Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Gastown BBQ & Chili Fest August 30 & 31

I am looking forward to being one of the celebrity judges at this weekend’s, 3rd Annual Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival. This annual festival and competition features 12 Gastown restaurants competing against each other, check out the full event schedule.

bbq-chili-festival

The restaurants that will line the streets, serving up a menu of brisket, wings, chili and more are: The Blarney Stone, Chill Winston, The Irish Heather, TUC Craft Kitchen. Lamplighter, Peckinpah, Gringo, The Hastings Warehouse, Calabash, The Charles Bar, Deacon’s Corner, Railtown Café and Stateside Craft.

These Gastown restaurants will be competing in the most canning BBQ & Chili Cook off any street festival has ever seen. There are several new developments to this 2 day event; this year expanded the festival grounds, created a larger licensed area, an outstanding menu suited for the foodie in you and a headlining performance by one of Vancouver’s biggest up and coming acts “Bend Sinister”

The festivities will take place on the 200 block of Carrall Street, between Water St (Gassy Jack statue of Maple Tree Square) and Cordova Street (passing by the entrance to blood alley). The entire street will be closed to vehicular traffic. Large tents & BBQs will line the street which will be filled with picnic tables, a beer tent, restaurant patios, and a large musical stage hosting live music all weekend long.

There is the public voting and tasting, you can buy Taster Tokens will be available for all to sample the BBQ, Chili & Side items: 4 tokens for $10 or 8 tokens for $20 and then their is the celebrity judging panel.

Hosted by Joe Leary who is making his 2nd appearance as the celebrity Host for the 2014 Gastown BBQ & Chilli Festival, Joe has been a member of the Vancouver media on both radio & television for over 25 years, a career broadcaster and freelance writer who is also a former Restaurant owner, Joe brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this year’s event.

It’s two fun-filled afternoons of eating, dancing, pig roasts. Judges include Richard Wolak (Vancouver Foodster), Chef Quang Dang (West Restaurant), Casey Jo Loos (The Peak 102.7 FM), Jason Garrison (NHL), Georgia Simmerling (Canadian Ski Cross Team), Angus Reid (BC Lions), and Jordan Harvey (Whitecaps).

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

BAN CHOK DEE

ban chok 1

20563 Douglas Crescent, Langley

Tel: 778-278-3088

Web: http://www.banchokdee.com

Twitter: @BanChokDeeThai

Advice: Bring friends along to share the dishes.

ban chok 2

Lotus Root Drink

Lotus Root Drink

Red Lotus Smoothie

Red Lotus Smoothie

As Thai food is one of the many cuisines that I love, I have had the pleasure to eat at many of the Thai restaurants in the city, this time around I headed outward as friends highly recommended this spot. My meal turned into quite the feast as I sampled my way through their menu, starting off with a couple of their popular non-alcoholic drinks. The refreshing Lotus Root Drink which is a specialty in Thailand and the Red Lotus Smoothie which I enjoyed throughout my meal.

 lettuce wrap, Satay chicken, stuffed chicken wings & prawn wrapped crunchy noodles

lettuce wrap, Satay chicken, stuffed chicken wings & prawn wrapped crunchy noodles

Tom Yum Goong Soup and Herbal Prawn Salad

Tom Yum Goong Soup and Herbal Prawn Salad

An Appetizer platter to begin was filled with their popular lettuce wrap, Satay chicken, stuffed chicken wings & prawn wrapped crunchy noodles served with a delicious home-made peanut sauce. I loved the Tom Yum Goong Soup served with the flavourful Herbal Prawn Salad with tamarind and lime juice!

Curried Noodles

Curried Noodles

BBQ Duck Lychee Curry

BBQ Duck Lychee Curry

Halibut Ginger Shoo Shee

Halibut Ginger Shoo Shee

Next was the delicious Curried Noodles (a street food dish, popular in Chiang Mai) egg noodles curried with tender chicken, cilantro, red onion, green onion, chili oil and lime. This was followed by the yummy BBQ Duck Lychee Curry with tiny grapes and served with coconut rice. The Halibut Ginger Shoo Shee in a red curry was outstanding, this dish is usually served here with salmon, make sure that you ask them to substitute the salmon for halibut.

