With Italian-meets-Southern-barbecue as its unholy concept, Say Mercy! was primed to work miracles. When COVID hit, this casual purveyor of buttermilk sweetbreads and BBQ bolognese in Fraserhood was only two months old. Rather than rolling down the shutters, the Collective Hospitality team immediately responded with Staff Meals, a charitable takeout program that grew into a local phenomenon. Come summer, its temporary patio — the surf-themed B-Side — was one of Vancouver’s hottest spots for drinking natural wines while nibbling on dorado crudo splashed with smoked-carrot vinaigrette. The winter patio, replete with DIY cedar wreaths, cookie-decorating kits, thick eggnog and mulled wine, was festive for families. Should you venture inside, let Jesus Take The Wheel. The five-course prix fixe comes from a kitchen that knows how to tackle acts of God.

—Alexandra Gill

Shrimp And Grits.

Photo Credit: Katie Cross Photography


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