Spring is in the air with flowers in abundant bloom. The feeling is light, as warm sunlight wakes up the earth from a long winter slumber. Birds and bees and swaying leafy trees and dare we say, there’s romance all around? Ok, well maybe it’s not all that dreamy but we’re sure there’s more than a few of us looking for a quiet, intimate spot to share a fine dinner with a loved one.
Gastown has often been described as place teeming with culture, soul, character, great shopping and fantastic food. Many say it reminds them of places in Europe and beyond.
One thing’s for sure, dining out in Gastown is a happy experience and one that can be quite memorable.
Here we present to you some of the best hideaways in the neighbourhood.
Standing prominently at 13th place in the Top 100 Restaurants in Canada, L’abattoir is truly exceptional. For those who appreciate proper wine parings,L’abattoirs Wine Director, Lisa Haley knows her stuff. Here you can share a foodie experience that will be talked about and savored long after the meal is done. The interior is soothing and dark. There are spots on the balcony and in the atrium were you can nestle in for satisfying conversation, great wine and delicious food.
Bauhaus is open, airy and bright, yet suggests that one may be dining in a high-end art gallery restaurant somewhere in Germany, where every detail is looked after with exact precision. You will be served impeccably, yet allowed to comfortably sink into your quiet table for two, left undisturbed. There is an audible hush and enough space to feel part of the flow of life, knowing there is nothing to worry about at Bauhaus. They take great care in making your dining experience one that is as near to perfection as one can find.
Rarely can you go wrong with French cuisine, arguably the world’s finest. Jules Bistro is an entirely intimate nook nestled on Abbott Street. The patio is just perfect for a warm evening where two can hide in among trees and flowers watching the world go by. It feels very much French country, and you will be catered to by owner Chef Emmanuel Joinville from Dijon. His menu melds the flavours of France with a West Coast style, offering up traditional French dishes and daily specials all using fresh, local ingredients.
Moving along from the French, we now sit at the table of the Italians. Strolling hand in hand along Water Street and looking north to the mountains, you will spy a narrow cobblestoned laneway set in away from the bustle. It calls to you. Upon entering the restaurant, the warmth and welcome is undeniable. Request a candlelit table by the arched windows for some stunning views of the North Shore. Al Porto carries an enviable wine list and the menu is rich yet balanced with a good number of gluten free options.
Nicli Antica Pizzeria is the first VPN certified Neapolitan pizzeria in Vancouver. Located down on East Cordova Street, the building is over a century old, where age-old brick walls stand silently, allowing a contemporary bright interior to dance subtly in and among modern light fixtures and furniture. The atmosphere is refreshing, comfortable and spacious. A balanced wine list pairs nicely with wood fired pizzas, old world recipe inspired antipasti and insalati and hearty pastas. Linger long after dinner with an aperitif or espresso and a good helping of both house made tiramisu and panna cotta. Lovers will love this place.
Water Street Café is an iconic Gastown dining establishment on the corner of Cambie and Water Street. Recently celebrating 29 years in business, the restaurant is classic in all aspects of service. From white linen covered tables, to long apron clad servers, the room itself harkens to a time when everything was made with care and crafted right at home. Service here is exceptional and the food is very good. A corner table for two, looking out through tall windows onto Water Street is where you want to be.
If you were ever to welcome a mosquito into your relationship, this would be the one. Mosquito is primarily a dessert & champagne restaurant. Who said both aren’t from major food groups? Even so, sweet & bubbly can be your dinner for at least one magic night of the week. The setting is dark and rich like chocolate. It’s quiet, intimate, soft and sultry. Imagine raspberry neon smoke rising and swirling against a subdued velvet curtain with black leather banquettes and rounded oak tables. Escape here for a while.