We joined a group of fellow foodie-mined writers from around town recently and converged on one of the city’s newest (and chicest) spots to open its doors: Left Bank, a restaurant in Vancouver’s west end ‘hood. After being totally spoiled for the duration of a gorgeous summer evening, we concluded that this was one of our newest go-to picks for a handful of reasons. Read on to learn exactly why we think Left Bank gets it all right…
First off, the room is stunningly simple yet elegant throughout. Clean lines lead you into a space that is crisp without being unwelcoming or boring. In fact, it’s perfectly punctuated with bold red Tolix chairs and artistic accents. A new front-of-house bar area provides for great people watching, and the back bar gives late night noshers the perfect spot to tuck into Left Bank’s after-hours menu while sipping a cocktail or two.
Secondly, the service is impeccable (mind you, we were privy to having owner John Blakeley at our beck and call all night). The staff (led by Executive Chef Spencer Watts and Chef Rory Higdon) will happily answer all your culinary questions as you enjoy dish after dish of French cuisine with a decidedly North African twist.
This brings us to our third reason Left Bank ought to be on your must-try list: the menu. Simply put, it is divinely different from so many other French-inspired bistros, offering an inventive take on old-style favorites. (Think duck confit tempura and black sesame crusted pommes frites as a departure from the norm.) Try their sticky pork ribs, grape and goat cheese truffles, and crispy lingcod while you’re there.
Fourthly, the wine and cocktail lists are well-rounded with a fine selection of locally grown options available, as well as French wines to compliment your meal (entrust this with John for the perfect pairing). Cocktails get creative thanks to GM Guillaume Cagna who clearly knows his way around elixirs (try his Mort L’Apres Midi concoction or go for the Lady Killer and Mademoiselle Coco).
Our final reason you need to score a seat at this little west end hot spot is the brand new 35-seat patio they’ve secured along the laneway. It’s neatly tucked away from the bustle of Denman Street but still offers a nice bit of buzz with a cozy setting. (At night, let John get creative with the ambiance via his LED lighting to set the mood just right.) Several trees provide enough shade to keep you out of the bright summer sun, creating a certain sense of zen.
Left Bank is located at 751 Denman Street. Head over for live music every Thursday. Left Bank serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Get the full details here.
If you’ve already checked out Left Bank, what were your favourite dishes? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.