Six of the city’s best private dining spaces, with a mixture of styles, menus and ’hoods to suit just about any business need
From heritage spaces to dynamite views to luxe lounges, trying to find the right room to accommodate an intimate meal, festive gathering or full-on office holiday bash often seems to need military strategic planning. We’ve scoured the city and chosen six excellent options (plus one coming down the pike) that, depending on the size of your party, capture just the right ingredients for merrymaking.
|Oru at Pacific Rim||Market at Shangri-La|
Oru at Pacific Rim & Market at Shangri-La
As far as hotels go, Oru at Pacific Rim and Market at Shangri-La both do an excellent job of not making their private dining experiences feel hotel-y. Nestled next to Oru’s wine cellar sits the petite Private Wine Room, a wee 210-square-foot gem with a hand-crafted marble longtable and glass-wall surround, which lends a rather celebrity-special-treatment-like vibe to the intimate experience. Oru will permanently close its doors following breakfast service on January 2, 2017.
At Market, the sixth-floor Conway Room is a long, linear affair in a residential-style space with floor-to-ceiling windows and crystal chandeliers fit for a larger crowd. The heated outdoor terrace adds party space and, literally, a breath of fresh air.
Oru size: 210 square feet
Oru capacity: 14 seated
Market size: 1,832 square feet + 1,259-square-foot terrace
Market capacity: 120 seated or 150 standing (200 with terrace)
Accessing L’Abbatoir’s private dining room via a back door and through the kitchen feels like the famed tracking shot from Goodfellas–if that movie’s scullery were sleek, modern and filled with friendly, smiling chefs going about their French-influenced fare. But it’s all part of the rustic-meets-modern charm: up a flight of stairs, the intimate room–housed in one of the city’s oldest buildings, in Blood Alley (the 128-year-old former police horse stables)–features the original exposed-brick walls and wood beams contrasted with glass and steel finishes for an excellent old-world/new-world mashup. Not too-cool-for-school, the Gastown boîte—under the watchful eye of chef Lee Cooper—finds magic by channelling the area’s historic roots while still being edgy and hip.
Size: 1,200 square feet
Capacity: 50 seated; 70 standing (room can be divided in half for 24 seated on each side)
Those who bemoan the lack of dynamite food with a view in Vancouver have never made their way to downtown’s Miku Blue Sky Room, which boasts a perfectly framed and private vista of Burrard Inlet, the North Shore mountains and the occasional cruise ship. Once seated around hand-painted murals by Japanese painter Hideki Kimura, expect a note-perfect take on high Japanese cuisine with a Canadian sensibility. You can do full omakase and let chef Matsuoka and his team riff, or pick and choose from the menu yourself, while making sure you take in Miku’s classics–aburi, or lightly flamed, sushi and sashimi.
Size: 350 square feet
Capacity: 18 seated (one-table option) or 24 seated (three-table option)
Homer Street Cafe
Homer Street Cafe’s Victorian shell once saw life as a steam cleaner, ice delivery shop and then, in 1952, the Smithe Coffee Bar. In its latest iteration, it’s an upscale rotisserie-chicken paradise kitted out by Vancouver’s hipster restaurant-design king Craig Stanghetta. With its leather banquette and eclectic rooster paintings, the Cockpit Room seats just a scant 10, but the pint-sized space overlooks the white-tiled restaurant in perfect intimate glory.
Size: 126 square feet
Capacity: 10 seated (up to 12 in a pinch)
That business-crowd juggernaut that is Glowbal offers its paean to contemporary North American dining in the swanky Telus Garden architectural marvel. The cavernous 17,000-square-foot restaurant is divvied up into various lounge-like rooms and vignettes of assorted sizes and luxe textures, with three private dining options to boot. The Gold Room–fittingly clad in shiny walls of miniature gilt tile–features custom-domed gold-leaf light fixtures and floor-to-ceiling windows offering excellent vantages of the urban cityscape, by which surely many deals will go down.
Size: 770 square feet
Capacity: 54 seated (room can be divided in half for 24 seated or four tables of six)
Room for one moreVij’s long-awaited new address finally opened in the Cambie corridor, much to diners’ delight. The celebrated chef’s new private dining space is slated for a winter opening; cue the booking lineups.