Chill Winston is as the name suggests all about relaxing and sharing in their passion for good food and friends. The menu consists of small plates and entrees utilizing local ingredients. Be sure to check out their extensive wine, beer and cocktail menu. Open for lunch, dinner and late night.
Went with friends on a sunny Saturday & sat outside on the patio. It can be very busy when the cruise ships are in town, however we got straight in.
Service: They are quick to serve you drinks, but the waiter we had knew very little about the types of beer on offer & the location of the home breweries. The beer is good but the measures were under-sized (ie. you get less than the imperial pint you order. Service was extremely slow once we finally got round to ordering. It took 30-40mins for our food to come, probably because there seemed to be only 1 chef working in the kitchen. The waiting staff are somewhat surly.
Food: There's a decent selection of food on offer, but it is expensive for what you get. I was not impressed with a very plain, basic salad for $15. Someone else complained they had not been asked how they wanted their bison burger cooked & when it came it was under-done & gristly.
Value: Poor value for money.
Ambiance: Great for people-watching & 'chewing the fat'. Even saw an accident at this busy junction ! Go for drinks, but not for food, especially if you're in a hurry !
I get the impression the staff couldn't careless. The place is complacent - they don't have to try because they have a ready clientele of cruise ship holiday-makers, who will come here once & then never again.
Went by on a weekday for dinner and had a great time. Enjoyed a seat just inside but by the big windows so you can see the sites of gastown walk by. Had the pizza to share and it was quite good, also tried the poutine with pulled pork. Just average as the fries were not crispy enough. For th main, had the ravaoli with duck. Very good and different as it's in a light broth versus a heavy sauce. Service was very good and casual which fits in with the restaurant. Would return.
I've come here a few times before (always during the dinner hour) and have likened each experience.
It's decorated like a lounge with large (and comfortable) low chairs. The washroom was an interesting layout and a bit unusual for its atmosphere. Toilets are cubicle sized and the sink is shared when you exit the stall.
The hostess and servers quickly seat you and run through some specials. They are friendly and pleasant to mingle with.
Dinner menu is kept simple but a little on the lean side. The theme of their menu seems a little misguided with pizza on it. Anyways my most recent trip with the girlfriend consisted of the Beef Tenderloin, Alaskan Scallops, Golden Beet Carpaccio, Tuna Tartar and Butter Poached Pancetta Potatoes accompanied with a couple of cocktails.
The tenderloin was delicious andthe balsamic reduction and bone marrow on top worked extremely well for flavour. The carpaccio was refreshing although unfortunate that it was the last dish that came. The tartar was an excellent appetizer with dungeness crab and a miso vinaigrette with an avocado spread. The scallops were seared perfectly and I especially like the butter poached potatoes with pancetta. It was so savoury and the best potatoes I've had.
The service is solid although I didn't quite like how they arranged our order when it came out. It's a small quibble but otherwise a great place to take it easy. The patio is inviting although always full. The menu doesn't blow you away but the dishes are prepared impeccably well. I will return to try out their brunch/lunch menus.
Probably the slowest service i've had in years.
First they tell us its a 15 minute wait for a table. Then when the 40 minute mark came around, we asked how much longer. 5 minutes they said... turns out thats another 20 minutes to them. An hour in total, waiting outside. 4 hostesses and they still manage to look completely unorganized and flustered. Appears they did not even know how to manage tables based on their hand written system. Not even a sorry for the wait.
5 people, 4 chairs and one ottoman.... What is this? We then ordered and it took more than 30 minutes for the food to come. Similar wait times when we came for lunch as well where it was much less busy, pretty much empty. If you are thinking about a quick lunch, not the place. Also, items on the dinner menu is slim pickings compared to the lunch. Portions were minisule. Best bang for buck was the Poutine. The worst we tried is the Fish and Chips. AVOID at all costs. Terrible, dry, flavorless, and came in the smallest portion i've seen. Pizza isn't bad.
Server dropped a beer on the ground, then later dropped an empty glass. Maybe she should try not loading up so much on her tray. It was beginning to look scary.
Not worth the trip here. Only if desperate and time is not of concern.
nice place where you can unwine for a drink at the end of a long day. I tried it for lunch and the food was average considering the prices. I tried the southern fried chicken sandwich which was good but nothing too special.
Neat atmosphere with couches and a lounge like feel. I would go back for a drink after work but not for their food.
My bf and I came here for some late night snacks last night. Our first experience here was a couple of months back and we remembered that the food was awesome but this time we came the food was just alright. The first thing that we noticed as we walked in was it's crowded in a weeknight with a different crowd, more drinking than hungry customers. The menu was also changed, they serve brunch and lunch now. So, from the dinner menu we ordered:
1. truffle oil poutine: when it came out, it was so fragrant, we could smell the truffle right away, which was awesome. Taste wise was ok, too little cheese and the poutine used pepper demi which is a little different, not too apparent difference though.