Hau-Mok Salmon

Hau-Mok Salmon

Pad Thai with chicken

Pad Thai with chicken

Lastly from the savouries, this Thai specialty was served in a coconut, the Hau-Mok Salmon along with shrimp rice and a dry ribs dish; followed by their egg swirl covered traditional Pad Thai with chicken.

Coconut Jello

Coconut Jello

For dessert I had the outstanding and refreshing Coconut Jello in a young coconut with sticky rice and mango. Asides from the many different Thai dishes they have on offer, you will also find a line-up of wine, beer and cocktails to round out the offering.

Review by: Richard Wolak

SPAGHETEI

spagheti 1

1741 Robson Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-428-1014

Web: http://spaghetei.com/

Twitter: @SPAGHeTEI_Van

Advice: Reservations suggested, walk-in welcome you may have to wait.

spagheti 2

Serving authentic Japanese style spaghetti, this takes the popular noodle and Italian mainstay to another level and I truly enjoyed it. The company was founded in Japan in 1975, opening in Vancouver a couple of years ago and has been a hit ever since. All of the dishes here are made with Japanese ingredients and their some interesting dishes, I’d suggest looking at the menu online first along with the photos guide you in your decision.

Miso Garlic Bread

Miso Garlic Bread

Yakiniku Chaliapin

Yakiniku Chaliapin

A slice of Miso Garlic Bread arrives before the spaghetti dish and it’s fairly small, I would suggest ordering a basket of this delicious bread which isn’t on the menu you just need to ask. I had the small order of the delicious Yakiniku Chaliapin ($13) with beef slices, garlic, tomatoes, and green onions. You will find an array of interesting dishes to choose, if dining with friends get a few and share. They offer the regular size and a smaller size which is $1 less for most of the dishes.

They have a small wine and beer selection as well as a Takara Plum Wine and sake.

Review by: Richard Wolak

BLUE EYED MARYS

blue eyed marys 1

1735 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Tel: (604) 921 2583

Web: http://www.blueeyedmarys.com

Twitter: @blueeyedmarys

Advice: Reservations suggested.

house baked bread

house baked bread

 Greens with a strawberry/rose vinaigrette

Greens with a strawberry/rose vinaigrette

Pan Roasted Halibut

Pan Roasted Halibut

I fell in love with this charming restaurant as I visited for the first time the other night. Known as the best restaurant over on Bowen Island for years, the owners relocated to the Ambleside neighborhood a couple years ago. The room is stunning with bright blue coloured walls, high ceilings, white linen tablecloths, it reminded me of dining in a country cottage by a lake, yet they are situated in the city. Chef/Owner Carol Wallace runs the kitchen and husband/co-owner Stephen Biddiscombe who was our server runs the dining room. Service is efficient making for a wonderful dining experience, I enjoyed it so much that I thought of staying the night and being the first in for breakfast the next morning. To begin we were served house baked bread and butter which is complimentary. Next my friend Nikki and I shared the Greens with a strawberry/rose vinaigrette ($9) that was topped with a delicious soft cheese Pate and piece of oatmeal shortbread. We then shared the outstanding Pan Roasted Halibut ($30) in a ginger-lemongrass broth, with a radish-cucumber salad & rice noodles and Asian greens.

Apricot Upside Down Cake

Apricot Upside Down Cake

Pecan Brownie

Pecan Brownie

Of course we had to finish the meal with some dessert, why share one when we could share two that was what came to mind and I’m glad we did just that. The Apricot Upside Down Cake ($9) with Ginger buttermilk ice cream and marmalade caramel was delicious; as was the Pecan Brownie ($9) with chocolate ice cream and cherry caramel a heavenly dessert indulgence.

