The Oakwood on West 4th avenue brings a little bit of the rustic Pacific Northwest to Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Professing to be a Canadian Bistro, whatever that may be, they offer a meat and potato type menu with a modern bent alongside a careful selection of BC draft beer — all, in a log cabin influenced setting complete with antler horns over the fireplace.
We settled in with friends at one end of the bar height communal table with a view of the kitchen and the fireplace. Case and I started with the fried octopus: a crispy, dainty appetizer contrasted by tangy pickled shallots and mildly bitter japanese mustard spinach. Droplets of bacon aioli add a notably creamy and savoury finish to the bite size morsels.
Next, the apple watercress salad with candied walnuts, smoked goat cheese in a creamy herb emulsion. The crispness of the greens married remarkably well with the tartness of the apples, the savouriness of the creamy goat cheese and the sweetness of the candied walnuts.
And then there’s Oakwood’s all Canadian poutine. If the all too familiar fries, curds and gravy weren’t decadently north of the 49th parallel enough for you, the chef puts on an extra thick flannel shirt and grows a grizzly beard by topping it all off with strips of house smoked brisket — all appropriately served up on a thick, cast iron skillet. This food is no doubt crafted strictly to be consumed alongside a tall, frosty glass of draft beer. Ours was accompanied by Driftwood’s hearty, Fat Tug IPA.
Our meal came to a reasonable $35 including taxes and tips. The staff was friendly, the vibe extremely laid back, and the menu crafted for a night of drinking and merriment with friends while basking in the glowing, crackling lights of a fireplace.
Perfect for: Après whatever in Kits.