A change will do you good, and it can do wonders for a business like a hotel restaurant. With a recent revamp and refresh, the Westin Grand in downtown Vancouver has a brand new food and drink gathering spot, Hendricks.
Hendricks is a well-balanced blend of modern and retro. It’s tucked into a glass box perch affording views of the Vancouver Public Library and BC Place, and has been thoughtfully redesigned to make their bar (and some great drinks) the focal point, as well as a fun 70s vibe with contemporary flair, thanks to the work of Los Angeles-based designer David Hill.
Behind the menu, and the stoves, at this 98-seater is the Westin Grand’s Exectuive Chef Chris Savino, who attests that the project was given ample breathing room to create its own identity free from some of the chains that often weigh down a hotel project.
Instead, the Hendricks crew focuses in one part on ticking the boxes of the Starwood hotels’ Superfoods program, putting the emphasis on wellness (very Vancouver) in a number of dishes, like the Superfood Salad, which is made with baby kale, spinach, orange segments, strawberries, chia seed crusted avocado, linseeds, and a cranberry raspberry yogurt vinaigrette.
In tandem with Savino’s health-conscious fare (think pizza made with a cauliflower crust; a smoked salmon, quinoa, and brown rice “Hippy Roll;” and an on-trend Tuna Poke) are dishes that explore a more playful and nostalgic side of food.
Look for a classic Iceberg Wedge Salad, Cauliflower Tater Tots, Duck Confit Rumaki, and desserts that tap into everyone’s inner child, namely a housemade Red Velvet “Twinkie” and chocolatey-marshmallow filled “Wagon Wheels.”
And you can still be decadent here, Superfoods be damned (should you wish). Your “Cheat Day” eats at Hendricks should without a doubt include their show-stopping Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which is comprised of juicy buttermilk-brined and fried chicken thighs stacked between brioche buns with a side of spicy kimchi.
Don’t hesitate to give into your inner kid craving that Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup combo they’ve got. The soup has the delightful grown-up flavours of roasted tomatoes and gin, and comes with your sammie cut in “soldiers” for dipping. Dip away! On a rainy Vancouver day, a dish like this always satisfies.
Even if you’re hitting up Hendricks between meals you can still find appies on which to graze, and then there’s the excellent cocktail list from Lead Bartender Matt Houston.
You can get a taste of drinks with a very local bent, like the Vancouver Cocktail (Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Orange Bitters), Sea-Plane (Lot 40 Rye, Rhubato Apertivo, Grapefruit, Noilly Prat Amber), or Robson Roy (Dewars Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters) alongside Houston’s riffs on classics like a daiquiri, Mai Tai, Margarita, or Old Fashioned.
Hit the sweeter spot with Like Clockwork (Botanist Gin, Lemon, Hibiscus Simple Syrup, Egg White, Rhubarb Bitters) or Moutain-side (Botanist Gin, Dry Vermouth, Green Chartreuse, Lime, Mint, Spruce, Black Pepper) from the list. The drinks are well-made and well-priced, and definitely amp up the “Lounge” aspect of the venue, and make Hendricks a worthy contender for your downtown post-work drinks and bites outings, pre-theatre or concert stop, or night-cap.
Hendricks is, after all, a hotel restaurant, so come the morning you’ll encounter the breakfast buffet spread–though we’re told they’re developing weekend brunch, too. Look for live music on Tuesdays and DJ sets on Saturday evenings for an enhanced experience.
Address: Lobby Level, Westin Grand, 433 Robson Street, Vancouver