Login or Register
Do a search below using the city or postal code search box if your city is not listed above.

rhhmVancouverSince August 20, 200711 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.2)
  • Food3 (3.2)
  • Service2.5 (2.7)
  • Value3.5 (3.6)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.4)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 Reviews Found
La Quercia3689 W 4th Ave., Vancouver
Fantastic and authentic!
Submitted Saturday, November 8, 2008 - 2:08pm [Dine in]

I recently had the good fortune to experience La Quercia with five friends. We opted for the $50 per person dinner that included multiple platters of antipasta, fish, pasta, meat, and dessert.

The antipasta course consisted of tonnato, carpaccio with arugula and shaved parmesan, and eggplant sformata (orgasmic) with sweet tomato coulis. All were presented simply with the individual flavors of the quality ingredients coming through beautifully.

The fish course was seared trout with an asparagus puree. The fish was fresh and not overdone in the least, and the puree complemented it beautifully.

The pasta course was a trio of platters… gnocchi in a porcini mushroom sauce, penne with Bolognese sauce, and agnolotti stuffed with chard and asiago in a butter sauce. All were delicious with the pasta being center stage and not drowned in too much sauce.

The first meat platter was lamb loin served on a bed of lentils du puy. The loin was cooked perfectly – medium rare – and the earthiness of the lentils worked wonderfully with the gaminess of the lamb.

At this point, our attentive server inquired if we were full or if we’d like another meat course! All of us, while not overly hungry at this point, decided on another meat course, and a veal scallopini with tallegio cheese in a marsala sauce appeared. It was again delicious, the meat perfectly cooked and moist.

The dessert platters were slices of ricotta cheesecake (absolutely to die for) and plum tart, and a chocolate jelly.

With only about thirty seats in this small restaurant, the owner did an absolutely fantastic job of getting our food and our wine to us in good order. His wine recommendations were all excellent and very affordable, most in the forty dollar range. La Quercia’s wine list, although limited, does pride itself in regional wines from northern Italy. The ambience of the restaurant is great! Although it was full from the moment we arrived until we left, we were able to easily carry on a conversation throughout the evening.
All in all, this was a memorable evening at a restaurant that obviously loves the quality of the food, wine, and service it offers its customers. A fantastic value… I’ll definitely be back soon.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Alibi Room157 Alexander St, Vancouver
Great modern pub food
Submitted Friday, October 31, 2008 - 6:29pm [Dine in]

The Alibi Room has turned into one of my favorite haunts for great beer and food. Kudos to the restaurant for sourcing their food locally as much as possible. The sandwiches are always well prepared, as are the specials. On one occasion, I had a shepherd's pie which was beautifully executed with lovely moist braised lamb, veggies, and mashed potatoes all done in a lovely presentation. On another, I had the Montreal smoked beef with sauerkraut on rye... it was very good, especially with the yam fries. The charcuterie and cheese platters, while filled with great meats and cheeses, are a little on the small size for the money. Desserts are always good... the chocolate molten cake is great, especially with a full-flavored stout.

The beer list is second to none in the city. Nigel, the owner, takes his beers seriously, and the fact that they always have eighteen or nineteen beers on tap (mainly from B.C., but with guest kegs from the U.S.) makes this the place to go for great brews.

Service is attentive. At a recent birthday party, the staff managed to deliver our food and bevvies promptly, while keeping the bills separate as requested.

The ambiance is what one would expect in a "pub" type restaurant, but it can get extremely noisy at times. The Alibi Room is not a place to go for that intimate dining experience... be prepared, especially on weekends. If you are going in a group, it's a great place as many of the tables are long ones that can accommodate large parties.

All in all, The Alibi Room is a one of a kind restaurant pub... good food and service with great beer. Prices are, all in all, very reasonable. This is a place not to be missed, especially if you like beer.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Biercraft Tap and Tapas Bar1191 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Tasty food and beer
Submitted Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 1:06pm [Dine in]

Stella's is one of my favourite places to go for casual dining and a great beer selection. The food prices are reasonable and the quality is consistent... the the six or seven mussel dishes are always good (be sure to get a side of bread to soak up the sauce with), the salads are decent, and the tapas, while not traditional in the Spanish or Portuguese sense, are tasty with a fusion flair about them.

