Dundarave Village—West Vancouver’s postage-stamp-sized equivalent of Anytown, USA—seems to roll up its sidewalks after sunset. Indeed, they were deserted one recent Saturday night when we walked into Feast, the self-billed “neighbourhood table” whose arrival last year brought a sliver of metropolitan bustle to the community’s suburban somnambulance. The dining room—an immaculate Restoration Hardware fantasy of dark woods and foraged antiques—was worryingly underpopulated upon arrival, but it quickly filled up with couples, families, and girlfriends enjoying a night away from their men.
They had all come out for an evening of civilized conversation and some of chef Kayla Dhaliwall’s unpretentious yet elevated comfort food. The former Top Chef Canada contestant understands her audience here, so the menu brims with familiar names (fried chicken, a bacon cheeseburger, Atlantic cod and chips) among a few gentle flights of fancy (avocado and beet “fries,” a shepherd’s pie made with braised lamb shank). Plating is artful without tipping into avant-garde, while flavours are honest and rich, albeit rarely fireworks-provoking. An appetizer of two miserly crab cakes aside (to be fair, seemingly absent of filler), decent value abounds—only a few mains surpassed $30.
Combined with very good cocktails (Goodbye, Manhattan is a bracingly strong variation on the classic), a shockingly deep wine list, and the fact that normal conversation is possible even at peak busyness, downtowners might wish they had Feast on their side of the bridge.