For years, Umberto Menghi's Giardino Restaurant was a local favorite for fine dining Italian cuisine and when the announcement was made that they would be closing the doors, it hit the city hard. Fortunately, the closure was short lived and they re-opened just a few blocks up from their old location in 2015. The indoor space is warm and feels like you're walking into a friend's dining room, albeit a very large and fancy one. On a summer's eve, head out to the courtyard to feel as though you've been transported to the Mediterranean; it's a welcome urban oasis. The menu tempts with creamy burrata to start, fresh salads like their traditional panzanella salad, pastas, risotto and gnocchi to follow, and beautiful cuts of meat and seafood for your main. Complete your meal with their tiramisu, or any of the other sweet treats on offer.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Giardino Restaurant is a Vancouver institution and this new location feels as though they never skipped a beat.
Natasha's expert tip: Giardino's is closed on Sundays and it's best to make a reservation ahead of time.
Around the world, the Four Seasons Hotel brand is known for excellent hospitality, and their Vancouver location is no exception. Inside this downtown property is YEW seafood + bar, and it's where you'll find both visitors and locals tucking into a delicious meal. Think of this restaurant as casual fine dining. The lounge area greets guests with a relaxed space to grab a drink before heading back to the dining area. The cocktail program at YEW is excellent and they're always coming out with new tricks up their sleeves. When it comes to the food, you'll enjoy a changing menu that features a generous selection of sustainable seafood. Executive Chef Edgar Kano has literally traveled the globe while working for various Four Seasons properties and brings a little dash of Latin inspiration to his West Coast-driven menu. Save room for Executive Pastry Chef Suraj Karmakar's magical desserts, too!
Recommended for Fine Dining because: From the cocktails and mains to the desserts and service, so much thought and care is put into each component at YEW seafood + bar.
Natasha's expert tip: YEW's open from breakfast until dinner so if you're in the mood for a fancy lunch, YEW's a great spot to enjoy a midday treat.
If you've ever walked down Robson Street before, you're probably familiar with the alluring scent of Cin Cin Ristorante's wood-fired oven. Follow your nose and make your way up the winding stone stairway to this contemporary Italian restaurant. While the warm and sophisticated room is very welcoming, the service and incredible food will seal the deal. The menu tempts with seasonal dishes that use well-sourced ingredients, making each dish shine. From appetizers like their prawns grilled on a rosemary branch to their seasonal pastas, to all sorts of beautiful cuts cooked in their wood-fired grill, Cin Cin's menu is stacked with choice. The drink scene here is also solid. Their craft cocktails are the perfect way to start your evening and the wine list is full of beautiful options. Having been around for over 30 years, Cin Cin is a Vancouver favorite.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: There are so many gorgeous dishes at CinCin, but you should really make sure an order of the risotto makes it to your table.
Natasha's expert tip: They have a heated patio that's open throughout the year.
When it comes to fresh seafood and fine dining, Yaletown's Blue Water Cafe is another Vancouver institution that delivers the goods. Crisp white linens and attentive service prep you for a memorable meal. On the menu, guests can choose from a beautiful selection of fresh seafood that's prepared in a multitude of ways. The raw bar will satisfy any sushi cravings, while the seafood on ice options make for wonderful starters. From freshly shucked oysters and caviar to the most jaw-dropping seafood towers, the dishes here impress. Move onto your main with something like their sablefish with a miso sake glaze, baby bok choy, edamame, quinoa and shiitake mushrooms with yuzu dashi from the principal plates. Wash it all down with a bottle from their ever-growing wine program. They carry over 1,000 labels and have a cellar of 14,000 bottles.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: The wine cellar at Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar is well stocked with over 1000 bottles in a temperature controlled room.
Natasha's expert tip: They are known for their seafood towers that have an abundance of fresh shellfish.
When you combine an incredible room, delicious food, hospitable service, and an envious wine list, you really can't go wrong. Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar checks all of these boxes, making it one of Vancouver's best steakhouses, and a great spot for a date. This high-end, deco-inspired restaurant has soaring ceilings and dim lighting that make for a sultry space. Throughout the restaurant, there's are plenty of cozy corners and intimate booths to enjoy your meal. From a fork-tender petite filet to a mouthwatering tomahawk steak that could feed a crowd, you'll find just about every cut of steak imaginable. Steaks are cooked to perfection on an infrared grill that cooks at 1800 degrees. It doesn't get much better when you pair your steak with classic sides, like creamed spinach and mashed potatoes, and a glass of wine.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: The steaks at Gotham are where it's at. The bone-in 32-ounce rib steak is rich, plentiful and packed with flavor.
Natasha's expert tip: Make a reservation as it's a popular spot.
