Establishment neighborhood
120 W. Hastings St., Gastown
Wildebeest is intent on defining contemporary Canadian cuisine using the best the land has to offer. The menu is protein-heavy, but scant on chicken and beef. Expect bison steak, braised goat, and venison lasagna, and a re-imagined surf and turf of tender pork belly with seared scallop and pickled daikon. Canadian die-hards will appreciate the Wildebeest iteration of poutine—duck sausage, chicken gravy, and cheese curds. The cavernous space is dark, moody, and romantic, softly lit with tea candles and a few candelabras in the same vein as nearby Diamond Bar.
Diamond Bar
6 Powell St., Gastown
Stopping by Diamond Bar feels like having a drink at a friend’s elegant townhouse, all traces of its sordid past (it used to be a brothel) renovated out, resulting in an elegant space filled with high tables and stools, big windows, brick walls, and a twinkling chandelier. Brought to you by the same people as Wildebeest, the vibe here is casual, with a stellar playlist and local Gastown clientele. Food-wise, the menu is a mix of Asian and Cali-Mexican fare—sushi and tacos, possibly the best combination. The Donatella is the most deliciously refreshing cocktail on the list—sparkling wine, pear, lemon, and apricot, all in one glass.