Sorting through the $28 list at DoV is more of a challenge. It’s tough to come up with just ten choices—and there are others not mentioned here who likely deserve to be. Once we’ve covered off the $38 picks, we’ll revisit this. Feel free to chime in if you have good experiences you want to pass on…
However, because of the sheer volume involved, we’ve been fairly rigorous, passing over restos that either have simply lame menus, or who don’t offer any choice for diners. It just doesn’t make sense not to suggest any options to someone who prefers not to eat red meat or, say, seafood. What’s the big deal? They likely have the items on their regular menu, so why not accommodate folks?
As with our $18 picks, neither have we included places who haven’t bothered to come up with suggested wine pairings, at least on their Dine Out Vancouver web listing. This was a tougher call, as there are a few rooms which we’d definitely recommend (and we’re pretty sure they’ll pour you a decent match if you ask for it). But again, it’s more in the spirit of the event. Maybe there’s still some resistance to working with VQA wines. Time to get over it. There are plenty of solid VQA choices to fit in with this kind of promo.
If we have time, and are consumed with pangs of guilt, perhaps we’ll slip them in later. Maybe.
Bistro Pastis Perennially good upscale French Bistro fare: excellent warm mushroom and fennel salad, steak frite, coq au vin, etc. If you’ve never been, no time like the present.
Arms Reach Bistro Worth the trek to Deep Cove. Smart menu; good value. Included in part for their wine flight from hard-to-find Sperling Vineyards: three pours for $9
Fishworks Up ‘n coming lower Lonsdale (LoLo) room is home to one of the better seafood chefs in town. Sometimes pushes the envelope on wine pairings but don’t be too quick to judge until you’ve tasted. Extra points for Ocean Wise.
Le Bistro Chez Michel Traditional bistro fare with some nice view tables. Go for the boeuf Bourguignon and 7 Stones Cab Franc. Not so sure about the foie gras mousse with merlot …
Maenam Killer modern Thai interpretations. Again, if you haven’t been you need to.
O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar Another under the radar West Coast room, at Robson’s very pretty, art-filled Listel Hotel. All the bells and whistles, not to mention live jazz and wine guys ‘n gals who know their stuff. A good deal all round.
Osteria Napoli It’s been a while since we were there but this east-side, very traditional, homey Italian has always offered good value; and their Dine Out menu mirrors that. Not fancy but you won’t go wrong.
Salmon House on the Hill There was a time in Vancouver when view restos used to (deservedly) get a bad rap. That’s all changed now, however. West Van’s scene stealer is worth the trip. Thoughtful menu; smart pairings. Extra points for Ocean Wise.
Next: Your best bets for $38