162 Water Street, Vancouver
Advice: If you are thinking of dining at their Chef’s Table (holds 6 people), one seating each night and must be booked at least 48 hours ahead, although since it is already quite popular you may want to reserve a couple weeks ahead.
It was great to hear of a restaurant in Gastown one of the oldest neighborhoods in Vancouver whose very mission was to celebrate the history of when Vancouver began. Pourhouse is a late 19th century inspiration with most of their furniture and antique pieces having been inspired by the mid 1800’s to early 20th century. Everything from the walls, tables, chairs, upholstery, crown molding, chandeliers and even the bathrooms have a history behind them. Welcome back to Gastown to where Vancouver’s history began and to Pourhouse where great food, drink and ambiance begins. The background music also plays to the era and you will hear delightful jazz and ragtime as you enjoy your food in comfort.
If you want to start your meal off with a cocktail, then I would suggest you choose from one of their six house creations, celebrate history and go with bartender Jay Jones ‘Gold Fashioned’ ($12) mix of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, maple syrup, d’oro sweet wine, old fashioned bitters, orange and lemon zest. If Jay is on the bar you will want to have a chat about old times and the history of the area and learn more about the great cocktail. If you prefer beer or wine instead of a cocktail, you may want to try one of their six hand-selected draft beers that are on tap.
My favourites thus far is the Charred Spinach Salad ($10) charred spinach, smoked and peppered salmon, pink peppercorn crème fraiche, fresh raspberries. One of their highlighted menu offerings is the Crispy Cheese ($10) a grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of house roasted tomato soup which was delicious and was the best tomato soup that I have ever tasted. The Beef Shortribs ($16) espresso braised shortribs, carrot puree and browned sweet potato, I added a side of their Braised Red Cabbage ($6) which was divine. For dessert, I have only had the Warm Chocolate Cake ($10) served with salted caramel ice cream, this was the perfect ending to my meal, next time I must have a friend or two join me so that we could order the Apple Tartin (for two – $16) which is another of their house specialties that people are raving about.
Looking forward to my next visit, it may be for weekend brunch which goes from 11am-3pm on the weekends and serves up some more interesting and comforting dishes.
Review by: Richard Wolak