Some of my favorite places
Part of my old job was to schmooze with business executives and CEOs from large organizations. This included taking them our for dinners and lunches.
The wonderful experience of it all was that I had no budget. As long as I could justify my expenses at the end of the month, things were okay. It was not uncommon for me to spend over $10,000 on food per month (keeping in mind this is not always for just two people).
I did this for about 4 years before venturing on my own completely. I had a chance to try a bunch of places and while my opinions are nothing more than an opinion, I somewhat turned into a food snob during those 4 years.
I also learned something very interesting in the process. Places that I loved before, I started to hate since I found places that were better. There were some other places that were not that good and yet I still enjoy going there once in a while. Funny how that works. I will include prices for dinner for two people including most common dishes.
I used to enjoy the Keg. Every location seems to have a different level of quality control since some locations are better than others. I don't think I'd ever go to a Keg again anymore. So where should you go?
Hy's (it's not really that good but it's better than a lot of other places) $150
Bacchus $100-$300 if you get a good wine with your steak
Prime Steak House $200
Sad thing is, the best steaks I've ever had come from me at home. I buy a whole Fillet Mignon from Costco, soak it in a mixture of pineapple juice, soy sauce, and BBQ sauce for a day or two, then cook it up on the BBQ or grill. While it's not a cheap dinner to have, you will be able to feed a lot of people.
I'm not actually a huge Greek food person but many of my clients are. Steffo's seems to be everyone's answer to Greek food in Vancouver and perhaps for the area, it might be the best choice. I've yet to have any good Greek food anywhere in Vancouver compared with New York until I went to a place in Delta called:
My Greek Taverna $75
A bit of a drive but if I ever want Greek, it's now the only place I will go. I took the trek out to Abbotsford once to try "The Greek Islands" and it was decent but My Greek Taverna seems to get more compliments from my clients.
I'm of Italian decent and grew up with Italian food. What is real Italian food and what people enjoy eating as Italian food can often be very different.
Time after time, clients tell me that they really enjoy this place over just about any other place.
A real dump but very homemade pasta and BBQ ribs that's made many clients including myself keep coming back.
Some of the bigger disappointments come from places that should be good such as Cin Cin and La Terazza. La Terazza does have a good wine list, it's a shame there isn't any good food to pair it with. Just as well since last time I went to La Terazza I got stuck with an $8000 bill.
My tastes have changes. I did the whole Tapas Japanese Happa thing for a long time and got sick of it. If you enjoy it then that's great. It seems like Tapas and Sushi joints are like Starbucks; there is one on every street corner.
Ninja Sushi $80
Very different. Don't go if you want Tapas or if you want hard core traditional Sushi because that's not what you come here for.
They have a lot of very interesting dishes and again, clients tell me over and over again how great it was and how it was one of their favorites. It's a hell of a drive though going near the Surrey Langley boarder.
Ever just want to grab a sandwich? Maybe you don't but I do and often clients do as well, especially if I just picked them up from the airport and they want something to munch on before I drive them to their Hotel to have drinks.
Talk about a garbage dump. Yet, after taking over 50 people there, not one person has not asked for me to stop by on the way back to the airport to try some more food at the place. I tend to agree. It's the weirdest thing when I go there. I'm usually driving a huge luxury car dressed in a suit and I walk into the place I'm scared to touch anything. Great food though!
I pulled my hair out trying to find a good french restaurant in Vancouver after returning from New York and Montreal.
Le Gavroche $200 and up
The first time I went was with my gf and the bill was something crazy like $550 or something. If you do full fine paring and do a 5 course meal, it can add up very quickly so be aware of that.
I've gone with many clients and they very much enjoy the restaurant. I still haven't found anything comparable to Montreal or New York but then again, Vancouver is a lot smaller.
There you have it. A long winded but detailed list of some of the places that not only myself, but others from around the world have expressed their satisfaction with. As always, taste is a personal opinion but I hope this was at least a little helpful for those wanting to try something new but worried they might end up wishing they went to Burger King instead (I think we've all been there a few times).