Last night I had the pleasure of dining at one of Vancouver’s new vegetarian restaurants, The Acorn, on Main Street. It seems I’m not the only one embracing this new type of diet, because all of a sudden there are veg restaurants popping up all around town like a crop of fresh spring asparagus. After a disappointing brunch at The Parker earlier this year I was a bit put off of strictly veg restaurants. I figured that the value for money wouldn’t be there if they were charging $18-$26 for mains that probably were smallish portions. Apparently this has been the consensus at Heirloom which I haven’t tried yet.
But The Acorn wowed me last night! They don’t take reservations and on a rainy Wednesday I didn’t think we’d have a problem getting a table for 4. I was wrong and the place was packed. So we waited at the bar and had a drink for almost an hour before finally being seated. Not the restaurant’s fault at all, they had a couple of four tops that were heavy lingerers (like bill paid, drinks finished, just sippin’ water). We were told we couldn’t order appetizers while seated at the bar which seemed odd to me, but rules are rules and I can respect that. They did give us some caraway spiced hazelnuts to tide us over.
Once seated our orders were taken promptly and appetizers were out in a flash. My husband and I shared the carrot soup which had beluga lentils, pesto and paprika croutons. The bowl was huge and although you might think it odd to share soup, it totally worked…and warmed us both up on a chilly night. Our friends shared the favas and ramps which was also a good portion and was served with a beautiful poached egg on top and a velvety sauce. For $8-$10 sizes were great and perfect for sharing. There was definitely no need for us each to order an appetizer.
The mains quickly followed which was great because by this time it was close to 9pm and for those of us with day jobs bedtime was fast approaching. We shared the beer battered halloumi, which was served with a zucchini pancake, smashed peas and a lemony yogurt sauce. Definitely not something I would want to eat on my own, but perfect for sharing. Pieces of halloumi were quite large and the batter wasn’t greasy.
We also shared the stinging nettle gnocchi which was a simply amazing plate of food. Everything complimented everything else and it felt like spring on your palate. Fluffy green gnocchi are served with fresh peas, sauteed morels, pine nuts, and a creme fraiche sauce. It’s sprinkled with mint and other fresh herbs. Also a very good portion, for $19 I would absolutely order this again.
So we walked out of there for $75 after having had a good amount of food and a couple drinks, which I thought was pretty reasonable for Vancouver. And even though we ate late, I didn’t have any trouble sleeping because the food is nice and light, but filling at the same time.
I will have to try Heirloom and see what they’re all about next!