Two years ago, I walked into the space at 55 Dunlevy for the first time. My reaction was strong, and immediate.
It was love at first sight.
I was there doing a piece for Vancity Buzz on Vancouver Urban Winery, which is housed in this historical building. The first of its kind, it’s a fully-functioning winery right in Railtown. They make a Pinot Gris and a Merlot, and one of my favourite budget-friendly wines, Roaring Twenties Sauv Blanc is also made here.
But things have changed in the past two years. The original space that I fell in love with, the high ceilings, the exposed brick and wood, the warm brightness and the charm are still here. But The Historical Settlement Building is now also home to a brewery (Postmark) and a restaurant, Belgard Kitchen.
I’d heard good things about the food, so the bar was set pretty high going in, and I’m happy to say, Belgard did not dissapoint.
Given that there is a brewery and a winery right on site, and that they have, at any given moment, 36 different kinds of wine on tap, you’d expect to see some local brew integrated into the food, as well as being paired with it.
The Salmon Gravlax Hash, their twist on a salmon benny, comes served on a bed of smashed, crispy potatoes (instead bread), and is then topped with house-cured sockeye, avocado, pickled onions (which sang), arugula and two poached eggs with a smoky onion and parmesan cream. The plate is finished with a bright swipe of beet and Postmark IPA puree. If you think that sounds good, you should taste it.
Every dish that came out of the kitchen was bright and pretty, rustic in appearance, much like the ancient beams holding the place up. Everything is sourced as locally as possible; beef comes from Pemberton, cheese from Little Qualicum Cheese Works, honey from the Okanagan.
Beer also plays a starring role in the Postmark Ale Sausage Skillet: crispy potatoes, roasted mushrooms and tomato, poached eggs, the smoky onion and parmesan cream, and a side of grilled sourdough. Beer sausage for breakfast? Yes, please!
If meatballs for breakfast are more your thing, you might want to try the Belgard Meatball Brunch Skillet: four meatballs in a skillet poached in a San Marzano tomato sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella, poached eggs, smoky onion and parmesan cream, and a side of brunch potatoes.
The star of the breakfast, though, and I must insist you order it if you go there, is the Breakfast Bacon. It’s pork belly done incredibly right. It’s sweet, it’s smoky, it’s salty, it’s crispy. Caramelized pork belly is served swimming in a pool of maple caramel sauce with hints of bourbon. I still dream of it at night.
There are lots of brunch drink options here, as you might well imagine. From beer to wine to mimosas, they have you covered.
Service was friendly and laid-back. The entire place is wide open, and there is such a chilled-out vibe there.
Here’s hoping it’s not another two years before I go back. The whole experience is one I want to repeat very soon.
55 Dunlevy, in Railtown
Open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am.