Nightingale is Chef David Hawksworth’s second restaurant venture. Located on W. Hastings and Burrard Street, this restaurant has a less formal vibe and you might not even notice it if you pass by. I’ve never been to Hawksworth (situated inside Hotel Georgia) so this won’t be a comparison post.
My co-workers and I came for a spontaneous Friday lunch and they managed to squeeze us in. The menu does change frequently so you might you get exactly what I had (e.g. sides may differ seasonally). Some items are gluten free but you’ll have to check with your server because it’s not indicated on the menu.
We arrived just before noon so the lunch rush wasn’t there yet but it does get a bit louder. I didn’t know there were two floors!There are nightingales delicately placed along the walls. Further back is their kitchen and you can see the wood-fired oven for pizzas. It’s a great place for a business lunch as well.
The fancy bar area.
There were quite a few of us so we ordered a few pizzas to share. On the left we have the Smoked prosciutto, gorgonzola, walnut, arugula, aged balsamic pizza and on the right we have the Guanciale, green olive, san marzano, chili, fior di latte pizza. In the back we have Salt and pepper frites with roasted garlic aioli. The pizzas here were super thin! Like paper thin! The flavour combinations worked really well and the crust was nice and chewy. FYI, guanciale is a cured meat prepared from pork jowl or pork cheek.
We also had the Smoked bacon, slow roasted onion, fior di latte, fennel salsa verde pizza.
Didn’t try this one as I had to save room for our other dishes. It came our a bit more burnt though. Spicy spianata salumi, piquillo pepper, san marzano, fior di latte pizza.
Nightingale’s selection of vegetable dishes all sound really good! We settled on the Grilled broccolini, sesame & cilantro dressing, za’atar spice as I’ve been having a lot of cauliflower lately and needed to switch it up. This had an interesting mustard-like taste to it and some acidity in it. It was a combination that I’ve never had before but it seemed to work well with the crunchy broccolini.
I’ve seen a lot of other people order the Crispy fried chicken, preserved lemon yogurt, dill, espelette so we had to get an order too. Well 2 orders to be exact since each only comes with 5 pieces. It was quite pricey for a few pieces of fried chicken and I felt it was under-seasoned and really needed the lemon yogurt dill dip to help add some flavour to it.
Next we had the Pork belly, house sauerkraut, honey mustard, shaved apple. This was my favourite dish! Each piece had a nice sweet carmelized layer on the outside and the fat was well marbled and each bite was tender pork belly heaven! The thin slices of apple and sauerkraut helped break up the fattiness between bites. Yum! I would get this again.
Someone ordered the Grilled hanger steak, red onion agrodolce, gorgonzola butter, horseradish and I could smell the horseradish from across the table. I didn’t end up trying this.
Lastly we had the Cavatelli, braised venison, wild mushroom, kale salsa verde, parmesan. We felt that the pasta was a bit undercooked as it was chewier than we’d like. The pieces of venison were very small but the flavour was strong and I’ve never had venison in a pasta dish before. Does anyone else thinks the cavatelli looks like maggots?
I’m really glad I was able to sample a variety of dishes from Nightingale and it’s definitely worth it! It would be a great venue for a special occasion.