Robson and Thurlow's got a new kid on the block that's open for business and ensemble is easily making new friends by serving impeccable plates and refreshing drinks that are washed down with charming service. When you walk into ensemble, you're greeted by a sleek design of black glass, pops of red and some familiar furniture. No, not those chairs from the the previous restaurant that used the space. Everything was executed perfectly during our dinner and it's not surprising when you see the team who's running the show.
Chef Dale Mackay has an impressive background and has worked with Gordon Ramsey in New York, Tokyo and London. Vancouverites will likely recognize him from Daniel Boulud's Lumière, while the rest of Canada may recognize him from the 2011 season of Top Chef on the Food Network. If you've been to Lumière or db Bistro, you may also recognize the 20 staff members that have stuck with him and it definitely says something when your staff stick around and join in new adventures. In the kitchen is also Sous Chef Brad Hendrickson, while Bar Manager Christopher Cho mixing mean drinks. Pull up a seat at the bar and try the In Fashion , Ginger Gimelt or just have a One Night Stand. Cheeky, yes.
They're "combining classic French techniques with modern influences and flavour profiles from around the world" and that combination is a recipe for delicious. Using ingredients of quality, the dishes range from $8-$24 and are perfect for ordering a few and sharing. It's hard to go wrong with anything on the menu, and if you're torn, don't be shy to ask what they'd suggest.
The location is also ideal if you've spent the day on Robson shopping and need to finally sit down and enjoy a much needed break from your retail therapy.