Posts Tagged ‘Bar’

SALIDA 7

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52 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604 569 3088

Web: http://www.salida7.ca/

Twitter: @salida7gastown

Advice:  Don’t go solo, best place to go with at least one or two friends and share some dishes.

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

Pimientos Piquillo

Pimientos Piquillo

Vegetarian Baked Arros Banda Paella

Vegetarian Baked Arros Banda Paella

With a love for Spanish cuisine, there is a new spot hidden away in Gastown worth your discovery. The room has been brightened up from the former eatery, it’s warm and inviting, and the service is friendly and welcoming. My friend Vance Licaros joined me to share some dishes, we started off with a delicious bowl of their Patatas Bravas ($8) Catalan style cubed potatoes in a spicy pepper sauce and aioli, followed by the outstanding Pimientos Piquillo cod stuffed peppers ($12). We then shared the Vegetarian Baked Arros Banda Paella (for 2 people, $12.50 per person) with wild mushrooms, organic vegetables, pine nuts, and safron baked paella rice.

Crema Catalana Cremada

Crema Catalana Cremada

Peras al Vino Tinto y Chocolate Caliente

Peras al Vino Tinto y Chocolate Caliente

For dessert we shared two out of the four selections, the beautifully smooth Crema Catalana Cremada ($10) and the Peras al Vino Tinto y Chocolate Caliente (poached pear in red wine) with chocolate sauce ($12), both desserts were outstanding!

You’ll find a selection of fine Spanish wines as well as Cava to go along with the Spanish tapas, rice and pasta dishes, and you can dine late into the night.

Review By: Richard Wolak

CAVU KITCHEN BAR

5911 Minoru Blvd, Richmond

Tel: 604-232-5001

Web: http://www.cavukitchenbar.com/

Twitter: @CAVUKitchenBar

Advice: Reservations suggested.

 

Nibbles to start

Nibbles to start

With a playful element, Chef Alex Hancock and his team has created an exciting menu filled with dishes that are married with wonderful flavours. I started off with some nibbles on a platter, loved the Carrot Hummus with naan bread for spreading, marinated mushrooms and mixed olives.

Portobello & Onion Melt

Portobello & Onion Melt

Yam Waffle Fries

Yam Waffle Fries

The Lobsta Burger

The Lobsta Burger

The Portobello & Onion Melt was delicious with a foraged Mushroom Puree, aged cheddar, Parmesan on focaccia; the Yam Waffle Fries were spiced served with a kimchi ketchup; and The Lobsta Burger was a stellar burger and makes a bold statement topped with an 8oz beef patty, Atlantic lobster, arugula, mayo and a herbed Mornay on a sesame bun served with house spiced cassava crisps.

Lamb Kofta

Lamb Kofta

Braised Shortrib Cavatappi

Braised Shortrib Cavatappi

Not your traditional Lamb Kofta was delicious, with lamb shank, lamb meatballs, peppers, carrot hummus, mint salad and a lamb jus; the Braised Shortrib Cavatappi was very good with foraged mushrooms, and a delicious tomato jam!

Goats Cheesecake, Pannacotta with blueberries and an outstanding Pumpkin Creme Brûlée.

Goats Cheesecake, Pannacotta with blueberries and an outstanding Pumpkin Creme Brûlée.

For dessert, I had a trio, the lovely Goats Cheesecake, Pannacotta with blueberries and an outstanding Pumpkin Creme Brûlée.

The dinner menu is filled with many exciting dishes, they also serve breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. I am looking forward to the seasonal changes with Chef Alex Hancock’s creativity at play and returning to taste more.

Review by: Richard Wolak

BESTIE

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105 East Pender, Vancouver

Tel: 604-620-1175

Web: http://bestie.ca/

Twitter: @bestiewurst

Advice: No reservations, late night eats on Friday and Saturday til 1am.

Chinatown Ice Tea

Chinatown Ice Tea

 The Pretzel Board

The Pretzel Board

Pretzel Bread Puddin'

Pretzel Bread Puddin’

Known for their Currywurst this popular eatery features German street food in the heart of Chinatown, it’s a the merging of cultures that makes this eatery hum. In for an early dinner, I had the refreshing Chinatown Ice Tea ($2.50) followed by The Pretzel Board ($9) a large wooden board with a Pretzel, stinky cheesy sauce, a selection of mustards, farmers sausage, Chili smashed cucumber, pickled cabbage, gherkins and Chili onion jam. Then came the delicious dessert which was my original reason for visiting, Pretzel Bread Puddin’ ($5) with cinnamon, raisins, and dolce. De Leche sprinkled with Fleur de sel with a gentle squeeze of orange overtop!