There is a nice wine list which has been well thought out if you choose to wine and dine. I am looking forward to my next visit to explore more!

Review by: Richard Wolak

Craft Brewers in the Vancouver area

With the changing liquor laws in British Columbia, and the interest in Craft Beer growing, we have seen many new breweries open across the Lower Mainland in the past couple of years with many more to come in the coming year. Here is a list of all the local players!

steamworks brewery 3

33 Acres Brewing Co.

Microbrewery

15 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver

33acresbrewing.com

604-620-4589

Twitter: @33Acres

BREWMASTER

 

Big Ridge Brewing Company

Brewpub

15133 Hwy 10, Surrey

www.markjamesgroup.com/bigridge.html

604-574-2739

Twitter: @BigRidgeBrewing

BREWMASTER:

 

Big River Brewpub

Brewpub

180-14200 Entertainment Blvd, Richmond

http://www.bigriverbrewpub.com/

Twitter: @BIGRIVER_BC

 

Black Kettle Brewing

North Vancouver

(604) 987-9989

www.blackkettlebrewing.com

Twitter: @BlackKettleBeer

BREWMASTER:

 

Bomber Brewing

1488 Adanac Street, Vancouver

604-428-7457

bomberbrewing.com

Twitter: @BomberBrewing

BREWMASTER: BLAIR CALIBABA

 

Brassneck Brewery   

Microbrewery

2148 Main St, Vancouver

brassneck.ca

Twitter: @Brassneckbrew

BREWMASTER: CONRAD GMOSER

 

Bridge Brewing Company    

Microbrewery

115-2433 Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver

604-770-2739 (BREW)

bridgebrewing.com

Twitter: @bridgebrewcrew

BREWMASTER: PATRICK DORÉ

 

Central City Brewing 

Brewpub

11411 Bridgeview Dr., Surrey

(604) 588-2337 (BEER)

centralcitybrewing.com

Twitter: @CentralCityBrew

BREWMASTER: GARY LOHIN

 

Coal Harbour Brewing Company    

Microbrewery

1967 Triumph Street, Vancouver

www.coalharbourbrewing.com

604-215-7471

Twitter: @CoalHarBrew

BREWMASTER:

 

Dageraad Brewing

#114 – 3191 Thunderbird Crescent, Burnaby

604 290 8154

http://dageraadbrewing.com/

Twitter: @DageraadBeer

BREWMASTER: BEN COLI

 

Dead Frog Brewery  

Microbrewery

#1 – 27272 Gloucester Way, Aldergrove

1-888-856-1055

deadfrog.ca

Twitter: @DeadFrogBrewery

BREWMASTER: TONY DEWALD

 

Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers   

Microbrewery

Unit 170 – 2270 Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver

604.770.1136

deepcovecraft.com

Twitter: @DeepCoveCraft

BREWMASTER: KEVIN EMMS

 

Dockside Brewing Company

Brewpub

1253 Johnston Street, Granville Island, Vancouver

www.docksidebrewing.com

604-685-7070

Twitter: @eatDockside

BREWMASTER:

 

Four Winds Brewing 

Microbrewery

Delta

4-7355 72nd St., Delta

604-940-9949

fourwindsbrewing.ca

Twitter: @FourWindsBrewCo

BREWMASTER: BRENT MILLS

 

Granville Island Brewing  

Microbrewery

1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

www.gib.ca

604-687-BREW

Twitter: @itsgoodtobehere

BREWMASTER: Vern Lambourne

 

Green Leaf Brewing

123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver

(604) 984-8409

www.Greenleafbrew.com

Twitter: @greenleafbrew

BREWMASTER: BILL HERDMAN

 

Howe Sound Inn and Brewing Co.  

