Amongst a sea of bland, corporate eateries in Vancouver’s financial district, Nightingale is a beacon of eclectic charm and culinary cool.

The latest venture from chef David Hawksworth, whose flagship restaurant is only short 500 metre stride away, Nightingale is the more relaxed version to its high-end cousin.

Housed in a heritage building that was the former University Club, the soaring double height space has been designed by Toronto-based outfit Studio Munge and is a modern take on a traditional gentleman’s club that seamlessly respects the original framework; white butcher tiles are tempered with light timber wood panelling, while industrial lighting, wrought iron chandeliers and mahogany leather seating adds a dash of sophistication.

The ground floor is anchored by a handsome marble bar, while the mezzanine level with its woven silver and copper inlay lattice screen railing is the perfect perch to people watch meet for a weekday power lunch. The best seat in the house though, is the 12-seat chef’s table at the far end of the kitchen; with views of the nearby Coal Harbour buildings, there is no better spot to tuck into chef Hawksworth tasty modern Canadian menu.

Divided into five categories, which are arranged from the lightest (raw) and make their way through an assortment of vegetables, pizzas, small dishes and the most substantial (large), the plates are perfect for sharing. And while the substantial pizzas are more than enough to satisfy, for those wanting a heartier offering, we’d plump for the pork belly, served with native Okanagan stone fruit.