You’ll find a cool room and a menu filled with sausages, fritten, and cheese fries to go along with beer on tap or by the bottle, wine on tap, soda pops, kombucha and ice tea. I can’t wait to return to try their Currywurst!

Review by: Richard Wolak

L’ABATTOIR

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217 Carrall Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-1701

Web: www.labattoir.ca

Twitter: @LABATTOIR_VAN

Advice: Advance reservations suggested. Private dining room available for booking.

It’s all about the recipe that makes my experience one that is memorable, it’s also a testament to a long standing restaurant. The recipe for me is not only about wonderful food, it is also about good looking servers who excel at the service they provide as well as the ambience. I’ve been a fan of L’Abattoir since they opened, each dinner was one that was finished by dessert, it was the eye candy and the sweet ending that has made for memorable experiences. The restaurant has expanded recently adding a building behind the restaurant which has been outfitted with a new prep kitchen along with a multi-room set-up for private dining upstairs. With these new additions, they finally launched a weekday lunch service, and I dined along with my friend Rob Kemp who joined me.

Blueberry Ice Tea

Blueberry Ice Tea

labbotoir lunch 2

Steelhead

Green Salad

Green Salad

Halibut

Halibut

Beef Dip

Beef Dip

It was a beautiful late summer day, and I quenched my thirst with their Blueberry Ice Tea in a bottle, this cool presentation was a great start to lunch sitting at the bar. Jose is one of those servers that made my dining experience memorable. I had the Steelhead, fried potatoes, dill, horseradish to start, while Rob had the Green Salad, lettuce, vinaigrette, croutons. For our mains, I loved the Halibut with a capers grapes sauce, while Rob enjoyed his Beef Dip Tongue, salad, jus gras for dipping, thick cut fries.

Classic Lemon Tart and a bottle of cold brew JJ Bean Coffee

Classic Lemon Tart and a bottle of cold brew JJ Bean Coffee

Chocolate pot de crème.

Chocolate pot de crème.

As dessert is always a must for me when dining here, I enjoyed my sweet ending with a not so sweet, Classic Lemon Tart and a bottle of cold brew JJ Bean Coffee while Rob indulged in the Chocolate pot de crème.

As always I can’t wait to return.

Review by: Richard Wolak

MEET ON MAIN

meet on main 1

4288 Main Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 877-1292

Web: www.meetonmain.com

Twitter: @meetonmain

Advice: No reservations.

Steamed Kale

Steamed Kale

Sweet Chili Caulifkiwer

Sweet Chili Cauliflower

Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters

 Satay Sauce & Mayo Fries

Satay Sauce & Mayo Fries

The Lovely

The Lovely

With a clever play on words, this new neighborhood eatery focusses on comfort food that is vegetarian and vegan forward. The room has an eclectic feel, the portions are large, and sharing is the way to go. My friend Jason Sanders just returned from travelling the globe and he joined me to share some dishes. Starting off with the Steamed Kale ($4.50) with a house-made cashew gravy, followed by the outstanding Sweet Chili Cauliflower ($8) beer battered with a tamarind chili glaze. Next we had the tasty Corn Fritters ($7.25) served with a spicy chipotle aioli dip, followed by  Satay Sauce & Mayo Fries ($8.50) topped with a house-made almond butter satay sauce and chipotle mayo with pickled onions in the mix. Lastly The Lovely ($12.50) a large and delicious bowl of almond nut satay sauce over brown rice, smoked tofu and veggies that included wilted spinach, broccoli, red pepper & toasted coconut. After this vegetarian feast we were stuffed with no room for dessert.

The menu is eclectic featuring handfuls, bowlfuls, six different types of fries done right, greenery and sweet things. The cocktails look as creative as the food, I am looking forward to returning for more another round of the Sweet Chili Cauliflower.

Review by: Richard Wolak

GYOZA BAR + RAMEN


gyoza bar review 9

622 West Pender Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-336-5563

Web: http://gyozabar.ca/

Twitter: @GyozaBarRamen

Advice: No Reservations, put your name on the list and come back for your table.

gyoza bar reveiw 10

Elevating the bar, Aburi Restaurants who own this restaurant went about creating a bit of a twist on the traditional gyoza and ramen while raising the bar above many of the more traditional restaurants offering these popular dishes. The room invokes an urban and rustic-elegant feel with its polished concrete, live edge maple, and BC pine beetle wood that complement the existing and timeless brick walls. Part of the kitchen is open to encourage guests to sit at the bar and see their food be prepared. A peek-a-boo window allows those interested to watch fresh ramen be prepared.