Brewpub

37801 Cleveland Ave, Squamish

604-892-2603

howesound.com

Twitter: @howesoundbeer

BREWMASTER: FRANCO CORNO

 

Main Street Brewing

261 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver

604-336-7711

http://mainstreetbeer.ca/

Twitter: @mainstreetbeer

BREWMASTER: JACK BENSLEY

 

Mission Springs Brewing Company  

Brewpub

7160 Oliver St. at Lougheed Highway, Mission

www.missionspringsbrewingcompany.com

604-820-1009

Twitter: @MSBCBREWERY

BREWMASTER:

 

Old Yale Brewing Co.

Microbrewery

#4-7965 Venture Place, Chilliwack

604-392-2011

oldyalebrewing.com

Twitter: @oldyalebrewing

BREWMASTER: LARRY CAZA

 

Parallel 49 Brewing Company        

Microbrewery

1950 Triumph St, Vancouver

604-558-2739

parallel49brewing.com

Twitter: @Parallel49Beer

BREWMASTER: GRAHAM WITH

 

Postmark Brewing

55 Dunlevy Ave, Vancouver

604-699-1988

www.postmarkbrewery.com

Twitter: @Postmarkbrewing

BREWMASTER:

 

Powell Street Craft Brewery 

Microbrewery

1357 Powell Street, Vancouver

(604) 558-2537

powellbeer.com

Twitter: @PowellBeer

BREWMASTER: DAVID BOWKETT

 

R&B Brewing Co.     

Microbrewery

54 East 4th Ave, Vancouver

(604) 874-2537

r-and-b.com

Twitter: @RandBBrewing

BREWMASTER: TODD GRAHAM

 

Red Truck Beer Company   

Microbrewery

1015 Marine Drive, North Vancouver

(604) 682-4733 (4RED)

redtruckbeer.com

Twitter: @RedTruckBeer

BREWMASTERS: IAIN HILL and HAMISH MACRAE

 

Russell Brewing Company   

Microbrewery

#202 – 13018 80th Ave, Surrey

604-599-1190

russellbeer.com

Twitter: @Russell_Beer

BREWMASTER: THE RUSSELL BREWING TEAM

 

Stanley Park Brewery

Delta

http://www.stanleyparkbrewery.ca/

Twitter: @StanleyParkBrew

 

Steamworks Brewing        

3845 William St, Burnaby

604-620-7250

steamworks.com

Twitter: @steamworksbeer

BREWMASTER: CAOLAN VAUGHAN

 

Steel & Oak Brewing

1319 3rd Ave, New Westminster

(604) 540-6495

www.steelandoak.ca

Twitter: @SteelAndOak

BREWMASTER:

 

Storm Brewing        

Microbrewery

310 Commercial Dr, Vancouver

(604) 255-9119

stormbrewing.org

Twitter: @StormBrewingVan

BREWMASTER: JAMES WALTON

 

Surlie Brewing

23-2337 Townline Rd, Abbotsford

(604) 744-2739

www.surliebrewing.ca

Twitter: @Surliebrewing

BREWMASTER:

 

Turning Point Brewery

465 Fraser View Place, Delta

turningpointbrewery.com

Twitter:

BREWMASTER: TODD FOWLER & JEREMY SWITZER

 

Yaletown Brewing Company

Brewpub

1111 Mainland Street, Vancouver

http://www.mjg.ca/yaletown.html

Twitter: @YTbrewing

 

Yellow Dog Brewery

2817 Murray Street, Port Moody

Mike and Melinda Coghill

http://yellowdogbeer.com/

Twitter: @YellowDogBeer

BREWMASTER:

 

OPENING SOON 

 

Doan’s Brewery

1830 Powell St, Vancouver

Twitter: @DoansCBC

Opening in October 2014

 

Steel Toad

97 East 2nd, Vancouver

Twitter: @SteelToadBeer

Opening in August 2014

 

Dogwood Brewing

8284 Sherbrooke Street, Vancouver

http://www.dogwoodbrew.com/

Twitter: @DogwoodBrew

Opening Fall 2014

 

Off The Rail

1351 Adanac St., Vancouver

Opening Fall 2014

 

Strange Fellows Brewing

1345 Clark Vancouver

www.strangefellowsbrewing.com

Opening Fall 2014

 

