New + Improved: No. 1 Gaoler's Mews
Credit: Courtesy SMC Communications Inc. for No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews

The monthly dining event takes place at L’Abattoir in Vancouver’s Gastown

If you’re planning a dinner out with friends, how about a little privacy? L’Abattoir, the brick-and-beam room in Vancouver’s Gastown where co-founders Paul Grunberg and chef Lee Cooper have served French-influenced West Coast cuisine since 2010, recently launched the perfect hideaway with No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews. Billed as a restaurant within a restaurant, this private monthly dining event takes a cue from the likes of Brooklyn’s Blanca and Kitchen Table in London’s Bloomsbury neighbourhood.

Grunberg and wine director Lisa Haley host the 10-course dinners for eight, which change menus monthly and include wine pairings, in a sleek open kitchen across the cobblestone courtyard behind L’Abattoir. Guests, who sit side-by-side at the counter, facing Cooper and his crew, receive printed tickets that can be mailed to them individually and parting gifts from the restaurant.

At a preview in April, the meal began with canapés such as spicy tuna pizza and foie gras parfait with quince and grilled bread. The courses that followed included asparagus, boudin blanc and bagna cauda; barbecue pork, beetroot and rhubarb; and dark-chocolate and orange tart.

Needless to say, tickets, which go for $230 per person plus tax, are scarce. To be the first to know about future dinners, sign up for the No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews digital newsletter at gaolersmews.com or follow @gaolersmews on Instagram.