arkside, La Buca and Pied a Terre, the holy restaurant trinity of restaurateurs Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach has just made a change that Nostradamus could have easily predicted. Parkside, the five year old flagship restaurant of the group has closed its French fine-dining doors and become the much more recession-friendly, rustic Italian eatery L’Altro Buca. Parkside closed on March 1 reopened a speedy three weeks later.
Owner Chris Stewart says “there have been no massive renovations to Parkside except that the menu of course will be gutted and replaced by La Buca’s.” Being La Buca’s second location, the restaurant’s new literal-minded moniker is L’Altro Buca. This Vancouver restaurant’s menu changes monthly but will always offer modern twists on Italian classics at reasonable prices such as scallop carpaccio with grilled bacon and radish salad ($11.50), truffled potato gnocchi with braised chicken ($18.50), or roast spring Lamb with baby artichokes, fresh porcini, smoked prosciutto and tiny gnocchi ($23.50).
L’Altro Buca also has an extensive wine list but for a spot geared toward a mid-price market, the menu has very few wines by the glass. That said; who only drinks a glass? I guess that’s the very question Durbach and Stewart asked themselves when they decided to offer wine by the “quartino” – which is about 1.5 glasses per person and is a good option for those fickle pallets who don’t wish to commit to a full bottle but still want to try some nice wines. The “quartinos,” of which there are 11 options, are also around a “quartino” of the price of their corresponding bottles.
Stewart insists that the decision to shut down Parkside, which remained booked even when the recession started hitting, was not made in haste and was simply to accommodate the shift in Vancouver’s dining trend to eat at spots that are safely sitting at a medium price point.
Address: 1906 Haro St, Vancouver, BC
Area: West End
Venue: Restaurant, Bar
Price Range: $$$ (Within Reach)
Payment: Master Card, Visa, American Express
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