2. scallop cheviche: the scallop was chopped into very tiny bits (1/4 cm cube if not smaller) and the squid was rubbery and too chewy. It was served on toasted sandwhich bread. Taste was alright, just like another dish I can get anywhere and though it came in 3's but definitely didn't worth $13.
3. bison duo: I thought it would come as half carpaccio and half braised but instead it was like 90% braised and only 10% carpaccio so we weren't happy with it. Te braised bison was soft but not to the point of falling off bones and taste wise was just alright, just like any other restaurant, not amazing.
4. beef pizza off their regular menu: was alright, lots of beef slices and cheese on thin crust dough. I find this dish to be better than the cheviche and the bison duo but my bf didn't like it.
The cocktails like the devil's fruit was a touch too sweet compared to last time and the cocktail above it (in the menu) was also too sweet.
Service was great and very attentive. Ambiance was also great, brick walls and candles on the tables. It feels like a good dating place or hangout place.
I think I'll come back again, maybe not order the food that we ordered last night and try other stuff.
Sure it started Chill, but by 10 p.m the place was hot. Shrimp appie was OK, but the pan seared calamari was outstanding. A bottle of wine later... into the night. Great place to watch the Gastown street from. Decent service too.
Tried this place with my husband.
We were greeted promptly by a server, who advised us that there would be a 20 minute wait for an outside table, but could seat us right away inside. We choose inside and she found us a nice table by the window.
The menu was interesting. We decided to go for some poutine and a pizza. We each had a glass of red wine. When I couldn't decide what wine I wanted, the server offered to let me taste one. She also let my husband taste one that he was considering. I really appreciated this.
Our food was well presented, hot and good. The fries were hand cut (although could have been a tad crisper). The pizza was delicious. It had a thin, thin crust and wonderfully flavoured beef. I did not detect a trace of grease on the crust or on my hand after I had eaten it.
I will go again.
I finally got a chance to visit CW and I had such a great time.
Food: a little bit on the expensive side and the portions were small. However, great flavor! The well-portioned side dishes are definitely worth it and I highly recommend the buttered pancetta potatoes - heavenly! My boyfriend and I also shared the marinated olives, tomato-avocado salad, the ahi tuna and the cured salmon. All were very delicious. The cocktails were also small and expensive, but packed a punch.
Service: We were seated immediately on a busy Saturday night and when we asked if we could move to another spot, they were very accommodating. Our server was very friendly and I would have given a 4 if it weren't for the long wait time. We waited at least 30-40 mins for the food. Eventhough I was dining with my boyfriend, there are only so many things we can talk about without drowning in awkward silence at some moments.
Ambiance: I absolutely love this restaurant. The huge outside patio provides an excellent view of Gastown. The patio is a real attention grabber if you're walking past. The inside is gorgeous. Brick walls, hardwood floors, huge draped windows, and all the different types of chairs and tables to match anyone's preference.
The washroom is also something else to talk about. It's the first communal washing area, I've seen. Mens' and ladies' stalls separated, but everyone shares the rounded sink. Definitely something different.
I would recommend this place to anyone, and will.
If you're looking for a quiet night out, this isn't the place. But if you're looking for a fun, and upbeat place to go with some friends, be sure to try CW out!
Recently dropped in at Chill Winston for the first time while playing tour guide for a co-worker from Hong Kong. We were walking around Gastown and needed a brunch fix...I was aware of some of the negative reviews on here but thought we'd give it a try anyway. I'm glad we did, the service was actually really good, very friendly staff, attentive but not overbearing. The food was also good, I had an eggs benedict which came with roast potatoes and salad, my friend had the pancetta & wild mushroom skillet. His only comment was the meat was a bit salty, but he's also not used to Western food, and overall we both enjoyed our meals. And we had the perfect spot to enjoy the morning, sitting at the front by the window, taking in the views of the street and people passing by. It was a great intro for someone visiting Vancouver (and Canada) for the first time.
I felt bad eating here and not paying because the prices were high. The view and the pedestrians on a warm day make it a very desirable and bust patio but the prices are high and my friend was paying. He was all fine with it, but don't expect to eat here for less. A sandwich is $15 with fries and drinks are $8 non alcoholic. Enjoy
sept 5th, eve, not busy, sunny evening, service is bordering on the worst we've experienced in Vancouver.
We eat out probably 3-4 times per week and this has to be one of the most over-rated places ever. I had the bison steak and a beer for $40 and for that amount I felt completely jipped, no service at all, the staff were dressed up in their skateboard outfits, the one server was wearing a plaid shirt with tight jeans and his undies showing! not what you expect for an average of $25 per plate. our server wasnt fussed, the place wasnt busy, loads of staff on hand but other than our order and drink order she came never came back.