Callister Brewing

1338 Franklin Street, Vancouver

http://callisterbrewing.com/

Opening Winter 2014

 

Moody Ales

2601 Murrary Street, Port Moody

http://www.moodyales.com/

Twitter: @MoodyAles

Opening Late summer/fall 2014

 

Red Truck Brewery (new location)

295 East First Ave, Vancouver

redtruckbeer.com

Twitter: @RedTruckBeer

Opening September 2014

By: Richard Wolak

TRUFFLE HOUSE & CAFÉ

truffle house 1

2452 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Tel: 604-922-4222

Web: www.trufflehousecafe.com

Twitter: @TheTruffleHouse

Advice: Reservations suggested. Dinners only on Friday and Saturday.

truffle house 2

Located in the heart of Dundarave Village is a charming French bistro run by Fabienne and her husband Philippe who settled in this community after moving from the South of France a few years ago. The kitchen is now run by Executive Chef Tim Kozody who has refocused the menus offering French, Italian and West Coast specialties for breakfast and lunch daily. The bistro is also known for its enhancing dishes with truffles and on the menu you will see which dishes feature white or black truffle.

Okanagan Peach Salad

Okanagan Peach Salad

Short Rib Beef Pappardelle

Short Rib Beef Pappardelle

Apple Tarte Tatin

Apple Tarte Tatin

I dined the other night for dinner with my friend Nikki Caine joining me and shared the refreshing seasonal Okanagan Peach Salad ($13) to start. We then indulged in the delicious and hearty, Short Rib Beef Pappardelle ($17). For dessert we had their French classic  Apple Tarte Tatin ($8) homemade by Fabienne with slices of apples, on a buttery crust served with vanilla ice cream, a recipe that her mother used to make when she resided in France.

This bistro is true gem worthy of your discovery, and I can’t wait to return to try one of the crepes such as the Truffle Honey Crepe!

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

U & I THAI

u and i thai 8

3364 Cambie St, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 875-6999

Web: http://uandithai.com/

Twitter: @uratomjit

Advice: Live Thai dancers during dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

I have always loved Thai flavours, some restaurants serve traditional Thai dishes and others from their home regions of Thailand. Chef/Owner Ui Ratsomjit opened this restaurant a few years ago as she wanted to bring the flavours and dishes from North East of Thailand “Isaan” where she is from. Servers are dressed in traditional Thai garb, elegantly attired making the dining experience memorable.

Pineapple Colada

Pineapple Colada

Coconut water

Coconut Water

Although I had dined on one occasion for lunch in the past having the delicious Peanut Satay Chicken, I have had a couple of dishes to go that included their delicious and hearty Massaman Lamb Shank along with the Red Curry with Basa fish.  This time around I had them create me a tasting menu so that I could try many dishes off the dinner menu. I had a virgin Pineapple Colada served in a coconut as well as a glass of the Coconut Water which came from the same coconut.

Fresh Garden Duck Roll, Salmon on Noodles and

Fresh Garden Duck Roll, Salmon on Noodles and Prawn Salad

Tom Yum mixed Seafood Soup and Stuffed Chicken Wings

Tom Yum mixed Seafood Soup and Stuffed Chicken Wings

Ginger & Five Spice and Lamb Massaman

Ginger & Five Spice and Lamb Massaman

Red Curry Duck with Lychee , Yellow Curry with Chicken . and Green Curry with Chicken

Red Curry Duck with Lychee , Yellow Curry with Chicken . and Green Curry with Chicken

I loved the Prawn Salad with lemongrass and mint, Salmon with Rice noodles; and Duck Garden Roll in a delicious peanut sauce. The next dish was the delicious Tom Yum mixed Seafood Soup with bass fish, prawns, mussels, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, and kafir leaves: along with the outstanding deboned Stuffed Chicken Wings with plum sauce. Then it was the Ginger & Five Spice pan-fried Basa fish served with stirfried vegetables & fresh herbs, spices (ginger, garlic, chives, green onions, corander, thai basil and snowpeas); along with the delicious Lamb Massaman marinated and slow cooked in a Massaman Curry paste with peanuts, onions, sweet potatoes & carrots. Next were a few of their different curries, the Red Curry Duck with Lychee the braised Duck in a light red curry paste, coconut milk, bell peppers, bamboo shoots and fresh Thai basil, served with rice which I loved followed by the Yellow Curry (Gang Garee) Chicken with yellow curry paste, coconut milk & sweet potatoes which I didn’t care for; along with the tasty Green Curry with chicken.

