At Vancouver’s Elisa Steakhouse the Pop Art is on the Walls and the Plate

By Alisha Mughal

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With Andy Warhols and Jeff Koons to admire while waiting for your steak, Elisa will forever alter your expectations of a steakhouse.

Vancouver’s Elisa Steakhouse militates against your preconceptions about steak—in a nice way, though.

The seating isn’t booths made of panels of wood — they’re a cherry red or a creamy grey around tablecloths cascading sinuously. There is no bust of a stag’s head on a wall, no intimation of choking smoke.  

Elisa isn’t aggressively masculine, but it’s not aggressively feminine, either.

The bar isn’t cumbersome or intimidating. It’s bright and sparkling. The shelves are backlit and display a Jeff Koons Balloon Rabbit.  

The walls are adorned with Andy Warhol originals like the unmissable and ironic “Steaks, 99¢” and “Superman 260,” which depicts the ubiquitous in Warhol’s inimitable way. Much in the same way that Elisa promises a steak experience like no other. 

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Owned by the Toptable Group, the 6800 square-foot restaurant was designed by the Rockwell Group — the firm behind the recent redesign of Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York.

The dining room is watched over by another Koons piece: the “Gazing Ball: Picasso Couple,” with which Koons wanted to inspire introspection in his audience. Above, snaking and quadratic are light fixtures, themselves smacking of high art.

You can have your steak and eat it too at Elisa. Their Grillworks Infierno wood-fired grill allows Elisa’s Executive Chef Andrew Richardson a versatility that few other steakhouses in Canada can boast.

Richardson and his team wield the Infierno to produce the extensive menu of prime cuts and sustainable seafood, along with locally-sourced vegetable-forward dishes. Elisa has something for everyone.

Guests can order tartares from hand-cut beef, smoked bison and appetizers such as Chef Richardson’s Dinosaur Kale Salad. For steak, guests can choose a cut from Alberta or from Japan. 

There is no shortage at Elisa of the best of the best — it’ll forever alter your expectations of a steakhouse.  

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