Post defense celebration/commiseration
February 26, 2012 12:57 PM   Subscribe

I would like a restaurant recommendation in Vancouver, BC to celebrate a PhD defense.

I live in Vancouver and will shortly be getting my PhD, and I would like to go to a good restaurant to celebrate. I know the food scene somewhat well, but there are many restaurants that I've never been to due to price, lacking time, simply forgetting about them, or never having heard of them in the first place.

Ideally, it would be a restaurant that takes reservations (So while I would consider Vij's... probably not this time), since there would be 3--6 of us wanting to eat and celebrate at around 7:30pm.

I'm looking for something fairly fancy, although with no dress code (this shouldn't be too hard in Vancouver). I would like a good drink/wine list, if possible. I don't really have any specific type of food in mind, so beyond this, all options are open.

(It would be nice for restaurants that you suggest, if you could offer a brief description as to what is good about that restaurant).

posted by vernondalhart to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We just went to Hawksworth with a reservation and had amazing food. Amazing amazing. We dressed up for it, although other patrons didn't. They had a great wine list, although pricey.

Next on my list to try is L'Abbatoir and Chambar. I haven't been, but heard nothing but good things (L'Abbatoir doesn't do much for vegetarian options, I believe).

Congrats on your defense!
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 1:10 PM on February 26, 2012

My favourite restaurant in Vancouver (with Vij's running a close second) is Chambar. It's Belgian. It's fairly relaxed but excellent, the food is just tremendous. I pretty much always shared mussels with the table and then got a main. I'm sure there's a good wine list but there is also a great selection of Belgian beers and I had a fantastic after-dinner cocktail there once as well.

If I was celebrating something like a PhD defense it would definitely be my pick. Congratulations!
posted by SoftRain at 1:12 PM on February 26, 2012

Chambar is very good, but I admit that I'm not too likely to pick it simply on the grounds that I've eaten there before. But it is a good suggestion otherwise.
posted by vernondalhart at 1:14 PM on February 26, 2012

I would have said Chambar as well (I'm planning on going there after I defend my Master's!). If not there, another really fabulous place is Blue Water Cafe. They have excellent service and interesting food. Also the Fish House in Stanley Park has a lovely setting and is quite relaxed. The food is great too! If you go there, get the spring rolls.
posted by just_ducky at 3:01 PM on February 26, 2012

What about the place that just hosted the Top Chef finale? Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie? I would go there just for the 'fame' factor!:) PS Congrats!
posted by bquarters at 3:34 PM on February 26, 2012

The last two meals out that I really enjoyed were at Nicli Antica Pizzeria and Bao Bei. Both are nice but but quality casual restaurants that fit a small group perfectly. The company I was with was fun but both places made us comfortable and helped things along.

Service was excellent at Nicli and both the wine list and pizza lovely. It's great for sharing food at the table. The room is modern and clean, it's pretty close to both the Irish Heather (also Shebeen) and the Diamond if you want cocktails/whiskey/beer before or after.

Bao Bei had a great atmosphere, a solid cocktail menu, and good service. Interesting dishes but nothing extreme or strange. The Pork belly was excellent. The Keefer Bar is just down the street for drinks and pretty cozy and interesting.
posted by jade east at 4:02 PM on February 26, 2012

Oh, I came on here to recommend the Blue Water Cafe only to see that someone else already did. It was a really wonderful meal with a fantastic view of English Bay out the window. I really enjoyed the food (we had two seafood + pasta dishes oh and their little bite size appetizers were really good, too) and the beautiful view.
posted by echo0720 at 4:34 PM on February 26, 2012

Oh whoops, I'm so wrong. We looked at Blue Water Cafe but actually went to Rain City Grill. Sorry for the mistake. Take everything I said above and put it towards Rain City Grill.
posted by echo0720 at 4:38 PM on February 26, 2012

Our go to celebration restaurant is Blue Water Cafe. It's mostly seafood (but also beef and pork on the menu) and they will make a delicious veg meal if you have anyone in your group who is a vegetarian. I also highly recommend Rain City Grill-- the 100 mile menu is amazing and the wine pairings are also worth doing. Both places you can dress up or dress down-- like you said, it's Vancouver, no one is going to notice.
posted by sadtomato at 9:27 PM on February 26, 2012

Seconding Rain City Grill. I've had several special meals there and have been impressed every time. Great food (locally sourced ingredients as much as possible), great service, lovely view.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:16 PM on February 26, 2012

I don't think Bao Bei takes reservations. It is lovely though.

Campagnolo is very good. Nice Italian food, both standards and unusual.

The last meal I had at Boneta in their new room was divine, and it's a nice place to celebrate.
posted by miles1972 at 10:59 PM on February 26, 2012

Bao Bei doesn't take reservations and you might be hard-pressed to get a table for that many without waiting for awhile. It is fabulous, however.

L'Abbatoire is very nice, and could accommodate a larger group. They take reservations. I found the portions a little small but with an appy, main, and dessert was satisfied.

Lupo, on Hamilton, is tasty Italian with a good wine list, and the atmosphere is really neat: it's in a two-storey house. When I last went there was a large group on the enclosed kind of atrium area near the front.
posted by Pomo at 11:47 PM on February 26, 2012

Oh yes, and seconding Miles on Boneta...they've moved a little ways north of the old location and it's a great set-up. I always order the octopus chips. They can easily seat a large group and do indeed take reservations.
posted by Pomo at 11:48 PM on February 26, 2012

ditto L'Abbatoir & Hawksworth
posted by juv3nal at 11:36 AM on February 27, 2012

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