Is No.1 Gaoler’s Mews Going to Transform Dining in Vancouver?

Tickets for the L'Abattoir dream team's new monthly dining event go on sale June 1—act fast if you're interested.

May 31, 2017

By Neal McLennan

If our recent Restaurant Awards are any indication there’s no restaurant in town that’s more on-point than L’Abattoir is right now. It was voted Best Restaurant in Gastown/Railtown, sommelier Lisa Haley was named Sommelier of the Year, it was a very close second in our Best French category, owner Paul Gruneberg’s new spot, Savio Volpe won Best New Restaurant and Royal Dinette won Best Pacific Northwest under chef Jack Chen, who is now L’Abattoir’s chef de cuisine. Phew!

So what are they doing for an encore? No.1 Gaoler’s Mews, an ultra-exclusive, once-a-month dinner where eight patrons will sit bar-style in front of chefs Lee Cooper and Jack Chen while they craft a multi-course tasting menu that’s as ambitious as anything in town. The kitchen is located in L’Abattoir’s private space, and the eight lucky souls will have the run of the place. In lieu of reservations, seats are secured by way of advance ticket purchase, a practice well know to theatre goers and brought to the restaurant sphere by chef Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea.

The damage? $275 per person—but that includes tax, gratuity and wine pairings by Lisa Haley that, while they’ll change with each menu, stray very nicely into the champagne, Barbaresco and rarefied aged sémillon territories. And while there’s no getting around the relatively big ticket price, in the end it’s not much more than what you’d spend for a far more common experience in any number of the city’s fancy eateries.

The big question remains: will it fly in Vancouver? Well, the first three iterations sold out in minutes so, yeah, it’ll fly. The August 18 version will be their fourth edition which means if you’re lucky enough to snag tickets you’ll be one of the only 25 people to ever experience this culinary high-wire act.

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