Field & Social: Gorgeous greens for downtown's lunchtime crowd

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Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Injecting a breath of fresh air–or, better yet, bowlfuls of fresh food–into the busy Vancouver downtown core, Field & Social‘s elevated salad-centric lunch concept is up and running, with great success so far.

With lines out the door daily come the noon lunch bell, and tables inside the industrial-chic high-ceilinged and light-flush restaurant packed, it’s easy to see that Field & Social is fulfilling its mission to nourish local office dwellers with high-quality, farm-fresh, thoughtfully assembled fare.

Field & Social exterior (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

SEE ALSO: Field & Social to bring elevated fast casual salad concept to downtown

Co-owner Stephen Collins, who happily greets customers at the door or the till, says he’s surprised to find that a high percentage of diners are opting to eat-in rather than take their bowls to go. It could be in part that it seems a shame to treat the beautiful bowls–the literal hand-thrown ceramic and its colorful contents–of salad as a mere take-away, particularly when the kombucha is flowing on tap, the room is humming with people, and the food just seems to deserve a little more attention.

Nann O Sabzi (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Nann O Sabzi (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

When it comes to the food, Field & Social boasts a terse menu of well-planned salads, each packed with the kind of ingredients that will keep you energized and full without it feeling gimmicky. A quick skim of the ingredients proves that each dish has a mix of grain and protein, or multiple proteins, which will make this the kind of salad that can actually stick to your ribs and keep you full through your last task of the workday. Look for the workhorses of modern “clean” eating, like kale and quinoa, along with the next wave of supergrains, like Ethiopian teff–served here in a sort of Fattoush-Panzanella mash-up called Naan O Sabzi (Persian cucumbers, flatbread, teff, walnuts, romaine, Caspian herbs, sheep feta, and a citrusy Sumac and Persian lime dressing).

Collins explains that they take great care at Field & Social to have fresh produce in–they order daily from a mix of local farms for most of their veg–and the kitchen is on a “chicken cooking schedule” of every half-hour to ensure only what’s at its prime. The restaurant uses organic when possible, and Collins says he prefers to run out of items rather than over order and have waste. The beautiful salad greens make a cheery backdrop for the every-busy salad-assemblers, who do each dish to order.

Rustic Orzo Bowl (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Rustic Orzo Bowl (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

That aforementioned chicken shows up grilled in their Rustic Orzo Bowl (grilled chicken breast, Tuscan kale, crisped pancetta, roasted walnuts, arugula, organic cornetto pepper, orzo, basil, and a honey mustard dressing), as well as smoked in their Black Kale Caesar. Vegetarians and vegans have plenty of options, including the Sen Lek Smoked Tofu, which uses rice noodles as a base, with herbs and veggies, tofu, and a ramen egg.

The menu at Field & Social is expected to stay much the same going forward, though diners can expect some seasonal tweaks, and the upcoming addition of monthly specials created by local chefs. Other additions to the restaurant will be online ordering and pre-paying, corporate catering, and, of course, we can’t rule out second–or more–locations down the line.

Sen Lek Smoked Tofu (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Sen Lek Smoked Tofu (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Field & Social

Address: 415 Dunsmuir Street
Twitter: @fieldandsocial

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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