A celebration of Vancouver’s cultural diversity and natural environment Hawksworth Restaurant showcases ingredient led, contemporary cuisine that demonstrates the highly skilled technique and relentless drive for perfection that has become Chef David Hawksworth’s trademark.
Glamorous and elegant, yet relaxed and welcoming with warm and attentive service, Hawksworth Restaurant is located in the heart of the city at Georgia and Howe Streets within the legendary Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, with in bar dining menus and its own private room, Hawksworth can deliver an array of dining experiences from power breakfasts to after-work drinks, to formal gala events.
I and a friend went for lunch there. The menu was very attractive, and not only was the food we ordered wonderful, the food in neighbouring tables looked very appetizing as well. Portions are not big, but enough for lunch. The price was quite high, but you would expect that in a hotel of this class and in this location. Decor was very contemporary, and seating was comfortable. Lots of natural light. The only drawback was that the place was very noisy. Too many hard surfaces, perhaps.
OK let's start with the good:
THE FOOD -- surprisingly innovative, excellent food. Most of what we ate was some of the best we've had in the city, including an awesome asian-inspired panzanella salad, a great vegetarian pasta, and an ancho pork chop. Also excellent Macarons for dessert, I know they are sort of getting played out but these were really excellent.
One thing I like was that many dishes included "avant garde" elements, such as a foie gras cotton candy, savory gelles, and an interesting if vegetably homemade fennel sausage. Not everything came out tasting all that great (to me, anyway), but they tended to be smaller parts of each dish and I appreciate very much that the chef likes to innovate, it makes dinner interesting!
Now on to the bad/annoying parts of dinner:
THE BREAD -- yes, they charge for bread. And in our case last night, some of it was stale! If you're going to charge for bread, you better be serving some darn good bread! This was very annoying.
THE WATER -- Yes, they also charge for still water. $2 for each (refillable) bottle they leave on your table. I just think that is so low. Talk about feeling nickle-and-dimed, and ruining what could otherwise be one of the best restaurants in the city. They REALLY need to stop doing this.
THE SERVICE -- We noticed lots of young waiters, which is a bit unusual for a restaurant in this price range, our server was no different. He seemed nice and he was trying very hard to act like a fine dining waiter, but it just wasn't there. From not knowing the menu very well, to forgetting an item we had ordered, to awkward cleaning/resetting of silverware, it was just not five-star service. For a place that charges some of the most expensive prices in an expensive city for their food (plus bread, plus water) I want five-star service.
THE MENU -- I think this is more a personal pet peeve, the menu turned out to be one of those that intentionally obfuscate what the dishes will actually be like when they come out, featuring the ingredients instead (especially the dessert menu). For some of our dishes we were surprised with what came out based on what we ordered. It wasn't always a negative surprise, but I think menus are created for a reason, and they should be more accurate in their descriptions.
I went here with a few friends for a late dinner this week. We had to wait a couple minutes at the front but that was pretty much the only hiccup in service the entire night.
We started with some sparkling water and ordered a bottle of red from Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley. At $322, this was one of the most expensive bottles of wine I have participated in ordering for quite some time, but it was absolutely amazing.
I ordered the 48 hour short rib to start. The short rib is served with black pepper jam, honeydew, green papaya, peanut and Thai basil. It started a little sweet with the fruit, the meat literally melted in my mouth and finished with a bit of spice. It was so good I ordered it again.
For a main, I had the pork belly. Pork belly is one of those dishes on a small short list of mine that when I see it on a menu, I almost always order it. It was served with quinoa, ancho, apricot and almond. I am not a huge fan of apricot but the range and complexity of flavours in this dish was amazing. The quinoa was probably the best I have ever had.
My dining partners split a crab salad and the 22oz ribeye with sides of foie gras. I tried both including a massive piece of ribeye with foie gras on top: ridiculously good. Needless to say, by the end of the meal I was very, very full and had no room for dessert.
The value was excellent. If it hadn't been for the wine, the bill would have been very reasonable considering the innovative menu items and overall quality of the food, service and ambiance. The service was very attentive without being stuffy or bothersome.
