Chef Dale MacKay
The first ever winner of Top Chef Canada now has two restaurants in Vancouver – ensemble and ensemble Tap. The ensemble Restaurant and Wine Bar opened in May 2011 in the location formerly held by Corner Suite Bistro Deluxe on Thurlow at Smithe. The newer (Fall 2011) ensemble Tap is located on Smithe just behind the ScotiaBank Theatre. While the theme for ensemble is ‘Classic technique. Modern interpretation, Global profiles’ and reflects the profile of Chef Dale that we all saw on Top Chef Canada, ensemble Tap strives for ‘Modern comfort’ and 15 beers on tap. We have only been to ensemble for a media event and not yet for a full meal and this was out first time to ensemble Tap invited by a friend to meet for lunch.

Beer and Food Menus
According to their website they are serious about Beer at ensemble Tap with 15 on tap and another 30 in the bottle both local and international. The selection varies depending on season, menu pairing and special events. The food menu includes appetizers with a twist, such as nachos with mexican pulled pork, mains and sandwiches. The decor is modern with lots of wood. There is an upstairs loft that would be great for hosting a party or meet up.

Comfort Food
The list of main courses is small but ‘comfortable’ as advertised. I ordered the Rueben Sandwich after finding out that the meat was lean and smoked in-house and Jeff tried the Pulled Pork Sandwich. The Reuben was served with a green salad and the Pulled Pork Sandwich with fries and baked beans. The highlight was the apple-horseradish coleslaw on-top of the pulled pork. Both meals were pretty good and at a reasonable price ($13) for a large sized portion. We will have to go back a few more times to see if it becomes a favorite.
Have you been to ensemble or ensemble Tap?