Tapenade Bistro serves up Mediterranean cuisine in the heart of Steveston Village.
Brought mom here for brunch on a Saturday. We knew it had to be good when we got there a couple minutes early and there were people waiting to get in. The decor and ambiance were nice, the high ceilings made the room feel more spacious. We were seated by the window with a view of the boats in the marina across the street. Our server was great, friendly but not overly so, checking back with us several times to make sure everything was ok.
For appetizer we ordered the halibut fish cheeks with eggplant frites. There were only two pieces of fish but they were big enough to share. The eggplant frites were a little too salty, but otherwise good. We ordered crab benedict, mushroom & goat cheese frittata, and beef short rib sandwich. The presentation for the sandwich was not great (with fries it was just all brown), but tasted fine. The frittata had a nice tang from the caramelized onions, and the benedict was also good. All in all a pleasant meal, good for a treat. For similar food and prices, I'd prefer this place over something like a Milestones for its character and service.
This place has a couple things going for it.
the location is great, right in the heart of stevenston and also in front of the water view. also, the staff is very warm and friendly.
tonight, i took my girlfriend here for dinner. it was our first time. i will split my review down into 4 sections - food, price, service, value.
we ordered 6 dishes. 2 appies, 2 salads and 2 entrees. the bill was 140.00 and that includes a 20.00 tip.
for what we got, in terms of quality and taste, it was not extraordinary, but well made food with excellent quality ingredients.
the price at this place, in terms of what you get - portion, elevation level of cuisine, and sophistication - definitely does not match up to its pricing. you have restaurants in downtown with similar pricing structures but who serve much better food. this is one of this place's major downfalls is it takes itself way too seriously in pricing without being able to back it up. i've had amazing pheasants or chicken dishes for 30-40% less than what this place charges, right in downtown vancouver. dishes that cost only $16-$20 for chicken and yet this place charges nearly $30 - and with less portion. if you're going to charge nearly $30, it better be a great dish, especially when you're not at the ultra, michelin star leveled restaurants that people no longer care about pricing - they just want what others can never have - even if it's ice cream made of dirt - but i don't think this restaurant has achieved or is trying to achieve such a talented foolhardy status yet.
service was good. not extraordinary but attentive. we had our waters refilled when empty and servers would ask us if we wanted more bread. however, we weren't asked how our food tasted. we actually had to tell them ourselves in the end. of course,facts are facts, not something i will be picky about here.
and finally value. in terms of value, i feel it was a 3.5/5. this is a place for you to go to enjoy the view and hopefully the surrounding environment will let you forgive all flaws of this restaurant - especially it being located in a top notch spot.
would i return? probably not because there isn't anything of a wow / unique factor on their menu that i can't find elsewhere for 50% less or more. and when i say 50% less, there are MANY restaurants in vancouver that can make dishes like tapenade at 50% less.
this place's food, in terms of food and pricing that goes with it, is pretentious and i hope they will be more honest and wholesome in their dish design, portioning and pricing - especially with what was presented.
Their 6 year anniversary 3 course meal for $29 was good value and overall Tapenade offered an upscale Vancouver style dining experience in homey Steveston. Loved the simple wood decor and the background music was loud enough so that we could not hear other diner's conversations (always an annoyance to me!) The French onion soup was not cheesey enough but the main courses of braised ribs or prawns provencale (sauteed tiger prawns and gnocchi) were both very good. Altogether worth going back and a good alternative to travelling downtown and searching for reasonable parking.
I don't agree with the website about Tapenade having the best patio - but it is enjoyable because it's much quieter than the patios on the boardwalk. I went on Saturday for brunch at about noon and was surprised that there weren't more ppl there. We sat on the patio and ordered brunch cocktails. To start we shared the tapenade (obvious choice). For a restaurant named Tapenade, I expected awesome - but it was just ok, I've had better. It was a little too salty eating it with the salted crostini - we all agreed the comp. bread was a much better match.
