I recently found out that the Yew restaurant in Downtown Vancouver offered a vegan menu. I had been there a few times before enjoying their regular dinner menu, but I never noticed they had a completely custom vegan menu as well. I was beyond excited to try the menu and it was very fitting for date night with my boyfriend this past week. He works out of town and is home every two weeks, so when he is here we try to plan one nice date night where we go out and enjoy great food and great drinks. We are big dorks and get super dolled up, on any given date night he’ll be rocking suspenders and a bow tie, and I will almost always be in a dress and heels. Our usual date nights consisted of either dinner at Gotham’s Steakhouse, Joe Fortes, or Blue Water Cafe. All these restaurants had wonderful food, and I would normally have a 16oz rib eye steak cooked medium rare, or a miso glazed sablefish. So planning this date night was a lot more challenging. I had to find somewhere that my boyfriend would be able to have his perfect ribeye steak, that didn’t leave me with only a salad as a vegan dinner option. Yew restaurant was the perfect spot for us! The regular dinner menu covers all the various proteins; steak, chicken, and a vast array of fish and seafood. I am so happy I discovered this, because now when I want a delicious vegan meal it won’t have to be at a restaurant that is entirely vegan. Click here to check out the vegan dinner menu!
I started with their delicious tomato salad ($12). It was one of the best tomato salads I have had even prior to me going vegan. Normally I always opt for the tomato and mozzarella salad, or a caprese salad at any restaurant. The Yew tomato salad was their take on it. I was very happy with it and it didn’t leave me longing for the fresh mozzarella that usually accompanies it. The tomato salad was tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette with a sweet balsamic reduction. On the side was an arugula pesto, which was to die for! It was garnished with pickled cucumbers and fresh basil, which just gave every bite that much more flavour. The plating of the dishes were so beautiful, they were intricately crafted and looked like pieces of art. I know the saying is “people eat with their eyes first”, well after my eyes saw how pretty the plate was I didn’t even want to eat and mess it all up!
For my entree I had the cashew cream pasta ($20). Honestly, this was the best pasta dish I have ever had-hands down. I rarely order a pasta dish at a restaurant, or even cook pasta for that matter, but this pasta dish was loaded with mushrooms so I just had to give it a try! I was stunned by the creaminess and richness of the sauce, I hadn’t tasted anything so rich since going vegan. I could’ve sworn there was a ton of cream and cheese in the sauce, because of the velvety texture. I was shocked that they were able to get that creaminess strictly from a cashew puree. I was literally on the moon when eating this pasta. The sauce had a smoky flavour from the roasted cashews and the mushrooms added a hearty earthiness to the pasta. Everything just worked so perfectly together.
Now to finish my grande meal off on a sweet note I had their one and only vegan dessert, the chocolate tort ($10). After having this dessert I completely understood why they only had one vegan dessert, because nothing could compete with this tort. It was absolutely heavenly. The tort was the perfect consistency for my liking, almost like a chocolate truffle cake. Where the chocolate is set-it’s still smooth and creamy, but it has a little bit of a bite to it. Paired with the tort was a raspberry sorbet and raspberry chia seed compote. You honestly can never go wrong pairing berries and chocolate together. It was the perfect marriage. Ever since I had this tort I have been craving it every day! It will be my new late night dessert run if I’m downtown and can’t fight the cravings.
The restaurant itself is absolutely beautiful. The decor is modern, clean, yet warm and not pretentious. Our server was extremely nice and professional. She was very curious as to why I went vegan-normally I never share the fact that I have Lupus with people I know, let alone complete strangers! For some reason she made me feel very comfortable with sharing that part of me with her. After I explained to her my reasons, she said she was truly inspired and moved, and that she wished me the best of luck on my journey.
I highly recommend the Yew restaurant for anyone wanting a meal that will have your taste buds singing. It was an unforgettable meal. For all you vegans out there who struggle to find a a fine dining restaurant that offers delicious vegan dishes, Yew should be your go-to!