It’s safe to say there’s nothing else like this in Vancouver. It’s also safe to say Vancouverites don’t know quite what to make of it, which is why it’s often a bit empty, in spite of the extraordinary cuisine. The idea here was to create a concept shopping and dining experience similar to Colette in Paris. (There’s a fabulously stylish shop next door.) The dining room is simply stunning. Big, bright, and opulent, with huge windows that look out onto Maple Tree Square, a backlit white onyx bar, glamorous chandeliers, and brilliant spots of color such as the fuchsia and lime-green love seats. And then there’s the food. Chef Jefferson Alvarez is clearly influenced by the wild creativity of chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria and Noma’s René Redzepi. The menu changes almost every night, depending on what’s in season and what chef feels like creating. You might find maple tree blossoms in tempura batter, or a simple arrangement of asparagus with poached egg, or an elaborate concoction of shaved vegetables, fish, and various other ingredients transformed to resemble soil and leaves and flowers. Seriously beautiful. In the evening, he only offers 3-, 5-, and 10-course tasting menus, each course accompanied by wine or cocktails, although he has a more traditional lunch and brunch menu.