Now that the Michelin people have graced our fair city with their presence, there’s a whole lot of fodder for dinner nights out in Vancouver. We are taking it upon ourselves to do the “hard work” for you and visit each of the Michelin-starred establishments.
Our first sojourn is to PUBLISHED ON MAIN, a ONE STAR modern eatery that opened its doors in 2019 and purports to focus on food that is “contemporary with a focus on local and sustainable”. With executive chef, Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson at the helm (born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, just like me!), PUBLISHED ON MAIN was voted the Best Restaurant in Canada in 2022 and is currently #3 on the Top 100 Restaurants in Canada for 2023. Gus studied in Germany and has done stints in both the world-renowned NOMA in Copenhagen and HAWKSWORTH in Vancouver.
PUBLISHED ON MAIN has a very modern, funky vibe. The decor is simple and minimalistic. There are no white tablecloths or fancy china. In fact, I would say there is a bit of a lackadaisical attitude to attire – one of our waiters was clad in a casual t-shirt with a lumberjack flannel and jeans.
But if the cavalier dress code is a bit off-putting, the quality of the food is not. We had a sensational 10-course dinner with some exquisite wine pairings. There were endless new flavour combinations, textures and aromas. The food is creative and refined with delightful garnishes and finishing touches. So scrumptious! I actually closed my eyes at one point just to focus on the flavour orgy in my mouth.
We enjoyed everything from beef shank broth with bone marrow dumplings to sablefish, pumpkin ravioli and roasted duck with white chanterelles and grilled cabbage. The two desserts were masterful! Have you ever tasted a Douglas Fir tree? Well, you can here. Lavender-infused creme brûlée is so 1990s!
The 9 different wines that accompanied our dishes included champagne, Japanese sake, an Australian Riesling, an incredibly crisp Pinot Gris/Gewurtztraminer blend from Naramata in BC and a Vancouver Island Pinot Noir. There was a delightful dessert wine from New South Wales, Australia and a Portuguese Madiera that was sublime.
Our French sommelier was extremely knowledgeable and excited to share his aficionado impressions of the many wines that we enjoyed. There wasn’t a dud in the entire selection. (I wonder if I can find any of these in my local liquor store?)
We were served by at least half a dozen different people – all of whom were able to recite the ingredients, preparation and salient features of each dish. Once again, you won’t find “tuxes and tails” here or hovering front-of-house managers a la Fawlty Towers, but the service was definitely attentive.
Okay, let’s talk turkey. . . .
Published on Main is fine dining with a very fine price. We booked several months in advance. We also paid in advance. The tasting menu is $150 per person. The wine pairing is $95 per person. A 20% gratuity is added to the bill and this is all paid in advance. You can change your reservation up to 24 hours prior. They will accommodate food allergies/sensitivities if you inform them ahead of time. I would say their regular menu is vegetarian-friendly.
We also added an UBER to complete our evening as you won’t be able to drive after you’ve enjoyed the wine pairings!
OUR RATING OF PUBLISHED ON MAIN: 9/10
Stay tuned as we work our way through 7 other Michelin-star restaurants in our fair city!
Interested in dining at Published on Main? Book your table HERE.
Other Dining experiences you’ve gotta try!:
PLUVIO (Ucluelet, BC)
The Nirvana of Smoked Meat (Montreal, QC)
Le Petit Chef (Various cities; a travelling culinary experience)