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Where to Eat in Vancouver: Wildebeest

Where to Eat in Vancouver: Wildebeest

wildebeest, date night

On a recent date night my husband and I decided to remind ourselves that we are still (relatively) young and (relatively) hip so went to mingle with the ‘in crowd’ at cutting edge Gastown eatery, Wildebeest. Would it fit the bill for where to eat in Vancouver on date night? As the restaurant is the winner of Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2013 – Best New Restaurant & Best New Design we had high hopes. We were not disappointed. Their website says that they offer “meat-centric, off-cut farmhouse fare simply prepared with immaculate ingredients and thoughtful creativity.”  I wholeheartedly agree.

Adventurous Menu

We began our evening with two delicious cocktails accompanied by crispy pork schnitzel and spiced beer mustard. It was perfect to whet our appetites whilst we were contemplating the innovative menu, which they rightly say is gastronomically daring. The menu focuses on whole animal cookery so expect sweetbreads, tongue and bone marrow nestled alongside cuts of steak. The team of chefs, led expertly by executive chef Wesley Young, work closely with local farmers to use ethical, organic meats and seasonal produce.

Where to Eat in Vancouver for Ex-Vegetarians?

where to eat in vancouver, wildebeest, date nightThe meat-centric proclamation was a little daunting for me as an ex-vegetarian but I went in determined to give it a whirl. With this in mind I kicked off my meal with meaty gusto, tucking into an absolutely delicious bison tartare with grilled tongue, sorrel puree, berries, burnt hay mayo and elderflower ‘capers’. It was amazing, a combination of flavours I had never tried before, all artistically presented. We followed this with hay-aged, smoked quail, fermented wild berry honey, salt & pepper and slow-cooked natural Angus beef short rib, smoked salt and hay jus.  All washed down with a perfect bottle of Pinot Noir from their extensive wine list.

While I could appreciate that everything we ate was both tasty and cooked expertly and to perfection I did find the focus on meat a little overwhelming.  In retrospect, given my previous tendencies to shy away from meat altogether I should perhaps have ordered one of the equally as interesting seafood options. However, for my carnivorous husband the food could not be beaten and Wildebeest is now his absolute favourite answer for where to eat in Vancouver.

An Evening to Remember

It is not just the food at Wildebeest that is memorable. The whole experience of an evening at this buzzing, young and stylish yet unpretentious eatery is something you won’t forget in a hurry. We were perched (comfortably) side by side on a high table facing the open kitchen. Watching the slick team of chefs seemingly effortlessly serving up dish after perfectly prepared dish really added to the theatre of the evening.

The food is served ‘family style’ – as it comes and intended for sharing, though don’t let this fool you into thinking this isn’t fine dining. This really is cooking at its best and the lively, informal atmosphere complements the food perfectly, combining to provide an exceptional experience.  Wildebeest provides the absolutely perfect answer for where to eat in Vancouver for a really memorable date night.

See Also

Wildebeest  | TwitterFacebook
120 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, 604-687-6880
Where to Eat in Vancouver Wildebeest on Urbanspoon

*Photo credits – Featured restaurant image by Andrew Morrison, food image by Peter Bagi

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