My parents were in town from Victoria and our family friends suggested that we all go for lunch on top of Grouse Mountain. There are a plenty of dining options on Grouse Mountain — from fine dining at The Observatory to casual fare at Rusty Rail BBQ & Grill and Lupins Café to quick bites and beverages at Beaver Tails and Grouse Grind Coffee Bar.
We chose Altitudes Bistro, which offers distinctly British Columbian cuisine while overlooking the grandeur of the Lower Mainland, some 3,700 feet below. The perfect restaurant to take in the sights of Vancouver.
Evidently, we picked the wrong day since it was very snowy and completely fogged-in, so there was unfortunately no view! Nevertheless, the bistro had a cozy chalet type of atmosphere with comfy booths and a fire burning to keep guests nice and warm.
Three different soups are available on Altitudes Bistro’s menu: a soup of the day, Winter Squash Soup ($8.00) – a creamy blend of winter squashes topped with crunchy cinnamon & sweet maple croutons, and a Seafood Chowder ($9.00) – containing seasonal fresh seafood, corn, and cream. Unless the menu specifies a type of tomato-based “Manhattan Chowder”, we usually assume the chowder will be a thick and creamy, white-ish coloured soup, but this soup contained very little cream, was thin in texture and darker in colour.
Seared Albacore Tuna ($14.50) – Lightly seared tuna with QP mayo, pickled ginger, red onion, and arugula on sesame French bread. All of the bistro’s sandwiches are served with a choice of French fries, soup or mixed greens, and are also available on gluten free bread or a spinach tortilla.
Chioggia Beet, Arugula & Orange Salad ($12.00) – A fresh, tasty and generous portion of salad containing peppery arugula greens topped with candied walnuts, pumpkin seeds, goat’s cheese and tossed in a delicious citrus vinaigrette. The goat’s cheese was wonderfully mild and exceptionally smooth, however, there was an excessive amount on this dish! It looked like the kitchen had put the entire package of cheese on top of this salad. All six of us at our table tried to consume the entire mound, but failed in the attempt. The chioggia beets in this salad were boiled, and as a result they were very pale in colour, so they did not retain their distinctive markings. A fresh chioggia beet is usually a feast for the eyes: Its uniquely beautiful flesh has alternating red and white concentric rings that resemble a bull’s-eye. Note: They do retain their markings if baked whole and sliced just before serving.
Chicken Wings 1lb ($13.00) – Flavours include a choice of barbecue sauce, hot sauce, or salt & pepper. We opted for one pound with bbq sauce, pictured above, and one pound of chicken wings with hot sauce, pictured below. Both orders of wings were nice juicy and dosed in plenty of sauce.
We appreciate that Altitudes Bistro is dedicated to sourcing the finest and freshest regional ingredients available. It is also certified by the Green Table Network, which puts sustainability on the menu through innovative solutions that measurably reduce the impact they have on the environment, and is a proud to be a member of the Ocean Wise program for sustainable seafood initiatives.
We also learned that Grouse Mountain grows specialty garnish for its food and beverage operation on-site and works with local growers to shorten the distance of product sourcing. They work with responsible suppliers to ensure the products they offer leave the smallest footprint possible. They even recycle their kitchen grease through “West Coast Reduction”.
Fresh off the slopes and want a swift dose of caffeine and a quick bite? Check out Grouse Grind Coffee Bar! Located on the main floor of the Peak Chalet, the bar offers a selection of light refreshments and specialty espresso drinks – ideal for those on the go. Refuel after a grueling snowshoe or Grouse Grind with a blended beverage or select from a number of refreshing healthy snacks.