Orchard Fizz

Orchard Fizz

Miso Tofu Salad

Miso Tofu Salad

Teppan Gyoza

Teppan Gyoza

My friend Sheryl was visiting the city and she joined me for dinner, I started off with the refreshing Orchard Fizz non-alcohol Cocktail made with Yuzu-fig jam, apple juice and soda. We shared the delicious Miso Tofu Salad ($9.50), followed by their signature Teppan Gyoza ($8) an order of 7 (you can get a larger order as well) filled with Fraser Valley Pork served in a cast iron pan.

Miso Beef Short Rib Gyoza

Miso Beef Short Rib Gyoza

Free Range Chicken Broth Ramen with awasa triple miso

Free Range Chicken Broth Ramen with awasa triple miso

 Free Range Chicken Broth Ramen with Mediterranean salt

Free Range Chicken Broth Ramen with Mediterranean salt

The Miso Beef Short Rib Gyoza ($12.50) crispy with feta, cherries, mushrooms, and zucchini, this preparation was outstanding and is the best gyoza I have had here yet.  I then had the Free Range Chicken Broth Ramen with awasa triple miso ($14) while Sheryl had the same Free Range Chicken Broth Ramen with Mediterranean salt ($13.50), the version I went with was richer in flavour. The ramen noodles are handcrafted in-house using a special ramen-making machine and the broths are made from scratch with all-natural flavours and without any MSG.

Ricotta Crepe

Ricotta Crepe

Yuzu Komichi

Yuzu Komichi

For dessert we shared two of them, the Ricotta Crepe ($8) with yuzu-fig jam, and yogurt sorbet and Yuzu Komichi ($8) with cactus pear granita.

You will find sake on tap, along with cocktails, beer and wine. I can’t wait to return for more of the Miso Beef Short Rib Gyoza.

Review by: Richard Wolak

SIX ACRES

six acres 1

203 Carrall Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-488-0110

Web: http://sixacres.ca/

Twitter: @sixacres

Advice: On a nice day the patio is the place to be.

Four Winds Beer

Four Winds Beer

Mini Veggie Burgers

Mini Veggie Burgers

Pound O` Wings

Pound O` Wings

Every so often there is a restaurant that has been on my to try list forever, thankfully this popular Gastropub is still in the game. My friend Ami Sanyal and I dined on the patio which boasts one of the best people watching spots in the city. Catching up over a Four Winds Beer and some eats, I enjoyed their trio of Mini Veggie Burgers ($11) made with cauliflower & mushroom patty, aged cheddar, tomato, spinach, caramelized onion, aioli, house ketchup; while Ami had a Pound O` Wings ($12) house made with salt & pepper.

This is a great spot for food and drink in Gastown, housed in the Alhambra building, it is the oldest brick building in Vancouver. The drinks menu offers up a good selection of beer, wine and spirits. On the food side there are all sorts of dishes that complement the drinks list or vice versa depending on how you look at it. Several dishes caught my eye for future dinnerscapes and I’m looking forward to returning soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

TACOFINO COMMISSARY

tacofino 1

2327 East Hastings, Vancouver

Tel: 604-253-TACO

Web:   http://tacofino.com/

Twitter: @TacofinoCantina

Advice: Community sharing tables, so find a space and share your table.

 Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Guacamole

Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Guacamole

Tacos: Fish & Squash

Tacos: Fish & Squash

I have been a fan of their fish tacos ever since their food trucks hit the streets in Vancouver, soon after this restaurant opened. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve snuck in on occasion for some take-out. This time around my friend Sophia Cheng joined me for lunch and some delicious eats. We shared the Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Guacamole, then I had a couple of tacos ($6 each or 2 for $10), the Fish Taco with a crispy ling cod, cabbage, chipotle mayo, salsa fresca and the seasonal Summer Squash and Potato taco with leek, lacinato kale, cheddar, chili crema, and salsa fresca; Sophia had a Fish Taco as well along with a Pork Jowel taco and a Lime Slushi.

The lunch menu is fairly simple, the dinner menu takes it up a notch with offerings that include Queso and Corn Fritters, Chicken Karaage Tacos, and Tator Tots. There is also a wine, beer, cocktails and spirits on offer, most of all I am looking to return to try the Chocolate Diablo Cookies & Horchata Ice Cream Sandwich!

Review by: Richard Wolak

FEAST

feast `

2423 Marine Dr. West Vancouver

Tel: (604) 922-1155

Web: www.feastdining.ca

Twitter: @feastdining

Advice: Reservations needed.

The communal table is the star in this eatery located in Dundarave Village, where Chef Kayla Dhaliwall has created a unique menu for diners to feast. Sharing would be the way to go if you have a friend or two joining. The menu is seafood forward yet does feature other meat and vegetarian dishes, it has an element of fun for foodies to enjoy. Each of the dishes are served on the beautiful black serving dishes which not only look great but are easy for serving. My friend Nikki joined me as we took a whirl sharing some of the dishes while dining at the communal table.

