With Booths Designed Just for Two, Bar Corso Is a Date Night Dream

Is it possible this Commercial Drive bar and restaurant is *too* romantic?

If you’re fuming over a recent breakup, I’m warning you now: Bar Corso is not the place to be.

It’s date night central over here, all cozy and dimly lit and full of lovebirds taking sips of each others’ Valentine’s Menu cocktails. All the booths are designed to fit two people (save for a big cozy group booth at the back), so canoodling couples line the wall all the way down the narrow, intimate room. For anyone nursing a broken heart and hearing “Love is a Battlefield” on loop in their head, this is a dangerous place to be.

Photo: Nikki Damato

The bar is really no better, if you’re looking to avoid the existence of romance—the stools that line a handsome mahogany bar are occupied by duos sitting awash in candlelight and making eyes at each other over perfectly strong negronis ($14). Sorry.

The Triple Black Manhattan cocktail. Photo: Nikki Damato.

In other words, this isn’t exactly the place to commiserate with other heartbroken comrades, or find your revenge hookup for that matter. But even sworn singletons can make a love connection with the menu here: think antipasti and Italian comfort food (it’s Little Italy, after all), with an emphasis on hyper-fresh ingredients and a whole lot of crispy focaccia. Executive chef Luke Boswell—who arrived on Vancouver’s Italian scene by way of England, Australia and New Zealand—serves up dishes like cured albacore tuna and a thick layer of caper-laced tonnato on a crispy crostini ($7); a rich parmesean-broth-and-chanterelle brodo ($10; it’s like miso soup, Italiano style); and bright, punchy, tantalizingly spicy wild shrimp crudo ($17) topped with pickled garlic, mint and fermented habanero.

Bar Corso’s Wagyu tartar crostini. Photo: Nikki Damato.

Whether you’ve sworn off relationships forever or not, it’s almost impossible not to have heart eyes for the insalata ($17) featuring mountains of fresh kale and charred squash topped with toasted hazelnuts and juicy pomegranate seeds, or the delicately sliced Waygu carpaccio ($21) that’s nestled next to fermented Brussels sprouts under a fluffy bed of shaved pecorino (hubba hubba). But Corso’s mafaldine pasta dish ($34) is where the real sparks fly: the ruffled, ribbony housemade noodles are tossed with two varieties of crab (snow and Dungeness) and a rich, buttery, chili-garlic sauce.

Anyone dining with a new beau can use this as your chance to live out a seafood-forward Lady and the Tramp moment. But if you’re feasting solo, consider yourself the lucky one in a room designed for couples—you get every last bite to yourself.

The Indivia: Belgian endive, anchovy foam and chicken skin. Photo: Nikki Damato.

Bar Corso
1566 Commercial Dr.

Photo: Nikki Damato