The Cascade Room has become one of my fave haunts. Not only is the dining spot located close to Broadway busses, but the atmosphere, particularly on the cold, icy evening I visited, is a big step in elevating your mood — and appetite.
The interior is English-pub inspired, with candlelit booths, tables down a row in the center and a cozy bar to saddle up to. Music is a pleasing mix of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s rock and new wave.
The restaurant is fittingly located in Vancouver’s former Brewery Creek. The original brewery produced many amazing pours including the flagship Cascade “The Beer without Peer”. The Cascade Room is thus an ode to the hood.
Gloucestershire, England-born Executive Chef Tim Evans has over 15 years of culinary experience, having worked at kitchens across the UK and Canada. He’s even had a stint at the Michelin-starred Martin Wishart in Edinburgh, Scotland. Locally, he’s worked at CinCin, CRU and Siena before joining The Cascade Company (The Cascade Room’s parent company) four years ago.
Cocktail lovers will be happy to learn that the extensive drink menu works in both classics and bar employee creations. Cocktail creator Justin Taylor is no stranger to the Toronto and Vancouver bevvy scene; he represented Canada overseas, eventually landing his own proprietary bitters – Gunpowder – from local producer Bittered Sling.
Taylor’s signature drink, the Professor Suzuki, contains 100% BC ingredients.
In addition to the well-stocked bar, you’ll find international wines (by the glass or bottle) and an extensive beer menu (on tap and in bottles/cans).
The Stranded Mountie (Collingwood whisky, lemon, maple, cinnamon, egg white) is a great way to warm up with some of the kitchen’s lovely appetizers (on our table: polenta fries with curry aioli, chickpea fritters with house made piccalilli and a mozzarella & pickled beet salad with fireweed honey vinaigrette, smoked salt, rocket, candied walnut and grilled bread).
West coast comfort food is key here. The neighbourhood bar is popular with both locals and concert-goers who are in for a pint of craft beer, cocktail, dinner and show at nearby Fox Cabaret or Biltmore.
Each week, The Cascade Room features a Sunday Roast dinner and they’ll be preparing a Dine Out Vancouver menu as well as Robbie Burns Night later this month (January 25). The Scottish-inspired evening will feature live Celtic music, bagpipes, drink specials, haggis and deep-fried Mars bars. The celebration will kick off at 6 pm. Guests are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis.
After nibbling on those amazing polenta fries, chickpea fritters and beautiful salad, I indulged along with my dining guest.
We shared two winning entrées: UBC Farm squash farrotto with Blue Hubbarb squash purée, grilled asparagus, goat cheese, poached egg and cider-braised pork short rib, a hearty dish served up with roasted fingerling potato, kale, bourbon maple butter, UBC Farm squash purée and grainy mustard.
The farrotto is a take on risotto, with an array of textures, flavours and colours. The grilled asparagus is a wonderful compliment to the soft goat cheese, while the squash purée ties in the entire dish.
Cider-braised pork short rib comes with all the fixings for a complete meal that pairs well with a glass of red or IPA. It’s the perfect kind of dish for this season and features squash from UBC’s own farms.
Many of the ingredients used in the dishes are to be found locally, which is what Chef Evans and team strive for in their seasonal offerings. I highly recommend a visit here and am certain that Dine Out visitors won’t leave disappointed.
The Cascade Room is located in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant at 2616 Main. They’re open Monday to Thursday from 3 pm to 1 am, Friday from 3 pm to 2 am and on weekends for brunch and dinner (Saturday, noon to 2 am; Sunday, noon to midnight). Happy Hour is offered daily from 3 to 6 pm. Visit their website for menus, events and reservations via OpenTable.
Unwatermarked images by Janis Nicolay.