It’s cool to watch the arc of a young chef’s career climb from positions on the line to the opening of his/her own restaurant. Such has been the case with Ciaran Chung, who worked his way up the ladder at Boneta and L’Abattoir in Gastown (and a few other places besides) before striking out on his own with partner Dolly Reno.
Dolly was one-half of the recently closed coffee-focused Lear Faye Espresso Kitchen on Commercial Drive. The decision was made to shutter the place earlier this month so that she and Chung could turn it into a dinner-first establishment. Called Wishes + Luck, the new eatery will be open for dinner six nights a week, plus weekend brunches (closed Monday). They could start their lunch service a month or so down the road, but it’s early days yet.
The concept sees uncomplicated and simply expressed food with a coastal bent. At dinner, imagine salmon belly on toast with marscapone; crispy pork bits with picks and peanuts; brown butter beets with vadouvan, yogurt, mint, and idiziabal cheese; and roasted pork with jerk spices and spring peas. For brunch, think three types of eggs benny (avocado, Dungeness, traditional); French Toast with caramel bananas, whipped coconut, and toasted coconut; and house-roasted seed and nut granola with fruits, yogurt and honey. The prices will be in the $4 to $18 range. For drinks, expect a tidy wine/beer list put together by former Boneta workmate Ben de Champlain, while the cocktail card was dreamed up by one of my favourite barkeeps in town, Satoshi Yonemori (ex-Wildebeest).
As far as the renovations are concerned, they’ve kept it pretty simple. The kitchen got some upgrades, but the few aesthetic swaps and flourishes here and there acknowledge that it was a swell space to begin with. The aromatic cedar patio remains as amazing as ever (with its garage door), and the rest you can see below. Wish + Luck is set to open next week (on March 24th, if there are no hiccups).