Gastown restaurant Boneta hits all the right notes
[Updated: April 16, 2010]
Boneta Restaurant’s famous tagline is Boneta Loves You, and they show their love to customers by delivering a consistently memorable dining experience with expert service, beautiful food and a great room.
First, where it counts the most: the food. While the menu changes regularly, owner Neil Ingram says they’ve learned to never take the smoked Bison Carpaccio off the menu, Boneta’s most popular dish. This one exception aside, Chef Jeremie Bastien changes the menu items often to reflect what’s fresh, in season and drool-worthy.
Here’s a sampling of my favourites from recent visits:
Freshly baked Viennois Bread. Served warm, you tear into this sweet, salty and buttery bread with a crisp crust. Smeared with creamy salted butter, it’s a decadent table bread worth eating.
Tender baby squid, grilled and fried with a warm lentil salad for a great contrast of texture and taste. I ordered two of these the same night, it was that good.
1 W Cordova Ave, Vancouver
Open Monday–Saturday, 5:30 p.m. until late
The potato addict in me always orders Boneta’s poutine, served in a big bowl with crispy fries, a heaping scoop of Okanagan cheese curds and smothered in a salty house made gravy.
Scallops are always on the menu, in various delicious treatments. The latest version includes beautifully seared jumbo scallops atop a creamy lemon and arugula risotto accented with a lobster bisque froth.
A rich and robust lamb shank is complemented with a smooth polenta and punched up with a sauce of sundried tomatoes, olives, and a lamb jus to meld all these flavours together.
Leave room for dessert, as everything on the pastry menu is yum. My last visit included a soft and chewy chocolate and peanut butter ganache drizzled with a banana puree and a scoop of honey ice cream. Also, the house-made petit fours are special. The last one I sampled included these to-die-for house-made “Aero” bars, soft and chewy toffee, coffee spiked chocolate, and lime French macaroons.
Boneta’s cocktails are as popular as their food. The number one cocktail ordered is Mr. Samuels, a delectable mix of bourbon, maple, blueberry, ginger beer and fresh citrus over ice.
And Boneta delivers this restaurant experience sustainably. Ingram says his restaurant “believes strongly in the word local.” As much as they can, Boneta uses local suppliers for food and décor. For Boneta, sustainability is “…about building lasting relationships with local people and respecting your surroundings.” That’s why the menu changes so regularly at the restaurant.
Also, from a financial standpoint, Ingram points out that having a sustainable restaurant is cheaper! The restaurant uses a closed cooling water system, which allows for more efficient water usage. As well, there’s no flying-in bottled water from across the globe for Boneta. They use an in-house water filtration and carbonation system.
Half the tabletops at Boneta were made by a local company using sustainably raised bamboo. The other half are solid tabletops made from recycled paper (by PaperStone)! They purposely use minimal “stuff.” No tablecloths in sight, though instead of cloth napkins they use recycled paper hand towels.
The room is one of the best and spacious in the city. It’s a big industrial space with soaring ceilings and decked out with unique light fixtures, art from Vancouver artists, mirrors and the menu projected against a wall. There’s a large bar section for people to sip on some of the city’s most popular cocktails while the dining room offers comfortable seating for small and large groups.
Match the room, food and drinks with a scene of Vancouver foodies and Gastown scenesters and you’ve got a restaurant with great conversations and people watching, and a great addition to Vancouver's increasingly compelling food scene.
Inside the large space, with soaring high
ceilings and menus projected onto a wall.
Boneta's award-winning mixologist Simon
Kaulback serves up delicious cocktails.
Seared pacific scallops, lemon arugula risotto, Parmesan reggiano, lobster bisque froth.
Bison carpaccio, smoked bison carpaccio,
sherry vinaigrette, arugula salad, walnuts,quail egg.
|Opera cake, orange curd, almond and coffee ice cream.|
Vancouver blogger Angie Schick spends all her spare time eating, shopping and spa-ing her way through the city. She writes primarily about independent restaurants that offer experiences unique to Vancouver. She expects a lot (just ask her friends!) and will always post honest thoughts and recommend places where she would actually go herself. Blog / Twitter
Monique Cheung is a freelance commercial photographer who is returning after a decade away living on Vancouver Island and in Seattle. Vancouver’s amazing food scene has lured her home and she’s having a fantastic time rediscovering the city and capturing it all on film. Website