All my adult life I have felt most comfortable when I have, in the British sense, a local. To me, a local is a place which offers a friendly atmosphere, a range of good beers, and good food. Luke's Corner Bar and Kitchen was established to meet all those requirements, and then some.
Owner Mark Roberts, who previously ran a restaurant of very different concept at the same location, set out to create what he'd long wanted - an upscale but affordable restaurant and bar geared to the needs of people living nearby in trendy South Granville while attracting passersby and becoming a "destination" spot. He has succeeded. I live in Roberts Creek, BC, which by public transit is about four hours travel from the Corner, and I have become a regular. When I'm in town, I stay a block away. I have made many new friends at Luke's, and staff treat me as they do any of the many regulars - with friendly, crackerjack service and good conversation. Non-regulars, if they seem interested, are introduced to the habitues and often become regulars themslves.
The food. Luke's kitchen is open-plan, fun to watch, and capable of producing spectacular dishes - the lamb shank currently on offer, for instance, with its peppercorn porter jus, white cheddar mashed potatoes and broccolini, is magnificent. Preceded by a mouth watering sweet-chili chicken starter (to become a regular menu item) and follwed by a warm apple & raspberry bread pudding, this braised lamb entree formed the centrepiece of Luke's participation in the Vancouver Dine Out Festival, which carries on for another ten days or so. At Festival pricing, this was a $28 meal. Yes, $28Cdn. On the same special menu, Jackson-Triggs Sauvignon Blanc is available for $7 a glass / $28 a bottle, and the vintner's Merlot for $11/$30. My companion and I, however, preferred our Blue Buck amber ale from the Phillips tap.
I'm lising this review as a "solo" visit to Luke's, because that is most often how I go. On the occasion of the recent shank of lamb, however, I was accompanied by the Englsh friend whose apartment I am lucky enough to use as my pied a terre in Vancouver. As similar clarification, the outdoor seating at Luke's is enclosed during cooler weather. There is no smoking anywhere. The washrooms are capacious, attractive, and spotless. Food purchase is not required to have a drink, and the selection of drinkables is generous. Craft beers are featured, and most of them rotate. But there's Bud on tap, and lots of other brews in the coolers.
Treat your host and servers as stylish friends and they'll return in kind.
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