A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

The Loden Hotel Trying Again With New “Tableau Bar Bistro”

When the end of Voya at the Loden Hotel came back in January, I’d be lying if I said was a shock to restaurant wonks. Opening in the midst of the financial meltdown, the place saw its once-gorgeous dining room soon thereafter gutted to make way for private meeting rooms; they lost some great front of house staff; and the menu – no doubt forced by fiscal circumstance (ie. folks weren’t showing up for highbrow, Asian-accented French fare) – was dumbed down from the staggeringly good to the WTF weird (think tuna melts and nachos…not kidding). It was an unbelievable situation to find a chef of Choquette’s caliber in. I mean, the guy led the kitchen brigade at Lumiere for eight years!

Despite some critical acclaim (my review in the paper was postively swoonish), it ended up being a total flop, a cautionary tale that whispered “if you build it, they won’t care”. The “why” of that remains a mystery to me. Was it the 1181 Melville St. location? I don’t know. For certain, Coal Harbour’s kind of a stinker unless you’ve got a view or a chunk of waterfront (Voya had neither), but there are any number of odd locations in Vancouver that do exceptionally well (witness Chambar, La Buca, etc). I refuse to believe it was Choquette’s food, but that’s just me…

Anyway, causation is beside the point now, as Voya’s successor – Tableau Bar Bistro – is about to step up to the plate, again with Choquette at the helm. I’ve been told to expect French bistro fare running under the slogan of “local fresh meets bistro cool”. Expect moules frites, wild mushrooms on toast, warm milles feuilles – that sort of thing, with the average price point for entrees hovering at $22 ($6 cheaper than Voya’s bigger plates).

Word is there will be an outdoor patio, and the two private rooms that ate the original dining room now have names: Le Grand Salon (35 people) and Le Petite Salon (sic – 20 people). The re-design is by Franco Avignoni, who was tasked with “blending old world classic bistro elements such as custom brasses, solid wood paneling, marble, and leather banquets with original ‘pop art’ elements” to create “a truly modern, dynamic environment”.

They’re in the process of setting up a group media/blogger reveal (canapés and criticism, oh my!) in the first week of May, and are aiming to be open to normal people on May 7th. Here’s hoping the second time’s a charm.

Kitchen Table Expands to Chinatown: Take a Look Inside New Daytime Deli and Wine-Focused ‘Cantina Di Luigi’

Just a year after opening on E 12th Avenue, Mercato Di Luigi is expanding to Chinatown. The new flagship at 213 E Georgia St features a deli, in-house bakery, and 'Cantina Di Luigi,' a wine-focused restaurant offering evening dining inspired by Italian cantinas.

New Restaurant ‘Selene Aegean Bistro’ Slated to Open in Hastings-Sunrise

The fourth venture from the restaurant group behind Vancouver's popular Nammos Estiatorio, Loula's Taverna, and Ama Raw Bar, aims to open its latest concept this fall.

A Cornerstone of Strathcona Community Life is Reopening Under New Ownership

More than a shopping destination, the new Union Market will be a venue for slowing down and connecting.

Via Tevere’s New Main Street Location Opens May 15th!

The long-time Victoria Drive neighbourhood (and city-wide) favourite is set to migrate its antipasti and Neapolitan-style pizza game westward to a second location on Main Street next week.