Located in Kitsilano, The Smoking Dog Bistro boasts one of the city's best outdoor patios and the classic French Mediterranean cuisine choices for lunch or dinner compliment the friendly casual atmosphere and impeccable service. Open for lunch Monday trough Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday.
You will see that I had a postivie review posted here from more than a year ago. However, the last 2 visits to this place in recent months have been disappointing. The food still looks great on presentation, but the flavour is only so-so, and overall quality is poor when you consider the price you are paying. The wines, too, are so-so, but the prices are not. I won't go there again.
A small little bistro in Kits that not only has great food, but excellent music & service to go along with it. The lamb shank was excellent - in the middle between not too dry and not too mushy. Tasty.
The beef bourguignon wasn't my favorite, but was a nice comfort food - sorta like stew on pasta and boy did it warm me up. The bread was yummy and the waiter was super over attentive - we hadn't even sat down for 2 seconds let alone look at the menu and he was already asking us what we wanted. =) Overall a nice place to hang out on a Friday evening. But I wouldn't go for the $12 glass of Shiraz tho. A bit of a splurge on my part I guess. =)
We had a gift certificate for the Smoking Dog that we won through Dine Out Vancouver, so we decided to try it out tonight for the first time. We were greeted with news that it was a new menu and new chef, and our server admittted he was also new. We were not sure what to expect. We had a fabulous meal and great service, and will return based on our very positive experience. We were offered to taste wine prior to ordering, which was a treat. Both our salads, the Rocket, and the recommended Beetroot were very tasty. Our entrees were delicious, I had Ling Cod and my husband had the Lamb the server had recommended, which I tasted, and I loved the accompanying lentils. It was a stormy night, and we were happy to be tucked away at a quiet and cozy table enjoying some really great comfort food, well taken care of by friendly, polite staff. We recommend you try them out.
Saturday afternoon. We walked into a pitch dark empty restaurant, saw our friends sitting in the corner looked helplessly. We sat down and wonder what had happened. No service at all.
We went to find the waitress. A tall young girl came reluctantly. With no knowledge of their food, she took our order and did not came back for a long time. In my mind " dinner time = busy time". I excuse my self to use washroom. Stood up and look at the empty room, I thought that the washroom might have a long line up. There was nobody in there after I stepped into washroom but dirty seats and garbage everywhere. Cleaned the least dirty stall, relieve myself, washed my hands. Everything happened in the ghostly dim light.
Finally, our food was here. My crab cakes were burnt half way through, the waitress said " WHAT DO YOU WANT ?" I said: " I want not burnt crab cakes" . We ate in silent, because we don't want hurt antibody's feeling.
3 1/2 hours later. We paid the bill. Said goodbye to the dog. We all agreed on " We are not coming back"
.$9 for 4 pieces of butter leave and 1/4 egg.
$12 for look-like "portobello mushroom"
$21 for a piece of tasteless pork.
$ 6 for 3 mini scope sorbet. really small
$9 for 3 cream puff. not really sure
3 1/2 hours in the dark.
I had heard that the Smoking Dog Bistro has a new menu/chef, so my friends and I decided to check it out. I can honestly say it was one of the best meals I have had in a long time! For appetizers we had the crab cakes and the scallops with fennel. The crab cakes were UNBELIEVABLE – everyone has to try them! The scallops were perfectly cooked and the fennel was so delicious, I could have ate a whole plate of it (I’m usually not a fan of fennel). For our mains I had the chicken supreme, one of my friends had the vegetarian risotto and the other had the pork chop. Not only was the presentation beautiful, everything was perfectly cooked, and packed with SO MUCH FLAVOR! I savored every bite. The desserts were also really well done. We were impressed with the atmosphere as we were seated near the fireplace, which was very elegant and cozy. The service was a bit slow, but otherwise it was an amazing night and I can’t wait to go again.
We ordered the bouillabaisse and lamb shanks. The meat dish was generous by containing 2 shanks, but the sauce was a disappointment in being thin and totally lacking in taste. That was the good part of the meal. The bouillabaisse was almost insulting: 2 prawns and 2 clams and a piece of fish swam in a watery broth along side of some boiled potatoes. The rouille was barely acceptable, but to serve a dish like that for $25 is unconcsionable. We reported our disappointment to the waiter, but not wishing to waste the time exchanging dishes reluctantly accepted the food. The desserts, on the other hand, a very tasty tarte tatin as well as a delectable creme brule, were excellent, but not sufficiently so to rescue the meal. The service was fine, so this was a most un even dining experience. We will not eat here again.
