Wondering which new bar or restaurant is worthy of your precious time? Stop looking. The following places are the ones that the crowds are flocking to at the moment and where you should definitely stop by, without thinking twice.
By Marie-Ève Venne
Milky Way – 1886 rue Centre #2
The new venture of Barroco Group (Foiegwa & Atwater Cocktail Club) fully embraces the tiki revival while staying true to its essence of a neighbourhood bar. The menu offers cocktails elaborated by the expert mixologists Christophe Beaudoin Vallières with the help of Jérémie Bourgeois and Kate Boushel. The most talked about (and most likely to end up on Instagram) drink on their list is the Marine Dream (Sherry, Aquavit, Pimm’s, Prosecco, Herbs, Celeri Bitters, and Raspberry) served in a giant shiny flamingo bigger than your face. The decor makes you feel like you have been teleported to Miami in the early 1980s, thanks to its stairwell designed to resemble a cosmos, the green glass dome covered in plants, and pink accents everywhere. You should stop by yourself to witness the appeal, and you’ll end up staying because Milky Way is way more than just a buzzworthy name on your list.
Après Wine Bar – 1166 Queen St. W.
The new go-to in the city for great wines and snacks belongs to the same people behind Canis, one of Canada’s Top 100 restaurants. They offer a selection of small snacks and sharing dishes like Canadian oysters with house-made hot sauce, cured meat, beef tartare, braised ribs, a fried fish sandwich, and more. The major focus here is the wine, including many small-lot finds from places like Austria, Australia, and South Africa. The interior is all about clean minimalist design, offering plenty of communal seating if you’ve got the whole crew with you. Après, as its name easily suggests, is the place you go at the end of the night, for that one last glass of wine that you totally deserve.
St. Lawrence – 269 Powell Street
Vancouver’s St. Lawrence has been a customer favourite, thanks to their unapologetic take on classic French-Canadian cuisine, serving very typical but upscale Quebecois meals. The portion sizes are more than copious, and even the veggies are on the hearty side, like the ratatouille served with cheddar custard. The cocktails are heavy on booze and their spirits list is full of cognac, making you wonder if you are still in a city well known for its light Asian cuisine and green juices. It’s generous and a little bit decadent, but you end up leaving your guilt at the door to fully enjoy the delicious experience.