Young Coconut Creme Brûlée

Young Coconut Creme Brûlée

For dessert I had the outstanding and heavenly Young Coconut Creme Brûlée a vanilla bean custard topped with caramelized vanilla sugar baked in the coconut and served with grilled pineapple and apple. I am looking forward to trying more of their dishes on future visits.

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

SURA KOREAN RESTAURANT

sura dinner 1

1518 Robson St, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 687-7872

Web: http://surakoreancuisine.com/

Twitter: @KoreanRoyalDine

Advice: Reservations suggested.

Green Salad

Green Salad

Japchae

Japchae

This past year I have had the chance to explore more flavours and dishes within Korean cuisine, dining at Sura was a wonderful experience. It’s a beautiful dining room with draped tables for larger groups of friends and tables for less closer to the front which is where I was seated. I had the refreshing Green Salad ($8) with assorted vegetables that included lettuce, cucumber, apples and oranges in a soy dressing; I then had one of their specialities, the Japchae ($16) stir–fried savoury potato noodles in sweet sesame oil with beef and mixed vegetables served with home made Kimchi, whipped Kombucha squash and a seaweed salad!

The menu is filled with all sorts of interesting dishes which I would suggest you share with friends or family. There are salads and dumplings, as well as Korean pancakes and ricecakes, hearty stews and soups, barbq, rice and noodles, everything is house-made except for the desserts. I can’t wait to dine again so that I could indulge in their pancakes and barbq.

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

BLACKTAIL FLORIST

blacktail dinner 1

332 Water Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-669 -0249

Web: http://blacktailflorist.ca/

Twitter: @THEFLORISTbc

Advice: Open Wed – Sun

Spot Prawn Amuse

Spot Prawn Amuse

Okanagan Pear, Cured Ham on Crispy Seaweed and Salmon Belly on Endive

Okanagan Pear, Cured Ham on Crispy Seaweed and Salmon Belly on Endive

Knuckle Sandwich

Knuckle Sandwich

Intrigue is one word to describe this culinary destination that has creative chef Jimmy Stewart as the driving force behind an incredibly passionate kitchen crew. He is a visionary excelling locally foraged ingredients, flavours and textures that make up interesting dishes and artistry plating. Having attended the opening party I was quite excited for dinner, my friend Henri joined me to share some dishes. Starting out with a Spot Prawn amuse topped with edible flowers, followed by some snacks, having the Okanagan Pear, Cured Ham on Crispy Seaweed ($2), the ‘Knuckle Sandwich’ ($2.50) Pork Hocks, Smoked Cheddar on one and Mustard on the other; as well as the Salmon Belly on Endive ($3.50), Crispy Shallots, Dill, Pop Rocks.

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

Salad of Spring Vegetables

Salad of Spring Vegetables

It was on to some appetizers, I loved the crispy Fried Chicken ($9) with Garden Beignets, Beet Ketchup as well as the outstanding Salad of Spring Vegetables ($11) and Mushrooms a beautiful plate of fresh vegetables with mushroom soil.

Grilled Humbolt Squid

Grilled Humbolt Squid

Grilled Halibut Cheeks

Grilled Halibut Cheeks

The Asparagus Salad

The Asparagus Salad

Next was the Grilled Humbolt Squid ($14) which was a bit bland for my tastes, with rhubarb, fennel and sweet cicely; the Grilled Halibut Cheeks ($14) was outstanding with carrots, purple kale, oyster mushrooms, caper and raisin purée, kohlrabi, pickled vegetables; and the The Asparagus Salad ($11) a beautiful and delicious plate with locally foraged mushrooms, smoked cream, mustard topped with edible flowers.

