Gastown's Burgundy restaurant offers casual French favourites
Walking into Burgundy restaurant (47 West Hastings Street) is a little bit like stepping into a time machine. The dimly lit Gastown eatery clearly takes inspiration from the 1920s, with slightly gothic décor and heavy velvet curtains that block out sunlight giving the room a cosy speakeasy vibe.
Erica Kosciuk and Lisa Skelton opened Burgundy opened in fall 2013. Best friends for over a decade, Kosciuk and Skelton met while working at a Boathouse restaurant in 2000. In 2009, Skelton opened Main Street’s popular Wallflower Modern Diner, and the friends reconnected to launch Burgundy four years later.
Kosciuk manages front-of-house and Skelton does a little bit of everything at the restaurant, including cooking in the kitchen with new chef Stewart Ehrecke. The menu is French-inspired, with classic dishes such as tuna Niçoise salad, beef bourguignon, and coq au vin included in the offerings.
Similar to the Wallflower, where there are plenty of gluten-free options on the menu, Burgundy is a good option for diners with dietary requirements. Here, crab cakes are made with quinoa rather than the usual breadcrumbs and dressed with sundried tomatoes, chili oil, pea shoots and an aioli. Eggplant parmesan served with polenta cakes, tomato sauce, and spinach makes for a hearty vegetarian meal.
At a recent media dinner, I had a chance to sample a few of the dishes at Burgundy. The goat cheese fondue, which arrived in a warm mason jar, was expectedly satisfying. Served with slices of fresh baguette and green apples for dipping, as well as a handful of raspberries for sweet contrast, the appetizer is ideal for sharing.
Of the mains (all of which are priced under $20), the scallops and Dungeness crab stood out. Three seared scallops sit on a salad of arugala, pea shoots, cherry tomatoes, and crab, served with buttery scalloped potatoes that were so delicious that I only wish there was more. The pork tenderloin stuffed with cherries and thyme are drizzled with a dark-cherry jus and accompanied by carrots, green beans, and nugget potatoes.
Burgundy offers lunch Tuesdays to Fridays and weekend brunch. For diners who enjoy the variety of eggs Benedict dishes at the Wallflower, Skelton has added even more options to the brunch menu at Burgundy. The vegetarian-friendly spinach Benny is topped with goat cheese and a sweet tomato chutney, and the gluten-free crab-cake Benny utilizes the restaurant’s quinoa-crab cakes and places them with slices of avocado on gluten-free English muffins.