Opening the large, nondescript front door of the Emerald Supper Club, tucked away in the outskirts of Chinatown, is a little like revealing the entrance to a time portal. The welcoming smell of incense immediately hits your nose as you walk up vintage-carpeted steps which instantly transport you back to the late ’60s.
The building may be historic, but the hybrid restaurant and lounge has only been open since 2012, and pays homage to midcentury modern American. This matches perfectly with the period-appropriate décor including beautifully intricate lampshades, glass-blown vases, antique chairs and leather couches that look like they’ve been plucked straight out of an episode of Mad Men.
Before heading into the main dining area, make sure you stop by the bar where mixologists pour a series of signature cocktails. In the mood for something unique? Try the refreshing Twinkly Eyed ($12), a combination of Absolut Elyx Vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur and champagne, topped with a twist of lemon peel. If something traditional is more to your tastes, order the Don-Draper-favourite Old Fashioned, done with Wild Turkey Kentucky bourbon, raw cane sugar, cherries and Angostura bitters ($10.50). Of course, this being Vancouver, there’s also a full complement of craft beers on tap, as well as an extensive wine list.
The Emerald’s 120 capacity seating room is where the real magic happens. A stage at the back accommodates live entertainment from local musicians, such as jazz night on Wednesday evenings, and Roots Jam on Saturday afternoons. This separate area is also perfect for private events where guests can be served martinis and caesars on a wandering cart, operated by resident drag queen, Cassandra Crossing.
The Supper Club portion of the establishment’s name refers to the varied menu that contains everything from comfort food to fresh seafood, much of which is prepared using sustainable sources. Start with a Beet Salad ($12, heritage organic greens, red/golden beets, goat cheese, sweet and salty almonds) and follow up with the Free Range Chicken Breast with Mushroom Gravy ($17, comes on a bed of rice, broccolini and carrots) or Rack of BBQ Pork Ribs that literally slide off the bone ($18, accompanied by braised kale and southern-style white beans). No proper American meal would be complete with some desert, like the decadent Silk Chocolate Truffle Cake ($5) or Sticky Toffee Pudding ($5).
The Emerald is currently open Tuesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. until late, and has weekly events going on in the main dining room. Stop by to see their private rental rooms including the Back Cabaret, ideal for parties that want the privacy to do their own thing with the addition of your own private bar, and a small stage.
The Emerald Supper Club
Address: 555 Gore Avenue, Vancouver
Reservations: 604-559-8477 or [email protected]