The Avocado & Beet “Fries”

The Avocado & Beet “Fries”

K’s 'FC

K’s ‘FC

English Peas & Foraged Mushrooms

English Peas & Foraged Mushrooms

Squash & Chickpea Curry

Squash & Chickpea Curry

The Avocado & Beet “Fries” ($12) are lightly battered and fried, topped with goat cheese, pumpkin seeds and a citrus gastrique were divine. K’s ‘FC ($22) is a half crispy free run fried chicken served with proper gravy, tender, juicy and delicious. The naming of this dish is a play on words depending of course how you look at it, there take is that it is named after Chef Kayla and it’s her fried chicken. Sides are needed to go along with a dish like this, and we chose the tasty English Peas & Foraged Mushrooms ($9) served in a black iron pot. We also shared the delicious Squash & Chickpea Curry ($22) with forbidden black rice.

Mini Donuts

Mini Donuts

There were only two desserts on offer, and we went with the Mini donuts ($9.99) holy amazing crispy donuts, a bag of home-made mini donuts with caramel and a strawberry sauce a true indulgence! Sharing is a must as there are 20 donuts in the bag.

I am looking forward to a future visit for brunch as they are featuring Chef Kayla’s amazing Chicken & Waffles.

Review by: Richard Wolak

THE ABBEY

the abbey 1

117 West Pender Vancouver

Tel: 604-336-7100

Web: http://abbeyvan.com/

Twitter: @AbbeyYVR

Advice: Reservations suggested weekends.

Chicken Karaage

Chicken Karaage

Mushrooms on Toast

Mushrooms on Toast

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

The room is long and narrow, spacious with a private room up the stairs at the rear for large or small gatherings. Coined as a progressive tavern, the dishes have great flavours which is not surprising knowing the menu was created by chef/owner Andrey Durbach and his partners Chris Stewart, and Michel Durocher. I dined solo in the first days of opening, having the Free-run Chicken Karaage ($10) Togaroshi  crispy, spiced and delish! Next was the outstanding Mushrooms on Toast ($14) a mix of local mushrooms including chanterelles on a moist crisped brioche! Lastly for dessert, I had the delicious Peanut Butter Pie ($7) with sour cherries, graham cracker crust and a chocolate top that reminds me of a childhood dessert Spoon Candy that I loved!

I am looking forward to returning to try more dishes, as well as their Happy Hour, and I hope they offer brunch one day soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

PROHIBITION TASTING ROOM

prohibition 7

1269 Hamilton St., Vancouver

Tel: (604) 563-9494

Web: http://www.prohibitionbrewingco.com/prohibition-brewing-company-tasting-room/

Twitter: @ProhibitionAles

Advice: Flight of Four beers great value, all coocktails are doubles.

prohibition 6

Known for the beer they brew in the Okanagan, Prohibition’s tasting room is located in Vancouver in the trendy Yaletown neighborhood where they are serving up a stellar selection of comfort food to go with their craft beer and cocktails. I was quite impressed having taken a run through the dinner menu with my friend David Peng.

Getaway Lager, Bootlegger Amber Ale, Lawless IPA, Smuggler Scotch Ale

Getaway Lager, Bootlegger Amber Ale, Lawless IPA, Smuggler Scotch Ale

Beer tasting on the paddle ($8) with the Getaway Lager, Bootlegger Amber Ale, Lawless IPA, Smuggler Scotch Ale to go along the delicious food at the outset.

Duck Wings

Duck Wings

Poutine

Poutine

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

 Steak Frites

Steak Frites

First off was the outstanding Duck Wings ($11) a pound of these wings perfectly seasoned, tender, juicy, and braised for an hour prior to frying. Served with a house-made barbq sauce, a hot sauce and a creamy sauce. Next was the Poutine ($8) with a mushroom ale gravy and cheese, both of these dishes were great for sharing. Next were a couple of entrees, I loved, loved, loved the Roast Chicken ($19) with veggies in a white wine mushroom cream sauce; followed by the flavourful Steak Frites ($20) 6 oz tenderloin and Frites.

The Moonshine

The Moonshine

Lawless Mule

Lawless Mule

No dessert option on the menu as of yet, so we made do tasting a couple of cocktails that the manager sent over to the table. The Moonshine ($9.50) in cool mason jar made with walnut bitters, citrus and egg whites along with the Lawless Mule ($9.50) with vodka, citrus, ginger and their IPA.

This is a room to keep your eye on, and its going to be a great spot for hanging out with friends. I can’t wait to try out the lunch menu, as well am hopeful for some dessert options down the road made with their ales.