Duck Breast

Duck Breast

Striploin

Striploin

Some meat dishes followed, loved the Duck Breast ($15) another beautiful plate with sunchoke, cipollini onions, watercress and rhubarb, and the flavourful dry aged Striploin ($17) topped with head to tail of celery.

Flowers

Flowers

Smokey

Smokey

The journey is never complete without dessert and the two desserts that we had took us to the finish line with bold and delicate flavours and textures. I loved the unique Flowers ($9) served in a bowl, Rose and Elderflower Ice, Charred Flower Sour Cream, Crushed Berries and Rhubarb; followed by the delicious Smokey ($9) Condensed Sweet Potato, Burnt Cedar Cream, Cranberry, and Malted Milk Crumbs.

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

MIURA WAFFLE

miura waffle 1

2521 Main Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-687-2909

Web: http://www.miurawafflemilkbar.ca/

Twitter: @MiuraWaffle

Advice: Order at the counter, sit anywhere.

Kachan Karaage

Kachan Karaage

This is a sandwich bar that takes the sandwich to whole new level raising the bar high, known as Sandos, their savoury sandwiches are made with house-made thick waffles then filled with all sorts of interesting combinations many with an Asian twist. I’ve visited a couple of times, having tried the Kachan Karaage ($7.99) waffle sandwich filled with ginger fried chicken & Asian slaw which is their version of a chicken and waffle dish, along with a side of the tasty Nori Chips.

Teri-Vani

Teri-Vani

For dessert there is a range of Sweet Sandos, I have had the outstanding Japanese inspired Teri-Vani ($6.99) waffle filled with soft serve vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and Teriyaki sauce. There are also more traditional desserts with a twist such as the cheesecake and Boston cream pie waffles and you can always add some of the soft serve ice cream and make it just a bit more indulgent.

Matcha Milk Shake

Matcha Milk Shake

Since they are also known as a milk bar, they feature a wide range of milkshakes and yogi milks, I had one of the special milkshakes, the Matcha Milk Shake ($5.99),  they also offer tea and other beverages including beer. I say don’t go with a regular sando here, choose something out of the ordinary and enjoy!

Review by: Richard Wolak

Powell Street Brewery Dinner at Kessel & March

David Bowkett (founder - Powell Street Brewery on the left) & Chef Tony Marco (co-owner - Kessel & March on the right)

David Bowkett (founder – Powell Street Brewery on the left) & Chef Tony Marco (co-owner – Kessel & March on the right)

I attended this dinner on April 27 at Kessel & March which is situated in the East Village brewery district in East Van.  Featuring a 4 course meal served family style created by  Executive Chef Tony Marzo paired with a variety of beers from local brewer Powell Street Brewery.

Now on to dinner and the pairings!

First Course:

Orange zest, Cocoa Goat Cheese with edible flowers

Orange zest, Cocoa Goat Cheese with edible flowers

 Old Jalopy Pale Ale

Old Jalopy Pale Ale

Orange zest, Cocoa Goat Cheese with edible flowers

Paired with Old Jalopy Pale Ale

 

Second Course:

Confit Duck Leg with a spiced orange velouté!

Confit Duck Leg with a spiced orange velouté!

Lentils du Poy

Lentils du Poy

Confit Duck Leg with a spiced orange velouté with Lentils du Poy

Paired with Belgian Witbier

 

Third Course:

Elk & Bison Meatloaf

Elk & Bison Meatloaf

 Rutabaga Puree

Rutabaga Puree

Elk & Bison Meatloaf and Rutabaga Puree

Paired with Dive Bomb Porter

 

Fourth Course:

Citrus Crepe Cake

Citrus Crepe Cake

Citrus Crepe Cake

Paired with White IPA w. Citra

My Take:

This dinner was not only a great pairing of dishes and beers, it was also a neighborhood collaboration featuring both Kessel & March and Powell Street Brewery who are both located in the same East Village neighborhood. Chef Tony Marzo played with the beers over a few weeks, tasting and designing his menu. Learning about the beers to present from the notes to the flavours, then they go about creating an exciting menu that tells the story. This story was well played with the different dish pairings.  David Bowkett who is the Head Brewer and Owner at Powell Street Brewery was on hand to describe each of the beers as presented with each of the courses.

