The beloved Peruvian-Japanese restaurant Ancora opened their second location on yet another prime waterfront property in Ambleside. Located in the high-profile Grosvernor building, the 104 seater restaurant is set to bring the full Nikkei-style dining experience with their signature crudo, caviar and raw bar to West Vancouver.
Helmed by Steve Edwards as the general manager/sommelier and Chef Ricardo Valverde as the Executive Chef (for both locations), they have recruited some of the strongest hospitality arsenals to run the show. The announcement of their expansion also coincided with their third-year anniversary.
The room is simply stunning: ultra high ceiling, bottles of wine on display and windows all around showcasing picturesque view of the water. Right away you see the marble counter that goes from the cocktail bar to the open kitchen. Cozy booths where you can see the scene from both the kitchen and dining room (aka the best seat in the house) and of course, magnificent chandelier to, you know, complete the look, are also the main design features of the space.
I got a chance to sit down and sample some of the dishes that they offer in the new location, and let’s just say, I will be taking that bus 250 to Horsehoebay again for dinner (but I’d take a ride any day).
Chef Ricardo is sticking to his Peruvian roots when it comes to the menu. Expect all the classic Ancora dishes like causas and a refreshing, Peruvian twist on tuna ceviche served with leche de tigre, and aji amarillo. Crowd favourites aji panca-glazed Sablefish and obviosly Chef Ricardo’s take on Arroz con Pato: an iconic Peruvian duck and rice are also on the menu. There will be additional menus created for each locations in the future, giving everyone on both sides something to look forward to.
It won’t be a complete, proper, Ancora’s dining experience if you’re not doing the wine pairings. Their team introduced me to Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe Viognier during the caviar festival, and Steve, being the fantastic sommelier that he is, paired the ’13 Bachelder Pinot Noir to go with the Arroz con Pato and it was a magical. It’s safe to say that now I’m obsessed with both wines, and guess what, both are now sold out everywhere, so I will have to come back here no matter what. Steve has decades of experience under his belt building wine program for some of the most well-respected restaurants in the province – so, trust me, you do want those wine pairings. While we’re talking libations, let’s not forget that wasabi margarita does exist, and it is brilliant. Infusing tequila with wasabi and adding nori to the salt rim turned out to be the way to take your margarita to the next level.
Congratulations one more time to the team, I can’t wait to come back for all the delicious fares, exquisite wine and oh! That patio that is coming in the summer!