It's the beer list that continues to draw me back to Stella's. Over the past year, I've begun to discover the variety and complexity of Belgian beers, and Stella's has an amazing list that spans four pages. Most are in the $9 range, but when one considers these same beers often cost between $4 and $5 at Brewery Creek, Viti, or Firefly, they are not bad values at all. Their tasting notes for each of the beers is very accurate, and the staff seem, for the most part, knowledgeable about the different beers. The great thing is the chance to share a beer and a plate of food to try different pairings... I recently had the Nostradamus Aud Bruin with the Pomegranate molasses chicken wings, and it was a great combo!

Stella's can get noisy, but considering they haven't tried to position themselves as a "fine dining establishment" (as has Chambar), the noise doesn't bother me in the least. If you are looking for some great moules frites and an incomparable selection of Belgian beers (probably three or four times the number that Chambar has), Stella's is the place to go.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Vij's1480 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver
Consistently great food
Submitted Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 1:20pm [Dine in]

I keep returning to Vij's year after year for what always turns out to be a memorable meal. I personally don't care about the wait to get in... the bar is a great spot to have a few drinks (Storm Brewing's IPA is on tap!). Most recently, a small group of us had a great bottle of Joie Muscat for $36... very reasonable. And Vij always makes an appearance bearing a platter of complimentary appies that take the edge off while waiting for a table.

The food is fantastic and is unlike anything one might encounter in other Indian restaurants anywhere. The spoons of Dungeness crab with candied beets (we had to order a small side plate of the beets after having the appetizer), the lamb samosas, and the jackfruit appetizers are all wonderful. The lamb popsickles in fenugreek cream seems to have become the restaurant's signature dish and is always great and of consistent quality. The marinated duck breast was beautifully done with just the right amount of heat in the accompanying sauce. Vij's use of spices is always subtle while complex and never overpowers one with too much heat.

Appetizers are in the $12 range and mains in the $25 range... great value when one considers the quality and quantity of the servings.

All in all, don't let the one to two hour waits deter you. Vij's will be a dining experience worth it. I've been a fan since his early days on Broadway, and I haven't had a bad meal yet.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Chambar568 Beatty Street, Vancouver
What's the big deal?
Submitted Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 8:50am [Dine in]

I finally made it to Chambar last week after hearing a few friends rave about the place. However, other friends have told me it's totally over-rated... I decided to find out for myself, and called in to make a reservation for four in the dining area two weeks in advance, and the reservation was confirmed by phone... I was already impressed.

Upon arriving, two of our party were sitting in the front area of the restaurant, about as far from the dining area as one could be. We asked the server what had happened to our reservation in the dining area, and she informed us that they would try to fit us in when a table came available! They did move us to the dining area after a twenty to thirty minute wait, but what was the point of requesting the dining area in the first place.

Throughout the night, we had to ask for our server every time we wanted something! This would invariably lead to a five minute wait for him to arrive. To top it off, a beer that was ordered when the main courses arrived that would have paired very nicely with the meal arrived AFTER the coffees were brought at the end of the night! When I'm in a restaurant paying $100 per person for the meal, I expect the service to be top notch! I have never experienced such poor service in any restaurant as what I experienced at Chambar...

Now to the food. We ordered the Moule Vin Blanc, and they were delicious... plump and seemingly fresh until we found two unopened ones at the bottom of the pot. In a restaurant that prides themselves on the quality of their mussles, one wouldn't expect this. I've never found unopened mussles in any restaurant I've eaten at before, and I've had many bowls of steamed mussles. We mentioned this to the waiter, who reluctantly retreated with the bowl and came back with TWO opened mussles... say no more.

Now the food... The foie gras starter was good, but I couldn't taste any truffle in the brioche. The lamb shanks were slightly dry and the sauce was too heavily spiced. And don't let the "tajine" fool you - I watched the chefs simply assemble the food in it as opposed to actually cooking the food in them. The duck breast was very good and the accompanying butternut and ricotta gnocchi were to die for. My steak was cooked as ordered and was very good, but the roasted king oyster mushrooms were nowhere in sight, substituted with seared scallops that did not appear on the menu... good thing I'm not allergic to shellfish. However, I question serving a Bourguignon sauce with what turned out to be a surf and turf entree.

