With high ceilings, exposed brick walls, funky lighting and a big, gleaming open bar, Boneta is reminiscent of London’s stylish gastro-pubs. Impressive pieces by local artists adorn the walls and serve as the primary décor. The 1899 stone building itself is a piece of work and was once a hub of activity as a bank and a hotel. Today, Boneta is like an oasis of style in a deprived area of the city, which only adds to its edginess and allure.
The menu at Boneta is short and sweet. It features fewer than half a dozen cold dishes, hot dishes and desserts respectively. The menu changes weekly based on what ingredients are in season. The concept may be simple, but there’s nothing simple about the dishes, which have included tuna salad with quail eggs and Nicoise olive vinaigrette, sardine with smoked potato and cherry tomato confit and coconut tapioca layered with almond and papaya salad and accented with cilantro oil — to name but a few creations. Local ingredients are used whenever possible, and Boneta is part of Green Table and Ocean Wise programs, which are focused on sustainability. The wine list is short, but the mostly organic bottles are inspired by choices to compliment the menu. There’s also a good selection of beer and clever cocktails you may have never heard of before.
Welcome to Boneta
Across the back wall of the restaurant is a thoughtful quote: “There are two types of people in this world, Mark — those who wait to talk and those who listen.” The advice is directed at co-owner Mark Brand. The family feel extends beyond sharing words of wisdom, as the staff at Boneta — which is named after the mom of one of the owners — has been widely noted for friendliness and deep knowledge of food and drink. Indeed, the team behind Boneta is stacked with movers and shakers in the Vancouver dining scene who boast names like Lumiere, Blue Water Cafe and Chambar on their resumés.