Though envisioned as a casual family eatery, Hurricane Grill is anything but simple. Unafraid to reinvent their style over and over again, the chefs craft upscale-casual fare with locally sourced ingredients that draws on the flavors of North and Latin America as well as the Mediterranean and Asia. Brunch dishes beam with British Columbia-raised free-range eggs while West Coast shellfish and Angus beef steaks shine during lunch and dinner. Those looking to curb their cravings for homemade burgers can choose an all-beef, chicken, or veggie patty and adorn it with a litany of toppings. On warm nights, guests filter out onto the patio to share lively meals with families and friends.
When his father passed away, 14-year-old Alain Ray? was faced with a decision: continue with school, or go to work in a kitchen. So, over the next few decades, he worked his way up to chef. For a time, he helmed his own acclaimed Restaurant Alain Ray? off the Champs-?lys?e in Paris. When he moved to Vancouver, he brought some of his favourite parts of France?and its kitchens?with him, opening La R?galade French Bistro in 2002. This casual North Shore French eatery has since received a good deal of praise from Vancouver magazine. La R?galade won the bronze award for casual French cuisine in 2012, and the gold award for best restaurant in the area in 2013. The man in the kitchen himself was also recognized with the magazine's 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award?in part due to his talent for following "the deeply satisfying combo of classic technique and rustic recipes."
The aromas of provincial cooking mingle with uncorked French and British Columbian wines to waft through La R?galade's intimate, dimly lit dining space and onto a verdant outdoor patio garden, where songbirds lament their inability to hold a fork. In the kitchen, Chef Ray? earns his praise with a mastery of the classics. He prepares steaming plates of escargot with garlic butter and herbs, bowls of hearty shrimp and lobster bisque, and main dishes of boeuf bourguignon and spiced, braised lamb shanks. And yet he doesn't always confine himself to the kitchen?he's also authored a cookbook filled with photography and colourful illustrations.
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.
Morning is breaking over Eh! Restaurant’s rooftop garden as a chef busies himself plucking ripe, organic produce out from the verdant plots. Armed with an arsenal of produce, he retreats to the kitchen where the morning’s bounty will be transformed into a fresh feast to feed the evening dinner rush. The rooftop beds––bolstered by nutrients from the kitchen’s composted food waste––exemplify Eh! Restaurant’s dedication to fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Firm believers in environmental sustainability, the staff works hard to set an example of eco-friendliness for their community, from packaging takeout orders in compostable containers to reading bedtime stories to area trees. Along with sprinkling dishes with veggies from the rooftop garden, the chefs make a point to architect dishes from ingredients found within 100 miles of the restaurant. Servers whisk plates forth from the kitchen piled high with dishes that boast international influences and flavours, such as Cajun spices, Mexican white corn kernels, and Brazilian-style chicken. Dappled with modern art and sleek, streamlined tables, the spacious dining room grants guests a peek into the open kitchen, where chefs and bartenders work their magic.
A raw bar packed with ice, oysters, and crab greets diners when they enter Cork & Fin, offering a glimpse at a menu of refined seafood and contemporary cuisine that Zagat rated "very good to excellent." In addition to spotlighting seafood by creating towers of oysters on the half shell, dungeness crab legs, and albacore tuna tartare, the chefs demonstrate their culinary skills by introducing new flavours. Saffron aioli adds a distinctive, Mediterranean spark to seafood fritters, barbecued mackerel arrives with the restrained zest of a beetroot vinaigrette, and wild mushrooms lend a savoury decadence to six-ounce cuts of grilled sirloin.
This commitment to simple yet refined cuisine complements the split-level dining area's clean, minimalist decor. Exposed brick walls supply a rustic vibe that acknowledges the building's historic Gastown roots, but the room also features modern accents, including track lighting and an electron microscope. Bordered by a stately white banister, the mezzanine level presents guests with a semiprivate dining option for parties or special events.
Within a former Fraser River shake-and-shingle mill relocated to Granville Island, Cats Socialhouse’s team of expert chefs works tirelessly to forge inventive takes on traditional dishes for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Culinary gurus prove their dedication to the fusion of comfort fare with the flavours of Vancouver’s diverse influences as they whip up noshes featuring ingredients such as house-made guacamole, almond rice, fresh basil, and coconut milk. Affable servers deliver freshly minted eats, such as shrimp and chicken pad thai and juicy hickory burgers, late into the evening in order to accommodate customers’ varied schedules and hunger cravings after midnight Jazzercise classes. When outside temperatures take a turn for the balmy, a spacious seasonal patio enables alfresco dining accompanied by cool sea breezes and the stares of pizza-craving clouds.