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The Best Restaurant in Vancouver

Normally this blog attends to matters mainly of the mind and spirit. But mind, spirit, and body all are honoured at my favourite restaurant in this foodie town, The Pear Tree, located just over the Vancouver/Burnaby border on Hastings at Gilmore.

My beloved and I have been enjoying The Pear Tree since shortly after its opening, when we moved here ten years ago and found this gem just a few blocks from our house. Chef Scott Yeager has gone from strength to strength in the kitchen, last year receiving 7th Place honours at the international Bocuse d’Or competition in France as Canadian team captain. (He is coach of this year’s team.)

Appetizers, if I may say so, are Scott’s speciality. His frothy lobster “cappuccino” is the finest lobster dish I have ever had, and his scallops are simply the best anywhere. Main dishes are reliably tasty and inventive, without ever being weird–so reliable, in fact, that I routinely order food from Scott that I would rarely order anywhere else–and there is always a high-value table d’hôte option. Desserts are superb. (Kari and I usually have the lemon and chocolate desserts, respectively, although occasionally she walks on the wild side and has the extraordinary crème brulée.)

Wife Stephanie runs the front of the house, and is as good at her job as Scott is at his. The service is simply flawless. Always appearing right when you need them, the staff come and go in friendly silence. No grandstanding, no ingratiating chit-chat to push up the tip, they leave you free to enjoy your dining mates while supplying every need before you quite realize you have it.

Be warned, though: If your preference in high-end restaurants is “dinner as a show,” with spectacular dishes served con brio in a breathtaking room, then you’ll be disappointed here. The Pear Tree offers instead a soothing ambience, sensibly plated meals, and self-effacing servers. It is all about you, your companion(s), and the food.

Will heaven be like this? Oh, I hope so! Bring your biggest credit card (although folks from big cities elsewhere will be impressed at what a relative bargain it is) and treat yourself and someone you love to The Pear Tree. Vancouver magazine has routinely praised it as “The Best of the ‘Burbs” every single year since it opened in 1998, but I think it’s simply The Best in a town of great restaurant values.

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