I had seen posts from H Tasting Lounge on social media and it piqued my interest so I convinced my husband that this is where we should go for our wedding anniversary. A little background – this is the lobby lounge in the Westin Bayshore Hotel. It’s inspired by aviation genius Howard Hughes. To anyone who hasn’t heard of Howard Hughes, he was an eccentric and wealthy record setting pilot. The Leonardo Dicaprio film “The Aviator” is based on his life. He’d spent some time in Vancouver in the early 70s and is said to have been a guest at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.
I reached out to H Tasting Lounge by email from their website once and by phone twice for a reservation weeks prior to our celebration and unfortunately I didn’t receive a response. I really wanted to check it out badly, so I tried yet again and reached out to them via instagram. This time they got back to me right away. They made my reservation for me and asked that I email the manager to provide my contact information. The manager was kind, apologetic and promised to make it a special night for us.
So Saturday arrived and we made our way over to the restaurant. Wow, to say we were impressed is an understatement. The lounge interior has an art deco inspired design. It’s just so beautiful. I could be bias because I happen to love 1920s/1930s style, but they happen to do it really well. Outside the entrance they have a vintage Porsche parked out front. It sets the mood for what you’re walking into. The hostess was dressed in Gatsby type clothing and greeted us with great enthusiasm. She led us to the back of the restaurant to the best table in the house. It was a booth in the corner with views of everything happening in the restaurant. Our server, I believe her name is Melissa, came over and greeted us. She said that she understood it was our anniversary and presented us with two glasses of champagne. It was a nice touch and it was a great for us to start our evening out with a toast. One of the things I really admire about this restaurant is how they completely commit to their theme. Waitresses are wearing little gold airplane pins, the retro design is everywhere down to the cutlery, the cocktails specify what part of the world each one comes from, the menu is separated into sections such as “taxi”, “take-off”, “in-flight” and “landing”. So freakin’ cute! I ordered the “House of Faberge” as my cocktail. It is art in it’s own right. Gorgeous to look at. They serve the liquid in a breakable egg. I encourage you to watch the video posted so you can see what I mean. Cool, creative and fancy, plus it was delicious and went down smooth and easy. We ordered some oysters for our appetizer and they were fresh and great. Now on to our mains – I had seen postings of the lobster mac and cheese on social media and it had made my mouth water. This is perhaps one of the main reasons I wanted to come to the restaurant. I could not find it anywhere on the menu and we were told that they recently changed it. I’ll admit, I was majorly disappointed and don’t really understand their decision to remove it from the menu. Perhaps it changes seasonally, but I was sad lol. I was looking really forward to it. I ended up going with the striploin and Chris ordered the wellington. Not only were the plates pleasing to the eye (Hello, they carved my potato into a star!), but they were so good! Yum!
The lounge offers live music daily and the musician was quite good singing songs of everyone from Eric Clapton to Taylor Swift. It added to the ambience.
I decided to order another drink, and they had one on their menu that sounded like a vacation (beachy waves) and I ordered it without realizing that it was a mocktail. The waitress pointed this out to me and offered for them to add rum to it. It tasted like a tropical beach cocktail and it made me feel like it was summer.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get even better…I asked for a dessert menu and Melissa told us there was already a dessert coming out for us. I felt they’d already done so much for us with the champagne that I wasn’t expecting anything else. They were going above and beyond and we felt so grateful. They brought out a baked alaska and flamed the peaks of the meringue in brandy table-side. This was my first time trying baked alaska. I’d seen it as a challenge on Master Chef before and I always wondered what it was like. Ice cream covered in meringue. It was lovely and unique.
Chris and I both agreed that there was nothing negative that we could say about our experience. We had such a great time, the food was amazing, service top-notch (they really made it feel like a special night for us), and it was a wonderful ambience. I have seen that they offer a girls night menu on Mondays and high tea as well and I just cannot wait to go back!