Best Formal French

Le Crocodile

100-109 Burrard St.

You can’t talk formal French dining without acknowledging Daniel Boulud’s now-closed Lumière (Silver). Perfect service, an elegant room, and consistently brilliant cooking weren’t sufficient light in the recessionary darkness for the West Broadway institution. Happily, Michel Jacob’s long-established Le Crocodile (Gold) carries the standard—now for a new generation of diners just discovering classics like fois gras terrine and lobster bisque. The judges recognized Market (Bronze) for consistent quality on the plate: perfectly prepared seafood, sides that complement rather than dominate, and a subtlety of touch overall. Honourable Mentions to Five Sails and Ladner stalwart La Belle Auberge.This catch-all category may bound across continents and cuisines, but every honouree mindfully exemplifies a particular cuisine. Belgian-Moroccan hybrid Chambar (Gold) again impressed the judges with “in-your-face flavour and beautiful presentation, in a room like no other in town,” while the rebooted Nu, now a modern Greek outpost, captured Silver. “The city’s best pub grub” brought Bronze to the Irish Heather, with the judges making special note of the success of its Long Table Series communal dinners. Honourable Mentions to Nuba (with five locations, now a mini-chain) and La Bodega (“an overlooked Vancouver institution that still delivers affordable, authentic tapas”).

Finalists for Best Formal French

2551 W. Broadway (closed)

1115 Alberni St.

Five Saile Restaurant
410-999 Canada Pl.

La Belle Auberge
4856 48th Ave.
Ladner, 604-946-7717

Return to all Restaurant Awards 2011 results