Date Night: The Dish and Vi’s for Pies

Mack and I don’t normally schedule “date nights” anymore, but during a particularly demanding week, it just seemed right to make sure we had something to look forward to when it was all over. So when Friday evening rolled around, we were more than ready for dinner and a movie.

Though I love being central, and within walking distance to work and (of course), right above the City Market, I do miss Oliver sometimes. Their mature boulevard trees – a canopy that 104 Street doesn’t have – their peaceful streets, and the quiet parks.

Paul Kane Park

Paul Kane Park

Predictably, we aren’t in the Oliver and High Street areas as much any more, but heading for dinner in the neighbourhood was a good excuse to take up our old walking route again.

Oliver School

Oliver School in the fall

I was craving comfort food, and Mack was up for anything, so we ended up at The Dish. They’ve since expanded into what was formerly the Electrum Design Studio (a room that can be booked for private functions), but the additional space thankfully hasn’t made the dining room any less intimate: the cozy wood floors, warm wall colours, and attentive service has remained the same.

We ordered what has to be one of the most inexpensive bottles of wine I’ve ever seen on a menu – the Mad Housewife white zinfandel, priced at just $23. We were first introduced to this label just down the street – at a performance of Hey Ladies! at the Roxy Theatre. Knowing that the bottle itself sells for around $18 at Sherbrooke Liquor Store, we both thought it was quite the deal (and we were able to take what we didn’t finish home with us).

The Dish

Mad Housewife white zinfandel

It was just before Thanksgiving, so their special was a turkey pot pie with stuffing, an orange-cranberry sauce served with a salad. I was ready to get my turkey on, so was happy with the amount included in the piping hot ramekin. The only ingredient missing in the dish, however, was mashed potatoes – funny how we crave traditional fixings around the holidays.

The Dish

Turkey pot pie with salad

Mack ordered the day’s flatbread, with ham and pineapple, and enjoyed it, but was hoping for a larger serving.

The Dish


After dinner, we walked over to Vi’s for Pies (13408 Stony Plain Road), one of my favourite places for dessert in the city.

We probably should have just shared a dessert, but we both have different preferences when it comes to sweets. Mack ordered a slice of pumpkin pie (and apparently, half a carton of whipped cream), while I opted for a chocolatey-rich fudge cake. With a cup of coffee, it was the perfect end to our meal.

Vi's for Pies

Pumpkin pie (I love the cookie topper)

Vi's for Pies

Fudge cake

We caught a bus back downtown, and (finally) went to see a movie at the Empire City Centre theatres. A big perk of living in the core is being able to avoid the long lines and carjams at North and South Common – at least in theory, as we hadn’t taken advantage of our neighbouring theatre since we moved.

We watched the late showing of The Social Network (I loved the opening scene – pure Aaron Sorkin, and Jesse Eisenberg did a fantastic job), and though it was busier than I expected, it was still nothing when compared with the suburban cineplexes.

Thanks for an awesome date night, Mack!

6 thoughts on “Date Night: The Dish and Vi’s for Pies

  1. I used to live across from Paul Kane park before moving right downtown as well. I loved Oliver. I think it is one of my favourite places in the entire city. The tree lined streets (especially in fall), the park, everything within relatively close walking distance, central but still so very quiet…wonderful.

    When I was in uni I used to work at the City Ctr theatre and it was always busy. It amazes me how much it seems to have dropped off in the 1o years since. The first matinee on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon is the best – few people, fresh popcorn and the movie’s over in time to still shop or wander around the downtown core.

  2. Good call on the separate desserts. Dan always chooses pumpkin pie and I will always go for chocolate!

    That pot pie looks amazing. This is a perfect week for some so I think you’ve inspired me to make some.

  3. Sounds like a great night out! I want to try the Dish some day. Vi’s for Pies has the best banana cream pie in the city–though I haven’t tried Duchess Bake Shop’s version.

  4. Karen – I agree! We just missed out on the leaves, as they had mostly fallen from the trees by the time we made it back there (ridiculous to say, really, since it’s just a few blocks away). There’s always next year!

    I have to say I don’t mind that the theatre isn’t as busy as it was ten years ago (well, so long as there is enough business to stay open!).

    Kathryn – we do have the same tastes in sweets, don’t we? :). Looking forward to seeing your leftovers at lunch!

    FoodieMcPoon – I haven’t had the banana cream pie from Vi’s, but I’ve tried the Duchess version – I loved the vanilla bean whipped cream.

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