Best New Restaurant winner of Vancouver Magazine's 26th Annual Restaurant Awards

  • Gold: Ask for Luigi
  • Silver: Cinara
  • Bronze: Chambar
  • Honourable Mentions: My Shanti, Café Medina
  Our judges—and the masses—have been emphatic in their praise of Ask for Luigi (Gold), the Little Restaurant That Could. Despite a low profile, strong word of mouth resulted in flocks from near and far for this diminutive, unpretentious trattoria’s house-made pastas, accessible wines (served in tumblers rather than stemware), and antipasti such as anchovy-topped eggs and stellar meatballs. “I’ve never had a dish there I wouldn’t order again,” one judge enthuses, echoing many of his colleagues. (See also Restaurant of the Year, Best Casual, and Best Italian Casual.) A very different interpretation of Italian cuisine, at Silver winner Cinara, also made an impressive debut. Chef/owners Lucais Syme and Gill Book have worked in many of the city’s top pasta-forward kitchens, but here their concise, frequently changing menu of “modern European cuisine” favours proteins whose fuss-free presentations belie “their underlying intelligence, precise technique, and explorations of ingredients not generally found elsewhere.” Although not new, Belgian-themed Chambar took Bronze for reinventing itself just enough in its 10th year: a new, larger location and an expanded menu, but the same standards of excellence in food and service that have made it a perennial darling. Honourable Mentions: My Shanti, Café Medina