Village Bistro, Vancouver

Village Bistro’s been open for just over a month, having recently rebranded from the former Lips Resto. This Davie Village spot now focuses on casual West coast dishes with a local flavour.

The former sharing plates concept at Lips missed the mark in this location, so Chef/Owner Curtis Deymon (formerly of The Fish House in Stanley Park) brought his Canadian roots to the table, offering diners well-priced entrees, cocktails and wine from a small yet varied menu.

Village Bistro, Vancouver

The 100-seat interior, designed by North Van’s Sheffield Design Studio, is modern, casual and inviting, its seating divided between dark wood tables, banquettes and a groovy semi-circular booth towards the front.

Village Bistro, Vancouver

Music over the speakers is a mix of current indie pop and luckily not too loud to drown the conversation. A bar towards the back can comfortably seat eight guests incorporated into a lounge-like area that’s set apart from the main dining area via a large shelving unit (on the night of our visit, decorated with pumpkins and other seasonal fare).

Village Bistro/Francis the Mule Village Bistro/Blueberry Smash
[L to R: Francis the Mule; Blueberry Smash]

Starting the locally-sourced trend at Village Bistro are cocktails using artisanal XFour vodka, created by chef Marcus von Albrecht. Distilled in Vernon, it’s made from rye and corn and appears in four cocktails at the moment, including the fizzy/fruity Blueberry Smash with fresh mint, lime, blueberries and soda keeping company with 1.5 ounces of XFour. In addition to cocktails, XFour’s Percy’s Lemonade and Percy’s Punch are also poured here.

The staff are attentive while service and dishes are well-paced for an enjoyable evening of drinking and dining.

Both BC and international wines are on the drinks menu along with a few beers on tap — plus bottles from Vancouver to Iceland (Brio Pilsner). Wine’s priced by five and eight-ounce pours and by the bottle.

Village Bistro/Squash and quinoa salad
[Squash and quinoa salad]

Village Bistro/Crispy fried Humboldt squid
[Crispy fried Humboldt squid]

The dishes we tried – from squash and quinoa salad to grilled BC Sockeye – are well-portioned and presented. The squash and quinoa salad is my favourite on the menu so far when it comes to starters. My husband enjoyed the Alberta bison carpaccio, topped with pickled mushroom, egg, grana Padano and fennel aioli.

Village Bistro/Alberta bison carpaccio
[Alberta bison carpaccio]

I particularly enjoyed the sockeye dish, its ingredients delightful in their mix of seasonings and the textures playing nicely off one another. The smoked tomato broth together with the fish wasn’t a hit with my husband (he found it overpowered the salmon) however I liked it on the whole as it not only added balance to the veggies but gave the Brussels sprouts (not a huge fan) a good companion.

Village Bistro/Grilled BC Sockeye
[Grilled BC Sockeye]

Village Bistro/Brown butter gnocchi
[Brown butter gnocchi]

Plus, order a side of brown butter gnocchi to dip into that broth! Add-ons range from crushed potatoes to beef cheek croquette (all between $4 to $6).

Village Bistro/Grilled Sakura Farms pork tenderloin
[Grilled Sakura Farms pork tenderloin]

Grilled Sakura Farms pork tenderloin (with confit turnip, carrots, Swiss chard, baby potato and maple Dijon jus) is lovely this time of year and marries very well with a glass of Desert Hills Winery’s Gewürztraminer.

Village Bistro/Blueberry cobbler, homemade cinnamon gelato
[Blueberry cobbler, homemade cinnamon gelato]

Two dessert features rotate on the menu. As one of the two was sold out, we were offered blueberry cobbler with house-made cinnamon gelato, slowly savouring this concoction while sipping the last of our white wine.

When you combine the affordability, atmosphere and taste of Deymon’s dishes, it’s fair to say that this bistro deserves to hang around awhile.

Village Bistro/atmosphere

Village Bistro is located at 1143 Davie and is open for both happy hour and dinner seven nights a week. The team will soon be offering weekend brunch as well. Unwatermarked photos courtesy of Village Bistro.

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