The smoking dog has been a staple in kits for a long time. Now, with a new menu coming out this month, they are becoming a more friendly neighborhood hangout. The wine service still stands, but the menu boasts tapas like "chili prawns" and the soon-to-be-famous "sliders." My recent visit was peppered with fun staff and great tasting new food ideas. The wine service is still great, there's still options for those with discerning tastes. But as proprietor Jean Seguin mentioned to me, there will soon be more TV's and a sports/fun oriented atmosphere. If you have been before or never even strolled by, it's worth the trip, especially with the dynamic atmosphere, and new menu items being added weekly. So, I recommend giving your feedback and getting excited for a new, feel-good neighborhood watering hole!!
My girlfriend and I thought we'd try this neighborhood bistro for a nice fine dining experience. Upon our arrival the staff was friendly and accommodating in seating us despite us not having a reservation and the room was pretty full. We ordered drinks and our meals and shortly after our server brought us some delicious piping hot French Bread and butter. Good thing because it would be over an hour before our mains arrived. The drinks were quite tasty (we both had martinis), though at $10 each having more than one was a bit prohibitive.
I ordered a grilled asparagus salad with the asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and my partner had the Cypress Street salad with greens, beets and goat cheese. She ordered a side of chicken to go with her salad to make it a main while I also ordered a Bistro Burger.
The salads were pretty good though the prosciutto was a bit too salty for my liking and the side of chicken was two skewers with a couple bite sized morsels of poultry. It was a good 45-minute wait for my burger to arrive after our salads, which I was not impressed with. The burger was merely ok and came with pomme frites (your everyday French Fries). I was not impressed when I looked at other patrons meals to see that all the meat entrees came with the ubiquitous fries and nothing else. For close to $30 getting some vegetables or at least a baked potato wouldn't be bad....but nothing except fries?
All in all, we spent $80 for 2 salads, 2 drinks and a burger. And it took over an hour for the burger to arrive. I'd maybe go back during lunch to try the French Onion soup, as it looked good...but I won't be returning for dinner.
Have been here several times and have always received good service. There is live music some nights, a nice patio and the servers are always welcoming. We went in to ask if they were closing one night (it was pretty late and there were only two people in the restaurant) and they welcomed us in as though it were the start of their dinner service.
The pepper steak is fantastic, but everything is good. The specials are always great and occasionally surprising (meatballs last time - they were delicious!).
Would definitely recommend this restaurant to others.
I had a birthday dinner there with my parents, thinking we'd have a great dinning experience. The onion soup was good, wine was good, but we ordered the pork chops (called something else), and it was undercooked, bad cut of meat with lots of fat and about 3 bites of meat before completed, and with no veggies, potatoes, or anything else to accompany the meal. For the 3 of us, we left the restaurant with a bill of over $100, and still hungry.
I live close by, so another time, out of pure convenience, I went there for a quick lunch, and order their $13 burger. The burger was about the most greasiest burger I ever have had, and unfortunately, made me have to stick close to the bathroom for the rest of the day. Mental note... you'll get a better burger at white spot about 3 blocks away for about $3. Save your money!
Jean: The quality and quantity of food coming out of your kitchen is very poor, and the price, being on the high-side, is not in line with this what is being served. You need to be more attentive as to what is coming out of your kitchen, and raise your expectations with the Chefs, and make appropriate changes. The customers deserve no less than this for the price they are paying.
We have been at the Smoking Dog Bistro on a nice sunny Friday evening. We came around 6:30 pm and had quite a lot of tables to choose from. The bistro fills quickly later in the evening.
Sitting outside on the Patio is great, although the furniture could be a little more appropriate for the overall ambiance.
Food was very good to excellent - try the French onion soup, it was the best we had for a long time.
The service was flawless. Friendly and no waiting time at all. So the only issue is the prices - they are French rather than Canadian as well.
We will definitely come back - just not for lunch every day...
The interior design renovations really make the restaurant so much more inviting. The food was so unexpected ! Each bite was full of such different flavors that all melted together in your mouth. The meat was cooked to perfection and the lamb was phenomenal. Great service with a very french feel and overall great time !
Great spot to people watch and have a few cocktails, but the fact that they still let select people smoke on the patio while others are eating is unappetizing and illegal. I'd go back if I knew it would be smoke free, but I've given this place multiple opportunities and it looks like the smoking is a mainstay, although the service and food are both passable. It'll be a while before I return.
We were at Smoking Dog Bistro about two weeks ago, when the Chef was just preparing his new menu. There was no allowance for this, and the fact that the menu was severely restricted. We ordered the hamburgers, which turned out to be reheated frozen patties, on a cold white bun. The poutine was barely okay. The wine exorbitantly priced. Total cost: $80+. A complete rip-off. No ambiance to speak of; there was hardly anyone else in the restaurant at the time. Will never return. Don't really care what new menu the Chef comes up with. We rarely complain but this is one instance when we felt we had been duped.
We went for lunch on a Saturday and were surprised that there were no other patrons, regardles, the service was terrible. The waitress 1) missed one of our orders 2) failed to bring a a couple of side orders we had requested 3) was impossible to get her attention I had to wave my arms in the air 4)
- bolognese - decent
- omelet - decent
- veggie fettucine - vegtables were under cooked
- beef borguinon - very good
- french onion soup - very good
I don't think we'll ever be back.
