Posts Tagged ‘Communal Table’

PORTLAND CRAFT

IMG_2940 (1)

3835 Main Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-569-2494

Web: www.portlandcraft.com

Twitter: @Portland_Craft

Advice: Sit at the communal table. Takes reservations, Walk-Ins welcome.

Trio Beer Sampler

Trio Beer Sampler

Put a Bird on It

Put a Bird on It

The star of this room with its high ceilings, long communal table is its long list of craft brews many of which are from Oregon and others that are local. With it’s focus on the brew, they also offer up a good range of eats. I started off with a Trio Beer Sampler with 3 Oregon beers which went well with the delicious Put a Bird on It ($15) Hop-fried buttermilk organic chicken, Belgian waffle, maple syrup and gravy.

On the eats side of the menu you will find burgers, wings, mac & cheese and other pub fare eats that is locally sourced and is a step above the usual pub fare eats. On the drinks side of the menu you will find a large selection of draught beers, bourbon and more.

Review by: Richard Wolak

THE FARMERS APPRENTICE

farmers apprentice 1

1535 W 6th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 620-2070

Web: www.farmersapprentice.ca

Twitter: @gunawan_dave

Advice: Advance reservations are a must.

farmers apprentice 2

Finding the spot that is somewhat hidden, overflowing with passion isn’t always so easy to find even in a city such as ours which has one of the most vibrant culinary scenes in North America. The Farmer’s Apprentice is that very special spot which I discovered recently, its hidden off of busy Granville street in a space that’s never fared well, it has a chefs team that is guided by Chef/Owner David Gunawan who knows his ingredients, he puts the love into his food and its presentation. One thing that I loved about my dining experience was that each dish was delivered to the table by the chefs themselves, not the servers, each chef explained the dish as it was served, such a wonderful touch that made the experience special.

Beyond Bread Sourdough

Beyond Bread Sourdough

Cylindtical Beets

Cylindtical Beets

Hay Roasted Carrots

Hay Roasted Carrots

Smoked Spring Salmon

Smoked Spring Salmon

The Dungeness Crab

The Dungeness Crab

Grilled Octopus

Grilled Octopus

My friend Marck joined me to share some plates and we ordered a selection of dishes of the menu which by the way changes daily. We had the Beyond Bread Sourdough ($4) with a delicious house made onion butter & olive oil which was simple & wow! The outstanding Cylindtical Beets ($10) was made with an aerated Yogurt, radishes and a frozen horseradish that added a touch of heat and was so subtle; the Hay Roasted Carrots ($8), with whey caramel & buckwheat was delicious and my favourite dish of the night. The Smoked Spring Salmon ($14), with a hint of jalapeño & beets was another outstanding plate. The Dungeness Crab ($13) with zucchini emulsion, turnips and radishes was the only dish that didn’t provide me with the wow factor, lastly the Grilled Octopus ($11), with riaja potatoes and parsley was hearty and delicious.

The menu which changes daily highlights local vegetables, is seasonally oriented and will leave you with dishes full of flavour, and I expect you will be happy having enjoyed your dining experience. You will find a small wine, beer and cocktail list to accompany your experience.

Review by: Richard Wolak

RAILTOWN CAFÉ

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397 Railway Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604.428.0800

Web: www.railtowncafe.ca

Twitter: @RailtownCafe

Advice: Avoid the 12-1pm lunch hour rush. Sit at the communal table if dining solo.

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Hidden in the heart of Railtown which is off the beaten track just East of Gastown. This is a go to spot for an amazing lunch, which is what I had on my most recent visit. This is an eatery that I had been to on previous occasions to attend events, this was the first time I have visited for a meal and am I ever glad I ventured over to Railtown for lunch. The menu boards are large and high-up on the kitchen side and you will see a full line-up of house-made soups, sandwiches (ones that are in the regular list, and daily specials), salads (ones that are on the regular list and a huge offering of a build your own salad), quiche, and more on the savoury side. Then there are bars, cookies, cakes and more on the sweet side and then there are hot and cold beverage selections.

Beef Dip

Beef Dip

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Strawberry Mint Tea

Strawberry Mint Tea

Pork Sandwich

Pork Sandwich

I had the daily special which was the outstanding Beef Dip ($11) which was filled with their beef brisket, fried onions, cheese on a French baguette with jus for dipping and it was delicious, I added a side Quinoa Salad for ($3.50) extra which added more goodness and was quite a large serving. I also had one of their refreshing Strawberry Mint Tea ($2.75). My friend had the Pork Sandwich ($10) tender shoulder, jalapeño, cilantro, pickled vegetable aioli, french baguette, which he loved along with the addition of a Caesar Salad ($3.50) extra.

I was too full for dessert this time around, I can’t wait to return to try the Ice Cream Sandwich with salted caramel brittle.

Review by: Richard Wolak

LOST AND FOUND CAFÉ

lost and found cafe 1

33 W Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 559-7444

Web: https://www.facebook.com/lostfoundcafe

Twitter: @LostFoundCafe

Advice: Free wifi, ask the staff for the code. Watch the event board and their twitter for upcoming events.

lost and found cafe 2

Over the years I have visited well over a thousand cafes in cities around the globe, in each city I have sought out the cool and hip cafés where creativity can flourish. This café reminds me of some that I had previously visited, and this one is in our backyard so to speak. It’s a large space, exuding creative energy, from a moving film at the back of the café to the art on the walls, funky tables and chairs in different areas around, an indoor picnic table perfect for the hideaway on the side, with couches up front. The menu features a selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and more. Coffees and other beverages, all the food is made from scratch, breads baked fresh each morning, friendly staff and more!

