The weather outside might not be absolutely frightful but it’s undeniably cold. So you want to duck into a cozy neighborhood joint with a relaxed atmosphere. Ideally, the bartenders will shake or stir up a soul soothing cocktail for you as soon as you step foot into the warmth.
Best case scenario, the chef cures his own charcuterie and sends a board of lardo your way to replenish what the harsh elements has leached from your body.
You are invited to pull up to the chef’s table to get up close and personal with the kitchen staff. You watch them skillfully prepare the fresh, seasonal ingredients with care. The cooks dish out one enticing dish after another, coaxing you to point and say “I want that one”, “and that one too”…
That’s as close as it gets at Refuel, a locavore darling in the Kitislano neighborhood in Vancouver BC. They’ve built their existence on the farm to table philosophy and adhere to the nose to tail practice, as seen in their wildly popular Whole Hog Dinners. All the while, they’ve thrown out any pretension or hippie frou-frou that one may expect from an establishment situated in this polished ‘hood. They just serve hearty, vibrant, and honest to goodness delicious comfort food.
So let go of your desire to label them. Just go eat there and expect nothing short of what you see here: complex house cured meats, succulent duck breasts, perfectly cooked salmon with crispy skin, pillowy hand rolled gnocchi, buttery root vegetable purées, and so forth.
Just be sure to save room for dessert. In particular, dive into this luxurious peanut & chocolate parfait that strummed every nostalgic nerve in my body. It’ll touch that special spot that otherwise only a (slightly crushed) chocolate peanut butter cup can.
1944 W 4th Ave. Vancouver