While the butchery trend continues in Vancouver and many restaurants remain focused on nose-to-tail eating, there’s also a noticeable preoccupation in the city towards leaving the animals out of the equation. Three new vegetarian spots have opened in the recent past, The Acorn, Heirloom and the latest object of our veggie affections, The Parker.
The Parker is just outside of Chinatown in Strathcona at 237 Union Street. The room is a mere 570 square feet and has only twenty seats—definitely on the intimate side. The kitchen is a tiny spot at the end of the bar, and the menu lists ingredients rather than describes dishes. Don’t worry, though, the servers are there to guide you on playfully interactive evening.
This project is brought to us by Steve Da Cruz, Jason Leizert and Martin Warren. Da Cruz is well-known for his cocktails, most recently at The Waldorf and The Corner Suite Bistro; Leizert for his skills in the kitchen having performed at Michelin-starred La Tompette London, Victoria’s Niche as well as The Corner Suite Bistro and Boneta; and Warren has design skills as the owner ofVanGlo Sustainable Finishing & Design, ensuring the room appears as more than just the sum of its parts.
The Parker serves lunch from noon until 2 p.m. with afternoon snacks until 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Brunch on weekends is served from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with afternoon snacks until 4 p.m. Dinner is Tuesday through Saturday at 5:30 p.m. through midnight.
The menu changes with the availability of ingredients. Many are from their own rooftop garden or brought in by local purveyors such as SOLEfood farms. Look for lunch items such as carrot pasta with hazelnuts and watercress, or corn tacos stuffed with beans, avocado and tomato. Dinner could be sunchoke soup, pears and greens and a potato gnocchi made with gluten-free flour and flavoured with the lightest touch of lemon, parsley and goat cheddar. The brunch menu includes twists on classics such as apple waffles with apple compote, candied walnuts and maple syrup and hemp heart granola with dried fruit and vanilla goat yogurt.
Da Cruz’s wine list is all Columbia Watershed Basin, meaning British Columbia, Oregon and Washington State, and his cocktails are impressive. Sip on the New Strathcona made with bourbon, olive syrup, orange and lemon zest or The Vancouver with gin, Benedictine, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. There are many to work through.
This little spot has quickly caught on, so go early to grab a seat at the bar where you’ll have ringside tickets to the action.
The Parker 237 Union St., 604-779-3804