Review by: Richard Wolak

MOROCCO WEST

morocco west 1

795 Jervis Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-563-8466

Web: http://moroccowest.com/menus/

Twitter: @MoroccoWest

Advice: Reservations suggested.

I have always loved Moroccan cuisine, the flavours of the dishes, the spices and it’s culture has been a draw for me. I was happy to visit this new eatery located off bustling Robson street on a couple of occasions since it opened mid spring. The room is a good size with rustic orange walls along with a nice sized patio out front. It’s run by co-owners, Executive Chef Nourdine Majdoubi and Kevin Lin both who are passionate about Moroccan cuisine.

Lamb Sandwich

Lamb Sandwich

Hummus

Hummus

Truffle Parmesan Fries

Truffle Parmesan Fries

Lamb Couscous

Lamb Couscous

Ras-el-hanout Lamb Sandwich

Ras-el-hanout Lamb Sandwich

I have had the delicious Lamb Sandwich ($13) with Fig Chutney Green lentil spread, soft¬ goat cheese, fresh mint, baby arugula, harissa mayonnaise, as well as the Hummus ($6) and Truffle Parmesan Fries ($7) which I had dipped into the Hummus. I have also had the Lamb Couscous ($15) served with root vegetables, chickpeas, onion con­fit, raisins, Moroccan jus. One of my friends had the Beef Sandwich ($12) with Prunes and Apricot Marmalade caramelized onion, cornichon relish, white beans ragout, carrots, and baby arugula.

Couscous Brûlée

Couscous Brûlée

Cherry and Ricotta Strudel

Cherry and Ricotta Strudel

I have indulged in two of their popular and delicious house-made desserts, first the warm toasted Couscous Brûlée ($8) Cinnamon, apricot, prunes, raisins, crème anglaise; secondly the Cherry and Ricotta Strudel ($9) with fresh cherries, Cointreau, mixed berry coulis.

I am looking forward to returning soon to try more dishes.

Review by: Richard Wolak

WILDEBEEST

wildebeest 1

120 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604 687 6880.

Web: http://wildebeest.ca/

Twitter: @WildebeestYVR

Advice: Reservations suggested, late night solo visit shouldn’t need a reso.

Angus Beef Short Rib

Angus Beef Short Rib

Pear Mousse

Pear Mousse

Since I’ve known of this eatery being a spot for carnivores, it was one that took me far too long to visit, I did just that recently to partake in meat. This is what they do well, they do all the butchery on site for the animals that they serve which for the most part are locally raised. They support as much of the local farmers as they can for their produce. Dining here is a gastronomic experience and one that is finely executed. I had one dish in mind  to try and ended up ordering a couple, very impressed by the level of excellent service, the wonderful ambiance and I enjoyed watching the chefs at play in their open kitchen.  I had the outstanding slow-cooked natural Angus Beef Short Rib ($25) with salt-baked beets, hay jus, smoked salt as I had my eye on this dish. I then skipped right to dessert, to indulge in the delicious Pear Mousse ($9) chocolate sorbet, chewy pear, dehydrated chocolate mousse, salted caramel.

Although the menu is meat heavy, you will also find fish and vegetarian dishes as well that are plated with the same precision. The cocktail line-up is crafted by co-owner barstar Josh Pape. I’m looking forward to another visit perhaps next time for brunch.

Review by: Richard Wolak

EL AZTECA MEXICAN KITCHEN & BAR

1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-638-0127

Web: http://elaztecavancouver.com/

Twitter: @elaztecavan

Advice: No reservations.

La Werta

La Werta

I have always had an interest in Latin American food and culture, ever since taking Spanish in high school and travelling through the region years later. In recent years the Latin American food scene, in particular Mexican food has grown immensely in our city. Although El Azteca had been open for over a year, their menu and direction has recently changed with creative chef Jesus Brown Garcia leading the kitchen. Last week I visited for the first time enjoying one of their house cocktail creations the La Werta which was quite refreshing, taking cue from my charming server Moises.

Aguachile

Aguachile

Taco Canaco

Taco Canaco

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

The menu is filled with dishes from the Chef’s home town of Mexico City as well as from other regions in Mexico. I loved the Aguachile ($13) lime marinated pacific shrimp with a little heat kick, avocado, purple onions; great flavours, served with a bowl of house-made tortilla chips! The Taco Canaco ($13) chefs creation, Salmon & Scallop Tacos with a delicious cilantro tequila sauce on the side was next. Since I love Mole, it was a must that I try theirs, having the outstanding Mole Chicken Enchiladas ($16) with a chocolatey mole sauce, smokey black beans and rice.

Buenllo

Buenllo

Since everyone knows that I love desserts especially ones that are not the usual fare, I had the  delicious Buenllo a flat churro dusted with sugar topped with vanilla ice cream and a thick warm chocolate tequila sauce to end the wonderful journey of Mexican flavours.

