Reviews: The Restaurant Power List

Four places to power-lunch right now.

November 9, 2018

By Neal McLennan

You won’t likely catch Bruno Wall standing in line at Ask for Luigi or Nat Bosa accepting a 5:45 Tuesday reservation for Kissa Tanto because that’s all that’s available. The powerful have a different set of requirements when selecting their restaurants: service, discretion, convenience and, yes, good food. Want to make like a mogul for your next lunch meeting? Here’s a cheat sheet on how to close the big (dining) deal.

restaurant

Hy’s

The prospectus As beautifully old-school as it gets: dim light, cold cocktails (even at lunch) and red meat. Where Don Draper would celebrate the McCann merger.

Power patron Jimmy Pattison

Off-the-menu dish A custom-cut—go big or go home—dry-aged  rib steak.

Power table The private room to the right as you walk in has seen a lifetime of over-the-top celebration dinners.

Closing-the-deal bottle Harlan Cabernet Napa Valley 2012 
for $3,000.

restaurant

Giardino

The prospectus The classic yellow house has been replaced with a blend of modern and classical
Italian just a few doors away, but Umberto Menghi still has a Rolodex of power that any other restaurateur would kill for, plus a swank new contemporary room to boot.

Power patrons Peter Brown, Frank Giustra

Off-the-menu dish Venetian calf’s liver; Alba truffles on risotto in season (Oct. to Nov.).

Power table In the summer, it’s the round one on the patio; in the winter, the tables under the Venetian light.

Closing-the-deal bottle  How does a magnum of 1976 Taittinger sound, hotshot? $980.

restaurant

Yew

The prospectus This is Vancouver’s answer to New York’s famed Four Seasons restaurant—soaring ceilings, chill design and a mix of well-heeled locals and well-heeled travellers.

Power patrons Bob Rennie (every morning), Joe Segal (every lunch), Hassan Khosrowshahi

Off-the-menu dish A grilled cheese on sourdough was long Rennie’s order.

Power table If you want everyone to know you’re celebrating, the glassed-in wine room offers privacy (but not really); if you want real privacy, booth #115.

Closing-the-deal bottle Château Montrose 2000, $1,200.

restaurant

The Vancouver Club

The prospectus The city’s seat of power since 1889, more than a few mayors and premiers have been selected within the tony confines of this granite block of importance. Inside, the wood panelling has wood panelling.

Power patrons A few, but let’s go for Canadians owner Jake Kerr and Robert Lee.

Off-the-menu dish This isn’t the place to flex your muscles with such gauche displays—have the massive slab of prime rib with tear-inducing horseradish like everybody else.

Power table No particular special one, but the atrium in summer and near the fireplace in winter are always well subscribed.

Closing-the-deal bottle A bottle of the Macallan 25 from your private whisky locker.

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