My wife and I are thrilled to be back in your beautiful city for a dear friend's wedding. We are staying at the Westin Bayshore. We are both young professionals (early 30s) from NYC and we dine out very often. In terms of what we like, probably our favorite place in NYC is Momofuku Ssam Bar, but the usual "very best of the best" places like Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, etc. are also places we visit on special occasions. Which is to say, when we visit a new city (which Vancouver basically is; our last trip was just a stopover), the first consideration is the place being interesting and representing the community it is in. Typically we try to mix in a "nice" place (meaning, high end food, higher price point, good/interesting wine list and drinks- not necessarily white tablecloths) as well as other places that are simply well-regarded regardless of what they are. Hence, a place like Momofuku Ssam is special to us because it is "only in New York". Yes, it has communal tables, they play rock music, and they are casual, but that, combined with the superior food, makes it *more* attractive, not less.
At minimum, I want to go to one knockout Chinese restaurant for lunch, and one finer-dining PNW/Vancouver style place for dinner. Otherwise I am pretty open to suggestions. The list I have so far is probably a bit generic and based largely on a cursory review of this board and an article in the New York Times..
For Chinese, I got a pretty solid recommendation from a friend who went there for Ho Yuen on Fraser Street.
For finer dining/PNW, I saw a recommendation on this board for Bishop's that seemed to meet my criteria. The menu looked good, I thought.
The NYT article also recommended-
Vij's for no-reservation upscale Indian
Tojo's for high-end sushi/Japanese
The Pourhouse (which I may have actually been to) for something on the water... it is right by my hotel. Seems good for a drink or something.
Other than Ho Yuen I am not married to any of these places, and further, would feel pretty lame basing my entire eating experience on an NYT article.
Two other things:
My wife and I very much like **spicy** food. Not "white people spicy," but really spicy. She is Korean, and I can more than keep up. So nothing is really off-limits in that arena.
One of the meals would probably be with a friend who I think tends to go for sushi or "asian-fusion" more than I might left to my own devices. So the more "Vancouver/PNW" type place will probably just be a couple's dinner, and is probably the one I'd spend the most money on (I'm a sucker for a nice tasting menu with wine pairings, especially if they're local wines. I've had the wines of Eastern Canada, and sampled a few Okanagan wines at places that had both, but would love to try more).
Oh, and finally, any good bars (dive bars, cocktail bars, anything) and a wine bar that serves local wines would also be good to know about...
I hope this gives people enough to go on. Thanks in advance for your hospitality and help.
1480 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA
Ho Yuen Restaurant
6236 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5W, CA
162 Water Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B2, CA