Tonight, I was invited to North Vancouver’s breakfast/brunch spot, Douce Diner to celebrate and learn more about their latest business venture. Their cozy and kitschy cafe will now be open and available for festivities in the evening. This is Douce After Dark and they have now expanded their offerings to include evening private bookings and an off-site catering program, just in time for the holidays. You can either buy out the space and/or hire them for specialized catering, where they are prepared to customize any experience for you.
You might recognize Chef/owner Dawn Doucette with her 30 years in the food industry and time spend competing on Top Chef Canada. As taken from the press release, “She hails herself a “food mechanic,” who has created memorable mouth-watering dishes for beloved Canadian restaurants and cafés like Earls, SALTLIK and Townhall.” And has plenty of experience in the catering world, “creating and executing menus for every kind of gathering, from intimate events for five people to sit-down dinners for 300 – including delicious celebrations for high-profile clients, such as cookbook author Trish Magwood’s wedding on her family farm in Creemore, ON.”
Douce After Dark’s catering menu features a range of options for whatever style of party you’re hosting, including seafood options like a raw bar, crab cakes, and even poke. Meat options like beef bourguignon, BBQ pork baos, and shawarma or lemongrass chicken. For the vegetarians they have plenty of choices that include mini truffle baked potatoes, a ratatouille vegetable tart, artichoke fritter, and even avocado toast. Plus, plenty of one bite desserts to end with. A multiple course collection that reads both comforting and impressive for a passed around service. And one we would get to experience tonight as light canapés and small bites served, and for self service. The following is what I was able to try.
For the holiday season they have festive cocktails and a few of the classics. All easy sippers that are approachable and light. Each ideal in helping to prod conversation throughout the night.
“The Grinch” is gin, cucumber juice, lime, basil, and simple syrup.
“Santa’s Little Helper” is tequila based with ruby grapefruit, lime, and smoked salt.
And the “Pomegranate Spritz” with prosecco, lemon, rosemary, and simple, soda was a room favourite.
For food the Beef Sliders were fully dressed burgers done up miniature with caramelized onion, thousand island dressing, cheddar cheese, and dill pickle.
Everyone raved about the Grilled Cheese with caramelized onion, cheddar, and gruyère. Each served with a classic roasted tomato soup served as a shot. If ordering this for your own event or party, you can get your grilled cheese dressed up with either with taleggio + mushroom or brie + apple as fillings.
My favourite pass-around was the Steak Frites bite. A crisp Kennebec potato base topped with perfectly pink cuts of steak, roasted mushroom, a brown butter garlic aioli, and baby cress. It ate like the main you wanted, but in a more compact, travel-ready format.
The Crab cakes were crispy rounds stuffed with sweet cream and dressed in a lemon aioli and chive for some counter balancing acidity.
The Fried Chicken Biscuits were also memorable. A crispy chicken slider prepared with spicy aioli, tangy pickles, and slaw; all between two mini buttery biscuits.
And the night was concluded with a buffet of dessert bites including Mini Oreo Cookie Sandwiches and Lemon Meringue Tarts.
The Mini Vanilla Milkshakes served with peppermint candy was a fun treat and the perfect size to tease, but not fill.
The salted caramel walnut brownies were tasty. I found they paired well with the raspberry pudding cup in contrast.
What is pictured above may not be exactly as you may have it in your own service, as they do take into consideration each customer’s individual needs and work around all dietary restrictions. Douce After Dark boasts their ability to accommodate, and offer celebration options like holiday-themed craft cocktails at the bar. They even have trusted suppliers to call on, or bring on board should your occasion require any other rentals or extras like flowers, at an additional fee.
As taken from the press release, “This will be the first time the North Shore’s charming contemporary diner will be available to enjoy at night, which means Douce Diner will be supplying good vibes from dawn till well after dusk. The bright, welcoming restaurant is the ideal place to celebrate major milestones or “just because” get-togethers, and the party-loving planners at Douce can create anything from a cocktail soirée with passed appetizers to a decadent sit-down family-style feast.”
To book a party for Douce After Dark or arrange for off-site catering, contact Dawn Doucette via email at firstname.lastname@example.org call 778-998-0726. Full catering menus are available online at doucediner.com/specialevents.
1490 Pemberton Ave., North Vancouver, BC V7P 2S1