Best Casual 2012
May 1, 2012
Silver: La Quercia | Bronze: Chambar | Honourable Mentions: Vij’s & Campagnolo
Casual is how we like to eat out these days, which made for a tight race for Gold spot this year. “Gastown remains the epicentre of a food-focused quake,” said one judge, “and L’Abattoir (Gold) is riding the peak of those seismic waves: the spot, a former jail, is now home to chef Lee Cooper’s revelatory French-influenced, West Coast cooking.” “A stylish reno, packed bar, gorgeous bistro food, eclectic wine list, and exceptional service with tremendous knowledge and smart recommendations make everyone welcome and comfortable,” said another. Bold but authentic country Italian cooking secured Silver for last year’s winner La Quercia (“It’s astonishing what chef Adam Pegg and Lucais Syme send out of that small kitchen”), while glamorous Belgian/North African bistro fare in an always jumping room won Bronze for Chambar. The “complex, intoxicating, and memorable flavours” at Vij’s and “fresh, seasonal, rustic, and very Italian fare” at Campagnolo rounded out this category.