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.
We went here for lunch. We found it very pricey and ended up getting the burger (the least expensive thing on the menu) and that was $15.00. I mean c'mon - it's a hamburger. It was OK, nothing to write home about. The service was friendly enough, but I think she thought we were cheap. We had no drinks and skipped the coffee. I would probably not go back- well not for lunch at any rate.
This was our first, and last, visit to this established eatery. We were seated on the patio, initially under the heaters which were set high enough to roast a chicken. Moving to a more comfortable spot, we sat next to table of obnoxious zoomers, one who thought she must still be living in the previous century as she recklessly smoked cigarettes. This seemed to be acceptable to the restaurant staff and management.
Our first bottle of wine was corked, and this began one of the worst meals in recent memory. The tomatoes in the bocconcini salad were tasteless and pulpy; the prosciutto in the asparagus salad was too salty and tough; and the chorizo was bland and came with greasy fried onions. There was no finesse to the food at all. The only redeeming quality was the pleasant and efficient service.
I had the pate as an appetizer (small plate) and the steak + frites as the main course together with a Chianti. The pate was what it should be. Nice, but no surprises here. The main course was their signature dish, but nothing special in my opinion. I've been to many French restaurants before, so maybe this also plays a part. The French fries that accompanied it was also okay. The place is somewhat small and cramped, so coming on a Saturday night, you will hear everybody's conversation. The place is kind of 'loud'. Also constant brushing by the waiters because of the narrow pathways. The decoration was also okay. Other problem was that the main course took very long to arrive and so was the case for the table next to me and behind me. I think they cannot cope well with the busy weekends. Service was very good though. No complaints here. All in all, an okay experience for me. If you want to try out this restaurant, I would advice you to go during the week.
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 went to this bistro once for dinner and once for lunch (and for some weird reason we were seated at the same table). I tend to judge the restaurant primarily on its food quality, and if it's enjoyable, then the ambiance and the service start to matter. In case of Smoking Dog, the food did not deliver, though the ambiance was very nice.
I must add though that we like French cuisine a lot and our expectations for French bistros are somewhat higher than, say, for Earls. Therefore braised chicken that was almost dry both times we tried it was the reason why we won't probably try it for the third time.
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.
Well not exactly a discovery. I started following their tweets because a friend who is in the wine business does events there. They seemed to be getting lots of buzz about their new menu and a new chef (who, as it turned out worked there 15 years ago?) so we had dinner ther last night. We loved it! Our waiter was a lovely french fellow who flirted just the right amount, our food was excelllent and we were sent a drink after dinner by another table, that has NEVER happned to me before. We shared a potato tart with smoked salmon, I had the chicken as my main and she had the halibut. The Halibut was a lot fancier but it was also about $10 more than my chicken, which was only $15! Both were really good. We shared the profiterolles (sp?) these little pastry balls with chocolate and whipped cream, Yum! Our bill including wine, tip and all the taxes was $50 each and we thought it was really good value.
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.
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.
Recently visited the Smoking Dog Bistro for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised! I went on a wednesday, so was greeted by a delightful jazz duo... which set the ambience for the rest of the night. Myself and the other 2 I was with tried the $25 set for the Dine Out Vancouver 2008. I had the salad for starts, which had a delicious dressing embedded between several large leaves of crisp lettuce. My main course was short ribs with potatoes and vegetables. The short ribs were melt-in-my-mouth delicious. For dessert was a delicious raspberry sorbet. Overall, an excellent night out, however my boyfriend found the portions to be on the small side. I felt perfectly satisfied though, as I do not like to feel stuffed. I will definitely go back!
We went on a whim with our entertainment coupon, which gave us one free entree. Jonny had a delicious steak with chef's gravy and fries. Gina had a magnificent lamb dinner that fell off the bone, served with a delicious wine sauce and accompanied by a decent syrah. Overall, we'd give the food a four and a half, but dinehere only allows us to choose four or five. Our waiter was prompt, friendly and not overbearing or annoying. The ambiance was average bistro style, but had a distinctly dog decor emphasis. Overall, we'd definitely recommend Smoking Dog, and will return.
I've been going to this restaurant for years, back in the day's when John Claude still owned and operated it. It was one of my favorite places to go to, but since his passing, and the restaurant being taken over by new owners, I've found that this establishment no longer upholds the high standards it once had with food quality, and service. My date and I went there recently and order a chicken dish... we returned it once because it was undercooked. It was dark outside, and hard to see when they gave us a new plate, so from what we could tell, it looked ok. We were both sick the next day. The server was rude, and left us without utensils half-way through our appy's. Drinks weren't made correly, and in complaining about it, we received a smug attitude. This is suppose to be a high-end restaurant, and you expect above average when it comes to food and service... especially at those prices. Also, they changed the menu, and in my opinion, is not as good as it once was. Only good thing is that they kept the pepper steak, which is still decent. Regardless, I won't be going back.