Recommended and I will definitely return. Until then, I will be having dreams of short rib and pork belly.
This is another one of the nicest Dining rooms in this Expensive city. Food was reasonably good but this place lacks big time in Service. Whats about this city good servers are hard to find. Or they need more training to interact and basic server skills. Please smile. Anticipate. We have to wave everytime and felt we were bothering them. Its a great location. Great room and I wish they had better service to go along with the food. Drinks were awesome.
Unless you're a Business person on an expense account this is a Special occasion restaurant as it is expensive. Noted Chef David Hawksworth has created dishes you couldn't possible make at home with multiple ingredients diced tiny or shaved incredibly thin.
The restaurant is very beautiful and elegant. The food is West Coast Asian fusion and is very impressive. For starters I had the Dungeness crab which was not in the shell so easy to eat, my partner had the roasted carrot salad which was very pretty and tasty.
For entrees I had the slow cooked lamb shoulder on lentils. It had an Asian style sauce which I don't think really worked as it overpowered the lamb, but it was interesting. My partner had the seared yellow fin tuna. This was barely seared, almost Sashimi. He enjoyed it but it might have been too raw for others. I suggest asking your server a lot of questions about your menu choice so you won't be surprised and maybe disappointed.
If you are into wine or you are entertaining a wine lover this is your restaurant. The wine list is a binder -- I'm not kidding. it lists pages of wines, in all price ranges. You can buy wine by the glass, but mainly it is by the bottle. If you can't finish a bottle they will cork it for you to take the rest home.
It is everything you expect from a high end dining experience, a beautiful room, lovely innovative food and attentive staff.
When you have prices like they do here, (including a "special" appitizer for $50) and a reputation as one of the finest restaurants in town, how do you have the unmitigated gaul to charge for a basket of bread? NEVER have I seen such ridiculous thing!
OK, so we were hungry, we ordered the $4. bread. The young man brought the bread and pointed out "You have two pieces of baguette, two pieces of whole grain and two pieces of herbed". As he walked away, I noticed we only had five pices of bread, and three of them were identical. I asked the server "I'm sorry, this may sound tacky, but there does not appear to be six peices of bread here, and more importantly, it does not appear there is any herbed bread." He gave me a "look" and said "I'll have to check". When he finally came back about 10 minutes later he said "Yeah sorry, we are out of herbed bread" and walked away!
Can you believe they actually charged us the $4 for the "partial" basket of bread? I won't even bother reviewing the rest of the meal as this was, without a doubt, the most classless treatment I've ever received in any restaurant I have ever dined in. You could not pay me to eat there again.
Food:Wonderfully innovative DOV menu. Sturgeon (with chorizo broth ) and dessert of coconut lime pannacotta were a special hit. Everything was well presented and serving sizes ample. Loved the whole dining experience.
Service : Prompt and friendly. Water glasses refilled constantly. Meal was paced weill and we did not feel rushed even thought it was DOV.
Ambience: was lively and not overly noisy as reported by some diners and certainly no blaring music to detract from dinner conversations. Perhaps it depends on the area of the restaurant that you are in.
Overall: Definitely worth returning to.
Hmmm, where to start. We arrived for our reservation and the table wasn't ready. They suggested we go to the unaffiliated bar in the hotel to wait it out. Not the greatest start. About 20 minutes later, we get the call the table is now ready, and we are ushered in to a busy and loud dining room. You are *very* close to other tables, yet far across your own table. We almost needed to text each other to communicate.
The sommelier came around and made some suggestions - he was very, very nice and genuine. Waitstaff was cute and mostly efficient. We ended up having the beef short rib, and a daily special pizza for appetizers. The short rib was tasty with the black pepper jam, but it looked like it had sat under the warmers for a bit - it looked dried out. Then we had the halibut with chorizo, and the beef tenderloin. The halibut had a bit of spice and was super salty. It came in a broth with some different vegetables, but it was so salty, I had to abandon trying to finish it. The tenderloin was very good, cooked perfectly. We also had milk chocolate mousse for dessert with the passionfruit custard - very good, and just right to share.