I can’t wait to try their weekend brunch!

Review by: Richard Wolak

EXILE BISTRO

exile 1

1220 Bute Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-563-8633

Web: http://exilebistro.com/

Twitter: @exilebistro

Advice: Doesn’t take reservations, daytime they run a café menu and by night

Black Bean Carob Brownie and a 3 Ingredient cookie

Black Bean Carob Brownie and a 3 Ingredient cookie

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

Hazelnut Macchiato

Hazelnut Macchiato

Cherry Blossom Cortado

Cherry Blossom Cortado

Specializing in plant forward cuisine with an additional focus on Canadian game, this new hot spot in the westend is all about serving up dishes with unique and locally foraged ingredients appealing to Vegans, Vegetarians and others who are looking for something extraordinary. For my first visit, I was there during the afternoon where I had some afternoon snacks, the delicious and healthy Black Bean Carob Brownie and a 3 Ingredient cookie with fig, bananas and oats (both are vegan ) and a non-vegan Espresso Macchiato followed by a Hazelnut Macchiato. I also had yummy a Cherry Blossom Cortado with raw local hazelnut milk, espresso, house-made cherry cordial topped with brandies cherries and cherry blossoms!

Chaga Mushroom & Schizandra Berry Cold Brew,

Chaga Mushroom & Schizandra Berry Cold Brew

Pickled Oyster Mushrooms

Pickled Oyster Mushrooms

Lentil Pate

Lentil Pate

Shoots Salad

Shoots Salad

Roots Salad

Roots Salad

Fermented Buckwheat Porridge

Fermented Buckwheat Porridge

For my next visit, I dined at night where the menu is ever so different. Arriving solo and sitting at the bar, I ended up meeting my bar mate who turned out to be a sommelier for another eatery, we both decided to share most of the dishes so that we could each try more dishes, which meant trying more ingredients and flavours. Justin Everett and I had a great chat about the dishes we were eating as well as his world of wine. I had the refreshing and incredible Chaga Mushroom & Schizandra Berry Cold Brew ($5) made with birch syrup, followed by the Pickled Oyster Mushrooms to start. I then shared the delicious Lentil Pate ($13) with pickles and levain crackers; followed by the Shoots Salad ($12) with fiddleheads, fireweed, garlic mustard, collard buds, chickweed, spring onion flowers; and the Roots Salad ($13) foraged and cultivated with roasted spring garlic, purple potato, sunchoke, roasted golden beets, root salt, and carrot purée. I then had the creamy and delicious Fermented Buckwheat Porridge ($14) with chia braised cabbage, burdock & beer bacon and foraged nettle pistou.

Tapioca, Knotweed, Apple Nettle Granita

Tapioca, Knotweed, Apple Nettle Granita

Chocolate Ganache Pot

Chocolate Ganache Pot

For dessert we had the interesting Tapioca, Knotweed, Apple Nettle Granita with sponge toffee, rhubarb; followed by the outstanding Chocolate Ganache Pot with gluten-free chocolate cake soil, and black sesame sand topped with sweet Cecile.

This is a one of a kind spot with creative chefs using innovative ingredients and it’s a place that you have to get to soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

CAFÉ ONE

cafe one 1

1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-893-7205

Web: www.sheratonvancouver.com

Twitter: @WallCentreHotel

Advice: Reservations suggested.

Grilled Prawn & Lobster Tacos

Grilled Prawn & Lobster Tacos

Roasted Haida Gwaii Sablefish

Roasted Haida Gwaii Sablefish

Mango Panacotta

Mango Panacotta

Banana Choconutty Creme Brûlée

Banana Choconutty Creme Brûlée

Hidden off the street inside the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel is a restaurant with a creative chef who knows his craft well, Chef Stuart McQuade leads the kitchen cooking up flavourful dishes using as much local as he is able to source, season after season.  My friend Ajay Masala Puri joined me for dinner where started off with delicious Grilled Prawn & Lobster Tacos served on a bed of guacamole with citrus notes. Next we both had the outstanding Roasted Haida Gwaii Sablefish with a lemongrass sabayon sauce  bamboo jasmine rice, white and green asparagus and frisée. Lastly we each had two of their specialty desserts, first chef Stuart’s refreshing and delicious Mango Panacotta made with coconut milk foam topped with coconut; followed by Pastry Chef Gabriela Gandolfo’s Banana Choconutty Creme Brûlée with peanut butter, chocolate and sliced bananas which was also delicious.

The menu features a good selection of starters as well as mains covering protein rich dishes to pastas and more. I am looking forward to trying more of Chef Stuart McQuade’s dishes in the months to come and am eagerly awaiting his spring menu.

