claudia kwan/for metro vancouver


The partners behind Boneta, from left, Mark Brand, Andre McGillivray and Neil Ingram.


1 West Cordova (and Carrall)


Dinner Tuesday-Saturday at 5:30 p.m., lunch Friday 12-3 p.m.

Free valet parking

Dinner for four, including tax, tip, and drinks: $250

**** (out of 5)

Boneta is the first venture for Mark Brand, Andre McGillivray, and Neil Ingram, who have worked at some of Vancouver’s best restaurants and lured some of their former co-workers over. No surprise then, that service is absolutely top-notch on a visit on an extremely busy Friday night. After only a month in operation, the scenesters have already found the place.

While quite a few restaurants have set up in Gastown recently, it takes deep-rooted faith to pick a location so close to the edge of the neighbourhood.

This location is also only Boneta’s for a year, with the building slated to be torn down and no certainty about relocation.

The menus change weekly, and are projected onto a big screen rather than printed out (read quickly or be patient; it’ll come around again.) You can spy on what other people are having courtesy of the ceiling-mounted mirrors.

We chomp through seared scallops with slices of truffle mushroom and foie gras parfait, grilled sardines, octopus salad, monkfish stuffed with prawn and potato puree, grilled ling cod with corn and chorizo sausage ravioli, duck breast and some incredibly tender rabbit.

The section called ‘hot’ is slightly better value for money with the most expensive at $20, but the ’cold’ selections are intriguing too. Cocktails and desserts demonstrate the same unusual combinations of flavours and ingredients.

It may be a multi-tiered experiment on pushing Vancouver’s dining boundaries, but Boneta is just plain fun too.