Hawksworth came out and did some glad-handing with some tables of regulars. There was a good portion of "housewives of West Van" types and their requisite financiers, along with tables of businessmen diners, and the "young and the fabulous" - well, as good as it gets in Vancouver, anyhow. Waitstaff was cute and mostly efficient.
This restaurant made me long to go back to Bishop's, or Vij's. There, the food speaks first and you feel valued. At Hawksworth, I felt like the food was not as lovingly prepared and the tacky, tacky, over-stylized decor and patronage lent a hand in detracting from the food. Take a look at the ceiling when you are there. You'll see where they put their money, and it wasn't into the spirit of executing truly great food and genuine service.
It was a superlative evening. The arrival was a touch awkward in that the wait in the lounge for drinks was slow and invisible for a touch longer than expected but it was vibrant and busy on a Sat. Night. And when they arrived, they were excellent, novel and good value.
The sommelier did an excellent job decanting the '07 Robinson Family Cabernet we had brought along, even double decanting it after making the suggestion, making the $35 corkage fee a good value and value-add.
We went with a tasting menu and added a couple of appetizers to the experience. The dishes were uniformly excellent, even sublime with each dish being well plated and clever, including a foie gras dish served with foie gras cotton candy. The minor complaint was around the timing of the additional dishes ordered, which because of the business of the kitchen, couldn't bring them out sequentially but brought them out two at a time, which ultimately worked (tapas-style) as we were sharing everything.
The crowd is monied and blessedly not the aching hipster set that plagues many restaurants, with a nice uptick in suits. The ambiance was pleasantly upbeat, celebratory but still not intrusive on a slow dinner night out.
Ultimately, it was a pleasantly stunning and with the foie gras cotton candy and frozen coconut milk and lemongrass gelato, a highlight of one of the best meals in Vancity in some time.
I went to Hawksworth for breakfast this morning and it was amazing. The service was incredibly polite yet casual and comfortable. The washroom was very clean (something I really value), as well as stylish. Fresh squeezed juice was nice, and the highlight of breakfast was the order of buttermilk pancakes. They come with marscapone, a berry compote, mint leaf, and maple syrup. Seriously, the best pancakes I've ever had in my life. Actually, I didn't even use any syrup because the compote was so delicious on its own. I hope you try them and agree! Cheers, Ryan Vancouver BC
We recently treated ourselves to a night out at Hawksworths and we were not disappointed. The decor is a bit over the top but appreciated by their regular clientele I suspect. We had the halibut and the short ribs, both really incredible. I will think about those short ribs for some time to come. The dessert was some sort of meringue and ice cream confection and just so good. The service was very professional if not entirely warm and friendly. You certainly could not fault it. Overall, bang for buck if a bit out of my everyday price range. Go and treat yourself!
Breakfast at Hawksworth today was weak. Cool, dull reception followed by eggs benny served stark, ungarnished with flavourless hollandaise. Few tables yet guests were sat cheek to jowl while the two adjacent rooms sat empty clearly being managed for the convenience of the staff and not the comfort of the guests. Rookie mistake. Further mismanagement was evident in the tea service. Luke warm tea served in ugly coffee cup pre-set on the table beside sad, dying flowers. Foolishly they've rebranded Earl Grey tea into something contrived of Lady Annabelle, named for their PR rep, my how some do strive. When the bill finally arrived the $6 tea was forgotten as has been the case reported by several of my peers, only they were 'comped' glasses and bottles of wine. Good intentions, grand pretensions and sloppy execution. Why forgo linen and complimentary bread service then hemorrhage losses on bad billing and the necessity to give away rounds of drinks in the bar because of incompetent reservation taking.
I have only dined at Hawksworth for lunch and brunch, but I must say that I was impressed each time! Their Eggs Benedict is probably the best that I have ever had, and I have tried A LOT of Eggs Benedict! Some of their items are a bit on the salty side (like the sable fish during lunch/brunch) but overall, we enjoyed our meals each time. I would definitely come back!