The World's First 'Bistoria' is set to open in Kitsilano (Vancouver, BC)
In the one block strip known as 'Yorkville', a tiny community within Kitsilano, a brand new restaurant is about to open. Tucked in amongst spas and specialty shops, the world’s first 'Bistoria' sits. Mon Bella as it will be called, is a blend of Italian Trattoria with French Bistro, and is sure to be one of the world's winning combinations. Throw into the mix co-owners Brad Roark (Tapastree, Araxi, Cin Cin) and Jay Brault (former sous-chef, Tapastree), the recipe is perfection, or is that 'parfaitto'?
"I have combined lessons learned from Jack (Top Table), Nicole and Mike (Tapastree). In putting together our favourite elements from the Trattoria and the Bistro, we hope to create a very special place," says co-owner Brad Roark. "This combination provides a different experience for Vancouver diners who are lucky to have so many fantastic restaurants to choose from."
Mon Bella is a brisk walk over the bridge for downtown dwellers looking for something new. For bridge-phobic west side residents, Mon Bella Bistoria is a welcome new addition to the neighbourhood. Formerly Vintropolis Wine Bar, and then a short stint as a Sports Bar, Mon Bella Bistoria is ready to settle down.
The 55 seat room showcases over 20 framed images taken by photographer Michelle Vella (Roark's partner). Alternating between French and Italian subject matter, the photos were taken over her many years of travel. Over 300 of her images rotate on a large screen above the bar. With plush, banquettes lining the walls, and spacious high ceilings, this warm, minimalist space shares elements of its bistro and trattoria parents. In addition to her photography talents, Vella is also responsible for creating the clever logo of an Italian Vespa loaded with French baguettes (www.realstudio.ca).
With the menu leaning to small plates, charcuterie and cheese, accompanied by Italian, French and BC wines, indecisive diners can sample a landscape of dishes and share with their companions. "We use the best ingredients, mostly local where possible, to provide straightforward, simple food," says Brault. "This combination is critical to Vancouver diners who are educated and receptive to the nuances of quality ingredients and expert preparation."
Mon Bella is set to open to the public on September 10th. From 4-5pm daily, a selection of starters and charcuterie is available for the post-work, pre-evening crowd. Dinner is served from 5pm. On weekend evenings, charcuterie and cheese will be available for late night rumbles and post-dinner cocktails. Look for brunches and lunches to begin in the following weeks.
Mon Bella Bistoria
1809 West 1st, Ave. Vancouver