Why: Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar recently opened at The Waterfront Vancouver. The restaurant is one of 11 locations in five states offering a great American menu in a beautiful environment. There is something for the whole family to enjoy — from pizzas to sandwiches to steaks and exclusive creations. In addition to an extensive martini selection, local craft beers and regional wines round out the offerings.
Atmosphere: The layout of the bar and dining area is unconventional and interesting. Sections of the wall, which run parallel to the river, open up to an outdoor patio, complete with heaters. A fireplace feature inside cozies up the large dining area, which offers several different vibes within the restaurant. The lighting is varied throughout, both for practical application and aesthetics. Seating options include booths and different configurations of tables and chairs. Large-screen TVs are situated in the bar and a private dining room.
What I tried: I settled on the curried ahi sandwich with the pear and roasted beet salad, and my dining companions had the peppered salmon and the Twigs signature burger with signature fries. I also tried the mango pomegranate martini, and for dessert we sampled the salted caramel cheesecake and the sticky cookie.
All the food was spot on. The martini was expertly made. The most unique food item was the curried ahi sandwich. The sandwich consists of ahi tuna seared rare and served on a toasted pita with spiced tomato confit, crispy onions, spring greens and a curry-honey aioli. The result was completely surprising and very appetizing. The flavor brought to mind those honey mustard snack mixes (in a good way), and it was full of texture and super juicy. The pear and beet salad combines baby spring greens, roasted beets, Gorgonzola crumbles, sliced pears and candied walnuts in a pear vinaigrette. It was packed full of fresh, tangy, sweet and nutty flavor. My dining companions enjoyed the quality and flavors of their selections, and both desserts were a perfect finish to our meals. The cheesecake was not overly sweet, and the sticky cookie had homemade appeal.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The Moroccan beef saut?ed tenders served with focaccia points, Gorgonzola fondue and balsamic glaze from the appetizers sounded delicious. Salads include a toasted pecan Caesar, a bistro steak and a Greek chicken. Soup varies by the day. Among the sandwich options are a Kahl?a pork, a chicken-bacon-avocado and a roasted garlic Gorgonzola burger. The pork osso bucco entree consists of slow-cooked pork shank served over parsnip pur?e with seasonal vegetables and mushroom Marsala sauce. Other tasty-sounding entrees include a crab mac and cheese, Alaskan cod, truffle penne with diner’s choice of steak, grilled chicken or portobello mushroom mixed with saut?ed broccolini, garlic, shallots and tomato. Six pizza varieties are on the menu. Desserts include scrumptious-sounding drunken donuts served with dipping sauces. There is a gluten-free menu, as well.
Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
Where: 801 Waterfront Way, Suite 103, Vancouver
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy Hour is 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Information: 360-726-4011, twigsbistro.com
Health Score: Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar has received a Pre Opening Inspection and is due for a routine inspection in the near future. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For more information, call 360-397-8428.
Other observations: The atmosphere has an upscale quality, the wait staff is professional and attentive, and the food will not disappoint. I think you might say, “Wow” a few times during your visit to Twigs. Although Twigs has a kids’ menu, the restaurant does not strike me as a place I would choose to bring small children.
Cost: Appetizers cost $7.99 to $17.99. Salads are $9.99 to $15.99. Soup is $4.99 for a cup and $6.99 for a bowl. Sandwiches are $13.99 to $17.99. Entrees start at $16.99 and top out at $41.99. Pizzas are 12 inches and cost $15.99. Kids’ menu options (for 12 or younger) are $5.99 to $7.99. Desserts are $6.99 to $8.99. Happy Hour menu items are $6 to $8. Martinis are $10 to $12. Wine is available by the glass for $6.50 to $15, and by the bottle starting at $24 and topping out at $58.