Fine dining inside Richmond’s only luxury boutique hotel

Versante lobby

How do you go back to eating regular butter after eating Brulee foi gras butter? 

Or any normal food for that matter after eating Chef Will Lew’s masterpieces? 

After a staycation at the new brand new luxury boutique Versante hotel in Richmond (see the colourful lobby in the photo above) and having dinner at their fine dining restaurant Bruno, it’s seriously hard to come back to reality. 

Each and every dish was thoughtfully prepared with whimsical creativity and a passion for local and sustainable ingredients.  Chef Will doesn’t just give lip service to sustainability.  He was actively involved in the Ocean Wise program.  Farm to Table takes on a new meaning when many ingredients come from the owner’s own farm. 

The elegant and modern presentation on perfectly suited plates and bowls drop hints of what’s to come.  While everything we tasted on the Bruno Board Experience was gorgeous to look at, it’s also delicious food, cooked perfectly.  And what an experience – a workout for the tastebuds and senses! 

I enjoyed keeping a copy of the menu after ordering and referring back to it throughout the dinner.  This gave me the opportunity to really experience all the flavors and savour the ingredients in each dish.  Each time our charming server would place something on the table it was almost visually overwhelming and by the time she explained what it was I had trouble focusing on what was being said.

The Sommelier also couldn’t have been more fun.  It’s always so great when someone obviously loves their job.  At the start of the evening, I mentioned to him that Josh wasn’t as big of a wine fan as I am, especially when it comes to reds.  Well, he must have taken that as a personal challenge as he managed to truly change Josh’s mind about having a glass with each course, reds included.   I just love the opportunity to let an expert be the expert.  He created the wine list to go with the food and it truly offered something for everyone at different price points.

The lavender soft serve ice cream for dessert made me think of what long, hot summer days could have been like if I had been born in France and not Saskatchewan. Subtle, delicious, and delicate. Along with a bowl of tiramisu we were truly spoiled during this incredible dining experience.

I’ve been really blessed to have enjoyed some fantastic food over the years, and I can honestly say this truly was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.  Congratulations to Chef Will Lew and his entire team at Bruno.  I’m excited to go back to Versante and check out Chef’s other projects as they develop to see what he comes up with for everything from the hotel’s ALAIA bar to the room service for the guests!

Disclaimer: Our experience was gifted by Versante and Bruno, but they had no input on this article and all thoughts expressed are my own

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