mildly spiced butter.

Service was attentive and expert although a relatively slow night between Christmas and New Years made the server to diner ratio quite generous. Wow, what a change from last year. I hope my review from last summer helped stimulate the fine changes.

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Pied-a-Terre3369 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Simple but sophisticated
Submitted Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 2:04pm [Dine in]

This place has only 30 seats but they probably serve as many meals as larger restaurants. We reserved for 5pm and were asked if we could finish within 2 hours because other guests were reserved for 7pm. Seemed fair to me. A number of walk-up customers without reservations were turned away.
The room is plainly decorated but elegant in its simplicity. The wine list includes many excellent French wines but should provide more choices by the glass. That would enable guests to satisfy their personal tastes more easily and even switch wines with the courses. Our meals included roast chicken, veal cutlet and classic beef bourguignon, short ribs and lardons slow cooked in red wine and stock. This was almost as good as the ones I make at home. The secret is low heat, tenderizing meat without creating stringy texture. The PaT version creates a very intense sauce. Desserts included a wonderfully simple lemon napoleon, layers of lemon cream between sheets of puff pastry complemented with a sweet fruit sauce. The meals were executed precisely but with a cordial style. If this restaurant was in our neighborhood, we would be regulars.

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Closed
Crave1362 Marine Dr, West Vancouver
Busy, Friendly Place
Submitted Saturday, August 16, 2008 - 11:23pm [Dine in]

Weather kept the great outdoor deck empty so the room was crowded and we waited for a table. The young bartender was quick witted and knowledgeable so we enjoyed the wait and we liked the choices of wines by the glass. Soon, we were seated at a table and our order taken promptly. The food is casual but has flair. I enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich which had a lighter taste than what is usually found. I thought I was ordering two small plates but was served more food than I expected. We have enjoyed the 2 related restaurants, Crave and Fraiche, so had high expectations for this one. We were not disappointed.

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Closed
Gastropod1938 W. 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Too sophisticated for some diners
Submitted Saturday, August 16, 2008 - 2:08pm [Dine in]

Reading a few reviews here gives me the impression that some people don't spend enough time choosing a place to dine. Gastropod serves food for the knowledgeable and adventurous. Chef Angus An creates innovative dishes with carefully selected ingredients. He doesn't get the recipes from a back issue of Canadian Living nor does he serve food prepared in a factory. If you want a big slice of roast beef with ooey-gooey gravy, go to Denny's. If you appreciate experimenting with taste and texture, consider Gastropod or similar small restaurants that reflect the chef's incredible skill and creativity. Another worthy place, Fuel, is next door. Recently, we enjoyed a 9 course tasting menu at Gastropod with generous pourings of wines matched to the food. Service was impeccable. The friendly team enjoyed talking about the foods served. They exuded pride in their achievements and we tried everything with respect for the aims.

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Beach House, The150 25th Street, West Vancouver
Fine Dining but a little pricy
Submitted Monday, April 14, 2008 - 5:25pm [Dine in]

The night was clear and the company was great so we were guaranteed that at least two elements of an early Sunday dinner would be fine. I am happy to report that The Beach House did their part too and we left satisfied and impressed.

Two at our table ordered pasta mains, including one with veal cheeks, rated them fine and even took some home from the generous servings.

My partner and I began with prawn and crab cocktail with deconstructed gazpacho. It was an interesting combination with three large prawns, lightly cooked, but perhaps too little crab meat. Tasty though. She had roasted chicken with porcini and asparagus and a perfect marsala wine sauce. I had a delicious lamb shank, highlighted by wonderful risotto milanese. I'm not always a fan of restaurant risotto but this could not have been improved for texture or flavour.

Our table finished off three creatively presented desserts and with coffee, the dining was faultless. Service was attentive with full descriptions of each food as it was presented. At times in the past, servers and support staff at the Beach House seemed inexperienced and tentative. Tonight was quite different. Our server could work in any of Vancouver's premium places.

Everything was indeed fine but the almost $300 for wine and four dinners means that we will reserve this place only for special occasions.

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Closed
Fraiche2240 Chippendale Rd, #2, West Vancouver
Our Best North Shore Dining Experience
Submitted Sunday, April 6, 2008 - 5:09am [Dine in]

We decided to dine early and arrived at 5:15pm. Guess what? We got a window seat and immediate greetings from a number of staff. The day was cloudy but the scenery excites anyway. Mind you, I have the webbed feet of a native born Vancouverite so a damp grey sky feels natural and comforting.

The room is elegant with a stunning Robert Davidson bronze sculpture facing the entrance. This 400-pound treasure demonstrates the sublime power of great Haida art.

The food placed before us that night was also a demonstration of fine art. My roasted beet salad was delightful; small red and golden beets highlighted by tender greens, toasted almonds and softly flavoured cheese. My companion enjoyed the seared Quebec foie gras with a fabulous dried cherry ragout and a deeply flavoured reduction of maple syrup and balsamico. It tasted as good as it sounds. I know because I sneaked a bite.

Main courses included a special and a regular menu item. Mine was seared halibut cheeks and SWMBO had sable fish with fingerling potatoes, green beans, fennel and a complex citrus sauce. Desserts too were delicious.

