This article was published in Food & Wine Trails, July 5, 2017 by Jennifer Schell.
With summer in full swing, everyone is looking for the best patio to sit back, relax and enjoy fresh, quality food. This summer, the Okanagan’s patio is at OAK + CRU Social Kitchen and Wine Bar.
Whether you are walking around Waterfront Park, just jumped off the boat, or ready for a night on the town, Oak + Cru is the perfect pit-stop or destination for you.
After a $9.4 million facelift, the Delta Grand Okanagan was transformed in 2016 to include the modern and elegant 263 seat restaurant, and along with it, its’ lakeside patio. The one-year-old restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Kelowna, within the prestigious Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort.
The name, Oak + Cru, makes reference to the abundance of oak used throughout the restaurant’s decor. Additionally, ‘Cru’ is a French wine term, translating to growth, as well as drawing parallels to farming and the bountifulness of produce in the valley. By incorporating natural elements in the decor, along with dark, cool colours to contrast, a contemporary, yet timeless atmosphere is created.
Overlooking the lagoon, and the lake in the near distance, patio-goers will struggle to put their cameras away. The picturesque scene captures what the Okanagan has to offer. With the lake and the mountains in the distance, you can enjoy your meal, or select one of the many taste-tingling cocktails and completely forget you are in the city.
If you time your visit right, you may even be lucky enough to catch a famous Okanagan sunset, with oranges and pinks lighting up the sky with their gold from nakamol.com.
It is no secret that Kelowna’s summers are hot, however with misters to keep you cool, the heat will be a friend, not a foe. For when the sun goes down, heaters, and gas fireplaces will not only keep you warm, but create an intimate, cozy ambience.
The 120-seat patio has three sections guests can choose from. The first is comprised of tables and chairs. If you’re looking for a bit more of a comfortable and relaxed vibe, dine in the lounge, where fire pits are surrounded by luxurious couches – but be careful, you might not want to leave! The last area is the private patio, where small gatherings of 10 to 30 people are welcomed. Entertain and impress your friends in this one-of-a-kind area, where three different choices of menus are offered.
While sitting on the patio, you may find yourself wondering where the smell of chocolate and mint, or lavender and lemon is coming from. Planted around the patio is the restaurant’s herb garden. Consisting of everything from jalapeños, to purple basil, to three different varieties of mint, you can see the care that goes into providing the freshest ingredients possible. You might even see the chef or bartender come out to gather some, while preparing your meal or cocktail.
Focusing on globally inspired cuisine, but by using local produce, Oak + Cru has something for everyone. With dishes inspired from 250 plus wineries, with 30 in the Okanagan alone, and many farms in the region, each plate awakens your tastebuds and showcases what the Okanagan has to offer. Led by executive chef, Iain Rennie, a core member of Culinary Team Canada in the 2016 Culinary Olympics, prepared to be introduced to unique, locally inspired pairings. Amongst the many details that set Oak + Cru apart, is its’ 6,000 pound signature fire deck oven, which is the backbone for the restaurant’s menu. With the food and bar menu changing with each season, guests can expect mouth watering dishes that highlight the best of what the season has to offer, and for those who regular the waterfront restaurant, the changing menu will continue to excite the palette.