Remembering the Waterfront Weirdo Once Lauded as Canada’s Best New Restaurant

The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the countless, long-shuttered establishments that helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!

Opened in 2005, Nu Restaurant was a bold waterfront concept from Harry Kambolis (see also “C”, Raincity Grill) that was a little ahead of its time, focusing as it did on small share plates that were often as delicious as they were fun to eat. With its sweeping views of False Creek, Granville Island and English Bay, the semi-circular location – perched fantastically over the water – was truly one of a kind. Unforgettable were the spinning wine rack (pictured above) and butt-hugging bucket chairs that some loved and others hated.

Nu (French for ‘naked’) attracted talented staff at the start, including the front of house likes of Andy Crimp, Jay Jones and Leonard Nachonechny. Much of the menu – including the memorable crispy fried oysters skewered with a squeezable syringe of beer – was designed by chef Robert Belcham, with kitchen operations being overseen by chef Robert Clark, who was supported over the years by chefs de cuisine like Joseph Sartor and Dan Creyke.

Though Nu launched to much critical acclaim – including the #1 spot in enRoute magazine’s 2006 Best New Restaurants in Canada issue – it’s light faded with the Great Recession of 2009. The menu was tweaked Greek with a 2010 rebrand (to Nu Aegean Cuisine), but the bloom was long off the rose. The once promising restaurant closed with hardly a peep in 2012.

  • Kitchen Table
  • Heirloom Beetroot Salad
  • Seared AAA Beef Tenderloin
  • Crispy Fried Oyster with Granville Isl Lager
  • Bar Carousel
  • NU Patio
  • Chair Back

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