They say first impressions last a lifetime and in this case, they weren’t wrong. I had only heard good things. One of my (fancier) colleagues frequents Nightingale often and always has wonderful things to say. It’s pretty inconspicuous, despite right down town. The name of the restaurant is etched into the building in a majestic font, but it is definitely easy to miss. It looks only small, but this is an example of where a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, because in fact, it’s huge. The restaurant is well esteemed, and first caught my attention after I watched TopChef Canada (one of the contestants is the head chef at Nightingale).
The prices on the menu aren’t something we can afford every day so we knew our visit to Nightingale would be for a special occasion. Andy’s birthday was the perfect excuse! Even better, Andy’s brother and wife had kindly gifted Andy a gift voucher for Nightingale as a birthday present.
Prime times for Nightingale are booked out weeks in advance, so we were lucky to get a last minute booking for a Sunday night at 7.30pm (obviously someone cancelled). We had been holding out all day for a downfall of snow, but to our disappointment, our walk to Nightingale was a dry one.
I was shocked to enter Nightingale and realise that it was not the small intimate space I thought it was. Sure, it was still intimate, but it is basically an institution, with a whole upper level and easily triple the capacity I had initially imagined. The staff were attentive and the menu (both drinks and food) were incredibly expansive.
We ordered fried chicken, pizza, broccolini and pasta. We also ordered a beautiful bottle of wine and a salted caramel dessert. They knew it was Andy’s birthday, so a token candle came out on the dessert. Every dish we ordered was better than the last and there was no denying that the food was made with undeniable competence. There was also plenty of it: we ended up bringing two of the pizza slices home. A top class experience and a tick for one of Vancouver’s best restaurants!