Downtown Vancouver sports two hotel-based seafood restaurants worth seeking out.
At the Sutton Place Hotel on Burrard, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar bustles with activity. Meanwhile, two blocks over on Howe (though technically on Georgia) and just 500 meters away by foot at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, the scene at YEW seafood + bar is more stately and sedate. Both seem like special occasion restaurants, with pricing slightly on the high side (sablefish, for example, is $39 at Boulevard and $37 at YEW, though sticker shock is alleviated when converting to US dollars), but you are splurging on a sense of elegance.
Boulevard feels like a French bistro that’s been upgraded with contemporary flourishes, the hard surfaces turning up the volume in the dining rooms. It’s here that “Executive Chef Alex Chen’s seafood-focused menu artfully combines casual West Coast cuisine with creative nods to his international influences, all while taking advantage of the local bounty available from nearby farms, fisheries and ranches.”
YEW has lofty 40-foot ceilings that create an expansive atmosphere, with a warm-up from wood paneling and a floor-to-ceiling sandstone fireplace. (Check out the dining room’s regional art.) Executive Chef Ned Bell’s mission: “Our menu changes with the season and honours the bounty of the Pacific Northwest region surrounding Vancouver, on land and sea.”
Here’s a look at my meals, with thanks to both restaurants for hosting.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
YEW seafood + bar