Review by: Richard Wolak

BURGUNDY RESTAURANT

burgundy 1

UPDATED 8/28/14 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED

47 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 428-4100

Web:  http://www.burgundyvancouver.com/

Twitter: @BurgundyVan

Advice: Reservations suggested. Closed Mondays.

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc

It’s an intimate room with a stunning work of art that adorns the wall amongst other unique art and collectibles. The restaurant is two levels, the kitchen is perched the stairs, while the dining room is below with the bar towards the rear which features a small selection of red and white wine by the glass, along with beer and an interesting collection of cocktails. I had Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc to begin on the 2nd visit.

Mushroom Brulee

Mushroom Brulee

Scallops and Polenta

Scallops and Polenta

Yam & Arugula Flatbread

Yam & Arugula Flatbread

Goat Cheese Fondue

Goat Cheese Fondue

Tuna Nicoise

Tuna Nicoise

Stewie’s Cheesey Adventure

Stewie’s Cheesey Adventure

Baked Apple Cheesecake

Baked Apple Cheesecake

I have dined a couple of times with friends joining to share the European inspired dishes, in the first go I had the outstanding Mushroom Brulee ($12) Wild mushrooms, parmesan, sugar crust; along with the Scallops and Polenta ($11) Seared scallops, polenta cakes, tomato chutney and Yam & Arugula Flatbread ($12). In my most recent visit the star dish was the Goat Cheese Fondue ($13) with Baguette, apple & berries for dipping in the wonderful warm fondue; I also had the Tuna Nicoise ($12)  Tuna carpaccio, green beans, nugget potatoes, arugula, egg and olive tapenade; along with Stewie’s Cheesey Adventure ($14) home-made Macaroni, goat gouda, parmesan, garlic cream reduction, panko crust, tomato chutney served in a cool yellow pot. Lastly dessert was divine, another house-made creation the Baked Apple Cheesecake ($8) served in a jar.

Their weekend brunch menu looks amazing and I can’t wait to try the Burgundy Hash (without the eggs) Beef bourguignon, green beans, yam, goat cheese and smashed potatoes.

Review by: Richard Wolak

KINGSTON TAPHOUSE AND GRILLE

kingston 1

755 Richards Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-681-7011

Web: http://kingstontaphouse.com/

Twitter: @TheKingstonPub

Advice: Reservations suggested on game nights.

Red Wine Braised Beef Cheek Poutine

Red Wine Braised Beef Cheek Poutine

Duck Confit Salad

Duck Confit Salad

Cajun Flatbread

Cajun Flatbread

This is one of those hidden gems known for its comfort food, spacious two level dining room, a full bar in front and one of the nicest secluded patios in the city. Chef Simon McLeod and his team makes good food all from scratch, almost everything is made in house and the portions are quite large. I have dined here on many occasions including brunch on the patio. This time around I had dinner before a show where my friend and I shared the delicious Red Wine Braised Beef Cheek Poutine ($8), followed by the outstanding Duck Confit Salad ($15) sun-dried cherries, apricots, goat’s feta, candied pecans, preserved lemon tarragon vinaigrette; and the Cajun Chicken Pizza ($12).

The vast menu features salads, appetizers, a great line-up of burgers, pastas, pizzas, as well a selection of desserts. Additionally there is a large selection of cocktails as well as a happy hour menu, weekend brunch and a Gluten Free menu that is filled with more great dishes!

Review by: Richard Wolak

YALETOWN DISTILERY KITCHEN & BAR

yaletown distillery 1

1131 Mainland Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 669-2255

Web: http://www.mjg.ca/yaletown-distillery/

Twitter: @YTdistilling

Advice: The distillery is in the back of the lounge, dining room with cool communal table is on the restaurant side.

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The open kitchen provides for a great view in to watch the chefs at play, and the long communal table is the star of this warmly decorated room where I sat for my solo dinner. Above the communal table are the most unique light fixtures which look like salad straining bowls, a very cool and unique touch.

Fried Provolone Cheese

Fried Provolone Cheese

Baked Cornetti peppers

Baked Cornetti peppers

Veal Scaloppini

Veal Scaloppini

Started off with the Fried Provolone Cheese ($9.95) in a delicious marinara sauce with balsamic onions, olive oil and balsamic and cherry tomatoes; next I tried the Baked Cornetti Peppers ($11.95), stuffed with sausage, pinenuts & raisins. I then indulged in the Veal Scaloppini ($22.95), marsala wine sauce with mushrooms and spaghetti pomodoro so good, so big!