I ordered the chorizo omelette which was delicious. Girlfriend K ordered the smoked salmon benny and Girlfriend L ordered the chicken salad. I have to say the salad looked amazing! Huge chunks of chicken breast, sauteed mushrooms, pine nuts, blueberries and goat cheese drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. I must try that the next time I go.
Prices were great and the portion size was perfect. No leftovers, but we were full, but not stuffed.
The service was good and the interior was nice. However the washroom was a little frightening. It smelled funky and had been taken over by fruitflies.
Went there last night with a group of friends. Made the reservation for 8pm, but the table wasn't ready until 8:15pm. People were friendly and the service was pleasant. The bread was great too, and they kept offering to bring us more, which we kept finishing because we were pretty hungry by then.
We ordered 2 mussels appys to share amongst us, which was great because it the portion was just right. The mussels were cooked just right and the sauce was delicious! It was so good that we all decided to get more bread just to soak up all those delicious sauce! LOL!
For entree, we ordered the salmon, halibut, the featured lamb, short rib, and I ordered the prawns provencal. The presentation of all the dishes were beautiful, and the dishes all arrived in a timely manner. My entree came with buttered peas, green beans, pearl onions and crispy gnocchi, and those were probably the best peas I've ever had. I don't know how much butter the peas were soaked in, but they were so good I wish I had more! The gnocchi were quite good too! Everything was great except both my friend, who ordered the same entree, and I thought the prawns were slightly under-seasoned and overcooked. Would be a lot better if the prawns were sauteed.
Other than that, the other entrees were good - the medium rare lamb chops were done to perfection, and so were the fish entrees. However, the short ribs were a bit dry and my friend didn't enjoy it much.
Overall, the experience was great! Great view and excellent ambiance - great place to come with friends. Will definitely be back!
had a friend who always use to praise and say how great their food was so i took her advice and came here one night with my gf.
we were politely welcomed and seated to our table.. the restaurant was nearly at capacity with another group that was scheduled to come in shortly after us. with that, our waitress suggested that we order before they come or else we would probably have to wait longer for the kitchen to cook our food... we thought that was considerate of her to inform us ahead of time. an observation that i made upon looking around was that the crowd dining here were mostly seniors.. no problem whatsoever with it, just something that i noticed.
i ordered a baked salmon, very tasty and a little raw on the inside which was how it was supposed to be cooked... i enjoyed that alot and would certainly have that again! my gf liked her dish just as much which added to the positive dining experience.
the prices here are reasonable for a seafood place... compared with other restaurants in the same area, their prices are all relatively similar so the only thing that separates them is the quality of the food.
thought the ambiance was lacking, nothing stood out... probably because the place was so dim that it was hard to notice anything around us. it was a relaxing atmosphere though, not too loud.
overall, would love to come here again.. nice treat and i would recommend it to someone else if they wanted quality food in this area!
Went for a birithday lunch. It was a very sunny day so decide to sit on the patio. We shared a butter nut squash soup which was excellent. I had the short rib benny and my friend had steak. Both were very good. Service was excellent and very enjoyable. We also had the bread pudding which was good as they had run out of other desserts. I will go back. Parking was bit hard to find as Stevenston is busy on sunny days. The patio was full and not sure if there many people sitting inside the restaurant. This place is not a cheap place but you do get value for money.
Tapenade tries, and is a nice addition to Steveston, but it is not quite what it would have patrons believe. It does have a decent patio, but it is far from the best patio in Steveston (which it advertises).
We've been to Tapenade twice this past summer, once with guests and once by ourselves. Both times were for brunch. The tastiest items we had were the mussels, bruschetta/crostini, and bouilliabaisse. In the mediocre range were the eggs benedicts, some other forgettable items on the brunch menu, and the desserts.
Also, the awkward plating had an un-appetizing effect: large white plates with fairly small portions, garnished with old & skimpy looking fruit (e.g. grapes with browned and mushy heads and cantaloupe or honeydew sliced so thin they barely tasted of anything when eaten).