All in all, an interesting evening... I won't return. Fine dining? Definitely not. Upscale pub food in a noisy bar setting for affluent youngsters who have the time to wait for service at their table? Yup.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Whip Gallery, The209 E 6th Ave, Vancouver
The ultimate crap shoot!
Submitted Monday, June 2, 2008 - 1:09pm [Dine in]

This has been one of my favourite haunts in the past couple of years, but over the past few months, the food and service is iffy at best.

I have been served Muhamara dip that was almost frozen and salads with hair in them. On other occasions, I have had excellent meals with not complaints whatsoever.

As far a service goes, there is probably one server and the owner that deserve to be here... the others should be fired. I have waited for up to ten minutes for drinks and bills, and have been spoken to quite rudely when I have complained about their inconsistent food.

Yesterday, for example, I was at their Sunday cask beer event. This has been one of the most popular of Vancouver's Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) events. I was served to sleeves of the guest ale that were well below the top of the glass ( I imagine at least three ounces worth). When I mentioned this to the server and requested my glass be filled, she informed me she had been serving all the sleeves like this. I guess she is unaware of CAMRA's lobbying of the British government to legislate full pint servings in all British pubs, but I digress. When she finally returned with the glass closer to where it should be, she almost threw the beer at me.

All in all, this place has to get it together and consistently serve the food they are capable of. The manager also needs to be a little more selective about her servers. With more and more bistros like this opening up in the area (Soma, for example), The Whip has to realize they're not the only kids on the block anymore.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Closed
Totally upscale pub food!
Submitted Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 12:22pm [Dine in]

Okay, I'll have to admit I love beer, and Steamworks does a great job of making it! I believe most of their beers are on tap here, and in my opinion, the great beer matched with the excellent food presents outstanding value...

I initially thought the House Salad at $9 had to be some kind of mistake... It arrived on a huge plate with plenty of goat cheese, almonds, dried blueberries, and really FRESH mixed greens. My partner and I easily shared it. This was followed by the Dijon Chicken Breast which was perfectly cooked and moist with a delicious demi glaze. The veggies were plentiful and all perfectly done al dente... perhaps amongst the best I have had recently. My partners Salmon Wellington was likewise cooked well with a nice tarragon cream sauce. For dessert, we shared a chocolate molten cake which was very good, especially when paired with Steamworks' Stout.

The service was okay... our waiter had some problems with bringing glasses of beer instead of sleeves. Although their beers are listed by the glass, he said they were not in the computer system. If one is to pair different beers with different courses, it is hard to make it through full sleeves, so I hope this is something the restaurant works out. It would also be great to see all of Steamworks beers in this restaurant. All in all, great value! I'll definitely be back...

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Closed
Mistral French Bistro2585 West Broadway, Vancouver
Another wonderful meal!
Submitted Saturday, September 15, 2007 - 2:20pm [Dine in]

My second visit to Mistral totally lived up to my initial outing there over one year ago! From the local oysters on the half shell to the pissaladiere to the frisee salad to the seafood bourride to the roast duck breast with peaches to the very good B.C. wine pairings... everything was beautifully prepared and presented by the restaurants competent and friendly staff. Simple rustic French faire probably can't get much better than this in Vancouver, and the reasonable prices and wine mark-ups ($44 for the outstanding Church and State Pinot Noir that is $26 at the winery) make the restaurant a total winner - hence, the five star overall rating. My friend and I will make this a regular stop when we want classic French comfort food!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Abigail's Party1685 Yew Street, Vancouver
Totally forgettable!
Submitted Saturday, September 8, 2007 - 10:52am [Dine in]