Olive Oil Gelato

Olive Oil Gelato

Cannoli’s

Cannoli’s

For dessert, why have one when you can have two and both of these looked so good. First the outstanding, house-made Olive Oil Gelato ($3) drizzled with olive oil; followed by the Cannoli’s ($3) ricotta filled to end my meal.

The vast menu offers a large selection of starters, flatbreads, pastas, salads, sandwiches and mains. I am looking to return soon to try their weekend brunch.

Review by: Richard Wolak

LOS CUERVOS TAQUERIA AND CANTINA

Los Cuervos 1

603 Kingsway, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-1518

Web: www.loscuevos.ca

Twitter: @LosCuervosTacos

Advice: A great place to go with friends or go solo and sit at the bar.

Tinga De Pollo Tostada

Tinga De Pollo Tostada

Canaron Taco & Chayote Taco

Canaron Taco & Chayote Taco

It’s bright, colourful and energetic, this taqueria and cantina has everything you would want in this neighborhood. As I was exploring the neighborhood recently, this was a spot that many suggested I visit, that I did, going in solo. I had the Tinga De Pollo Tostada ($5) warm pulled chicken, chipotle-tomato sauce, green onion, lettuce and crema; the Canaron Taco ($4) lightly battered prawns, guacamole, tamarind sauce, pico de gallo, flour tortilla; along with the Chayote Taco ($3.75) with Chayote with black beans, sweet corn puree and crispy hominy of which that were delicious and full of latin flavours.

I loved the open kitchen where I could watch the chefs in action, the servers are friendly and fun making for a memorable experience. There were a few bottles of home-made salsas on each of the tables for use at your discretion, whether you like it mild, hot or hotter. You will also find a good cocktail list with Tequila, Mezcal and more!

This is one of those wonderful finds, which I hope decide to offer a weekend brunch!

Review By: Richard Wolak

BAMBUDDA

photo 5 (29)

99 Powell Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-428-0301

Web: http://bambudda.ca/

Twitter: @Bambuddagastown

Advice: Bring a friend or two and share dishes. Reservations suggested.

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

Wood Ear

Wood Ear

Law Bak Go

Law Bak Go

Hot Water & Lemon

Hot Water & Lemon

The Cabin

The Cabin

With the abundant variety of restaurants featuring Chinese cuisine around the city, this eatery goes the modern route with a twist on the traditional in their focus on Modern Chinese. Chef Scott Korzack is creative and inventive in his approach with ingredients and flavours. I had dined previously on some snacks, this time around my friend Websturr joined me on a wonderful culinary journey. Started off with their house-baked Bread and Butter ($4) Ginseng honey; followed by the Wood Ear ($4) Wood ear mushrooms, ginger scallion, sesame oil and the outstanding Law Bak Go ($9) radish cake, smoked brisket, chili oil. Their bartenders are equally inventive with their line-up of cocktails, Bartender Buck Friend has created quite the cocktail list, I loved the Hot Water & Lemon ($12) Hendricks gin, homemade limoncello, ginger and rose tea and Websturr had The Cabin ($11) smokey lapsang infused brandy, cream and egg.

BBQ Pork Buns

BBQ Pork Buns

Grilled Octopus

Grilled Octopus

The Steelhead

The Steelhead

Lamb

Lamb

Eggplant

Eggplant

Next was the BBQ Pork Buns ($9) pulled pork in Chinese bbq sauce, seared buns and pickles and you get 2 of these buns in an order; the Grilled Octopus ($14) potatoes, salted duck yolk mayo, celtuce followed. The Steelhead ($19) house-made X.O. sauce, turnip, mizuna was a memorable standout dish with subtle flavours and a hint of heat from the X.O. sauce. As we were relishing through the dishes, the next two were outstanding yet again, so happy that I took fellow writer Nikki Bayley’s nod and ordered the Lamb ($16) Five grains, leek, cauliflower which was full of varying textures and flavours; I then added a side order of the Eggplant ($7) black tea, with popped grains and again wonderful textures and full of flavour.

Squash Cake

Squash Cake

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Ginger Parfait

Ginger Parfait

My culinary journey or any meal in fact is never complete without dessert and we were so excited to try Scott’s desserts. He a chef who is not a pastry chef, has continued his flair of using textures and great flavours from the savouries to sweet. My favourite of all of them and we tried them all was the outstanding Squash Cake ($8) with apples, walnuts, dulcey cremeux, and osmanthus textures, flavours, WOW! My 2nd favourite was the delicious Rice Pudding ($8) served warm, it was light and refreshing with notes of citrus, Chrysanthemum, sesame & mandarin, huge wow factor in flavours and textures! Lastly we shared the Ginger Parfait ($8) White chocolate, and candied kumquat. This is a chef you are going to want to keep an eye on and it’s a restaurant you best get in to visit soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

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