2741 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6K 3V9 (Neighborhood: Kitsilano)
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Casual, Dressy Casual | Cuisine - Gastropub
Oh goodness my pictures don't give the place justice. I only had my little point and shoot when I visited Oakwood but boy was I excited after looking it up online. A gastropub to visit on my Vancouver trip? AWESOME. My friends and I happened to get there earlier than our reservatioin (and you DO need reservations from the sound of their voice when we said we were there early) and got seated after a little bit. Dark and focused on wood, the inside had a more upscale feel than I was expecting based on experience from American gastropubs but nothing to worry about. The food all looked great, and I started off my evening with a pint of Hoyne Dark Matter beer.
At the table we pretty much tried to share everything, so two appetizers came out first. They were the Fried Octopus ($10 - bacon aioli, pickled shallots, komatsuna) and All Canadian Poutine ($10 - brisket, fries, curds, gravy). After all, I have to have poutine if I'm in Canada right? The octopus was actually a bit on the overcooked side which the fried-ness seemed to try and hide. I really enjoyed what it was coated in but it was hard to think of these as anything but thick, stale octopus strips. However, the poutine was fabulous (albeit close to erring on the too salty side) with thick curds and thick fries.
Again, like I said, my pictures really don't do the food justice. Entrees were the Duck Cannelloni ($24 - sweet cranberry puree, shaved foie gras, fried sprouts, bechamel) and Seared Gnocchi ($18 - truffle gratine, wild mushrooms, tomato basil sauce). Frankly, my picture of the cannelloni makes it look utterly disgusting but it was quite the opposite. The foie gras was shaved so finely that it melted in my mouth (foie "snow," anyone?) and the duck deliciously tender. The gamey-ness that people often dislike about duck was not to be found in this great plate. I could have done without the heaps of bechamel though just because the rest was already good. What I actually thought was the best dish of the night was not what I even ordered but someone else did - the seared gnocchi was a pleasant surprise. I had not even thought of searing gnocchi before but something about adding a little char to that potato flour gave it a speckled look but enormous flavor. Wild mushrooms with truffle gratine sealed the deal and had me wanting to order a whole cast iron pan for myself. I would highly recommend you get this if you get a chance to visit Oakwood because yeah, 'twas the best.
Photography by Minerva Thai.