One of the places I’ve enjoyed going to during my visit of Vancouver was YEW Restaurant and Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel. I came upon it while walking around downtown Vancouver. I also liked that they chose to name the restaurant after a particular tree. I don’t think many people would get that reference.
After an afternoon at the nearby Vancouver Art Gallery, I decided that I would have something refreshing at YEW. The cocktail menu looked very interesting. I couldn’t decide and consulted with the friendly bartender. He described the ones I was interested but he highly recommended the Low Thai’d, which as he explained was like “an Asian mojito”. The Low Thai’d was fabulous – it’s a combination of lemongrass vodka, pineapple, coconut, mint, and yuzu. I enjoyed my cocktail with a light snack, ceviche, which was prepared with diced halibut, pickled fennel, jalapeno pearls, and dressed with an orange vinaigrette. At the bottom was yummy avocado.
On my last evening before I returned to NYC, I decided to have dinner at YEW. I had such a great experience the first time that I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed; plus I wanted to try their other cocktails!
I spotted a cocktail called, Ebi Sunomono, which used a local and the list of ingredients for the drink just sounded really interesting – Okanagan gin, cucumber, yuzu, cane sugar, and rice wine vinegar. The combination of flavors really complimented each other and the cocktail was topped with shredded seaweed, which enhanced the flavors with its subtle savoriness.
For dinner, I started with Dungeness crab tacos, which were AH-mazing! Sweet meaty crab meat filled rice cracker taco shells and topped with crisp radish slices and sprouts. And there was also yummy guacamole, which held the trio of tacos in places.
By the time I finished the tacos, I was ready for another cocktail and went with the YEW gimlet made with Bombay gin, Aperol, housemade velvet falemum, cane sugar, and lime. Very different from the gimlets I’ve had but very tasty. And check out the color!
I love a good hearty seafood stew so when I saw cioppino on the menu, I didn’t care for anything else. Fresh local seafood like halibut, salmon, mussels, clams, and a fat scallop in a spicy aromatic tomato white wine broth! I can almost smell the heady aromas of chilis, the sea, fresh tomatoes, and wine as I write this…
I sat at the bar on both visits. If I’m traveling and dining alone, the bar is generally where I prefer to sit. I find the bartenders are much more attentive especially at an upscale restaurant. You may end up chatting with the bartender or another single traveler. In my case, I got talking with the bartender and learned about a local gin and where I may acquire it.
Dining at the YEW was very enjoyable. The bartender was very nice and helpful as was the rest of the staff. The manager even came by and asked how I was doing. Service was great. Food was fantastic, and the cocktails were FAB-U-LOUS! I would definitely go back the next time I’m in Vancouver.