The GOODS from Wildebeest
Vancouver, BC | Wildebeest is accepting applications for a wine-guzzling, cocktail-loving, food pervert making their living as a full-time professional server. Qualified applicants have strong local experience in upscale-casual dining, are easy to get on with, and love their work. By email only please, with references. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
120 West Hastings Street | Vancouver, BC
Web: www.wildebeest.ca | Twitter | Facebook
Open for dinner service from 5pm to midnight, Tuesday to Sunday evenings
Josh Pape: Owner/Operator
James Iranzad: Owner/Operator
Wesley Young: Executive Chef
Wildebeest invites you to experience unabashedly adventurous, yet simple cooking at its finest set against the history of the Vancouver neighbourhood of Gastown. Explore whole-animal cookery paired with a diverse selection of Old and New World wines and a carefully crafted cocktail list. Set in a refurbished 19th century building, the multi-level space offers a front house cocktail bar & lounge, open-concept kitchen complete with large kitchen tables, an inviting dining room with banquette seating, and an intimately-set underground wine bar.
The gastronomically daring menu focuses on whole-animal cookery prepared with the utmost integrity. Each and every component has been thoughtfully nurtured by the restaurant’s executive chef, Wesley Young, from field to finish. Working closely with surrounding farms and farmers to raise animals and grow custom produce, the team at Wildebeest has crafted a menu unlike anything yet explored in Vancouver.
by Andrew Morrison | As we hinted last night on Scout’s new Tumblr, the long wait for Wildebeest at 120 West Hastings has ended. The highly anticipated restaurant from Josh Pape and James Iranzad (with former West chef David Gunawan at the kitchen helm) will open for its first official service this Tuesday evening. They did their soft run yesterday with friends, family, and a few large, a la carte bookings (40, 12, oh my!), and it appeared to all go off without a hitch. We left thinking – and we suspected this when we first got wind of the project last year – that Vancouver had a new glory on its hands.
The large, high-ceilinged room sports a homey, coastal industrial feel with plenty of wood and iron (courtesy of Union Wood Co.), and though I wouldn’t compare it to any single aesthetic, in a squint it might come across like an amalgam of homage – reminiscent of Revolver, Chambar, L’Abattoir, and The Diamond. Not a bad mix. It’s a look that gels especially well when writ so large (110+ seats), and while it’s broken up into tidy sections – lounge, waist and rear – it all comes together like a riparian package that flows comfortably (the trick is helped along by a good soundtrack and tolerable acoustics). The downstairs wine bar is not yet finished, and it’s doubtful for Tuesday, when the main floor restaurant and bar will almost certainly be bum-rushed like a Bellingham Costco. It will start as dinner only, with brunch service coming soon.
Whatever you do, don’t let the meaty name fool you. Wildebeest’s menu is appealing on many fronts. Adventurous carnivores who are red in both tooth and claw will certainly be satisfied (behold the chicken butter, the cotechino sausage, the sweetbreads, etc), but those keen on lighter and more vegetal fare are in for treats, too, like an heirloom radish salad with malt crumble and beet sorbet, or a sorrel gazpacho with lemon-infused yellow cukes. It’s a chef’s restaurant to the core, and I’m not just saying that because customers are invited to buy six packs of beer for the kitchen (for real: the $9 option is just below the 15oz dry aged ribeye). You’ll find no kids meals or defeatist genuflections to convention, only exacting exercises in originality, with some more daring than others. The plates don’t really reach for any particular cuisine type, standing instead like the inventions of well seasoned, Michelin-trained cooks envisioning sugarplums just after smoking fat joints of imagination. In a pinch I’d pin it to a blend of French and West Coast, but what does it matter? Nothing disappointed, and with prices for most dishes in the $5-$15 range, it all translates to the customer as tremendous value.
I’ll save further comments for when it’s properly open and I’ve paid a few bills, except to say that Wildebeest is very probably going to rock the bells. It has all the requisite ingredients for an instant hit (including lots of familiar faces on the service team), so I’m predicting a full, happy house out of the gate. While you await the dawning of D-Day, take a look at what we ate, drank, and saw before spreading the good word…
Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout, food columnist at the Westender, and National Referee & Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.
by Andrew Morrison | I just took another look inside Wildebeest at 120 W. Hastings. Why again? Because the question I’ve been getting as often as “How are you?” lately has been “When the fuck is Wildebeest going to open?” The answer is that I don’t know exactly, but with inspections nearly all done and passed and the room, kitchen and downstairs wine bar coming together as nicely as I saw, I wouldn’t be surprised if the long anticipated restaurant from Josh Pape (The Diamond) and James Iranzad (Abigail’s Party) opened before this week’s end. But what’s another week after waiting ten months? While I was there snapping a few shots, Phoebe and Aren from local branding and design firm Glasfurd & Walker dropped off the menus for a last going over. Chef David Gunawan’s dishes appeared locked in and looked great, as did Pape’s cocktail list and Lindsay Ferguson’s wine selections. They read the light fantastic. Here are a few items that caught my tongue…
Crispy pork skin with blackberry jam
Sorrel gazpacho with sheep milk curd
Half dozen oysters with Ardbeg 10yr
Roasted organic beef tongue, mushroom marmalade, watercress, sherry jus
Poutine, roasted foie gras
Housemade cotechino sausage, flageolet beans, rosemary
Dry-aged Angus ribeye, roasted potatoes, hay jus.
