Cool Canadiana

At Timber, Jonathan Dennis plays with flavours that hail from coast to coast to coast

Dan Toulgoet photo

As an all-Canadian pub-style restaurant, it’s no surprise that Timber has a pretty great beer selection. “But with the Canadiana theme, you can do so much more,” says restaurant manager Jonathan Dennis, who also oversees the bar program. “There’s a lot of people who want to have a killer Canadian cocktail as well.”

And that’s just what he is serving up at this friendly neighbourhood hangout on Robson at the gateway to Vancouver’s West End.

“One of the things with the cocktail program is having it be really fun and approachable, but really good, quality drinks,” Dennis says. “Not refined martinis, but easygoing drinks modelled around classic Canadian food.”

Dennis grew up in Burnaby and North Vancouver, cooking with his mom, and brings the love of food he learned from her to the bar program at Timber. “It’s combining the fact that you work with the ingredients, but you have that customer service experience as well,” he says.

“Designing cocktails that are an analog of food is super enjoyable.”

Where the food menu features classic Canadian comfort fare like bison burgers and poutine, Timber’s cocktail menu offers concoctions like the Bourbon Butter Tart, made with a brown butter fat-washed bourbon. And then, of course, there is the Caesar. Timber offers five variations on Canada’s favourite cocktail: Classic, Spicehouse, Pickleback, gin-based Union Jack and the Timber Caesar with its ketchup chip rim.

Creating cocktails is a team effort at Timber, with all the bartenders and servers contributing their ideas. Most recently, they’ve been working on summer cocktails including what Dennis calls “a mix between a mojito and a bourbon peach lemonade.” (See Born and Raised recipe.)

“We’re just trying to do really cool things with the drinks, using local ingredients and themes that tie into our Canadiana comfort menu,” Dennis says. “It’s a really cool framework to play on.”

1300 Robson St. • 604-661-2166

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