Wildebeest restaurant opens in Vancouver's Gastown

Last night (August 22), Wildebeest restaurant opened at 120 West Hastings Street. Vegetarians can stop reading now: the restaurant, co-owned by Abigail’s Party’s James Iranzad and the Diamond’s Josh Pape, is a nose-to-tail kind of place, focusing on cooking the whole beast.

Executive chef David Gunawan is at the helm, who was at West restaurant in 2010 before moving to Belgium in 2011 to cook at Michelin-starred In De Wulf. According to a news release, Gunawan works with local farmers and personally chooses the diets “for each and every animal on the menu”. The chicken, pork, lamb, and veal come from the Fraser Valley’s Six Masters Farm, and the pork from Chilliwack's Fiore Farms. The restaurant sources from produce from Six Masters as well as Vancouver’s SOLEfood farm and Cawston’s Klippers Organics .

The two-storey restaurant is in a refurbished 19th-century building.

Starters include crispy pork skin, an aged ham plate, and seawater-infused hazelnuts. Mains include lamb tartare with pickled wild onions, roasted organic beef tongue with mushroom marmalade, and roasted sweetbreads. For the less adventurous, there are dishes such as dry-aged Angus beef ribeye and olive oil-poached halibut.

The restaurant also houses a basement wine bar with 12 wines on tap, including JoieFarm's Noble Blend, from the By the Glass system. Pape is behind the cocktail program, and there will be live piano music.

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Comments (12) Add New Comment
The American
Hmmmm. Looks like a total rip off of Tavolata in Seattle. How unoriginal.
Rating: -8
Sounds like a "criticism" from someone trying to show off their extensive knowledge. An unoriginal and irrelevant comment.
Rating: +10
Isn't Tavolata a pasta place? [Checks website.] Yup, so it is.
Rating: -1
Seawater-infused hazelnuts?
Rating: -4
Too much food culture in Vancouver. Not enough of that other stuff: theatre, art, dance...
Rating: -6
expensive! very expensive! you are not a 5 star restaurant. owners are in their own dream world. wake up people ! wake up. Service ! Service ! Smile ! Smile ! I will come back in a week then make recommendation..for now you're ZERO !
Rating: +5
this isn't in Gastown. Or, the Gastown it is in is a creation of Developers to make people think they're not in the Downtown East Side.
Rating: +3
just met farmer Walter from 6 Masters Farms on his egg delivery to Chill W, and listening to his passion for things done right and they way the chickens and animals are given such respect in how they are raised actually gives clout for high prices for the meat and eggs...this almost vegetarian is even interested in the meats from Walt's farm, because if you READ about the way meat is made in a factory setting you wouldn't have the nerve to eat it! Thumbs up for this newest eatery in my hood... I will search for Walt's product around town to create my own in kitchen delights and save up for a dining date destination @ Wildebeest...
Rating: +5
Mr Disappointed.
We had high hopes for this place, the menu is far more complex than the food being served - The servers are patronizing and the food was poorly paired, took ages to come out and overall just awful!

We will not return here! TERRIBLE
Rating: +2
We found this place by surprise - and it was a very good surprise. It is the best meal I've had since French Laundry; and the unpretentious atmosphere gives it more stars in my books. If you're looking for entertainment sit near the bar, magical concoctions are creative and delicious. Anyone who remembers when Josh Pape came on the scene at Chambar will know why. He's created some of the best drinks I've ever had, and in this case I'd go back just for the horseradish sour...but there is more. Reasonably priced and well selected bottles of wine are solid. And then there is the food, fantastic fois gras, and bone marrow. Creative and delicious presentations of beets and radish make for a fantastic palate cleanser. And with the warm atmosphere, owners and staff are all there to make this place a success. Having really enjoyed Jame's Abigail's party I am loving this evolution. And if a table isn't available and you have to sit a the bar, do it, it is worth it.
Rating: -9
Oh brother
Man I find all this local, organic, "I know the guy that cleaned the chicken's shit up" rhetoric tiresome. Of course industrial meat is disgusting but I don't need to know the name of the farmer who fucked the sheep I'm about to eat. So boring and pretentious.
Rating: 0
Wildebeest is a refreshing addition to Vancouver, they approach real food straight up and not afraid.
@The American if this place ripped off Tavola, then tavola ripped off Martin Picard's Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal!
My point is cooking is an evolutionary art, every chef is inspired by someone else so really who is the original one?
Rating: +4
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