The Beach House reopens in West Vancouver with a fresh new look and a seafood-focused menu

BC art, nods to history, and turducken are all part of the revamped waterfront restaurant in the Earls' portfolio

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      One of the North Shore’s most iconic restaurants has reopened after major renovations. The new Beach House is up and running with happy hour, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

      Situated in a heritage building next to Dundarave Pier that’s owned by the District of West Vancouver, Earls runs the waterfront restaurant.

      The main level patio.
      Gail Johnson.

      The interior has been opened up and brightened up: no more fireplace or TV blocking the main floor lounge from the water view. The expansive patio—a timber pergola structure—now has a retractable roof and built-in heaters. Upstairs is an event space called the Landing, which also has a patio, offering what’s easily some of the best seaside scenery anywhere in Greater Vancouver.

      The view from the Landing.
      Gail Johnson.

      The Edwardian building dates back to 1912, when two sisters named Jessie and Helen Stevenson built a single-storey tea room and hotel named the Clachan. (A second level was added in 1914.) It served locals and passengers from the West Vancouver ferry service and operated until the late 1930s.

      The municipality purchased the property in 1944 and has leased it as a restaurant ever since. Breakers Restaurant moved in before Peppi’s, an Italian restaurant, took over and ran for nearly three decades.

      After the building sat empty for nearly six years, the Fuller family (which owns Earls and Joey) opened the Beach House in 2010.

      The new space’s interior art includes nods to the home’s history, with black-and white photos pulled from the West Vancouver Archives. There’s a framed photo of the beloved late Leroy Earl "Bus” Fuller, the patriarch of Earls, by his favourite seat in the house. Artworks by local luminaries such as Gordon Smith and Musqueam Coast Salish member Susan Point adorn the walls, as do other works selected in in collaboration with the West Vancouver Art Museum, North Van Arts, and the Silk Purse Arts Centre.  

      Earls development chef David Wong combines roasted peanuts with guava in a baked Alaska.
      Gail Johnson.

      All the big guns from Earls were involved in the restaurant’s opening. Earls culinary development chefs David Wong and Hamid Salimian developed the seafood-focused menu.

      With head chef Jared Roffey leading the culinary team (he's formerly of Earls Whistler, along with Beachhouse GM Ellen Barbour), look for starters such as raw oysters, seafood chowder, salmon poke, ahi tuna tacos, grilled octopus, and a seafood tower for four to six people. Icelandic Arctic char and West Coast sablefish appear on the seasonal roster of mains, while steak, pasta, salads, lobster rolls, and a plant-based burger are among the dishes rounding out the selection. Also, turducken. 

      For the dessert menu, Wong revisited his childhood to put his own stamp on baked Alaska, the meringue housing salted-caramel ice cream, peanut-butter mousse, and brown butter cake, surrounded by a guava sauce.

      “The inspiration was from a combo I had from a salad when I was young,” Wong tells the Straight. “While my mom cooked traditional Cantonese cuisine, she also messed around with ingredients that she was less familiar with.  Guava was one of them.  And she combined guava with roasted peanuts, which really landed for me.”

      Earls corporate beverage director Cameron Bogue created a tableside martini program.
      Gail Johnson.

      Sommelier David Stansfield curated a list of more than 100 wines, including naturalist options, while Earls beverage director Cameron Bogue’s cocktail menu features a tableside martini program. The latter has nine different martinis (and just as many types of vermouth) and features products from BC distillers like Sheringham and Ampersand.

      "Quite often vermouth gets the cold shoulder because people's experience is often from a stale bottle that has been sitting on a warm shelf open for an eternity. News flash, it's gone bad," Bogue tells the Straight.  "Vermouth is wine.  It is flavoured with botanicals such as wormwood and fortified with spirits, which extends the shelf life. But only to around 30 days as long as it is refrigerated.  
      "The four Vodka martinis showcase four different vodka base ingredients including winter wheat, potatoes, honey and corn," he adds. "Each of these are served on the dry side with complimentary vermouths and garnishes....We finish the vodka martinis with citrus peels or olives, which we stuff in house with real pimentos, house-preserved lemon peels, anchovies, or blue cheese.  
      "The five gin martinis include gins from around the world representing traditional London Dry and local craft distillers," Bogue says. "As gin is a bit of a beast in its own right, these martinis each vary in the amount of vermouth specific to the pairing.  These five different vermouths add to the complex gins by opening them up with matching flavors." Garnishes range from citrus peels to caper berries.
      And yes, that is a lobster tail on the East Coast Caesar. (The West Coast version comes with a kusshi oyster.) 
      The Beachhouse has nine different types of martinis, served in copperware.
      Gail Johnson.

      The Beach House (150 25th Street, West Vancouver), is open seven days a week. More info is here.

      Check out more photos of the revamped space and some of the food:

      Gail Johnson.
      The restaurant is in a heritage building.
      Gail Johnson.
      Gail Johnson.
      Icelandic Arctic char with celery root ravioli.
      Gail Johnson.
      Prawn and scallop spaghettini with basil-arugula pesto.
      Gail Johnson.
      Plucked Atlantic lobster rolls.
      Gail Johnson.
      Kusshi oyster spoons.
      Gail Johnson.