DINER: A Look Inside The Hotly Anticipated “Acorn” Restaurant (Opens On Main In July)

Last week I took a look inside the space that will soon give us Acorn, a much anticipated vegetarian restaurant from first timers Shira Blustein and Brian Skinner. It’s got to be one of the best locations in the city – 3995 Main (formerly the iconic Cipriano’s) – and they have a killer concept to boot. Blustein, a musician (Hard Drugs, Blood Meridian, Choir Practice), and Skinner, a chef/instructor at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (apprenticed at Bin 941, staged at Noma, and worked at the Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Sketch in the UK), aren’t planning on doing a patchouli-wafting, hammer-to-the-head sort of vegetarian joint – of which Vancouver has quite a few – but rather the rare kind where the meat-free dishes come off as more deliciously adventitious than skill-free polemic (ie. less tofu and miso gravy, more talent). In that vein, the plates won’t be specifically designed to please vegetarians, but palates. It’s a novel, subtle difference, but I think an important one to those who appreciate fine cooking. Expect artful but unfussy food, a good selection of local beers and wines, and some 48 seats in a small room designed by Scott Cohen, the fellow responsible for the swell looks at Cambie’s Pronto, the Fraserhood’s Les Faux Bourgeois, Hasting’s Waldorf redux, and West 4th’s Gastropod (RIP). They’ll have a 2am liquor license (with a late night snack menu), branding by Glasfurd & Walker, and – one suspects – a mighty big line up. I’ll be writing more about it in my column in next week’s WE, so in the meantime take a look below. They’re gunnng for a soft opening on July 1st.

  • Brian Skinner and Shira Blustein outside Cipriano's (soon to be Acorn)
  • Acorn contruction as seen from the kitchen pass
  • The kitchen under construction
  • Kitchen pass and service station
  • The bar under construction
  • A corner of eventual coziness
  • The plan drawn on the wall
  • The rear hideaway taking shape
  • Framing the banquette
  • Tiptoeing and tightening
  • Rough plans
  • Framing the dining room
  • It takes two
  • Brian Skinner & Shira Blustein in the midst of the mess that will soon become The Acorn

ALL ANTICIPATED RESTAURANTS

There are 8 comments

  1. Saw the menu — not impressed at all! Not a shred of protein: no smoked or grilled tofu, no nut- or coconut-encrusted tempeh, not even a bean or lentil. This is not a menu in the same class as Millenium in SF or Candle 79 in NY. I’d rather go to The Foundation. Also, I highly doubt this will appeal to non-veg clients (which the above restaurants do).

  2. Crystal- who said there has to be smoked or grilled tofu? and there is tempeh, and plenty of protein! http://www.theacornrestaurant.ca/ i haven’t been yet because IT’S BEEN TOO BUSY (with some non-veg people too!) every time I try. geez, get off your high horse.

  3. The food was unreal. Traveled from Los Angeles and never thought I could find a better meal than this, and believe me L.A. has a lot of places. Loved it so much that we will visit it again real soon. Service was great and my 10 year old daughter went nuts on the soup. It was well worth the wait. Presentation was unreal.

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