We waited 45 minutes for our food, our bill for four people was over $200.
good luck is all I can say...... with that attitude , lack of service and super super overpriced menu they wont last at all. I have no problem paying $50 per person but then take a visit to Trafalgars or something of that calibre (actually trafalgars is cheaper) and the food and service our light years ahead.
dont waste your time or $ here, completely average
Chill Winston is an great place to chill out; they have comfortable club chairs, and I love that they serve Pimm's. Overall their drinks list is original and extensive, and the staff is friendly and helpful even when the place is packed. I love to go there, except for breakfast. Chill winston has these slides projected on the wall, one of them proclaiming that they have the best bennys in town. After a night out, we decided to see for ourselves. The bennys definitively fell short. Even though the place was empty on a Sunday at noon, the hollandaise was lukewarm and tasted like it came out of a can. The poached eggs were overcooked, and we practically had to beg for our waitress to bring us coffee.
That said, it's nice to have a good hangout place in gastown. There's other breakfast places in the city more worthy of the 'best bennys' claim.
Had lunch here today. Great steak sandwich and soup on the patio. Long delay for food 40 minutes and no apology. Server was non professional and almost rude. The management seems non existent on the floor and it shows in the slow and mediocre service. Nice patio and good food marred by service and delays.
Just visited this past week after not being in that part of town for a while. Great time! And the fact the food is sourced as much as possible from organic or ethical local farmers is great too, given that the prices are not too much at all..(have you been to whole foods lately)? so I don't know where peoples sense of too expensive is coming from...hmmm too many dates out at Dennys perhaps?.
Fun place, real people, great food and I always like watching an open kitchen doing there thing.
Great music and not a TV in sight. Hate places that focus on being a "cool" place then sell out by sticking a TV up and playing the game. Its not fine dining but is relaxed, casual, as good a drinks as I could make at home, so what more could you ask for..
September 4/2010 we hauled some equipment to Gastown for the Sixth Annual Steamworks Concours d’Elegance car show. The show was great and all of the local shops were quite accomidating to us for the fact we were there for over 12 hours for set up and tear down. I was blown away when after loading our trailers up and heading back to the Valley, I quickly asked one of the girls at "Chill Winston" if I could use the washroom and their reply after a glance towards eachother was, "Our water doesn`t work in the building!" WTF! How our you guys cooking? What are your customers doing? How to support a great event like this that brought customers to you! If it wasn`t for people like us getting up at 2am this event wouldn`t have happened! Go to "Vera`s Burger Shack" they were great all day for suppoert and I bet you`ll get a better bang for the buck! I liked their burgers we had.
Our first visit to “Chill Winston” was terrible. Probably, the worst dining experience I have had in Vancouver in years.
Ambience: only thing this place has going for it.
Food: I had the curry that tasted like it was poured out of a can found in the bargain bin at Safeway. Another one of our members had the “steak and lobster”; four pieces of tough bison with under cooked ravioli. The portions were small and much overpriced. The last member of our group had what he thought was going to be a steak and when it came out it was a stew: I have made disaster crock pot creations tasting better. You would think that when he asked the server for his steak to be done medium rare she would have clued in that there was some menu confusion needing clarification.
Drinks: good but nothing to rave about
Service: Friendly but a little condescending with an over abundance of “huns” and “my dears”. Maybe she had too many tables but the service was very slow. We didn’t even have a chance to tell the server our food tasted like dog food as she dropped the bill off in a hurry and never returned.
Overall: the food was horrendous.
We had not been here for just shy of a year. What a change! the food was still *** but service had dropped and the wine list looks like it has been shortened (too bad). Cocktails still pretty decent. Service was an issue 1 year ago and it seems to have got worse. Long waits for drinks and food. Brunch was tasty but once again 40 minutes for a benny is too much.
I went to the Chill Winston about a year ago for a friends birthday and found the experience not as nice has I had hoped. I thought I would try it out again a year later and I was disappointed once again.
While the ambience is relaxing and the location is supreme, you are still a restaurant focussing on customer service. The servers/hostesses can be very judgemental and condescending at times, not with the words they use but more the body language and face expressions.
I work in the hotel industry and work closely with the restaurant industry here in Vancouver. I used to recommend Chill Winston to guests looking for a nice local lounge/restaurant in a neat area of town. However, I realise now I no longer want to send our guest's to a restaurant that is un-vancouer like.
Try out the Irish Heather just a block away if you want to stay in the neat gastown area it has a modern Irish feel while still serving traditional Irish and Scottish lagers and ales.
I normally try to avoid Gastown for a number of reasons, but after my night out at Chill Winston I won't hesitate go there. A bunch of friends gathered there for a celebration and everyone commented on how great the space is there. It's got a great relaxed vibe and if you want to keep going late, just head downstairs to Guilt & Co which is another amazing spot for drinks. We were a large group and the service was superb (unlike most places where if you're more than 4 people the servers don't know how to handle it!). The menus for both food and drink are unique and delicious! This place is a rare find in Vancouver.