Nightshade is a globally inspired restaurant serving the most thoughtful, conscientious, and elegant dishes in the city. From its new home in Yaletown, it offers an a là cartè style plant-based menu with uncommon flavour diversity gleaned from all around the world. The menu is local, seasonal, compassionate, green and can be tailored to most dietary restrictions and preferences.
The bar program offers an elevated experience for beverages with and without alcohol. Handcrafted with intricate syrups, spirits and liqueurs that flaunt flavour forward profiles, the selection just begs to be tasted. The organic, vegan, and naturally focused wine program offers some of the best of British Columbia.
EcoLuxLifestyle.co presents a visual journey of a dinner for two we recently enjoyed at downtown’s newest hot spot for fine plant-based dining.
Nightshade in Yaletown
Shall We Enjoy a Cocktail? Or Three?
The handcrafted cocktails at Nightshade are not your usual libations. Designed to pair with the entrees they are unique, mildly amusing, and refreshing. ($10 to $14)
And the Spice Goa Up: Sorrel Infused Zubrowka, Ancho Reyes Chili, Cointreau, Soursop, Simple, Lemongrass, House Vindaloo Spice
Angkor Say What? Flor de Cana 7, Ginger of the Indies, Tapioca Syrup, Mango Puree, Lime Juice, Kalamansi Bitters
Big Apple Sour: Applewood Smoked Woodford Reserve, Granny Smith Syrup, Simple, Lemon Juice, Red Wine Float
Five Spiced Beets ($18, GF): A colourful medley of salt-roasted Beets served in the style of Carpaccio and dressed in a five-spiced White Balsamic Vinaigrette. Garnished with puffed Kasha, Citrus, Raita, and Shiso.
This dish disappeared within minutes and we seriously contemplated ordering a second. The beets were gorgeous in all their colourful finery, the cheese so soft, tangy, and complementary to the other elements.
Rayu Edamame ($12, GF): Steamed Edamame, Sweet & Spicy Umami Sauce, Togarashi, Green Onions, Lemon Wedge
Having edamame at the beginning of a meal is something of a habit of ours. There is something about the intimacy of using your fingers to make the experience so satisfying. Common in Japan, but relatively new in YVR, togarashi stimulates the tastebuds and adds to the overall experience.
Nightshade Roll ($18, GF): Roasted Japanese Eggplant, Avocado, Jalapeno, Unagi Sauce
Crispy, crunchy, soft and chewy. The roasted eggplant and unagi sauce topped with crunchy pickled onions is tantalizing.
Mista Lava Lava ($18): Sake Marinated Yuba, Yam Tempura, Heart of Palm and Gochujang Crema
Rivalling the best vegan aburi we have enjoyed anywhere, the Nightshade version presents a moist rice base (as opposed to the usual packed dry rice served locally), an incredible yuba salmon-substitute, and a sauce – although minimal – was just enough to tie each bite together. The final piece was soft and almost dessert-like. Very delicious!
Artisanal Cheese Plate ($28, GF option): 3 Artisanal Blue Heron cheeses with Mushroom Pate, Pickled Vegetables, Confiture, Fruits and Crackers.
Although the superstars of this dish should be the Blue Heron cheese, the accompanying pickled vegetables stole my heart! The impossibly thin pickled carrots took me back to my childhood in Saskatchewan sneaking into my grandmother’s pantry for a few pickled carrots. This savoury dish is filling and could be a meal on its own with a cocktail (or two).
Entree for Two
Agnolotti ($28): Turmeric Agnolotti with Blue Heron cheeses tossed in a sauce of fermented Chili Arrabiata and confit Tomatoes. Garnished with shaved Parmesan, Peppercorn, and Toasted Kasha
We have been raving about this pasta dish for weeks now. There is a smokiness throughout and a smoothness on the palate that was unexpected. I am confident that it will be the best thing eaten in 2022. Enjoyed every bite and was slightly disappointed to have to share this with my dining partner! Next will have one all to myself.
Creme Brulee ($14, GF): Lavender Vegan Custard topped with Raspberry Hibiscus coulis. Garnished with Micro Mint and freeze-dried Raspberry powder
If you have been on IG, you will have seen this visually stunning dessert shared and shared again by everyone who has had the pleasure to enjoy one. It is the top dessert on the menu and deservedly so. Created with a creamy chilled base, crunchy top, and a raspberry powder twist elevated the flavours. The crunchy bubbly top is thick and took two whacks to make it crack!
Rosewater Apple Tart ($14): Pink Lady Apples baked in a Lightly Sweetened syrup and garnished with Hibiscus and spiced Milk Foam
My dining partner kept this one to themselves. No sharing once the first forkful had been tasted. Next trip for the delectable tart!
The evening was delightful, the company divine, and each course greatly anticipated and enjoyed.
Visit Nightshade at 1079 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC
Call for Reservations 604-566-2955 or make reservations here
Wednesday to Sunday from 11:30am to 10pm.
Happy Hour is 2:30pm to 5:00pm
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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