The prices were decent and parking is good. I'd feel comfortable recommending my friends to go there, and I'd probably be back there next summer.
Preamble: FREE dinner!
Food: scallop appetizer: 2 large scallops cooked just right, not entirely all the way through so extremely tender. subtle flavorings. short rib was slightly disappointing as it was dry and on the bland side. panna cotta to end was a delight.
Service: excellent. good recommendations on the wine!
Ambiance: not a fancy place, more of a quiet spot for those seeking a refuge from the Yaletown bustle.
Had dinner here after a few months and again it wowed. Fabulous scallops and pork belly and great steak sousvide. Very creative plating, good value for great food, lovely ambience and wonderful service. Only improvement would be a waterside setting but the parkig is easy and the place is in the middle of the ever so lovely Steveston.
We went to Tapenade on the weekend. It was out first time attending the establishment, although we had heard some good things, although no direct experience.
We had a reservation and our jackets were taken promptly and we were offered a quiet table instead of one in the main dining room (YAY!)
Our server we super attentive and knew the menu extremely well, even describing the food's taste and texture. She had either tired the food our at least anticipated what kind of questions we might have. I was happily impressed.
I started with a wheat ale and the harvest salad (see their menu). the salad was completely and utterly delicious. The lettuce was fresh and tasty as was the balance of poached pear, cranberries, cheese and bacon.
For a main I had the Coq Au Vin (see their menu.) Everything was stellar, the green beans were so fresh and the ingredients were top notch. One point that lacked: the spatzel was not the best. It was overdone (burn at points) and this was accentuate by the au jus that accompanied the dish. Maybe this was the intention and possibly someone finds this tasty, yet I prefer my spatzel to be fluffy and tender. Otherwise, an outstanding plate.
For dessert I had the sticky toffee pudding. I don't think anything is "too sweet" so I was really enjoying the dessert, although I think the caramel sauce might be too sweet for most, almost similar to maple syrup.
Overall, great meal..kudos, we'll be back.
I've referred friends from the Mediterranean to this place and gotten good feedback from them because it is fabulous.
I was going there for my father-in-law's birthday, so I went on-line to check out the menu due to allergy concerns, as well as the fact that I was pregnant at the time and wasn't able to eat certain foods. I called ahead to make sure that the things I order would be made without ingredients that I was allergic to and they assured me that they would accommodate my dietary needs.
When we got there, we were informed that we would be served by two servers, one who was in training. When we placed our drink orders, I mentioned to the main server that I was allergic to oranges and she had come back, telling me that the cranberry juice came from the same hose, then proceeded to give me the list of juice that came from different taps, which I always thought was a nice touch.
The food was prepared for me without incident. I ordered the lamb and my husband ordered the rock cod, both of which were simple yet amazingly delicious.
The value for the food is amazing. There isn't a view to speak of since it's not on the water, but the interior decor is tastefully done. The biggest compliment of the evening came from my mother-in-law when she complimented the chef and the server, esp. since she has been working in high-end hospitality in Europe and Vancouver for over 30 years. I will be back again and again.
Had lunch at Tapenade in May with a friend. It was a wonderful lunch.
I noticed that one of the specials was served with Israeli couscous. Didn't want the special but wanted to try the couscous. This was obliged no problem and a beautiful little tasting dish was brought out and we were charged $2.95.
We both had the appetizer fish and chips as a main course and it was delicious-the best i have ever had.
The only little disappointment was as the restaurant prides itself on sourcing local and sustainable food, there was no no dessert made with local rhubarb. Rhubarb is the first fruit of the season and there is certainly a lot growing in Richmond. A fresh rhubarb dessert would have been the perfect end to a lovely meal.
Tapenade doesn't have a water view. If you like to have a view, go for a walk along the river, forget about the restaurants by the river-their food just doesn't measure up, then go to Tapenade. You won't regret it.
