Lupo Restaurant Yaletown Vancouver· Restaurant Reviews
Feb 13th, 2012 | By Jayson Bryant | Category: Restaurant Reviews
Vancouver, similar to Auckland, sits on a beautiful harbour, only made more magnificent by the backdrop of some snow covered mountains.
I’m here in February for a short holiday en route to New Zealand after a month in the UK. The UK seems to have lost its way and is now littered with fast food wrappers in every corner of the country. It has become acceptable to throw rubbish from the car, train, or any form of transport. The locals just add to the problem by not picking it up and it’s always someone elses job to pick it up.
New Zealand and Canada are very similar in many ways, not just the fact that its citizens place their own rubbish in bins provided, but also they have a chip on their shoulder about their next door neighbour. They are also more kind, softer people, with better track records looking after their indigenous population.
These were just a few observations I made over the last 20 years or so. It’s not the observations that I’m here for though, as I’m here for the Ice Hockey and also the mountains. It was over 15 years since I last managed to attend an NHL hockey game, and just so happens that my favourite team are in town tonight.
It’s 4.30 and the game starts at 7. I hustle and bustle my way from the airport. The gods looked down fondly on me and guided me through customs and passport control within 15 minutes. I decide to opt for a taxi over public transport only to find that there has been a crash on the main bridge into the city (very similar to Auckland, minus the public transport) as I watch what would have been my train racing past me.
I eventually get to the hotel. I check in and fortunately they have my reservation, given that I only booked the day before I’m pretty amazed. the service staff are superb. Up to the room we go. I say my goodbyes to my wife and daughter within 5 minutes of being there and am off. Down the stairs I fly to ask someone at reception the directions to the Rogers Arena.
The hotel I have chosen happens to be only 10 minutes walk away from the arena. With a hop, skip, and a jump I’m off. I just had to follow the crowds really. The game tonight is between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks. The rivalry is fierce and I’m just glad I’m here to see it.
Enough about the game. Chicago lost in overtime!
I race back to the hotel and grab my family and head down to a restaurant that has been recommended. It’s a swanky Italian in the heart of Yaletown. The streets are safe and it’s only a couple of blocks to walk on this drizzly night. We arrive at what seems a slightly misplaced villa, also not too disimilar to Auckland. It’s completely in contrast to the other architecture that surrounds.
Vancouver, it appears, has gone through, and probably used the same architects, what Auckland has gone through over the last 10 years. The Vancouver skyline is dogged by some very unattractive blocks of apartments. I should imagine it was quite a beautiful city just 10 years ago, the same as Auckland!
Back to the review. Lupo Restaurant, named after Villa du Lupo where the two owners first met, is on the upper side of Italian cooking and prices. The staff are not over friendly, but you get that in cities (once you get out of Canadian cities the people are amazing). There’s a relaxed charm about this place where the other guests smile and interact with the other tables.
On one of the other tables it appears that two girlfriends are just about to break up. The tense, nervous disposition of the one doing the breakup mirrors their choice in wine. A little cheeky Rosé that has great acidity, is dry and tense. The other guests are just quite happy looking at the out of towners. We must of had something written on our foreheads, or maybe it was just the accent.
For the young one we order the Italian Staple. A trip to an Italian restaurant with a six year old with jetlag isn’t complete without Pizza. It arrives promptly, allowing us to decide on wine and main course. The wine, Burrowing owl Chardonnay 2009 from British Columbia, was an easy choice, but the food all sounded, and looked, judging by the other tables dinners, great.
I chose Sablefish on bean salad. I’d never heard of sablefish before and thought its got to be worth a crack. I’m glad I went with gut instinct. The fish was perfectly cooked. Soft white flesh that fell apart and was seasoned to perfection. The oiliness of the fish match the slightly spiced bean salad like hand in glove.
I must congratulate Lupo Restaurant being able to offer insanely well cooked in the heart of the city and for not very much money. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in town. A little Italy in downtown Vancouver. Was also great to see Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand, on the wine list!
Wine I tasted:
Burrowing owl Chardonnay 2009 from British Columbia Brilliant. straw colour. Fresh hay, toffee, lemon rind. Intensity that belies the delicate nose. Hot finish. 87 points
869 Hamilton Street