Where to start? My friend had mentioned on a couple of occasions that Abigail's Party was one of her favorite local spots in Kitsilano, so we went there for dinner. We started with a bowl of roasted nuts with our cocktails - they were soggy and burnt. My "paella" arrived with two scallops,two prawns, two small pieces of chorizo, a medley of the strangest vegetables I have ever seen in a paella that were virtually raw, and the overall flavour was nowhere near any classic paella I have ever had... there was little or no saffron in it. Her tenderloin steak had to be sent back because it was not cooked as requested... the accompanying "risotto" was bland and had cream added, a definite no no for real risotto. The combination of loud music (The Rolling Stones Greatest Hits!) and too many people crammed into a small space made conversation almost impossible. It seems this place is trying to be too many things to too many people... a popular spot for Kitsilano trendoids, tasting sized dinners that are trying to be "on the edge" being served alongside burgers, a wine bar without one decent rose... come on, get it together! If you are looking for an obviously trendy spot that serves mediocre food at best, then this is it...

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Libra Room1608 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Great bistro food!
Submitted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 2:09am [Dine in]

I've been to the Libra Room a couple of times to catch some live music and beverages. On both occasions, I noticed how appetizing many of the food dishes appeared.

First off, the Libra Room is to be congratulated on supporting young musicians who are beginning their careers in music. The intimate atmosphere of the small space lends itself well to catching some very listenable chamber jazz, and the volume is not too loud so that you can still have a conversation with your friends.

There is a decent beverage list, and while the wine list is small, there are some very decent wines at below average mark up prices. We opted for a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc for around $40.

Our starter was a roast beet salad with mixed greens and cheese for $7 which we both shared. The beets were perfectly roasted, the greens were fresh, and the crumbled creamy cheese added a nice finish to the salad. My friend had the prosciutto, arugula, and goat cheese thin crust pizza for around $10, and I had the seafood linguini for $14. The pizza was excellent with just the right amount of melted cheese and ham, and the fresh arugula added once out of the oven was crispy and fresh. My pasta was cooked al dente in a light sauce of fresh diced tomato, garlic, shallots, olive oil, and basil. And there was no scimping on the seafood... two large scallops, four large prawns, and about eight mussles, all perfectly cooked. Both the pizza and the pasta were very tasty and hot. The service was attentive, although I know it can be a little slow when things get busy on a weekend.

The Libra Room's food is very good, and while not cutting edge, is definitely very well prepared and tasty fare considering what the venue really is... a great little jazz bar to hang out in. For this reason, I feel it represents outstanding value.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Washington Avenue Grill15782 Marine Drive, #5, White Rock
Blah!
Submitted Monday, August 20, 2007 - 8:50am [Dine in]

Upon the recommendation of a friend I was meeting in White Rock, we agreed to meet for dinner here. An initial perusal of the menu while waiting outside didn't yield any culinary revelations... I felt like I was in a time warp with the usual starters and entrees from the '80s... nothing new or exciting. Once inside, the live music was pleasant and the service attentive amidst the bustle of a full area of the restaurant for a Tuesday night.

My spinach and beet salad was mediocre at best. The cubed beets were bathed in a sweet sauce that seemed to have been thickened with corn starch, and the baby spinach leaves right out of a clam shell package sitting on top were swimming in dressing. It was unappealing visually, and the taste of the sweet sauce and the dressing totally masked the delicate flavours of the beets and spinach. Then my rack of lamb ($29!!!) came. I couldn't believe my eyes. The veggies consisted of quartered chunks of carrot that may have been purchased from the bulk section of any grocery chain, string beans that were so tough they were almost inedible, and a quarter of undercooked red pepper. The mashed potatoes underneath had obviously been sitting on a steamer for hours. The rack of lamb, ordered medium rare, while cooked as ordered, were tough and stringy. Why is a resaurant so close to the Fraser Valley where there are some good lamb producers serving New Zealand lamb, anyways? The sauce reduction accompanying the rack did not complement the lamb one bit - it tasted like soya sauce had been thrown into a stock and reduced... no subtlety here! It's strong flavour was far to salty for the dish! My companions sauteed halibut with a sesame crust came with the same vegetable complement, but was overcooked and dry.

If this is the best White Rock has to offer, I'll be doing my dinners out in Vancouver where one can get cutting edge cuisine in many establishments for the same kind of money. A truly forgettable experience!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance