The Fish House in Stanley Park
8901 Stanley Park Drive (by the tennis courts), Vancouver BC
The Fish House is goo-ood eatin’. Plus, it doesn’t cost as much as you’d think (I thought it would be a trillion dollars because it’s in the park and has a view of the bay, but not it’s not crazy expensive….just sorta pricey). The Fish House dates back to 1930, then it was known as the sports pavilion (an open house for golfers and tennis players). The House changed its name and purpose to the Tea Room in 1949 and Beach House in 1974 until 1990 when it finally became the delightful restaurant it still is today.
The brunch menu is great; there are plenty of salads, appetizers, egg dishes and breakfasty things (you know — like, pancakes and omelets) for $7 – $17. There are also some items from the lunch menu (pad tai, prim rib burger, both $17). As with all their menus you will be encouraged to add a side of seafood — try the mouth-watering half lobster ($11). But, part of what makes the brunch menu so darn good is that you will get a free treat of a yummy baked good (get the apple muffin, get the apple muffin, get the apple muffin).
The lunch menu is equally good with similar selections — I’d go for the delicious Chicken Ciabatta (grilled chicken, brie, grilled red peppers, caramelized pineapple $15), or the Mediterranean Basa Salad (pesto broiled basa filet, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cucumber with a creamy mint dressing $17).
The dinner selections are amazing — but quite a bit pricier. Starters are $7-18, and the main courses can run as high as $37 (for the 1 pound angus steak). Most of the mains are around the $25 range. To get the most bang for your buck – go for one of the fish dishes. Each day the Fish House offers a Fresh Today Menu with simply prepared fish (mostly broiled or grilled). I bet they’re all yummy, but I would order the halibut ($27) or the local trout ($21). Both fall into sustainable food choices which can be found in the Ocean Wise approved choices.
The Ocean Wise program advises chefs to include sustainable seafood options on their menus. Restaurants can join the program by removing one unsustainable item from their menu and indicating at least one sustainable seafood item with an Ocean Wise logo.
Of course, the Fish House has a fabulous fish selection…but they also have great non-fishy stuff for the lame-o in your crowd who, for some unconvincing reason, doesn’t like seafood. Lamb, pork, chicken, beef and a veggie pasta are all available on the dinner menu.
Okay – that’s a lot of info to take in — your options can easily be simplified: get the Hook ($30). The Hook is the seasonal (changes monthly) three-course meal, generally consisting of: a delicious soup starter, a fishy main, and a to-die-for dessert. The Hook is available at brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Another important tip – make sure you ask to have your lackluster regular fries switched for the delicious yam fries. And do not be afraid of the desserts – the lemon olive oil cake is super yummy and the raspberry sorbet ($7) is one of the best I’ve ever tried.
Oh, they also have a kids menu ($7-10), but why would you take a kid to a nice restaurant? Don’t wreck everyone’s nice night out. Babysitters were invented for a reason.
Open: for lunch at 11:30am, dinner beginning at 5pm, weekend brunch 11am-3pm
Reservations: Make them online at opentable.com — it’s super easy!
Parking: Sure, there’s lots.
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Coldplay – A rush of blood to the head (or parachutes, or x & y — they’re all pretty much the same)
Mellow brit rock for lovers and 40 year old business men.
Wilco – Hotel yankee foxtrot
A blurry mash-up of delicate clutter…that’ll make sense once you listen to it.