All told, near perfect. With a fine bottle of wine, expect to nudge $200 by the time you leave. We did and thought the money well spent.

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Closed
Cordon Bleu Cafe & Catering250 East 1st, North Vancouver
Good - not Great
Submitted Monday, March 24, 2008 - 5:24pm [Dine in]

We started with a beet and smoked salmon salad and a cognac pate. The first was overpriced for what seemed like pink salmon and canned beets. The pate was nice and a generous size serving.

Hoping to waken memories of lunch at Brasserie Georges in Lyon, I ordered the baked onion soup. Instead of reminding me of that great French restaurant, I remembered why I don't usually order baked onion soup. My companion's leek soup was fairly ordinary.

The main course included snapper in a caper sauce. It too was decent but not a standout dish. Bland sauce does not elevate a bland fish.

The server seemed a little put out by a request to refill the tiny bread basket. Either that or reluctance was an attempt at humour.

The restaurant is small but brightly decorated with artwork offered for sale. The art is like the food; pretty good but far from great.

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Cactus Club Cafe855 Main Street, West Vancouver
Pleasant Surroundings - OK Food
Submitted Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - 9:12pm [Dine in]

On entry, we were ignored for a moment as a host chatted with another young person. Despite failure to make immediate contact, a host seated us pleasantly and a server approached quickly.

We ordered dry ribs and potato skins. Ribs were overcooked but not greasy. Skins too had too much heat applied or sat too long under a warmer. Both tasted good though so the product design works, the kitchen simply needs tighter QC.

Caesar salads were well presented on chilled plates and the dressing was bold and full of garlic taste. Portions were satisfactory.

The server was friendly and efficient and did all duties well. Good coffee was provided and the bill quickly settled with a portable bank card device. (Every place should have those.)

Cactus Club, like its associated restaurants, seems always to employ young, very attractive servers. Since the BC Human Rights Code restricts age and gender discrimination, I suppose only young and beautiful people apply for jobs here.

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Closed
Cannery Seafood House, The2205 Commissioner Street, Vancouver
Consistently Excellent
Submitted Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 12:50am [Dine in]

We've dined here repeatedly without being disappointed in food or service. It is not easy to for a restaurant to excel consistently – Murphy’s Law lurks always – and, when the establishment achieves that, you can be certain it has quality management and owners that know their business.

A broad selection of quality seafood is creatively prepared and presented. Servers are prompt, efficient and informative. There is a very good wine list and the staff can assist in making an appropriate choice.

Location in the industrial section of the port provides an interesting ambience. Parking is always available nearby. The room is attractive and seems authentically old – it is probably not. For diners with a window seat, there is an ever-changing seascape.

This restaurant is fairly large but it is often near capacity. Book ahead, clear room on the credit card, appoint a designated driver and sit back. Enjoy.

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High Boat Cafe MarinaFt Forbes Avenue, North Vancouver
Doesn't Pretend to be More Than it Is
Submitted Monday, February 25, 2008 - 11:56pm [Dine in]

Considering the amount of waterfront, North Van doesn't offer many dining choices with a good view of the ocean. I expected this modest little spot would be an interesting luncheon stop but it disappointed. Sure, the prices aren't high but the food could be much better with more attention to quality ingredients.

Grilled cheese sandwiches with slices of processed cheese on Wonderbread. What would be the difference if they used artisan bread and real cheese, with texture and taste? And, how about serving fresh ground beef in the burgers instead of those frozen grey disks of meat product?

The restaurant offered a special lunch plate and other diners offered compliments for it. We tried brandied fish bisque that sounded more delicious than it tasted. Self-serve coffee from a thermos had sat too long and turned bitter and lukewarm.

OK, so lunch cost less than $10 a head. But, it could be much better without costing a lot more.

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Closed
Moustache Cafe129 W. 2nd, North Vancouver
Excellent Room - Excellent Food
Submitted Friday, February 22, 2008 - 7:50pm [Dine in]

This is one of the better restaurants on the North Shore. It has a large open kitchen near the front with bar style seating and small tables. The middle and rear provide space for fine dining.

We arrived early one week night and were the first people seated in the back room. Tables are not crowded, generous in size with comfortable seating. Bold art brings life to the simple decor and a burning fireplace added atmosphere.

We chose one starter from the menu and another from the day's specials. Excellent flavour combinations. Our main courses included roast pork and herbed lamb. Both were creatively presented and cooked to perfection.

They offer a good wine selection with a number of both reds and whites available by the glass or half litre.

Service was prompt and professional. Not inexpensive but the quality of ingredients and sophistication of preparation and presentation results in a solid dining experience.

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Closed
Gambrinus707 Queensbury Ave., North Vancouver
Classic European Food
Submitted Friday, February 22, 2008 - 6:59pm [Dine in]

This is a relatively small and modestly decorated place but our food experiences have been outstanding. Service is friendly and efficient.

Many customers seem to be known by the staff. I expect that Gambrinus has developed a solid neighbourhood clientele who prefer uncomplicated, good tasting food served without artistic pretension.

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