With its burnished leather chairs, high-backed wooden booths, and burgundy walls, the look of Copper Club Restaurant & Lounge’s dining room hearkens back to a turn-of-the-century smoking parlor or baron’s study. It’s a stark change from the airy lounge space next door with its vaulted ceiling, wall of windows, and blue and orange plush couches. Though the two spaces harbor aesthetic differences, their cuisine unites them, as chefs sear certified Angus beef from Canadian ranches and Ocean Wise–approved sustainable seafood to populate their menu of West Coast-based fusion fare. Each dish melds fresh flavours with flourishes evocative of worldly cuisines, from Asian mango salsa and coconut tomato sauce to St. Louis–style barbecue. Once dining companions have cleared food from plates and spoons from noses, they can retreat to the lounge for live music until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
A cozy picture of Tudor revivalist design, the lakeside Hart House Restaurant purveys creative menus full of exquisite dinner, lunch, and brunch delicacies lauded for their casual elegance. Sophisticated dishes include seared salmon with saffron fennel puree and beef tenderloin. During warmer months, guests can enjoy creative fare on the patio with a Pimm's Cup or a local wine before cracking into a vanilla bean cr?me br?l?e.
Seasonal events celebrate fresh, local fare. Hart House's glass-walled lakeside cottage, sprawling green backyard, and second-storey private rooms also make it an ideal location for business meetings, weddings, and reenactments of The English Patient.
Nando's Flame-Grilled Chicken, founded in South Africa in 1987, brings Portugal's peri-peri flame-grilled chicken to the Vancouver area with only the bare minimum of laser lights and smoke-shrouded, two-way mirrors. Discovered by Portuguese explorers in Africa in the distant days of maritime exploration, peri-peri is a fiery chili pepper that adds a kick of capsaicin to any cuisine, clucker-related or not. Nando's fresh chicken breasts luxuriate in their peri-peri marinade for 24 hours, resulting in dishes with a slate of Scoville-scale-scorching spice levels—mild lemon and herb, medium, hot, and the daredevil-only extra hot. Step up to Nando's counter to order from the menu of sandwiches, pitas, wraps, salads, and peri-peri chicken. Enjoy a grilled-to-order peri-peri half-chicken with a side ($11.39) such as spiced rice or hearty coleslaw, or bite around basted bones with a dozen peri-peri chicken wings with a side ($9.99). Nando's also sports peri-peri chicken breast sandwiches or pitas ($8.49–$10.79), chicken or veggie whole wheat wraps with a side ($8.49–10.79), and veggie burgers or pitas ($8.49–$10.79), as well as salads and salad meals ($3.99–$9.99) for lovers of leaves of lettuce.
Up a long, wooded road in Burnaby Mountain Park, Horizons Restaurant waits, its towering wraparound windows granting spectacular views of budding rose gardens, stately Japanese totem poles, and Vancouver below. These surroundings absorb visitors so completely that only when their dishes arrive—wafting up the garlic and herbs of Executive Chef John Garrett’s innovative West Coast–inspired dishes—can they tear their eyes away. Chef Garrett grills BC seafood and steaks on an alder-wood barbecue, pairing the meats with locally sourced produce and accentuating sauces. When discussing his food philosophy with reporters from Dine Out Vancouver, the culinary artist put it plainly: "start with freshest ingredients, prepare them simply to enhance their natural flavors, and let those flavors shine through."
Once plates have been cleared and glasses have been drained, satisfied guests stroll past the gardens and pristine lakeshores of Burnaby Mountain Park. Forests of lush trees and winding trails make the park an ideal landscape for taking long nature hikes or burying leftover crème brûlée in the ground for later.
Milo Bigler traces the origins of his passion for food to a childhood spent in the kitchens of his parents’ resort and spa in the tiny Swiss village where he grew up. He went on to pursue a culinary education, eventually winding up in Canada, where he has prepared meals for politicians and royalty. He has opened multiple restaurants, including Calvin’s Café in 1991.
At Calvin’s, Bigler prepares everything from breakfast platters to steak dinners. He crafts sandwiches, makes soups, and tosses salads, each with a tasty little twist thrown in. He enhances his spinach and goat cheese salad with pickled mustard seeds, and polka-dots his open-faced smoked salmon bagel with caper berries. To keep things interesting, he cooks completely different menus at different times of the day, offering unique morning, lunch, afternoon, and dinner menus.
Seasonal flavours and local ingredients mingle with delicate artistry to imprint tongues with new taste memories composed by The Pear Tree Restaurant’s culinary virtuoso and 2007 Bocuse d’Or contender, Chef Scott Jaeger. Following the prestigious contest, Canada reclaimed its talented epicurean to tingle back-home taste buds with dishes such as warm potato-and-leek foam, which claims the first of five spots on the signature menu. Flanked by warm bites of brioche, the menu’s second course recalls blustery fall evenings, sending up smoky plumes as bacon leaves settle atop a creamy risotto pond and orange-scented scallops skim its surface with dark hints of caramel. Responsibly raised rainbow trout and college-educated butternut squash then splash palates with sweet, nutty notes before umami-rich mushroom ravioli makes way for tender forkfuls of slow-braised short ribs. The epic feast concludes with a cotillion of elegant Valrhona chocolate ganache and salted caramel skirts swirling amid orange-chocolate sorbet suitors and their spoon chaperones.