Filmmaker Uwe Boll, whose oeuvre includes Blubberella (“an action comedy centered on an overweight woman whose footsteps cause explosions,” as a movie website summarizes) is used to winning awards. Unfortunately, those awards include a 2009 “Worst Career Achievement Razzie,” or Golden Raspberry Award, which anointed Boll “Germany’s answer to Ed Wood.” Boll is hardly noted for his subtlety behind the camera. But his newly opened Bauhaus Restaurant—the director’s first foray into Vancouver’s fine dining scene—is, critics insist, sublime.
With Bauhaus, Boll has done a lot of things right, starting with acquiring German chef Stefan Hartmann, whose eponymous Berlin establishment received a spate of glowing reviews and one Michelin star before it was sold in 2014. Enticed by Boll to the west coast of Canada, Hartmann brings a love of modern German cuisine—and formidable technique—to a menu that, in locavore-obsessed Vancouver, really has no direct competition.
Bauhaus is a long way from your tired old schnitzel place. While the a la carte menu features classics like cheese spätzle, königsberger klopse (essentially, a meatball dish) and, of course, the obligatory schnitzel, the tasting menu—available in three price tiers, starting from $57—is far more adventurous, with choices like poached char in potato foam and caviar, or seared elk with pumpkin, fried shallot croquettes and black trumpet mushrooms.
While the food pushes boundaries, the design is no slouch, either. The sprawling space, originally a 1890 Gastown hotel formerly occupied by Boneta Restaurant, has been completely overhauled by local interior designer Andrea Greenway, whose use of concrete and wood compliments the original marble and exposed brick in a fresh, uncluttered way. (Which is what you’d expect from a restaurant that takes its name from the German modernist movement.) Even the restrooms are given novel treatments, with walls and stalls featuring graffiti art by Spanish duo Olliemoontsa.
Although it’s only been open a few months, accolades are pouring in, with one notoriously tough critic calling it “a masterpiece in the making.” It’s not comparable to receiving an Oscar, of course. But it’s a whole lot better than a Razzie.
Guy Saddy covers the Vancouver beat for Travel + Leisure.