This award-winning elegant and romantic fine dining restaurant features an imaginative and seasonal menu that celebrates Pacific Northwest cuisine. The friendly and professional team presents a menu that changes often and features the freshest ingredients. The menu balances land and sea options with a healthy dose of vegetables. Dishes are given the proper care and attention from start to finish, leaving you with both a feast for the eyes and stomach. Dessert is no exception. These house-made creations are nothing short of delicious. This long standing restaurant is an excellent choice when celebrating special occasions. Having been around for over 30 years, Bishop's is a restaurant that doesn't show it's age. Instead, it shines from years of experience and knowledge. It's a true Vancouver gem by the legendary Chef John Bishop.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: When it comes to fine dining, Bishop's is a Vancouver institution. The set menu is small, focused and always imaginative.
Natasha's expert tip: It's a good idea to make a reservation as the restaurant isn't huge.
Chef David Hawksworth is well known around the world for serving contemporary cuisine that consistently knocks it out of the park, and his Vancouver restaurant is no exception. Located inside of the striking Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the dining room exudes sophistication and style, while the service is gracious and warm. The menu brings contemporary Canadian cuisine to the table, using as many local and Canadian ingredients as possible. The menu changes so don't be surprised to enjoy new creations upon a return visit. Situated on West Georgia, it makes it convenient for business lunches or after work drinks. If you're just popping in for drinks, they also offer a bar-dining menu that will curb your appetite while you sip on a hand-crafted cocktail. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so an indulgent and special meal is possible almost any time of day.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Hawksworth Restaurant's tasting menu is an experience that's worth splurging on.
Natasha's expert tip: If your budget won't allow a full dinner, lunch is an excellent alternative and they serve a la carte or prix fixe.
Ancora's Executive Chef, Ricardo Valverde, brings more than a decade of culinary experience to the kitchen. Also in the kitchen is Chef Yoshihiro Tabo. Coming from Japan, he leads the restaurant's raw bar, also bringing years of experience and incredible talent. This duo effortlessly blends Peruvian and Japanese cultures using seasonal and sustainable ingredients from local and global suppliers. The decor offers a gentle nod to the coast with soft blues, light wood, and sand-inspired neutrals. The high ceilings and crystal chandeliers add a touch of grandeur without being over the top. On the menu, seafood is the main attraction here. From caviar and oysters to crudo and sushi, the raw bar doesn't disappoint. Main dishes use ingredients like dungeness crab, uni, and sablefish; diners won't be let down by Valverde's creativity in the kitchen.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Anacora Waterfront Dining and Patio's unique Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, stunning view, and exquisite dishes make it an incredibly enjoyable spot.
Natasha's expert tip: On a sunny day, this is one of Vancouver's best patio's.
Chef Michel Jacob's Alsatian-style cuisine is one for the books and absolutely worth the splurge. From the warm and inviting atmosphere to the impeccable service and incredible dishes, Le Crocodile continues to be a local favorite for a special meal. The menu boasts plenty of hot and cold starters that set the stage nicely for the main event. Tuck into steak tartare or a classic classic Alsatian onion tart before moving onto a main of slow braised "Provencal-Style" lamb shank or pan-seared veal sweetbreads served with a rich black truffle and foie gras cream sauce. Finish your meal with French cheeses or a sweet treat to complete your experience. Le Crocodile is a Vancouver institution that has been around forever. Locals know they can go to Le Crocodile for a consistently good meal and that old school French charm.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Le Crocodile has been a part of Vancouver's fine dining scene for over 30 years, and for any restaurant, that's legendary.
Natasha's expert tip: Le Crocodile chef's menu is a wonderful way to sink your teeth into a few dishes.
Botanist brings a fresh take on fine dining. Walking into Botanist is like a breath of fresh air, literally. Inspired by the principles of botany and the lush landscape of the Pacific Northwest, this vibrant restaurant, bar, lounge and terrace is a feast for the senses. The room itself is adorned with plenty of greenery, soft peach banquets, brushed gold, and other natural elements throughout. Adding to the ambiance are the melodic tunes coming from the pianist playing the white piano, or a live band. On the menu, Executive Chef Hector Laguna makes the most of the Pacific Northwest's bounty. Locally and seasonally driven, each dish is made to excite both the eye and the palate. The cocktail program blends chemistry with a playful execution, while the wine list features wineries that practice sustainable, biodynamic or organic farming and winemaking.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Botanist brings a fresh taste to fine dining with its dreamy decor and stunning dishes. The cocktails and wine program at Botanist are also excellent.
Natasha's expert tip: After dinner, head down to the Lobby Lounge for a more rowdy crowd, live music and a cocktail awaits.