26th Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards Winners


 Ask for Luigi wins Restaurant of the Year and Vikram Vij is named Chef of the Year

Congrats to all winners and nominees for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. We missed the celebration this year (again), but were there in spirit! Thanks to the diligence of a few key tweeters, notably food reporter Erin Ireland of It’s to Die For, we followed along!  Ask For Luigi, took home four Golds including Restaurant of the Year, Best Casual Restaurant, Best Casual Italian, and Best New Restaurant.

(Taken from the Press Release) Chef of the Year was awarded to Vikram Vij who we’ve known and admired since the first incarnation of Vij’s and now also love Rangoli, and the recently opened My Shanti.

Hawksworth was again the winner for Best Upscale Restaurant. Hy’s Encore won Best Steakhouse and Kingyo for Best Casual Japanese. Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie took Best Gastown and Chinatown for the second year in a row, and also picked up Best Casual Chinese. For Best Upscale Japanese, there was a tie for first place between Tojo’s and Zest.

The Green Award went to the talented and charming Ned Bell, Chef of Yew Restaurant, for his work in leading a national conversation on sustainable seafood. You will recall his cross-country bike tour, where he hosted 24 sustainable-seafood events en route.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to restaurateur David Aisenstat in recognition of his three decades as an industry leader, helming some of the country’s top steakhouses including The Keg, Hy’s Steakhouse, and Gotham. Bruno Marti was honoured with a Mentorship Award for his career-long commitment to nurturing young chefs, both in his own kitchen and as a manager and coach of Canada’s national culinary teams.

Other notable winners included Tacofino for Best Food Cart; Lauren Mote of Uva and Bittered Sling for Bartender of the Year; Via Tevere for Best East Side; Bryant Mao of Hawksworth for Sommelier of the Year; Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca for Best Upscale Italian; and Le Crocodile for Best Upscale French.

The awards are judged by a panel of leading experts and critics and are handed out at a formal award show at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver.

Restaurant of the Year: Ask for Luigi

Best Upscale Restaurant: Hawksworth (Gold), Blue Water Cafe (Silver), La Quercia (Bronze)

Best Casual Restaurant: Ask for Luigi (Gold), Farmer’s Apprentice (Silver), L’Abattoir (Bronze)

Best New Restaurant: Ask for Luigi (Gold), Cinara (Silver), Chambar (Bronze)

Best Upscale Italian: Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca (Gold), La Quercia (Silver), CinCin (Bronze)

Best Casual Italian: Ask for Luigi (Gold), Campagnolo Roma (Silver), Bufala (Bronze)

Best Upscale French: Le Crocodile (Gold), Bacchus at the Wedgewood (Silver), La Regalade (Bronze)

Best Casual French: Tableau Bistro Bar (Gold), Au Comptoir (Silver), Bistro Wagon Rouge (Bronze)

Best Upscale Chinese: Dynasty Seafood (Gold), Chef Tony Seafood (Silver), Yue Delicacy (Bronze)

Best Casual Chinese: Bao Bei (Gold), Ningtu (Silver), Dinesty Dumpling House (Bronze)

Best Dim Sum: Chef Tony Seafood (Gold) , Golden Paramount (Silver), Dynasty Seafood (Bronze)

Best Upscale Japanese: Zest and Tojo’s (tied for Gold), Miku (Bronze)

Best Casual Japanese: Kingyo (Gold), Zakkushi (Silver), Kishimoto (Bronze)

Best Noodle House: Marutama Ra-men (Gold), Motomachi Shokudo and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (tied for Silver)

Best Indian: Vij’s (Gold), My Shanti (Silver), Rangoli (Bronze)

Best Thai: Maenam (Gold), Longtail Kitchen (Silver), Bob Likes Thai Food (Bronze)

Best Vietnamese: Phnom Penh (Gold), Mr. Red Cafe and Au Petit Cafe (tied for Silver)

Best Korean: Hanwoori (Gold), Damso Modern Korean (Silver), Seoul Doogbaegi (Bronze)

Best Other Asian: Amay’s House (Gold), Penang Delight Cafe (Silver), Banana Leaf (Bronze)

Best Casual Chain: Cactus Club (Gold), Hapa Izakaya (Silver), Earls (Bronze)

Best Seafood: Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar (Gold), Yew Seafood and Bar (Silver), Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar (Bronze)

Best Pizzeria: Nicli Antica (Gold), Pizzeria Farina and Via Tevere (tied for Silver)

Best Steakhouse: Hy’s Encore (Gold), Gotham Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar (Silver), The Roof at Black and Blue (Bronze)

Best of the Americas: Tacofino Commissary (Gold), La Taqueria (Silver), Re-Up BBQ (Bronze)

Best Food Cart: Tacofino (Gold), Vij’s Railway Express (Silver), Yolks (Bronze)

Best Coffeehouse: Revolver (Gold), Timbertrain Coffee Roasters (Silver), Forty Ninth Parallel (Bronze)

Best Downtown: Cactus Club Coal Harbour (Gold), Cafe Medina (Silver), Tableau Bar Bistro (Bronze)

Best West End: Kingyo (Gold), Nook (Silver), Buck Stop (Bronze)

Best Yaletown: Homer St. Cafe and Bar (Gold), Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca (Silver), Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar (Bronze)

Best Gastown and Chinatown: Bao Bei (Gold), L’Abattoir (Silver), Wildebeest (Bronze)

Best West Side: Bufala (Gold), Farmer’s Apprentice (Silver), Maenam (Bronze)

Best East Side: Via Tevere (Gold), Bistro Wagon Rouge (Silver), Campagnolo Roma and Mr. Red Cafe (tied for Bronze)

Best North Shore: La Regalade (Gold), Canyon (Silver), Blue Eyed Mary’s (Bronze)

Best Richmond: Gudrun (Gold), Kiriri (Silver), Hoi Tong Seafood (Bronze)

Best Whistler: Araxi (Whistler), Bearfoot Bistro (Silver), Alta Bistro (Bronze)

Best Victoria: Stage (Gold), Brasserie L’ecole (Silver), Camille’s (Bronze)

Best Other Vancouver Island: Wolf in the Fog (Gold), The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn (Silver), Unsworth Restaurant (Bronze)

Best Okanagan: Waterfront Wines (Gold), Salted Brick (Silver), Bouchons (Bronze)

Best Winery/Vineyard Dining: Miradoro (Gold), Joy Road Catering Vineyard Kitchen (Silver), Old Vines Restaurant (Bronze)

Chef of the Year: Vikram Vij, Vij’s

Bartender of the Year: Lauren Mote, Uva

Pastry Chef of the Year: Thomas Haas, Thomas Haas Patisserie

Sommelier of the Year: Bryant Mao, Hawksworth

Lifetime Achievement Award: David Aisenstat, Keg restaurants

Mentorship Award: Bruno Marti, retired

Green Award: Ned Bell, Four Seasons Hotel