Dinner with a View Vancouver is the hottest new luxury dining experience at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. Guests gather together outdoors in a magical dome to sample 2019 Top Chef Canada winner Paul Moran’s three-course meal. The event has appeared in multiple (online) publications such as Daily Hive, Narcity Canada, and even the Georgia Straight. With so much hype leading up this exciting event, is it actually worth it? Well, let’s find out!
About Dinner with a View
Dinner with a View launched in Toronto + Montreal in 2019. This whimsical pop-up outdoor dining experience takes place in a clear dome and features unique creations from celebrity chefs like 2016 Iron Chef Challenge winner René Rodriguez, the above mentioned 2019 Top Chef Canada winner Paul Moran, as well as James Beard Best Chef West semi-finalist Claudette Zepeda.
It is essentially a blind tasting in which guests do not know what the dinner specials are until the night of. However, with each individual having varying diets/dietary restrictions, you do have the option to choose between meat, fish, or vegan for the main course beforehand.
The Cost Breakdown
Dome rentals start at $199.99 + tax ($24.00) + a non-refundable processing fee of $21.42. The grand total comes to $245.41/dome and can easily be split between a group of four to six friends. Dinner is sold separately at $109.99/person and all reservations require guests to purchase a minimum of four meals, a maximum of six.
A Little Background
I’d first come to know about Dinner with a View Vancouver in June of 2019 (via Instagram ads). It was supposedly launching fall of that year although it was later postponed to January.
Now I was actually invited to this event as media. The original media preview was cancelled due to snow and was rescheduled a week later at 9:30PM on a Tuesday. Let me just begin by saying… Who eats dinner at 9:30PM!? Second dinner, maybe. But as someone whose stomach starts violently protesting for food at around 4:30PM, this was an atrocity to me. Not to mention, Tuesday is a work day so this isn’t exactly the most convenient of times.
Keep in mind that Dinner with a View Vancouver offers three time slots: 5:30PM, 7:30PM, and 9:30PM. I would definitely avoid the last one like the plague and I recommend booking the first 5:30PM spot. Apart from almost starving to death, we waited an insanely long time for previous guests to leave and for the tables to be cleared. The venue is smaller than I had imagined. Plus, there aren’t that many domes available. (Only 20.) Try to book as early as possible before the better times are sold out!
Dinner started with sourdough bread paired with Tofino seaweed butter. Tofino is where Chef Moran is originally from and the incorporation of seaweed was incredibly genius. Great start to the evening followed by a beet tartare, which was not so great for me personally. If you enjoy
eating dirt earthy flavors, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Miso black cod.
As mentioned above, guests can select one of three main course options. I chose fish and my boyfriend opted for the meat. The fish option was a decadent miso black cod marinated in maple yuzu. It was cooked perfectly and melted in my mouth like butter. Unfortunately, the miso glaze was on the saltier side otherwise I would’ve given it a 10/10.
Fraser Valley chicken.
The meat option was a Fraser Valley chicken. Its skin was very nicely seared on the outside, but again, a bit too salty.
One of the guests we shared our dome with ordered the crispy ginger and soy tofu instead. I didn’t want to reach over and ask if I could take a picture so you’re just gonna have to believe me when I say she absolutely loved it.
Pineapple coconut mousse.
To finish off, Chef created a whipped coconut mousse with pineapple for dessert. The mousse was super fluffy and tasted like clouds. The pineapples, on the other hand, could have been prepared better. Maybe even blanched/baked as the bromelain gave off quite a strong tongue burning sensation. (And there was a LOT of pineapples in that tiny bowl!)
While Ambleside Park does provide a glimpse of Burrard Inlet + Downtown Vancouver, there were no views whatsoever. Were this to have taken place during summer or early fall (as the event originally intended to; before the rain season), perhaps we could’ve enjoyed a lovely sunset. Regardless, the ambience does make up for what’s lacking and the domes still make for a cute setting for pictures.
Is it worth it?
If you literally only eat to stay alive and don’t care about what goes into your mouth whatsoever, this event is not for you. If, however, you’re like me and you love trying new things, this would definitely be something fun to experience with friends or family. Whether you are celebrating a birthday or a special holiday, Dinner with a View makes for the perfect night out.
Where else can you find Dinner with a View?
San Diego will begin accepting reservations for February 6th to March 8th, 2020 followed by Chicago – April 1st to May 10th, 2020. Washington is the next location location although dates have not yet been announced.
Looking for other foodie events in Vancouver? Check out Dine Out Vancouver Festival.