Check out Vancouver's newest Chef's Lab experience at Acquafarina

Apr 26 2023, 7:26 pm

It still feels strange walking into one of downtown Vancouver’s swankiest Italian restaurants, Acquafarina, with a camera in tow.

It wasn’t that long ago that the modern eatery had a strict no cell phone policy, and in turn personal photos of the food and room were largely non-existent.

That move built up quite a bit of curiosity around the concept, and diners were thrilled to pop into the Social Corner Group destination and explore all that’s offered IRL.

But, we are certainly happy that rule was lifted around this time last year, otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to show off the establishment’s new Chef’s Lab experience to the extent we’re about to.

This culinary adventure is brought to us by industry veteran and Culinary Director Chef Jefferson Alvarez.

Alvarez and the talented team at Acquafarina launched Chef’s Lab last month, and we popped in to experience it for ourselves.


Amuse (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

If you’ve ever dined at Acquafarina then you know there’s not a bad view in the 200-seat house.

Before the food, you feast your eyes on the space’s intricate woodwork, one-of-a-kind European antiques, copper details, and sky-high ceilings.

We situated ourselves on the restaurant’s serene, 60-seat Mediterranean terrace, complete with ample heaters for chillier evenings, lush greenery around the perimeter, and elegant chandeliers too.

It likely goes without saying that opting for a wine pairing with this multi-course service is a good idea. This option always ups the ante, and considering Acquafarina has a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, there is sure to be some juice of the vine you’ll love here.


Division Bell (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

We also co-sign kicking things off with a cocktail, as this spot has a fresh selection of newly-added boozy house concoctions worth sipping.

Take the Division Bell, a delightful combo of Montelobos Mezcal, tomato-infused Aperol, Caffo maraschino liquor, lime, and basil oil.


Dried Tomato Scallop Ceviche (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

One of the first Chef’s Lab dishes to hit the table was a Dried Watermelon & Black Onion creation served with ricotta salata and pistachio.

This and the Tomato Scallop Ceviche with yuzu pea spuma and cancha corn were the two standout dishes for us.


Aerated Foie Gras (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)


Halibut Al Cartoccio (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

But no dish disappointed from the six-course spread. We especially enjoyed the sweet finale — a Bombolone with foie gras cream and preserved alba truffle.


Bombolone (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Every few weeks the team develops a fresh, experimental menu “with the goal of developing future a la carte items.”

Chef’s Lab tasting menus are six courses and $95 per person. Dishes change each month, and limited quantities will be available.

Please note this service is only available on Tuesdays, so plan accordingly if you’d like to try it out yourself.

Reservations can be booked online.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dished Vancouver (@dishedvancouver)


Address: 425 W Georgia Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-558-3099


Hanna McLeanHanna McLean

+ Dished
+ Restaurants & Bars