I was unaware that Smitty’s had taken up a new home on Main Street, replacing the Five Points Pub that stood as the local drinking hole before. It was not until tonight’s 2023 Dine Out Vancouver preview that we made this lovely discovery, and found them to be a great lively spot for dinner and drinks on Main Street.
They are the newest addition to the Smitty’s Oyster House family, which will continue to focus on “fresh seafood, killer cocktails, great wine, great beer, local ingredients, and an upbeat relaxed atmosphere. This new location is becoming an essential part of Main Street’s restaurant and nightlife culture. Complete with an awesome South-West facing patio there is no better place to relax on the block”, (as taken from their website).
We were in to try their $50 dine out menu, but made sure to get the full Smitty’s experience during our visit. And you can’t do that without partaking in some of their oysters. Served in shell with their all-encompassing caddy of condiments to dress and season as you please. The oysters are served fresh, with a rotation that depends on the day’s catch, and therefore are listed at Market Price on the menu. We shared a platter which included small sweeter and creamier varieties as well as the larger saltier and brinier oysters. You pick your preference and dress as you like with sweet vinaigrettes and spicy chilli mixtures.
Their Dine Out menu is a board which includes a bowl of their signature Chowda or Salad to start, and a choice of 2 items from a list of possible 10 for entrees, followed by your choice of dessert. All of which are available on their regular menu, making this a great way to get to know more about the restaurant through their cuisine. I will list all the entree options for your reference here, but only go into detail about what we tried.
- Mussels: Salt Spring Island Mussels, Wine, Garlic, Shallots, Lemon, Thyme Butter
- Broiled Oysters: Rocky Balboa, Chèvre Chaud, Keno
- Chicken Arms: Chicken Wings Sauced in their She Can, HCC or Boys Don’t Cry flavours
- Wolf Candy: Half Rack of Lamb Lollies with Big Bad Sauce
- Crab Cakes: Butter Fried Baffin Bay Crab, Bell Pepper Relish, Grilled Lemon Dijon Aioli
- Po Boy Sliders: Pan Fried Oysters, Remoulade, Lettuce, Tomato, Tiny Buns
- Danger Zone Ribs: Baby Backs with Kenny Loggins Sauce
- Seared Scallops: Scallops, Bacon Fried Cabbage, Pea Puree
- Chilli Lime Prawns: White Prawns, Garlic, Lime, Chilies, Parmesan
- Halibut Fritters: Their take on Fish and Chips
If I was just looking at the list, I would gravitate towards the lamb lollipops and Po Boy Sliders, but seeing as
they are a seafood restaurant I would suggest steering towards that. These are the 4 items that came recommended to us, classic seafood done well and prepared exactly how you expect it to be. Approachable and safe seafood for all.
Their Chowda is well seasoned and comforting. Hearty with chewy chunks of seafood, it ate exactly how I expected. I would choose it over the salad for a more fulsome start.
For those interested in healthier appetizer you can go for Smitty’s Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette, Capriny Goat Cheese, Green Apple, Carrot, Dried Cranberry, Mandarin Orange, and Sunflower Seeds. Fresh with sweet fruit and
well textured with crunchy bits, this was a well composed salad; and a complimentary start to the seafood to come with its citrus notes.
Worth mentioning is that their Dine Out menu does not come with drink pairings, but there is plenty that you can order a la carte. Our group for example, started with white wine and ended with tequila shots and lime.
The Mussels are Salt Spring Island Mussels in a Wine, Garlic, Shallots, Lemon, and Thyme Butter sauce; and topped with crispy fries. I liked how the mussels came in an array of pastels and each shade of pink to orange had it tasting different. This is a familiar dish, where you pick mussel from shell and its residual flavour seeps into the wine sauce, making it a great dip for the fries. Given the portion size, this is definitely one of your more fulsome options.
The Crab Cakes are 2 bite sized morsels, deliciously buttery with Fried Baffin Bay Crab, Bell Pepper Relish, and Grilled Lemon Dijon Aioli. As tasty as this was, I was left hungry for more. They are a little smaller in serving, and I would have liked some crostini or bread on the side to fill.
Similarly, we had the Chilli Lime Prawns served as is. A base would have been nice to help collect all the extra sauce and flavour that pooled on the board. It felt complete as is. White Prawns, Garlic, Lime, Chilies, and Parmesan. You got more garlic from this, with a latent slight burn from the chillies.
The Halibut Fritters are their take on fish and chips and another more fulsome option. Crispy fried white fish and golden fries with plenty of dill tartar sauce and ketchup on the side for dipping. No complaints, great mini fish and chips order.
For dessert your choice is between two classics, either their in house made Creme Brulee or Chocolate Mousse.
Like everything else the creme brulee was on point, a top layer of burnt sugar to crack through to reach lush cream. Not too sweet, I would lean towards this as I prefer vanilla to chocolate.
The chocolate mousse was rich and heavy. A thick mousse topped with raspberry and caramel syrup, and plenty of whipped cream. This is the more indulgent of the two dessert options.
As solid as the food was, I would recommend Smitty’s more for their fun and lively atmosphere. We came on a Thursday night and the place was bumping with live music and live Dj’s on Fridays and Saturdays. You can’t help but add to the energy of the room. I found myself leaving my mark, with a lipstick kiss on their featured wall. I did so like so many others; of which includes the general manager and his mother: lip prints side by side.
Dine Out Vancouver runs from January 20th to February 5th 2023. Be sure to make your reservations now to not miss out.
Smitty’s Oyster House Main Street
3124 Main St. Vancouver, BC V5T3G7