The Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim may be one of the swankiest spots in Vancouver. It’s so happening that it’s hard to believe that it actually is in Vancouver. The décor is elegant, with sparkling chandeliers, a long glass double-sided fireplace, and a white Fazioli piano. There’s live music nightly, and the layout alongside the hotel’s lobby allows for great people watching – it’s clearly a place to see and be seen. But of course, I’m there for the food. And perhaps the cocktails. And okay, the live music too…
I’ve been to the Lobby Lounge a handful of times, and it’s always got a great vibe. It’s a more mature crowd, but still hip and fun. The service is hit or miss, mostly the latter. The servers are all very professional, but service can be unbearably slow, to the point of repeatedly having to try to flag down your server.
But really, you’re here for two reasons: 1) the live music (how many venues does Vancouver have with live music nightly, and classy ones at that?) and 2) the cocktails – some of the best in Vancouver.
Last time I was there, I tried “La Grande Heure” (Grand Marnier infused with Marzipan Almond Tea / Bacardi 8 yo / Star Anise Tincture / Egg White). It was divine. Their cocktails are simply on a whole other level. And they should be, at up to $20 a cocktail. I still can’t believe they’re able to charge so much… But hey, at least if you’re paying an arm and a leg, you won’t be disappointed with what you get. The cocktails are strong, have complex flavors, and taste phenomenal.
The food is also quite good – there are plenty of appetizer options (wings, nachos, chips etc.) as well as some casual entrees. I’ve had the butter chicken (which is made by Oru, a restaurant on the 2nd floor), and it was quite tasty. There are also seafood towers, sushi, and oysters. If you’re just there for a drink, you will be given some nuts and olives to munch on. And, of course, there’s dessert. They always seem to have at least one gluten-free option. And the desserts are surprisingly reasonably priced at $8 each – perhaps to slightly offset the outrageously priced cocktails. This time around, I had the Black Forest Square (flourless chocolate cake, cherries, kirsch mousse). Presentation was lovely, and the flavour was great, not overly sweet. I quite enjoyed it. My friend liked the Lemon Cheesecake Lollipops (white chocolate, coconut streusel) – especially their fun presentation.
Overall, I highly recommend the Lobby Lounge. It’s especially great for a celebratory drink – definitely somewhere to check out at least once.