Vancouver. Day one. Hungry after a long day of traveling and willing to eat anything that is within walking distance. Next to my hotel was Twisted Fork. The restaurant, which features a fusion of French and Candian dishes, opened in 2008 in the touristy and always interesting Granville Entertainment District of downtown Vancouver. Twisted Fork is a no fuss, non pretentious bistro that prides themselves on making everything in-house from scratch which ensures quality food.
As you will notice in the photo above, Twisted Fork is somewhat hidden in plain view even with a large twisted fork above the front entrance. I’m good with directions and knew the general location of the restaurant on Granville Street, but I still walked past it a few times on the other side of the street before I noticed the sign.
Without laughing at myself, I will blame it on my phone not having service in Vancouver which restricted me from looking on Google Maps during the search.
I didn’t know much about Twisted Fork except for a few reviews I read on Yelp. Many people commented how the place often has a line out the door on weekends for dinner. Being a Friday night, I was a little worried about being able to grab a table, so I arrived just after opening at 5:30 PM.
When I walked inside, the restaurant was pretty quiet. I easily snagged a seat at the bar as people started slowing trickling in for dinner. The bartender mentioned that some days are busier than others. He said there was no rhyme or reason to why some days are busier than others but to be safe try to arrive sooner than later on weekends.
The restaurant features a simple and dimly lit narrow interior lined with tables on one side and a bar on the other. The wooden theme and bright red colors were very inviting and comfortable.
Just past the bar was a small open kitchen where you can sneak a peak at the chefs preparing dishes. If you are looking for a great date night restaurant in Vancouver, Twisted Fork could be just what you are looking for.
The menu at Twisted Fork is separated into sections including Fresh Forks, Twisted Staples, Sweet Forks, and Sides. The menu, printed on paper, is an indicator that the menu probably changes all the time depending on what is in season. On your visit, you might have completely different menu items than listed above.
While scanning over the menu, I noticed that many of the dishes were French inspired with a twist of local Vancouver seafood and meat.
After a few minutes, I decided to ask the waitress for her recommendations. Even she had a hard time giving recommendations because she enjoyed so many of the items on the menu.
After much debate with myself, I choose the marinated scallops and duck confit.
The first dish to arrive was the marinated scallops ($12 CAD) served with caramelized onions, potato puree, local double smoked bacon, and corn relish.
The presentation of the dish was stunning. I felt like I was about to destroy a work of art with just my fork. But I was hungry.
The scallops, the star of the dish, were cooked, seared, and seasoned to perfection. There were four scallops on the plate which was quite generous considering how expensive they can be.
Just underneath the scallops were a puree of rich, creamy, and silky potatoes. These delicious potatoes got better and better as they soaked up all the amazing flavors of the scallops and sweet and smoky bacon.
Resting around the potato puree were large chunks of locally sourced bacon. The bacon was thick, sweet, and smoky and added a much needed crunch and texture to the dish. The sweetness of the bacon, thanks to maple syrup, worked well with the saltiness of the scallops and creaminess of the potato puree.
I don’t usually eat scallops at restaurants too often because I know they are tough to cook. Twisted Fork definitely knows what they are doing. Without a doubt, I can say that this dish was probably one of the best and most thoughtfully presented scallop dishes that I have ever had.
Next up was the duck confit ($13 CAD) with bacon braised cabbage, jus, and pickled pumpkin served with a side of rolls and butter. If you love pulled pork like me, then you will enjoy the duck confit at Twisted Fork.
This dish features a generous portion of tender, fall off the bone pieces of shredded duck meat.
Hidden under the duck were large chunks of pickled pumpkin. These soft pieces of pumpkin were bright gold and extremely sweet thanks in part to the massive amounts of butter that was used to make them taste so delicious. Mixed in with the shredded duck were pieces of slightly crunchy bacon braised cabbage.
Bringing the whole dish together was a sweet jus sauce. A common theme of both dishes is that they were more sweet than salty thanks to the use of Canadian maple syrup. If salty flavors are what you want, then you will need to sprinkle on some extral salt.
The staff at Twisted Fork was extremely attentive, friendly, talkative, and helpful from the hostess to the bartender to the chef. On multiple occasions the staff, including the chef, asked how I enjoyed the food.
When I was done with each plate or drink, they were immediately cleared away, which explained why the restaurant was so clean at the time.
Though the restaurant was quiet when I visited, I would like to believe that the same great service would be had on a busy night.
The things that I liked most about Twisted Fork was that it was warm, inviting, and served delicious and home made food. The prices were affordable for the area, the food was fresh, the staff was friendly, and the beer was good. I definitely will return to Twisted Fork on my next trip to Vancouver to sample more tasty dishes.
Twisted Fork proudly stands out in a sea of other restaurants in the Granville Entertainment District area.
- Great prices for quality of food
- Friendly staff
- Fresh, local ingredients
- Can get busy on weekends
- Reservations are not accepted
- Some dishes that are usually savory are more sweet than salty