It has taken me far too long to visit this wine/cheese bar brought to Vancouver by the great cheese store Les Amis du Fromage. The main reason for this is its poor location, way out in the boonies on east Hastings many blocks past Main. With no other draw in the neighbourhood, it makes me wonder if the location planning was not thought through as well as it should have been.
This is a shame given how great I think this place is. Not only does it have the best (and most frequently rotating) cheese selections in the City (yes, better than Salt), it also has an excellent and eclectic wine list including the likes of Tissot’s Macvin (by the glass) and Vin Jaune and a good 30 or so bottle list of Riesling (which this summer are all 25% off a bottle). There are also some great hot food items, such as the delicious Croque Madam (the best I’ve had) and four types of mac and cheese. I chose to drink a nice bottle of dry german riesling for a mere $30 after discount, which knocked the socks of almost any wine priced at $30 in Vancouver restaurants. That is to say, it was real wine, drinking well, and going great with the food.
My only complaint (other than the location) is not something specific to Au Petit Chavignol: sherry prices. I am baffled at how restaurants and wine bars charge $7 for a two ounce glass of sherry and $10 for a 5 ounce glass of wine when the bottle of sherry costs far less than the bottle of wine. The entire purpose of most sherry is for excellent quality booze at an extremely low price. Why mark it up 3 times more than wine? This defeats the purpose and distorts what sherry is all about. This is a shame given how well sherry goes with food compared to many wines.
Despite this hiccup, Au Petite Chavignol is now amongst my favourite wine bars in the city. If only it were in a neighbourhood I actually frequented. As it is, I will be making the occasional trip out there to enjoy some stellar cheese and wine pairings, and perhaps one day indulge in some seriously ritzy mac and cheese.