I’ve heard a lot about this small restaurant. Located steps from Davie St, Exile Bistro started off as a vegan/vegetarian place with a decent brunch. It is now a forage-forward style restaurant that puts most farm-to-table restaurants to shame. It is also well known for their innovating cocktail list.
I took some of my favourite people there for dinner. I’ve been meaning to come here for a bit, as I was intrigued by Vanessa Bourget new cocktails. She’s a veteran Vancouver mixologist and owner of Exile.
Starting with The Emerald Lake – a gin cocktail made with algae harvested from Klamath Lake in Oregon. This plant is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. I know it’s far fetched to call a cocktail “good for you” but, hey, I’ll drink a couple of these to my health!
The Root Sour is a bourbon cocktail mixed with a turmeric infusion. Again, known to be a anti-inflammatory tonic, turmeric is quite tasty mixed with yam juice.
Now this is just a cocktail, but a very good one – the Ginger Margarita. Mixed with fresh lime and ginger juices and garnished with candied ginger. This is a margarita like no other. I highly recommend trying this cocktail. Or two. Or three.
I don’t recommend drinking on an empty stomach – these are some of the must-try dishes at Exile. Starting with their Handmade Ravioli made with nettle ricotta, beet-caramelized onion sauce and parsley oil.
My must-try dish recommendation are the Bison dry ribs – I love everything about this dish. The ribs are tender and they have a good meaty taste without being gamey. The black cherry BBQ sauce compliments the ribs perfectly, and the vegetable slaw add a crunch layer to the dish that it’s very satisfying.
On our visit, the Catch of the Day was salmon, and it was served with sea asparagus and carrots. The crispy skin of the salmon was divine!
This small but inspired little bistro is definitely worth checking out. I highly recommend their cocktail list, which in my experience, is one of the best curated and innovating cocktail lists in the city. A good place for date night based on the proximity to Davie Street and English Bay, the intimate setting of Exile encourages conversation.
Exile Bistro is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 5-m till late. Reservations are recommended. 604-563-8633