- Magazine: TheBlock
- Issue: Volume 2 Issue 5
There are certain words whose overuse ultimately softens the impact of their meaning. As someone who suffers from claustrophobia, for example, I am sensitive to how many small spaces are described as “claustrophobic”. Trust me, my inside voice says, a broken-down elevator packed with a dozen people, that’s claustrophobic. This Yaletown condo, simply small.
On a recent visit to Port Moody’s much-touted hot spot, the award-winning Saint Street Grill, I am reminded yet again of a word forced to pay the price for overuse. With décor that can only be described as upscale lavish meets garage-sale chic and dim golden lighting reminiscent of a 1940s’ mobster’s jazz club, the Saint Street Grill oozes it: Ambiance. A stack of ornate frames – sans art – sits propped in a pile à la installation piece. A shattered plate is affixed disjointedly to the wall, shard by shard. A random wooden pig is suspended from the ceiling.
But the brainchild of co-owners Il Giardino alum Jay Smith and Ross Edwards is more than just “first date friendly”, as Jay puts it. (“After you’ve asked what the person does for a living and where they were born, if it gets awkward you can always say: ‘Is that a pig on the ceiling?”) Chef Paul Stephen’s unexpected plates have garnered the restaurant its fair share of regulars. The grilled Caesar salad is a romaine heart with shaved asiago and herb puff pastry. The vegetable and goat cheese terrine comes with divine apricot chutney. The pesto gnocchi is topped with Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes. And patrons don’t seem to mind when friendly servers like Pavlina talk them into the crème brulée. But if enjoying palette-pleasing fare on a candle-lit backdrop of dialogue-sparking décor isn’t enough to satisfy you, Jay and Ross are also avid supporters of an array of local charities. Making them – at the risk of using one of those words again – quite cool.Saint Street Grill, 2510 St.John’s Street, Port Moody, 604.937.7477