I usually stroll around in Steveston on Sundays and found this spot for some great brunch/lunch. I ordered their Fritatta and it was delicious and well balanced with other toppings. I saw people ordering fish and were raving about it as well. They also have a nice patio to lounge in summers. A good casual spot with mature ambience.
Another good experience at this restaurant, exemplary service and good food. I wouldn't have put in a new review to repeat myself but had to make a note of the dessert of the chocolate bread pudding which so much greater than the menu description and actually quite awesome. Chocolate bread pudding, described as with peanut butter and banana didn't sound that interesting but decided to try it:, the peanut butter was really only in the frozen chantilly (yummy), didn't notice much in the way of banana, the bread pudding itself was wonderful and the salted caramel sauce? Divine (had to ask for some extra) -seriously, you have to have the chocolate bread pudding (with a little extra sauce) and get all the flavours in a bite together to experience the delicious sum of its parts. Rest of the meal very good, moules frites (great fries and delicious aioli) and salmon simply done with the gnocchi substituted for the pomme. Had the 3-antipasti choice of hummus, pork rillette and tapenade - great choice, great flavours and textures and nice size for 2 people. A very satisfying experience with nice service, good wine and great food.
Went there for dinner with a few friends on a Saturday night. Quite full and the ambiance was quite nice.
Food: Being so close to the Steveston docks, I was thinking they would have some seafood specials. To my dissapointment, their specials that night were a bison carpaccio and a pork confit. No big deal there, as according to my friends who had the bison carpaccio, it was quite exceptional. The mussel appetizer was also quite good, unfornately, that was the best i'd get that night. Entrees: I had the prawns provencal which was just flat out bland. It came with some potato gnocchis which were okay, but somewhat chewy. I did not have the steak myself, but a few of my friends who had it were a tad dissapointed. Dessert: I had the espresso creme brulee, which was...not really a creme brulee. It did have a nice sugar coat on the top, but inside, it was more like some really really sweet ice cream.
Oh, and did I mention, the bread that came in the beginning was cold and frankly, seemed like it was some few days old bread from the supermarket or something.
Service: To sum it up, just okay. Not really memorable or particularly friendly.
Value: My prawn entree was $24, and really, not that filling. All entrees were at least $20, except for the pasta. And for the OKAY food, not really worth it.
Ambiance: Nice decor, nice and casual. Nice on sunny and breezy days with the windows open. Definately a relaxing place.
My wife and I have dined here several times (dinner only) and are constantly impressed. Our most recent visit was truly outstanding, no doubt the best we've had in Richmond, and one of the better meals in any restaurant in the Lower Mainland. The chef focuses on local foods, the "Duo of Tuna" I had was unbelievably good, and if you go try the Gnocchi as a starter. Probably the best I've ever had. My wife had a pasta dish (with short rib) that she was also raving about. The daily specials are really worth trying.
Service was also very good - our waitress seemed to be a real foodie and knew a lot about what she was serving. The decor isn't anything to write home about, although not bad, but with food this good that's not a big deal.
It's great to have a local restaurant at this level!
One of the best restaurants in town! Incredible food and environment. A cozy restaurant with excellent service. It's located across the wharf right in the heart of the village. A great place for all. I've been there for brunch and dinner. I haven't been disappointed.
If you want to get lucky on that first date, bring your hearts desire to Tapenade. I've ding here 3 times, and each time the service was first-class, and the food was brilliant! It's by far the best Steveston has to offer. be sure to make reservations less you lend up going home alone.
I'm not kidding!
We have been to Tapenade around a dozen times - and have never had a poor meal or bad service.
The pasta's are always cooked a la dente, the sauces are not too heavy.
Meats are always cooked to perfection.
Great martinis (recommend the Pus__ Galore).
We also enjoy the atmosphere, it's airy, open and has outdoor seating with some green space in front.
We have gone in jeans and more dressy wear and have felt comfortable either way. We've brought our teenage daughters and they were catered to quite nicely.
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