The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe serves up gourmet Gaulian fare in an impossibly chic environment for lunch and dinner (until midnight), as well as weekend brunch. Appetizing appetizers include the mussels with smoked paprika and bacon butter ($8) and the citrus-cured scallop carpaccio, with a truffled peach and radish salad ($12). Corner Suite offers miniature entrees (or monster appetizers), such as the house-made gnocchi, with the dressed-up breakfasty combination of poached egg, bacon, English peas, and mint ($15) to self-restraining supperers, while heartier plates offer the promise of a more full-bellied meal. Explore the crispy pork belly, served with lentils, apple and ginger salad, and drizzled in gribiche sauce ($25), or the pancetta-wrapped crispy ling cod, served with a green-bean salad ($25), for satisfying portions of sophisticated sustenance. If your hands become jealous of your silverware, opt for the graspable Station 7 burger, topped with thick-cut bacon and aged cheddar ($16).
For six months, Isobel Drummond and her husband sojourned across France with their two teenage daughters, seeking out the country’s best cafés. The couple lingered over coffee and macarons in Paris, Bordeaux, St. Tropez, Marseille, and Nice. Now, at Simply French Cafe, they strive to capture the welcoming ambiance and gourmet foods they enjoyed in their favourite French eateries.
Simply French’s crystal chandeliers and Toulouse-Lautrec posters pop against dark wooden floors and exposed ceiling beams. Customers linger over paninis, tiramisu, and French-style pastries served on delicate pastel china. And in the evenings, a hands-on macaron-making class lets students create their own confections without the difficulty of growing meringues from seed.
When asked where they purchase their meat, the chefs at Bistro 72 can point toward the mountains. From their daily lamb specials to freshly packed meatballs, many of the menu's savoury entrees hail from Ryder Lake Farms. The family farm has partnered with Old Surrey Restaurant, where the bistro is located, since 1984. Today, its cured prosciutto sits alongside sausage, cheese, and Abbotsford duck pâte on the charcuterie plate, and its pulled pork forms the base of a poutine sprinkled with cheese curds and green onions.
Even when they don't look to Ryder Lake for their ingredients, Bistro 72's chefs prioritize freshness in their French cuisine. Their avocado dip derives West Coast flavour from Pacific crab, white wine, and melted emmental cheese. Korean barbecue short ribs and new york strip-loin steak bespeak the restaurant's flair for reaching past its roots, though craft beers and British Columbia wines honour local brewers.
Eating at Starry Night Restaurant provides a hip alternative to dining out under the night sky. Purple panels overhead are speckled with glowing dots and recessed lights, which surround a chandelier bristling with refractive glass. Beneath the cool hues, waiters carry plates of deep-fried spring rolls and chargrilled ribeye over to purple booths that curve along the walls. Seated in the downstairs lounge, diners can nibble on pan-seared halibut or an appetizing lighting fixture as they listen to live music on select nights.
Eschewing modernity's machine-based baking, European Breads handcrafts artisanal loaves using ancient recipes that are hundreds or even thousands of years old. Bakers start with natural and unrefined ingredients, which they ferment into dough, knead until it's the right consistency, and mould into chewy baguettes, sweet challah, and convincing replicas of Rodin's The Thinker, assuming the statue had raisins for eyes. At the tables in European Bread's airy café, guests can also help themselves to delicious European specialties such as crepes, perogies, and stuffed cabbage rolls.