Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Belgard Kitchen taps into gold

You can’t throw a cork these days without hitting a strong by-the-glass program, mostly thanks to systems like Enomatic, WineKeeper, et al.
Belgard Kitchen

You can’t throw a cork these days without hitting a strong by-the-glass program, mostly thanks to systems like Enomatic, WineKeeper, et al. When Vancouver Urban Winery opened its doors in the Settlement Building in up-and-coming Railtown, owners Steve Thorp and Mike MacQuisten took that concept further with their innovative FreshTap system, which eliminated bottles altogether and allowed restaurants to serve wine directly from steel kegs.

Now, with Roaring Twenties, their in-house wine label, going strong and Postmark, a microbrewery headed by Craig Noble, added to the mix, it seems the only thing missing was food. And thus, Belgard Kitchen was born (the name comes from an older Italian word meaning “a loving look.”)

That look extends to the aesthetics of the building. If you’re wondering how one space can fit a winery, brewery, restaurant and tasting lounge, think over 7,000 square feet and a smart use of space. You enter past Postmark’s growler window, where locals can stop by to refill their bottles. Immediately to the left is where the brewery and winery have their operations, and the gleaming wood and steel somehow sets of the main lounge and restaurant area in front of you quite nicely. Soaring ceilings, multiple skylights, and a clever mix of high tops, banquet and lounge seating means it’s easy to stop in for a bite, a drink, or both.

Reuben Major, formerly of Earl’s, is leading the food program with an unpretentious and obviously well-thought-out hand. The evening menu is mainly small plates, charcuterie and a few desserts, while lunch adds hearty sandwiches, soups and bowls.

Pizzete (mini pizzas, here served as rectangular, sliced flatbreads) are featured on both menus, and are excellent. Roasted mushroom with thick bacon, caramelized onions, aged cheddar and rocket greens is rich and lusty, hitting savoury, sweet and salty notes on the buds and making for an extremely hearty meal. The wrap off the lunch menu is another winner, overflowing with roasted and marinated portobellos, avocado, sprouts, hummus and pickled onion. Add in some grilled Rossdown chicken for a juicy bite, and it’s a done deal. The little paper bag of popcorn that came with it was less impressive. It was bland and slightly stale, and seemed a bit of an afterthought.

The house burger, on the other hand, is just stellar. The Pemberton Meadows beef is flavourful on its own and cooked to perfection. Adding in the cheddar, fried onions and house relish is just gravy, while the optional fried egg and bacon take this to a dizzying and artery-hardening height, from which one can only come down by indulging in one of the three dozen or so wines available by the glass or in flights – all from BC, natch.

An evening visit had us enjoying an earthy mushroom and bacon pâté, as well as an interesting shrimp ceviche that had a kick of coriander to liven things up. None of the dishes (excepting one) clear $15, so an evening out for two can easily come in at a wallet-friendly price.

Trying to be all things to all people usually doesn’t turn out so well, but, in the case of Belgard, and, in fact, the whole Settlement Building venture, it really does have a lovely look.

Food: ****

Service: ***

Ambiance: ****

Overall: ****

(NoteAll ratings out of five star)

Anya Levykh has been writing about all things ingestible for more than 10 years. Hear her every Monday on CBC Radio One’s On the Coast and find her on Twitter @foodgirlfriday and