A challenge that many new restaurants face is connecting with and understanding their neighbourhood.
In the Davie Village, with a few exceptions, casual offerings seem to fare the best.
In a bid to better serve the needs of the Village people, Lips Resto has undergone a makeover and has relaunched itself.
Curtis "Lips" Demyon, former Fish House in Stanley Park executive chef, opened the West End spot in May at 1143 Davie Street after a $1-million renovation. (If you missed the memo, the Fish House closed on September 29.) The stylish 100-seat restaurant featured sharing plates, with sophisticated dishes such as lingcod with sea asparagus and grilled Moroccan chicken thighs.
In late September, the restaurant temporarily closed as it underwent renovations.
After incorporating feedback from the community, it reopened as Village Bistro on October 3.
The new incarnation has retained some of its former menu selections but has shifted its focus to Canadian comfort food.
The new diner menu includes entrees (all under $20) such as brown butter gnocchi, with broccolini, mushrooms, blistered tomato, and smoked parmesan cream ($13); grilled Sakura Farms pork tenderloin with confit turnip, carrots, Swiss chard, baby potato, and maple Dijon jus ($17); and grilled B.C. sockeye with prosciutto, pea risotto croquette, baby carrots, Brussel sprouts, and smoked tomato broth ($18).
There are also sandwiches and burgers (served with salad, fries, or soup), such as the lemongrass fried chicken sandwich with pickled daikon, carrot, cucumber, and cilantro pesto ($13).
For the month of October, happy hour (from 4 to 6 p.m. every day and from 10 p.m. to midnight from Sunday to Thursday) features craft beer for $3 and house wine for $6 with $6 food items such as poutine with mushroom gravy, popcorn chicken with spicy aioli, mushroom and quinoa fritters, and Alberta bison carpcaccio.
Brunch service will be reintroduced in November.