Most Vancouverites are aware of the cream-and-brick-coloured building with whimsical black accents this restaurant is located in. It’s an early-20th-century retail and residential structure with prominent bay windows forming turrets at the corners. The café space and restaurant behind it were created during a complete restoration as, I think, a heritage structure, in the last couple of years.
My architect cousin Chuck joined me and we were seated at a small row table, after an inexperienced and slightly awkward welcome. Two servers, a male waiter and female presenter, were courteous, colloquial, and pleasant. Especially the girl.
The space is interesting, obviously renovated with preservation of the original interior in mind. There is a big elevated and open bar, and another elevated mezzanine space with tables for larger groups. Intriguing and intimate.
The menu range is restricted. We have a roast of the day which in this case was vegetarian, roast chicken, a couple of fish dishes, steak, and (our choice) a pork osso bucco. This came with “savoy cabbage” which was a white crunchy vegetable shredded without, I thought, distinct cabbage flavour but a pleasant texture contrast to the meat. The osso bucco was nicely braised, tender, and accompanied with another chunk of perfectly-cooked pork on the side, along with boiled carrots and a nice rich reduction sauce. Competent satisfying bistro food.
We split a bread pudding dessert with a true lightly flavoured chantilly cream on top, which wasn’t ruined by too much sweet spice but could have benefited from being warmed. A “super tuscan” bordeaux-grape product from the wonderful 2007 year seemed a bargain at $75, fragrant and substantial. I think we paid around $70 each including the wine pre-tip.
Nothing over the fence here, but a welcome addition to the growing list of perfectly respectable little eateries downtown and elsewhere. It’s near an office where I work and think I’ll return for lunch. Ambience 6.8 service 7.4 food 8.0 value 7.9.