Best Upscale Dining 2015
Best Upscale Restaurant winners of Vancouver Magazine's 26th Annual Restaurant Awards
April 21, 2015
- Gold: Hawksworth
- Silver: Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
- Bronze: La Quercia
- Honourable Mentions: Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, The Pear Tree
It would seem unassailable at this point that no Vancouver chef better embodies the somewhat amorphous idea of West Coast cuisine than David Hawksworth, or that a restaurant could serve a more reliably dazzling representation than his self-named temple of world-class dining. The man and the room are now, quite simply, institutions in the best sense, which is why Hawksworth (Gold) has topped this category in all four years of its existence.
Chef Hawksworth and chef de cuisine Kristian Eligh’s accomplishment cannot be overstated: retaining (and unfailingly rewarding) the devotion of a populace that is spoilt for choice is something few kitchens are able to do for very long—especially when its prices justifiably lead one to expect perfection. “It never disappoints,” says one judge. “The menu deftly combines Asian flavours with mostly local ingredients, and a real understanding of how to layer flavours and textures.” Adds another, succinctly: “Top of its game. David is one of North America’s best chefs.” The awe-inspiring wine cellar and gracious tableside demeanour of Bryant Mao (our Sommelier of the Year), plus servers who somehow are always exactly as present as one wants them to be, complete a picture of flawlessness.
Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar (Silver) is also an exemplar of mastering a territory and never losing its grip; it made additional strong impressions in the Best Seafood and Best Yaletown categories. Likewise for La Quercia (Bronze), which, like last year, also collects Silver for Best Italian Upscale. Honourable Mentions: Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, The Pear Tree