Great little local spot - have been there several times lately for late lunch and the Sunday dinner special which for $20 includes prime rib, yorkshire pudding, starter and dessert. House wine for $5 a glass - right sized portions and bistro ambience make it a great value. Smoking Dog is not trying yo be anything other than what it is - a relaxed, casual local bistro. -- it's now a regular for us == go dog!
Arrived at about 8pm on a Friday night and were seated right away. My gorgeous dining companion and I both ordered their signature peppercorn steak with mashed potatoes.
We had champagne while we waited, and were able to watch the chefs in action through the semi-private kitchen window. It is nice to know they have nothing to hide back there!
Food: Our steaks arrived nicely presented with the meat snuggled up to the mashed potatoes with veggies gently perched on the spuds. The steak itself was incredibly tender and a knife was hardly needed to cut into this prime piece of meat. The peppercorn sauce was a nice touch to this dish.
For dessert we had the sorbet and creme brule. Both were great and the sorbet makes for a nice palate cleanser.
Service: Spot on. Our waiter was outgoing and funny, also knew when we needed refills or our plates cleared. We never had to ask for anything! The owner (Jean) was visible throughout the evening and made sure all the guests were taken care of.
We will definitely be back!
I had heard that the Smoking Dog was a solid local bistro so we thought we would try it prior to an event at the Science Centre because it is so close by.
The food was decent but the service we received was among the worst I have experienced in a restaurant in 20 years.
We asked about specials - our server said there were none but 10 minutes later, we heard another server offer up specials to an adjacent table. The food, while tasty, was plunked in front of us unceremoniously and after that our server did not come near our table again. The dishes sat there uncleared. We flagged down another staff member and asked for coffee. Twenty minutes later we still had no coffee. It was incredibly difficult to get someone to bring us our bill.
Throughout, the management on the floor seemed completely oblivious to the fact that a number of tables were unattended to and that customers were unhappy.
We will not be back.
On my very first visit to Vancouver in March 2007, a friend recommended the Smoking Dog Bistro. I distinctly remember the best French Onion soup and Caprese salad my partner and I had ever had (he still talks about it). We both ordered the house specialty of the pepper steak, which was perfectly grilled to our specifications, topped with a deliciously sinful sauce, and to-die-for fries (and I'm not a fry girl). The service was attentive and pleasant, the wine list appealing and reasonable, and the food an absolute delight.
With memories of this meal still fresh in my mind, I returned again this past September, while in Vancouver on business, and brought along some colleagues. Once settled in our hotel, we headed to "the Dog" for lunch. Each of us took in a different salad (the cypress, grilled asparagus, and niçoise) along with one order of coquilles st-jacques. We were all so impressed by the presentation, taste and quality of the food, that we remained on the this lovely corner patio, taking in the scenery, some nice wine, and finally, dinner! Our server was a very attentive and lovely woman, and noticing our “extended stay” the owner was kind enough to send us all a drink, on the house. Needless to say, we had a lovely time. So much so, that a friend and I returned later that week, on a Tuesday night, for equally wonderful service and food.
As a woman previously employed as bartender and server for over 10 years, I don’t quite understand the negative comment regarding the servers/models. The restaurant and bar business is also an esthetic business, generally employing attractive men and women, and this should not be held against them. I certainly hope the previous reviewer gives the Smoking Dog another shot. With a year between my visits, I had a completely satisfying and memorable experience, and would recommend it to anyone.
two Friday nights ago, a friend and I wanted to go to Rocky Mtn. Flatbread (unbelievably wonderful) but it was jam-packed and a bit too chaotic for us, as we'd just come from yoga :-)
So, we took a chance on Smokin' Dog - yikes. Though the restaurant was hardly packed (there was no one inside)....first of all, a dog was barking at the top of his lungs....he was tied up right beside us for five or ten minutes - the owner was drinking heavily and 'having a problem'; we didn't get attended to for what seemed like a mighty long time! The place was understaffed, I guess. And the 'servers' didn't really give the vibe of service, more like "I want to be a model", or, you know, as if they were going out on a party boat for the night.
We left after one drink, feeling a bit guilty as we were supposed to have eaten something but the vibes were negative and weird. We called Bistrot Bistro and got a table there at the last minute, and had a fantastic meal. There, you are ACTUALLY served by the staff - of which there are many - and they don't have french manicures and perfect hair - theyso many it is almost incomprehensible....the servers there are real people, interested in you, and interested in serving you, and changing your flatware, etc.
It may be that the food at Smoking Dog is great - but we never tasted it. We just did not feel taken care of - that is one of the main things I look for in a restaurant, maybe because I can cook. Attitude, I don't need.