Cru Restaurant – Vancouver, BC

Cru Restaurant
1459 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 677-4111

With my usual favorite special occasion Vancouver restaurant no longer around (Parkside), I opted to book a table at Cru after considering a few other options.  With its deep list of accolades and press clippings, Cru has established itself as one of the city’s most popular destinations for Pacific Northwest and small plate cuisine.  And the prominent wine bar makes for an interesting arrangement and use of the long narrow dining space.

Given its reputation and relative close access to shopping areas (Granville Street) and performance venues (the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage as an example), reservations are an almost must at Cru, even on weeknights.  On this night, the place was full, with younger couples on dates, multi-generational family members out for a meal, and businessmen winding down after a long day at the office.  To keep things easy and balanced between the two of us, we chose the Prix Fixe Menu ($42 pp), paired with some wines by the glass.

Unfortunately, the setting wasn’t feeling good for whipping out the pocket camera given the very close seating arrangements with the tables on both sides.  Besides, this meal was less about a post for Foodosophy and more to enjoy the company and evening, so please forgive the missing first course photographs.  Just as a footnote, the appetizers eaten were the Soup of the Day which was a mild tasting cucumber-based creation which was very smooth; and the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with caperberries, truffle aioli and shaved parmesan, which was pleasantly larger than I thought it would be and full of interesting flavors and textures.

A little later into our meal and the larger group to one side departed and by then I thought it would be okay to snap some images…

As one of the mains, the Smoked Pork Tenderloin with braised pork shoulder, baby squash and gnocchi was the heartiest of our shared dishes.  The meat was well cooked and tender, with a good crust built up on the outside.  The accompanying mix of veggies added to the “summery” feel of the dish, especially the grilled baby squash.

The Pan-seared Halibut coupled with morel mushrooms and roasted fingerling potatoes, drizzled with orange hazelnut brown butter, was again well cooked and had a firm crust on one side.  Perhaps a touch on the salty side in seasoning though for some people.  I enjoyed this dish perhaps more so than the pork, maybe for the fact that I usually don’t enjoy cooked halibut but they do it very well at Cru.

To close, the pair of desserts included the Classic Creme Brulee and…

… a trio selection of hand-turned Sorbets.  I believe it was raspberry, lemon and lime(?).  Both met the seal of approval from my dining companion who is more of a dessert fan than I will ever be.

After our dining experience, we quickly decided we’d add Cru to our list of staple restaurants.  Perhaps not one to visit very frequently, but for a night when a relaxed, cozy, delicious dinner is required, this place certainly fits the bill.

Cru on Urbanspoon

11 thoughts on “Cru Restaurant – Vancouver, BC

  1. The halibut does look good. Was the pork overcooked at all, or was it just the camera? Were you full at the end of the meal? IE, just how small is a small plate?

    • Pork was just fine to my tastes, when you cut into it, the meat was very tender. Lighting was dark so the image was boosted for brightness. Coupled with the appetizer, two servings of fresh bread while we were waiting, the wine, and water, at the end I was more than satisfied volume wise. I guess it all depends on how big a eater you are.

  2. I tried Cru quite a few years ago and I didn’t find anything special. That was way before I started my blog. After reading your post, I’m considering to try them again.

    • Hi Danny,

      Forgive me for slightly hijacking your comment, but you raise a great question for me. If you’ve had a bad experience at a restaurant, how likely are people to give it another chance, and what would it take to get you back in? In your case, you’re saying that you would consider trying them again based on a positive review. Is that usually enough? Do you need a few reassurances? Maybe a publication? Or is it someone you trust?

      BTW, love your site – food, and deals. Who can’t get on board with that!!

      • And talking about hijacking somebody else’s thread/comment…

        I have been to a restaurant several times in the past, I would have a good idea of what to expect. If a meal is subpar, I will try again until I start to notice that it has started to slip. If it is my first time, I use the first impressions approach. But, given that restaurants can have a bad day once in a while, if somebody tells me what was written is not representative of an average visit, he/she must tell me why, when I should visit and what I should have ordered.

        • Good points KH – i like the idea of asking them to justify why. Makes it more than “it’s awesome, everyone must love it!”

  3. Thanks for the compliment on fivelaoves. Its hard to find good food deals nowadays. I must have tried Cru during Vancouver Dine Out a few years back. Typically, if I had a bad experience at restaurant then I would not return or for a long duration. I definitely pay attention to friend’s opinions and publications regarding bad experience restaurants.

    • Hmm – that might explain a lot. Contrary to what the concept of dineout *should* be, i’ve found the quality and execution of dine out to be typically quite terrible. I’ve had to revisit all restaurants i tried during dine out, since i finally realized i had very few positive things to say about places that were universally lauded.

  4. I’ve been to Cru a long, long time ago. Actually, twice or so. While the food was good, I felt I wasn’t getting enough value. That is, we were still VERY hungry at the end of it all!

    The second time I went, it was just for a snack. 😉

    So yeah, I’ve considered going back to Cru on several occasions (so I haven’t discounted it), but other places always seem to be a better choice.

    Although, I think my “storage” (stomach capacity) have decreased a bit the past year or so. So perhaps I’ll feel full now. =D

    • My thought on small plate restaurants such as Cru is that I don’t go in expecting to have loads of food piled on each plate. Rather, I’d prefer to enjoy several combinations of smaller/mid-sized offerings, as well as enjoy a few drinks. Spread out over more time that I’d perhaps usually spend to partake in a dinner, I discovered that by not gorging myself, I did come out more than satisfied with how un-hungry I was when I stepped out the door.

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