Bruno: Inside Versante Hotel's new must-try restaurant in Richmond

Aug 18 2021, 9:05 am

Versante Hotel opened to the public last month in Richmond, but details about the new luxury boutique hotel’s anticipated culinary offerings have remained largely under wraps…until now.

Enter Bruno — the 100-room property’s first dining concept opening soon.

Dished Vancouver was thrilled to be the first inside to see what the space and the kitchen, led by award-winning Executive Chef Will Lew, has in store for patrons.

The hotel is situated just beside the Richmond Night Market’s current site. It’s a convenient eight-minute walk from the SkyTrain’s Bridgeport Station and a short drive from YVR Airport.

Bruno can be accessed through a revolving door at the front of the hotel, which is part of the mixed-use commercial complex that houses the International Trade Centre. There is also an entrance inside the main hotel that takes you through a sleek 30-seat bar area to the dining room.

Hanna McLean/Daily Hive

The main-floor restaurant (which will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is a sprawling 6,000 sq ft, offering seats for 130 people — 18 of which are at a central community table.

A more private space is located just off the main dining room. It offers seating for 10.

Hanna McLean/Daily Hive

Hanna McLean/Daily Hive

Chef Lew, the former Executive Chef for Ocean Wise and Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, has crafted Bruno’s robust menu to emphasize high-impact yet approachable dishes made with local and sustainable ingredients.

Aiming to showcase the best of BC with each dish, Chef Lew and his team gave us a taste of some of the stellar family-style share plates that will be up for order come opening.

From the show-stopping Burrata Summer Orchard Salad to the mouthwatering Kurobuta Pork Belly, each dish at Bruno has been thoughtfully curated and plated to incorporate fresh and local products.

Burrata Summer Orchard Salad (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Smoked Salmon and Ikura Flatbread (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Kurobuta Pork Belly (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

During our visit, farm-fresh lavender sourced from Cortes Island’s Acre Lavande, a five-acre boutique farm, was featured in a handful of offerings, including the Truffle Lavender Duck from the Fraser Valley, which arrived on a picture-perfect bed of lavender inside a traditional picnic basket.

With this dish, Chef Lew explains the goal is to transport diners to a picnic in a lavender field with every bite.

We like to think he imagined the same Acre Lavande field he and the Bruno team had visited and handpicked the flowering plant from the weekend prior.

Hanna McLean/Daily Hive

Bruno

Acre Lavande tucked away on the southern tip of Cortes Island (Courtesy Acre Lavande)

“Bruno is accessible, with recognizable dishes delivered in a high-impact, opulent way,” explains Executive Chef Will Lew. “As an organization, we believe in being stewards of BC and incorporating local ingredients into everything we do.”

“Making guests fall in love again with BC and find beauty in their own backyards is what it’s all about, and we hope to do that by showcasing locally sourced ingredients such as duck from the Fraser Valley, lavender from Vancouver Island, and shellfish from the Pacific Ocean in unique, never-before-seen ways,” he adds.

In addition to highlighting local seafood such as mussels, oysters, and Dungeness crab, Bruno offers Canadian-raised proteins like the stunning 52 oz Bone-in Ribeye Steak topped with gorgonzola horseradish butter, roasted tomatoes, chimichurri, and red wine jus, and the Grilled Wagyu Flank Steak to name just a few.

Saffron Cream Mussels (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

52oz Bone-in Ribeye Steak (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Bruno’s drink program offers guests local craft beers and an expertly curated wine selection alongside a destination-inspired cocktail menu.

The signature sip at Bruno is the “An Torran” cocktail.

Made from The Botanist Gin, butterfly pea flower, fresh lemon, farm-fresh lavender, blueberries, prosecco, and housemade mountain berry tea infused with honey, this beverage also features the restaurant’s signature purple hue, as seen in its branding.

Stone Fruit Pavlova (Hanna McLean/Daily Hive)

Aside from becoming a staple in the growing Airport District business scene, Bruno’s team tells us the idea is to compliment the Richmond community in general.

“Every element of Bruno was chosen with the idea of connection in mind,” says General Manager Brad Stanton.

“Our inviting space is designed for guests to create new memories together, and our food plating style encourages connecting through the celebration of great food and company. As we open our doors to host international and local guests alike, we endeavour to treat everyone like family. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be involved in introducing this fresh and exciting culinary experience bringing elevated yet approachable dining to Richmond, BC.”

Bruno is set to open on August 29th, 2021. Be sure to check out this must-try new eatery once it launches.

Bruno

Address: Versante Hotel — 8499 Bridgeport Road, Richmond

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