Prestons in the Coast Coal Harbour
Last week we were at Prestons Vancouver three times. This Prestons is located in the relatively new Coast Coal Harbour Hotel on W Pender Street about 3 blocks from our apartment. There is also a Prestons location in Chilliwack that we have not been to. Prestons Vancouver is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with a weekend brunch menu that runs until 4:00pm. The space is divided into three sections. The main level which is fairly bright with large windows consists of large booths and a communal table facing Pender Street. There is also a bar with stools, a few high-top tables and a couch set-up in the attached lounge area. It is a few steps up to the higher level which is darker and a bit cozier with even larger booths and some smaller tables.

Three Visits in a Week
We had three visits this past week, on each visit we had a different purpose. The first was Tuesday night (someone’s birthday) and we were heading home from a movie. We stopped in and sat at the bar. We had a very friendly chat with the server/bartender and ordered the Prawn Gyoza with Seared Scallops and an order of Yam fries. The Gyoza were very good with shrimp and vegetables inside and a drizzle of miso vinaigrette on the outside. Yam fries are yam fries, but were good too. They were cooked well but the portion was much too large. A half portion could be considered. If you are looking for a good place for appies and drinks, the Starter (or Mixers) menu has many good choices and the daily drink specials are cheap by downtown standards. Right now Granville Island beer is $3.95 on Mondays, Highballs are $4 on Thursdays and there is a $5 20oz draught feature on Fridays. Overall a great experience.
Our Second Visit
The second visit was on Saturday for brunch. We met there at 12:30 after a morning of separate activities and were seated right away in one of the large booths with a view of the street. Our order was taken right away and the food delivery prompt. I ordered the Croque Monsieur and Jeff the Biscuits and Sausage with White Gravy. The brunch menu is not posted online but includes other weekend guilty treats such as caramelized banana french toast and crab eggs benny. The Croque Monsieur was deliciously rich as expected and served with real pan-fried potatoes and fruit. The biscuits were also very good but the sausage mixture was heavy on the sausage and light on the gravy so a bit dry. The service after we received our meal went downhill as we waited quite a while for our plates to be cleared and to pay our bill. The high booths which we really do like also make it difficult to attract the attention of your server. Overall an OK experience.
Fall Menu Launch
The third visit was for the launch of the new Fall Menu. We entered down a red carpet with other local Vancouverites for a taste of the new food and beverage offerings. We were able to meet and talk with red seal chef Alessandro Vianello who was super friendly and a great ambassador for the restaurant. We also met Steve Billyard the General Manager who was also very easy to talk to about both dining and golf (funny story – he actually owned a golf course in Ontario). Some of the night’s samples consisted of Poutine with Pulled Pork made with Quebec cheese curds and Rickard’s Red gravy (Jeff gave it a thumbs up), Dungeness Crab Cakes with fried capers (Yum), Thai Red Curry with chicken and jasmine rice and Crispy Chicken Karaage (which we did not try), Baby Back Ribs with sweet hoisin and ginger glaze (again a thumbs up from Jeff) and my favourite Eggplant Parmesan Sliders with red peppers, basil pesto and feta (Double Yum)! The Gyoza were also good but we knew that already from the first visit. Apparently we managed to hit the soft launch of the menu on Tuesday before it’s official launch the following Monday. Overall a great experience.
We really like the staff at Prestons as well as the menu and the quality of the food. A few service issues aside and we plan to be regulars this winter.