Chef David Hawksworth, Nightingale, Vancouver

Only opened for a couple weeks, we decided to go on a whim. People slowly started to trickle in after we sat down at 11am. The 7400 square foot restaurant has 2 levels with an open concept kitchen upstairs. We love the vibe upstairs. We can hear the sounds of chefs cooking and the aroma of food made us very hungry. Service was impeccable the moment we walked through the doors. It felt like a Hawksworth brand even though it is the casual version that serves simple, modern, and Canadian cuisines with seasonal ingredients. It is my day off and I didn’t expect myself to be writing about the experience. I don’t write about every restaurant I go to even though the photos go on social media with positive or negative feedback. This one made it on the list to be documented since I see great potential for even more innovative dishes. Using seasonal local ingredients means there will be seasonal menu changes. It makes it worth visiting again and again. I am the type that loves changes. I find it boring if a place has the same menu for even a few months. Of course nobody can switch up the entire menu, but seasonal additionals makes the menu different. I was quite pleased with the entire experience today even though it’s only been a couple weeks.

How did they come up with the name?

“Nightingale’s name is inspired by Aesop’s Fable of the Hawk & the Nightingale, which tells the story of a hungry hawk who chooses to keep his tiny nightingale instead of waiting for a bigger bird to come along: it gives us the proverb ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.”

Behind the scenes in the kitchen:

The interior, designed by Alessandro Munge, is beautifully decorated with nightingales throughout. The 19th century historical features include remodeled library furniture and the copper pipes. The restaurant is at the MNP tower of Coal Harbour.

Let’s start with a coffee.

They don’t modify anything on the menu unless you have an allergy. BUT, they did make an exception for a 3 yr old. I wanted everything on the raw section of the menu such as pacific halibut ceviche. I will try that next time. 

It was nice of them to consider adding cheese on the pizza that my 3 yr old really wanted. This doesn’t normally come with cheese. The ingredients are very fresh. The crust is not too thick, nice and chewy. Prosciutto di Parma, roasted tomato, Rosemary, sea salt, olive oil pizza with added cheese.

They do offer a kids menu (plain cheese pizza) but she specifically asked for some type of salami/ham and procuitto was the next closest ingredient. She loved it until she realized that the fried chicken was coming. 

We enjoyed the pizza and will try other ones on the menu next time.

Crispy fried chicken with preserved lemon yogurt and dill espelette pepper. The batter was seasoned really well. And of course it’s the 3 yr old’s fav dish…anything fried. 

You must try this one. Squid ink campenelle, humpback prawns, green garlic, pickled celery, pepperoncino. Lots of things going on in my mouth when I take the first bite. I love all the different textures and flavours mixed together. 

For reservations and more information on the menu:

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