John Bishop is Vancouver restaurant royalty. He began his career in Vancouver under the wing of Umberto Menghi, eventually opening his own eponymous restaurant (Bishop’s) on 4th Avenue. It has been a pillar of fine dining in Vancouver and has been pioneering locavore eating before it was a “thing”. The menu changes nearly weekly, and is always fresh, West Coast, and innovative (certainly a feat considering how long they have been in business!). Bold as it may be to say, I believe they have the best service in the city. Many of their staff have been with them for years, and for good reason. One always feels attended to without it being overbearing. John himself is a mainstay in the dining room, greeting guests and checking in on tables. Overall, Bishop’s is crisp and elegant without being stuffy or pompous. Somehow, they weave an air of relaxed comfort into fine dining. At the helm of Vancouver’s culinary transformation, Bishop’s remains a cornerstone of local cuisine nearly 30 years later.
Recently, my mom, Grandma, and I were fortunate enough to pay them a visit. It was, needless to say, an utterly delectable and delightful evening. I have included some food porn for your viewing pleasure…
Amuse Bouche: sorrell foam, trout caviar, dill sprig
Beet salad beloved by both Grandma Ethel and me: beets (roasted, boiled, and pickled), chèvre, dill sprigs, baby beet greens, banyuls vinaigrette
Oysters to share, served with grape granita and grated horseradish mignonette
Mom’s starter: local mixed greens with a cherry and hazelnut vinaigrette, hazelnut brittle
The matriarchs enjoying their meal
My main: Haida Gwaii halibut with leeks, kale buds, and swiss chard. Served atop a chessy greens cake with vermouth cream. Sounds bizarre, tastes amazing.
Mom’s main: wild sockeye with fiddleheads, radish, crispy salmon skin, yukon gold gnocchi, and nettle sauce
Grandma Ethel’s main: Dungeness crab risotto with spot prawns, mussels, littlenecks, and leeks, topped with crispy seaweed
Had to have a cappuccino, of course
Dessert: chocolate pot de creme, with espresso gelato atop cookie crumble and a hazelnut olive oil biscuit
What are your favourite restaurants in the city? Where do you find you get the best service?