If you haven’t figured out how you’re going to treat your mom yet on Mother’s Day, it’s time to get cracking.
Chances are most moms will say the greatest gift you could give them is time together, so why not do away with the bubble bath and flowers and share an exquisite meal together instead? She’ll get quality time with you and, if you take any of these suggestions, high-quality food, to boot.
Located in the Westin Bayshore with a view of Burrard Inlet as well as the hotel’s gardens and pool, the brand-new H2 Rotisserie and Bar specializes in upscale comfort food and spit-roasted fare. Look for its signature rotisserie chicken and roasted prime rib at its Mother’s Day brunch ($70; $35 for kids aged six to 12). Aside from sushi, seafood, and meat, cheese, and antipasto platters, there will be stations for pasta, eggs, and “dessert action”, plus a juice bar.
Then there’s grilled beef, lamb, chicken, squid, prawns, and corn. And a chocolate fountain. (Five percent of brunch sales go to the B.C. Women’s Foundation.) Rotisserie chicken is also the signature dish at Homer St. Cafe and Bar. Order a whole one ($42) to share; it comes with coleslaw and roasted potatoes. Save room for the decadent chocolate pudding for dessert, with its Maldon sea salt, cocoa nibs, and honeycomb.
Lure her to a feast
Sometimes we Vancouverites take our marine bounty for granted and forget that people travel from all corners of the map to enjoy our fresh fish. Mother’s Day is the ideal excuse to experience the city like a tourist and splurge on a seafood feast.
Beach Bay Café and Patio’s Mother’s Day dinner menu features first-of-the-season spot prawns with baby greens ($21) or on a seafood board with octopus, scallops, and fingerling potatoes ($39). (There’s brunch, too, as well as its regular menu.)
Coast is hosting a Mother’s Day brunch, its à la carte menu featuring appies like smoked-salmon flatbread ($17.95); chilled shellfish such as Atlantic lobster and Dungeness crab (market price); miso-maple salmon ($28.95) and other signature mains; and, the pièce de résistance, a two-tiered seafood tower with shucked oysters, tiger prawns, scallop ceviche, mussels, snow crab, Dungeness crab, Atlantic lobster, and tuna goma-ae ($89).
The Kaisen Kaiseki menu ($88) at Miku features its signature flame-seared sushi as well as sashimi, oysters, Kyoto Saikyo miso sablefish, pan-seared Hokkaido scallop, and AAA Sterling Silver filet mignon cooked sous-vide and served with wasabi-veal jus and market vegetables. Dessert comes in the form of green-tea opera cake with matcha butter cream. (Sake pairings are available for $39.)
Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio, meanwhile, puts a Latin American spin on the sea with an à la carte brunch menu featuring Peruvian-style paella with black-cod croquettes and shellfish. (Other items include duck-confit cassoulet and Windberry Farm chicken and waffles.)
Treat your vegetarian mom to a spring-pea tagliatelle with pickled ramps, wild celery, and preserved Meyer lemon crème fraîche ($21) or rosemary-roasted red cabbage with sumac-stewed lentils ($19) at the Acorn Restaurant. Or hit Nuba for baba ghanoush ($9) and mjadra ($13): organic lentils, rice, and jalapeños served with avocado and caramelized onions.
Chau Veggie Express’s East Side location is fully licensed, so Mom can sip on a glass of sparkling wine before a bowl of Diving for Pearls soup ($11.75)—with a litchi-and-date broth, veggies, flat rice noodles, and garlic—or while noshing on her Midnight Swim Bowl ($11.75), a rice blend with spicy peanut sate, dark soy-mushroom-garlic sauce, organic tofu, bean curd, kale, veggies, and more.
Just like mom used to make
The Mother’s Day dinner menu at David Gunawan’s Farmer’s Apprentice Restaurant is inspired by the culinary team’s own childhood favourites. Recently reopened after a redesign, the restaurant is offering a six-course meal ($65, plus tax and tip) that includes meatloaf with Yorkshire pudding, raspberry ketchup, and farmhouse cheddar sauce; spring harvest asparagus salad; baked salmon with potato and sorrel gravy; and pork chop with mushroom sauce.
Dessert is a little fancier than anything my mom ever made: wild rose and chocolate cookies with vanilla-and-tonka-bean ice cream.
Get away from it all
If you consider a drive across the Lions Gate Bridge a day trip, then pack up and head for West Vancouver’s Terroir Kitchen.
Accomplished chef Faizal Kassam (the former executive chef at Cibo Trattoria, who also worked at Hawksworth and Bacchus, among other spots) will wow your mom with a three-course brunch ($36) featuring Dungeness crab with Hannah Brook Farms asparagus, grapefruit, Grana Padano, and brown-butter croutons; smoked sablefish with chive-and-potato pancake, soft poached egg, apple-and-fennel salad, and aged-bourbon maple crème fraîche; and an elderflower panna cotta with vanilla-poached rhubarb and crushed amaretti. It even includes a Baileys coffee or a glass of Pineau des Charentes.
If a longer scenic drive is in the works, head to Squamish and straight for the Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar. The best restaurant in town has the feel of a refurbished farmhouse and takes its culinary inspiration from the Pacific Northwest. Its Mother’s Day brunch features dishes such as lemon-ricotta pancakes, pork-belly Bennies, and chorizo frittata (all $16) along with Aperol spritzes and other refreshing cocktails to sip.