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Authentic, intimate and locally delicious
The Old Surrey Restaurant 13483 72 Avenue, (604) 596-2313, oldsurreyrestaurant.ca
The Old Surrey Restaurant has been a local favourite for 47 years and two generations.
Serving old world classic French cuisine by using fresh local ingredients, they pride themselves on top-shelf service and local flavor with a European twist. Known for their tableside carte service and seasonal specialties, the Old Surrey was voted one of the top 100 most romantic restaurants in Canada by Open Table.
Although most local couples have enjoyed lovely dinners during Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day at the Old Surrey Restaurant since its opening in 1975, owner Philip Aguirre can’t claim that. He’s always been busy in the kitchen or welcoming guests.
“I joke with my friends about New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day,” he said.” I’ve been with my wife since 1996 and not one of those days we’ve spent together.”
Philip is the restaurant’s second-generation owner, which is the familiar beautiful white early 1900s home on 72nd Avenue, near King George Boulevard.
Seeing Newton’s potential in the mid 1970s, Valentine Aguirre decided to open a French fine dining restaurant. He brought his Basque-trained knowledge of French cuisine with him when he immigrated to Canada from Spain in the late 1960s.
Philip acknowledges Surrey’s Newton neighbourhood was a bit of an odd fit for fine French dining in the mid-1970s.
“My father loves to tell this story,” Aguirre said, laughing.
“He was like, ‘I’m going to open a French, fine dining restaurant in Newton in 1974!’ There were still dirt roads in the community.”
However, it didn’t take long to win over the locals’ tastebuds, and today many book ahead for an opportunity to enjoy their yearly Old Surrey prix fixe special Chateaubriand dinner (which is always available) or savor seasonal specialties throughout the year.
They are famous for their tableside creations of Caesar salad, Crepes Suzette, and during special occasions, a Nitro Ice Cream affogato, dramatic, and delicious!
Philip took the reins of restaurant ownership from his father in 2007. Val still is active, but in a different capacity, owning a farm, which produces lamb and vegetables.
Currently, the restaurant is offering a delicious locally sourced and curated Fall Special (four course prix fixe); highlighting some ingredients from the family farm, located in the foothills of Chilliwack, but also local seafood, such as Qualicum Bay scallops, and nitro ice cream Affogato, prepared tableside.