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

Vegetarian Sandwich

Vegetarian Sandwich

I had my usual beverage of choice which is an Espresso Macchiato ($2.75) along with the Vegetarian Sandwich ($7.50) on a large house-made spinach, feta bun that was filled to the rim with cheese, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and many more vegetables, delicious goodness on the soft bun. With each of the sandwiches they offer your choice of freshly baked bread (their bread is actually in the form of these large buns) and each comes with a side dressed salad.

I will be returning very soon as this is one of those places that I could call my home away from home!

Review by: Richard Wolak

GRAZE

3980 Fraser Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 620-8822

Web: n/a

Twitter: @GrazeFoodVan

Advice: Reservations suggested.

With its focus on plant based cuisine this east side jaunt is striving to be sustainable using locally and organically produced ingredients in their innovative cooking. They grow their own herbs & vegetables, collect rainwater for their garden, compost their kitchen waste, reduce their power consumption, and solar heat their hot water.

Antipasti Platter

Perogies

Rhubarb Crumble

The kitchen team lead by talented Executive Chef Karen McKathy is creating unique vegan dishes, I had the Antipasti Platter ($15) to start with a delish beet & cheese tartar, smoked tofu, candied nuts, pickled watermelon and more. I then had the Perogies ($16) which were made with buckwheat flour along with flax and chia seeds in the dough, and filled with Yam & Eggplant, topped with oyster mushrooms, crisp shallots, beet shred with an amazing spicy tomato jam. For dessert I had the Rhubarb Crumble ($7) with white chocolate ganache and caramel sauce, this dessert as well as most of their desserts are a collaboration with In the Oven baking.

The menu is made of a selection of Grazing boards, small and large plates along a few desserts and creative cocktails from the very cool bar. This is place to be if you are vegan as well if you aren’t and want to experience this type of cuisine.

Review by: Richard Wolak

IK 2GO

1328 Hornby Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-685-4569

Web: www.ik2go.com

Twitter: @Glowbal_Group

Advice: Counter service.

This is second location of the Italian Kitchen spin-off featuring a casual self-serve counter and seating for 40, offering take-out or leisurely dine-in meal. There is a large communal table for solo diners or others who want to eat with friends. They offer freshly baked scones, pastries and breakfast sandwiches to start off the morning along with a coffee beverage line-up. Lunch and dinner menu options include a variety of antipasti, charcuterie, salads, soups, specialty paninis, and strombolis.

Meatballs

Pine Nut Tarts & Fruit Croistata

Apricot Croistata and other pastries

I have dined in and had take-out on a few occasions and have tried several of their dishes including their notable Meatballs, Couscous, Farro, Tuna Sandwich, as well as several of the baked goodies.

They also offer hearty pastas and an array of traditional meat, seafood and poultry dishes, such as Veal Milanese, roasted chicken and salmon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

MOSAIC BAR & GRILLE

655 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 639-4770

Web: http://vancouver.hyatt.com

Twitter: @HyattVancouver

Advice: multi-course tasting menus, you can ask to have the chef create you a customer tasting menu.

 

Windset Farms Fresco Cucumber Gazpacho

Chilled Dungeness Crab Cannelloni

With a star chef at its helm, my friend Nikki Caine joined me to explore and enjoy the chef’s tasting menu as I knew we were in for a culinary journey. Chef Thomas Heinrich is the visionary culinary master who is creating artful masterpieces on the plate. Our 1st course was the Windset Farms Fresco Cucumber Gazpacho in refreshing ginger coconut gelee. The next course was the outstanding Chilled Dungeness Crab Cannelloni with English pea, meyer lemon and mint where the presentation was perfection.

Spring, Green Garlic Grits with Scallop

Pan seared Branzino

Galbi marinated Pork Jowl

Slow Roasted Lamb

The journey continued with the next course, a taste of Spring, Green Garlic Grits with Scallop which was delicious, this followed by the Pan seared Branzino with celery noodles and carrot reduction with an oregano citrus emulsion served to us on a mirrored slab. From there the flavours exploded with the Galbi marinated Pork Jowl with Asian pear, fiddle heads, lotus root and edible flowers, the sauce was heavenly. On to the 6th course it was another stunning plate with the the delicious Slow Roasted Lamb with mustard and fennel streusel and a pomegranate gastrique along with edible flowers.

Braised Rhubarb

We finished off our impressive meal with the Braised Rhubarb with white chocolate meringue, ginger and pink peppercorns and green strawberries, this dessert was the perfect ending with more stunning flavours. I am looking forward to many return visits and to follow the seasons with Chef Thomas Heinrich leading the way.

Review by: Richard Wolak

TAVOLA

1829 Robson St,  Vancouver

Tel: (604) 606-4680

Web: http://tavolavancouver.com

Twitter: @TavolaVancouver

Advice: If eating solo or not, snag a spot at the communal table.

Hidden off the beaten track in the West End is spot that fills up fast nightly with fab service and divine modern Italian fare. The large communal table is the star in the center of the room and it’s the table that guests all want to be seated.

Lamb Ragout Pasta

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I had the house special outstanding Lamb Ragout Pasta ($18) that the server highly recommended followed by the Sticky Toffee Pudding topped with vanilla ice cream in a pool of toffee caramel sauce that was delicious.

The menu features a selection of Mozza Bar favourites along with Croistini’s, share plates, pastas, big plates and desserts. The wine menu is equally impressive featuring a selection of white and red wines from Italy along with a few Pacific Northwest reds and whites. I’ve got my eye on the Brick chicken, and the Brown Sage Butter Gnocchi, I will be back soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak

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