Lunch Pick: Pied-à-Terre

left: The Pied-a-Terre room. right: Heritage Angus beef bourguignon with Boursin-infused mash


Andrey Durbach has long been known for his hearty, earthy, dishes of Italian and French descent. With business partner Chris Stewart, he currently runs La Buca, Cafeteria, The Sardine Can and Pied-à-Terre. The latter is not his most recent opening, but an impromptu lunch the other day showed why it should still be on your radar.


The cozy, 30-odd seat room is lined with mirrors, dark wood and high leather banquettes, all drawing the eye to the back of the space, where the chalkboard holds the day’s specials and the wine picks.


In spite of the warm-ish weather (or perhaps because of it), the menu of hearty classics like Alsatian onion pie and duck confit feel perfect for a lazy Friday afternoon with the girls. A three-course table d’hôte menu is available for both lunch and dinner for $38, or you can order a la carte (the same menu runs throughout the day). The service is prompt, but this isn’t a place to rush. Rather, it’s a place where you browse the menu of classic aperitifs and mull over whether to have the vin mousseau or a Dubonet.


I started with the pie, which was a tall, thick, creamy wedge of caramelized onions and smoked bacon, sided with some lightly dressed frisee and more chunks of crispy pig. The vinaigrette on the frisee helped cut through the richness of the pie. My friend’s simple tomato salad with creamy goat cheese, basil and watercress was ripe, fresh and slightly piquant.


For the main, we both had the classic beef bourguignon with Boursin-infused mash, large chunks of perfectly cooked squash and carrots, and summer peas. Oh, and a few more thick chunks of the smoked bacon—‘cuz you can never have too much bacon, right? It all sits in a bed of natural jus that’s been slightly reduced, perfect for sopping up with the crusty slices of baguette. The meat was so tender that a light touch of the fork was enough to start the disintegration process.


There wasn’t much room for dessert, but since it was included (and in the interests of completely ignoring the groaning of our bellies), chocolate tart and crème brulée were ordered forthwith. The tart was a dark, dense wedge with fudge-like tendencies, drizzled with caramel and sided with simple vanilla bean ice cream. The brulée had a satisfyingly thick and crispy top that cracked noisily, and a smooth, simple interior that was a nice, light(er) finish to an otherwise perfectly decadent lunch.


Hours: Monday to Friday, noon to 2:30pm; nightly from 5pm.

3369 Cambie St. | 604.873.3131 |


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Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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