French vineyards earn the title of cru as a distinction of consistent quality. It’s a fitting description for the Kelowna culinary scene’s newest superstar, OAK + CRU Social Kitchen & Wine Bar. Emphatically local and high caliber, the OAK + CRU crew have raised the bar for wine lovers and gourmands throughout the valley.
The following article was written by Abbey Westbury and published in the September/October issue of Wine Trails magazine and posted online at www.winetrails.ca Photo by David McIlvride, Spatula Media + Communications
At once sleek and welcoming, the eatery is set in the impressively renovated central hall of the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, with an enviable view to the lake. The private, contemporary patio is designed to be comfortable well into the crisper autumn weather, making it an excellent place to sip and savour this season.
And they have plenty on offer to sip and savour! In keeping with the aim of providing local, sumptuous fare, craft beers and ciders accompany a wine list comprised of 100% BC wines. It’s nicely representative of the range of flavours from across the province: unique winemaker blends and small-lot single varietals mingle with popular styles and rare (but equally exquisite) pours. The well-chosen variety provides guests an opportunity to taste some of the harder-to-come-by delights of the region (ever tried a Marechal Foch or Siegerrebe?). Each bottle has been selected for its compatibility with Chef Iain Rennie’s menu, ensuring delectable pairings that play off of fresh, seasonal flavours.
The restaurant’s experts have also devised an easy way for wine lovers to navigate the extensive wine catalogue. Delivered on a tablet, the list is a tableside extension of the new Wine Experience Centre. Along with 23 (yes!) wines offered by the glass, the bottle list highlights more than 300 of the Okanagan’s exceptional vintages, organized by varietal, region, price and even vineyard.
The Wine Experience Centre, located across the lobby from the restaurant, is an intimate offshoot of OAK + CRU’s space. It’s a clean lined, cozy atmosphere, where bottles from the wine library literally encapsulate the visitor. The Centre, like the restaurant, is aptly named; a visit here is an immersive wine experience! Wine Enthusiast-led tastings are offered daily (3-6), and the room can be reserved for private dinners (up to 10 people), replete with a specialized, expertly paired menu designed by the award-winning culinary team.
It may be new to the Valley, but with its recognizable attention to quality, OAK + CRU at the Delta Grand is already earning its reputation as a grand cru addition to the culinary scene.