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No asparagus foam or mini burger sliders here, thank you very much. These five dining rooms have been doing their thing, quietly and consistently, for over 25 years.
William Tell 765 Beatty St., 604-688-3504 Opened 1964 On the Menu French onion soup, escargots Burgundy The Corner Table The quietest room in town nurtures intimacy. Our couple starts with Dubonnays over caesar salad, then shares Châteaubriand with a rich red. Tableside service continues with flaming crêpes Suzette and Café Diablos for two.
Le Gavroche 1616 Alberni St., 604-685-3924 Opened 1979 On the Menu Rack of lamb Corner Table Dad’s been coming here since he was a kid himself. The family of four is dining early to catch a show; owner Manny Ferreira suggests they return for “Madame’s” Lili Cake afterwards.
The Cannery 2205 Commissioner St., 604-254-9606 Opened 1971 On the Menu Salmon Wellington, chocolate Sinn Cake Corner Table It’s Grandpa’s 70th. The little ones are having pasta Alfredo, their parents are learning about Café de Paris sauce. There’s house-made birthday cake, and specialty coffees for the grownups.
Phnom Penh 244 E. Georgia St., 604-734-8898 Opened 1985 On the Menu “None cancelled, we only grow!” Corner Table An Asian quartet comes in late. Papaya salad, deep-fried garlic squid, beef curry, noodles, lotus root. Tsing Taos and black bean ice crush to drink, and durian sticky rice to finish. Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House 777 Thurlow St., 604-669-1940 Opened 1985 On the Menu Cobb salad, cioppino The Corner Table Two commercial realtors stop in for happy hour. The pianist plays “The Girl From Ipanema.” Bob Skinner, resident shucker since day one, sets up an oyster feast.
Le Crocodile 100-909 Burrard St., 604-669-4298 Opened 1983. On the Menu Alsatian onion tart, steak tartar, heart of butter lettuce salad The Corner Table Older gent with young woman (not the first he’s brought in the two decades he’s dined here) start with champagne, kusshi oysters, and foie gras. She has grilled sweetbreads, he has beef tenderloin. Michel Jacob stops by as a lemon tart, adorned with a single lit candle, appears as if by magic.