gracecheung604 | write on time: Checking out The Drive

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Checking out The Drive

On a Saturday night, we decided to check out the's close to my house, but for some reason, we rarely venture over there, preferring downtown or yaletown. As such, I had no idea of where to go eat, and decided to let twitterverse suggest something for me. Of all the places on the drive, BierCraft was the only one who actually replied to me and suggested that I come check them out. Well, great use of Twitter on their part!
There was a Canucks game on that night, and we made sure we arrived nice and early so that we could snag a table. We showed up at 6 and were seated in the bar area, at a hightop table. The only downside was that ione stool backed onto the incoming/outgoing door of the kitchen. We sat down, but asked our server if we could move to a less dangerous table should one arrive. She was most gracious and accommodated us when another finally left.
The first thing that arrived at the table, was a complimentary bowl of homemade potato chips. Lightly salted and super crispy. Although just a touch greasy for me, B devoured the bowl in record time. 
We were aiming to eat light tonight, so we started off with some oysters...this is a steal at just $8 for a half dozen. Served simply with lemon and  a mignonette, the flavour of the oysters really stood out, very fresh indeed. Perhaps the only thing I missed was a bit of horseradish. 
In line with the "eating light" mandate of the night, we ordered the tomato and boccocini salad. I was delighted by the appearance of the dish, nicely plated and exceeded my expectations for a place called "bistro". The salad was so fresh, with a few sprigs of basil. The standout here is definitely the balsamic vinegar reduction...aged and very sweet, heightened even more so by the pickled cabbage. It was a very generous portion too for just $8. 
When we were done with the salad, all that was left was the extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic reduction. Four, yes, four servers came by and asked if they could clear the plate for us. And each time, we politely declined since we know we had bread coming to go along with our next dish, perfect for mopping up all this oil and vinegar goodness. I guess it was because we were at a high-top bar table and space was at a premium. One thing I really liked about the service here is how the staff don't cover the restaurant by sections, instead they really seem to keep customer service being top-of-mind.
Fresh bread from the oven...nice and warm with a healthy serving of butter on the side, but really, we just used the bread to clean up the yummy balsamic from the salad. And their bread is really good on its own too, whole cloves of garlic baked right in. Amazing.
Here is the serving of Madrid mussels that we ordered to complete the meal. Tons of mussels and every single one had a mussel in it. None of that all-too-common "all mussels to the bottom and loads of empty shells on top" syndrome here! 
Loaded with chorizo and jalepenos, this dish was spicy and hearty. The menu said that this was supposed to come with serrano chilies, but we didn't mind the substitution. The white wine used to steam these was a good choice adding a subtle lightness to the spice of the chorizo.
Although this was my first visit here, the excellent service and food ensures a return visit. I've heard some great things about their brunch... 

BierCraft Tap and Tapas Bar (formerly Stella's) on Urbanspoon


  1. looks delicious, do they have a happy hour with cheap tapas do you know?

  2. Actually, I think they do...I've seen them mention it on twitter...4:30-5:30, at least the Commercial one does, I think. Great deal if it's true.



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