Mmm. People are right to be excited about this one. I don’t want to give everything away before it launches, so what you see below keeps a good 80% of the reveal left to your imagination and opening day, which is real darn soon.
by Andrew Morrison | Before I left Vancouver on this lengthy food safari around the American West (follow along here), I checked in on the progress at Wildebeest, which is arguably the most highly anticipated restaurant of 2012. We’ve been keeping tabs of its development since we first reported on it in October of 2011. That was back when owners Josh Pape (The Diamond) and James Iranzad (Abigail’s Party) picked up the 2,400 sqft space at 120 Hastings across from the Woodwards complex… Read more
The GOODS from Abigail’s Party
Vancouver, BC | Dodgy weather raining on your plans this weekend? Take solace in the fact that we’re open for three glorious days of brunch. The summer brunch menu is amazing, and of course there’ll be excessive amounts of bacon, Caesars, and all things Canadian for your holiday pleasure. Get happy this weekend, start your days right, and remember that there’s no shame in coming for brunch twice in the same weekend. In fact, we think it shows great judgement and character. Read more
The GOODS from Abigail’s Party
Vancouver, BC | Seasons greetings, brunch lovers! We’re very happy to announce that, though we will be closed for brunch service this weekend, we will be open for brunch on Monday, Dec. 26 and Tuesday, Dec. 27. In addition, we’ll be serving brunch as usual on the weekend of Dec. 31 and New Year’s Day, with brunch service on the holiday Monday, January 2nd. Delicious meals will be served, juice will be squeezed, bottles will be popped! Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Early last month we revealed that restaurateurs James Iranzad (Cartel, Abigail’s Party) and Josh Pape (The Diamond) had secured 120 West Hastings with plans for a new joint arriving in 2012. There was no name or chef at that point (they’d only just signed the lease), so the news was “info-light”. In this week’s copy of the Westender, I have written a piece on the place, revealing a whole bunch of details, including a glance askance at the first menu and cocktail list drafts (mmm, bacon bitters). The paper doesn’t come out until Wednesday, so until then, here are the Cliff notes… Read more
Talking about the new Boneta (and the old one), Sean Heather’s upcoming Rainier Deli, the highly anticipated L’Officio on the West Side, and the as-yet-unnamed 120 seater from Josh Pape and James Iranzad on West Hastings.
by Andrew Morrison | Good news, gluttony fans. Local restaurateurs James Iranzad (Abigail’s Party, Cartel) and Josh Pape (former Bartender of the Year, co-owner of The Diamond) have picked up the voluminous, 2,400 sqft space at 120 Hastings across from the Woodwards complex with plans for turning it into a new restaurant and bar by February 2012. They’ve only just signed the lease on the newly renovated (read: empty) location, but trades have nevertheless made their assessments and the keys are in hand. The board is set. The pieces are moving. I can’t wait for this one. Read more
The GOODS from Cartel Taco
Vancouver, BC | After an amorous courtship, Cartel and eatlocal.org have partnered up and TACOS WILL BE SERVED at the West End Farmers’ Market starting this Saturday through October. The sun will be shining and that’s when tacos taste best! Come visit us between 9am and 2pm at Thurlow & Comox, and check out the Food Network as they film us for the second season of Eat Street. Fawning is encouraged. See you Saturday! Read more
The GOODS from Abigail’s Party
Vancouver, BC | More cask nights have been added to our summer series, the first one being this week. Thursday at 6pm we tap another cask of one of our favourites – R & B Sun God Raspberry Wheat Ale. She’s a bit of a tart; not too sweet, a touch rosy in hue and tastes even better in the summer. Stop by for a pint or three, or visit www.abigailsparty.ca to book a table for dinner… Read more
Job Posting from Cartel Taco
Vancouver, BC | Happy Canada Day! Cartel will be rolling down to Viva Vancouver this long weekend, setting up on the 800 block of Granville Street in the middle of the party along with some of our other street vendor friends. There’s Flashmob, tango dancing in the street, a breakdancing competition and crazy music, all outdoors in the sun! Mellow, sunny weekends are made all the better when you have delicious, sweet and spicy tacos in your mouth (our new tortillas alone will make you happy to be out). Come find us and we’ll feed you what you need… Read more