My favourite of the food dishes and pairings was the outstanding Confit Duck Leg with a spiced orange velouté with Lentils du Poy, paired with Belgian Witbier, the citrus notes in both the veloute and the beer was magic together. For the last course, the Citrus Crepe Cake was also very well paired with the White IPA w. Citra and delicious with the orange glaze that was drizzled over top of the crepe layered cake.

Kessel & March offers beer and food pairing dinners monthly, contact them for details at (604) 874-1196 or visit them online.

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

DAMSO MODERN KOREAN CUISINE

damso dinner 7

867 Denman Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 632-0022

Web: www.damso.ca

Twitter: @DamsoRestaurant

Advice: Reservations suggested.

Yuja Lemonade

Yuja Lemonade

Yuzu Lemonade

Yuzu Lemonade

Exploring Korean cuisine has been of interest to me, I have had traditional dishes at other restaurants around, here the focus is on modern Korean and Chef Eric Lee takes charge with his spin. Over the past two visits I have tasted several dishes and drinks including the refreshing Yuja Lemonade ($2.75) as well as the Yuzu Lemonade ($2.75) to start each adventure.

Pickled Vegetables

Pickled Vegetables

Condiments

Condiments

Beef Taco

Beef Taco

Kimchi Garden Salad

Kimchi Garden Salad

Matang

Matang

Pork Back Ribs

Pork Back Ribs

I liked how they served an assortment of pickled vegetables to begin the meal, as well bringing complimentary condiments to the table. I enjoyed the flavourful Beef Taco ($1.99) as a starter, as well as the Kimchi Garden Salad ($7.80) that was full of organic baby greens, Korean pear, homemade bacon, and kimchi vinaigrette; along with outstanding Matang ($5.80) sweet potato fries, red wine glaze, spicy Korean chili mayo. The Pork Back Ribs ($9.99) were braised for 36 hours, slowly cooked in sweetened sauce.

Yuzu Sorbet

Yuzu Sorbet

The Yuzu Sorbet ($4.25) shaped like a snowman, unique and so refreshing was the perfect finish to the meal. You will find a selection of different dishes on the Korean Tapas section of the menu along with some mains, soups, stews, Korean BBQ and their Bibimbop rice bowls. You may want to try one of their Korean beverages that highlight the menu.

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

Touring Steamworks Brewing

photo 5 (35)

I had the opportunity to tour this spectacular brewery recently with Walter Cosman (President) who showed me around the 30,000 sq foot facility. Presently the only brewery located in Burnaby, it is not only large, it’s fully automated from brewing to bottling and packaging.

steamworks brewery 1

steamworks brewery 2

steamworks brewery 3

Walter showed me the barrels of hops and yeast and explained their beer making process, they bottle and can year round.

steamworks brewery 4

photo 4 (88)

steamworks brewery 5

The bottling line is completely automated as is the canning line as well as the kegs which all feed into packaging.

Steamworks Brewing Company is part of the Steamworks companies owned and founded by Eli Gershkovitch in 1995. They have been brewing and serving its own craft beer for over 19 years. Steamworks offers distinctive, full flavoured brews, in addition to enjoying the beer in their own restaurants and pubs, you can also find their beer in liquor stores and establishments across BC and beyond. This coming spring they will be opening a Tasting Room at their brewery in Burnaby and will open to all those wanting to visit and taste their beers.

Steamworks Brewing Company is located at 3845 William Street in  Burnaby.

By: Richard Wolak

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