C-Prime review: Century Plaza’s new Italian steakhouse

C|Prime’s dining room in the Century Plaza Hotel on Burrard

Surpassing the restaurant formerly known as Beyond

At Vancouver’s Century Plaza Hotel on Burrard, the restaurant formerly known as Beyond is now C|Prime: Modern Italian Steak & Wine. “I really thought there was a market niche in Vancouver that could be addressed in the steakhouse market,” says general manager Sergio Cocchia. “We’ve got some very fine high-end steakhouses, and we’ve got the more mainstream, and we felt there was a price point and a market segment that wasn’t being serviced. It’s a more modern take than the old-day Manhattan kind of Italian steakhouse.”

The 4,800-square-foot Rat Pack-inspired interior wraps around a central bar surrounded by a mix of tables and booths. Wine is showcased not just on the menu—C|Prime has a Wine Spectator award of excellence—but also in a glass-walled wine room at the entrance. C|Prime chef Bruce Woods, formerly corporate chef for Umberto Menghi, is back in Vancouver after a stint in Toronto, most recently at Harbour Sixty Steakhouse.

BEST TABLE: The chef’s table, for eight to 12 people, is popular at lunch, says Cocchia. “It’s the perfect table. You get to watch the kitchen; you’re watching them make the pasta–it’s a great spot.”

MUST-TRY ORDER: Cocchia claims C|Prime’s linguine with clams is the best in the city. “Getting that right is not easy—getting it to be as flavourful as it should be and making sure it’s fresh and the pasta doesn’t clump because it doesn’t have a heavy sauce.”

DRINK UP: C|Prime offers a changing selection of 16 wines by the glass at various price points. “It’s a great opportunity to try testers or to order something more high-end than is normally available by the glass,” says Cocchia.

INSIDER TIP: All C|Prime breads and pastas are handmade so the pizzas are particularly good. On the lunch menu are pizza margherita, pizza crudo and pizza diavola.