Picture this…A dining adventure featuring; a brewery, an urban winery and a restaurant. The best part is, all three establishments are located in the same unique 1920s Vancouver building. Set in the lively Railtown district, the heritage building hosts Postmark Brewing, Belgard Kitchen and Vancouver Urban Winery. At first glance the white concrete architecture doesn’t give much away making our date night all the more exciting! As my boyfriend, James and I entered this somewhat mysterious venue, we instantly felt immersed in the infectious atmosphere, warmth and rustic west-cost vibe. With rumbling bellies and dry mouths we were deep in anticipation for what the night had in store for us.
First the Beer… James is an all year-round beer drinker, lover and enthusiast. Which is a given right? Aussie guy, early 30s, loves sport…no surprises here. What we did find surprising was that all Postmark beers are brewed in small batches, edging James towards the tasting paddle, which included a selection of; Blonde, IPA, Blondebucha, Raspberry Ale and Stout. He was quite fond of them all but particularly fancied the Postmark Blonde; a light, tropical brew – perfect for the warm Vancouver evening.
More importantly the wine… To judge a wine, the experts say to; swirl, smell and taste. If your anything like me you’ll take a hop, skip and a jump the taste step. Vancouver Urban Winery has 36 selections of wine. I know what your thinking, where would one possibly start!? Thankfully our waiter Jillian, who was quite the wine guru, guided us through the wine list and suggested her favourite blends. I too, opted for a wine flight which included; Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Natural Orange and a Rosé. I was certain the Rosé would be my favourite, as it’s my go to, until…I sipped (maybe gulped) down the pinot. The first sip was light with subtle overflowing fruity aromas and without the acidic taste that many white wines hold. With its pleasant summer aftertaste, I knew the Pinot was my wine for the night.
And the star attraction - Food... First impressions of the Belgards menu were; rustic, fresh and crisp. Jillian informed us that the menu was intentionally designed to host shared style dishes, which suited us perfect as we are, of course, mad for grazing. We let Jillian take full control on deciding what dishes were brought to our table. A fun and exciting way to dine, as we were guided down a mystery road of flavours. Highly recommend you try it!
First dish for the night was the Grilled Postmark Sausage Board, including; IPA chorizo + stout beef sausage, Two River's cured meats, tomato + olive tapenade, artisan cheese, toasty bread, mushroom + bacon pate. At first glance our eyes grew large, as it was presented in such a way that even the word “rustic” didn’t do it justice. This board was a foolproof starter, and that bacon pate..wow.
Next came the Burrata and Eggplant Caponata, together with; grilled sourdough, a spread of creamy goat cheese coulis, topped with toasted almonds and eggplant. Boasting a mix of rich flavors and nutty textures, the creamy coulis against the full-bodied tomato based eggplant made for an explosion of happiness. Accompanied with the delightful pinot it was worth a dining experience all on its own.
Soon after finishing off the Eggplant Caponata, we were greeted with our next dish, none other than the #trending Roasted Cauliflower. Bathing in a skillet of romesco sauce, crispy capers, toasted almonds, herbed breadcrumbs, grana padano and fresh lemon, we wasted no time and tackled it immediately. With our mouths full, Jullian let us know the cauliflower dish was their best seller (this was no surprise!) A wonderful blend and all the more exciting knowing we could enjoy such a seemingly naughty meal without any guilt. By this stage we’re fast approaching full bellies, but next appeared our final dish Yam Gnocchi w/ Lamb Ragu. Having made Yam Gnocchi many times in my own kitchen, this dish certainly set the standard, perhaps a little too high in the eyes of my boyfriend who now will be expecting mine to taste this good. How would one say melt in your mouth with out sounding cliché? There truly was no other way to describe it but this. The gnocchi and ragu were of course the hero’s of the dish, and teaming them both with the brown sage butter and sweet peas, was creamy heaven.
Long behold... What we’ve all been waiting for, or perhaps it’s just me!? The final dish of the night…DESSERT! We finished off our dining adventure with a Triple Chocolate Espresso Brownie. Four words that project instant happiness, lust and longing. And I haven’t even shared the good news..it’s gluten free AND vegan (hold onto your hats). Now, personally I generally opt out on desserts like this as I’ve been let down few too many times, until now. How this dessert is both gluten free and vegan and yet tastes so decadent and heavenly I will never know but I’m not complaining!Oh and did I mention it’s teamed with coconut cashew + espresso ice cream, plus candied pecans. To….die…for!
For us, an enjoyable dining experience involves much more than eating and drinking. It’s a journey, where we lust to be transported to somewhere; new, unknown and exciting. This is where the atmosphere is essential and Settlement has this absolutely mastered. Our dining experience was intimate and unique, complimented with genuine whole hearted service by Jillian who was attentive, knowledgeable and fun loving. From start to finish an incredible evening that would undoubtedly leave even the toughest of taste buds soaked in delight.