Posts Tagged ‘West Vancouver’

Food & Fashion at Fraiche

Chef Jefferson Alvarez (L) & Fashion Designer Kim Cathers (R)

Last week Fraiche Restaurant hosted a wonderful evening of delicious canapés by Chef Jefferson Alvarez and his team.

Duck Confit with fois grais

Prawn Sushi

Mushroom Popped

My friend Kenji Maeda joined me as we ate the delicious canapés and watched the team in the kitchen platting there beautiful food.

Kdon by Kim Cathers

Kdon by Kim Cathers

Kdon by Kim Cathers

We then watched the fashion show that featured Kim Cather’s fall collection of Eco woman’s fashions. Fashionistas and their food loving friends enjoyed the fashion show and delicious canapés and wine throughout the evening.

kdon by Kim Cathers is a fresh line of clothing that is inspired by the earth created with the joy of imagination and finished with precise hand detailing. Kim designs with an innovative style, and is giving Eco fashion a new, strong voice.

Fraiche Restaurant is located at 2240 Chippendale Road in West Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

Photos Credit: Kenji Maeda

Celebrate Argentina & Chile Wine at Fraiche Oct 2 & 9

Fraiche Restaurant presents a Wine Series featuring Argentina on October 2nd and Chile on October 9th. You have an opportunity to taste and compare at two special evenings, featuring 5 course menus prepared by Chef Alvarez.

Winemaker Alberto Aruzu

Tuesday October 2nd at 6:30pm, meet Winemaker Alberto Aruzu of Bodega Luigi Bosca in Argentina, learn about their wines over a 5 course dinner paired with 5 of their wines.

Winemaker Francisco Baettig

Tuesday October 9th at 6:30pm, meet Winemaker Francisco Baettig of Vina Errazuriz in Chile, learn about their wines over a 5 course dinner paired with 5 of their wines.

Tickets are $95 for one evening or $150 for 2 evenings, for reservations call 604-925-7595

By: Richard Wolak

2nd Annual Best of the West

Last week I attended this wonderful event for the 2nd year in a row hosted by the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver along with House Wine. Again the event was filled with wonderful bites from many of West Vancouver and the North shore’s restaurants as well as BC Wine for guests to sip.

Duck Rilette and Saskatoon berry mostarda tart by Fraiche

Roast Suckling Pig with mashed potatoes by La Regalade

Pier 7 Restaurant chefs

Pan Seared Spring Salmon, chanterelle mushroom and bacon saute and pea shoots by Pier 7 Restaurant

Prawn Jalepeno Wrap with asian slaw and chili mango drizzle by Zen Japanese Restaurant

Dale Ferris Catering

Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering

Mesquite smoked, Pemberton Valley flat iron steak by Louis Gervais Fine Foods

The setting for this event is beautiful, it was held on the pier on the water at Ambelside, guests were treated to delicious food from restaurants that included, Fraiche Restaurant, Beachside Forno, Pier 7 Restaurant, Carmelo’s, Restaurant Chez Michel, Zen, Mangia E Bevi, Larson Station, The Observatory Restaurant, La Regalade, Dundarave Fish Market Restaurant, Dale Ferris Catering and Louis Gervais Fine Foods.

The delicious food, wine and the trio playing jazz made for a beautiful evening on the pier!

By: Richard Wolak

Fraiche Celebrates 1 Year Leap Anniversary

Chef Jefferson Alvarez (L), Chef Wayne Martin (M), Manager Phil Reigh (R)

On Tuesday February 29th, I attended the 1st year Leap Anniversary (that’s 4 years) Party at Fraiche Restaurant in West Vancouver. Guests mingled over glasses of red and white wine, savoured bites by Chef Jefferson Alvarez. Guests included Chef Wayne Martin who was the opening chef of the restaurant 4 years ago.

Serving Scallop Tartare

Serving Crispy Pork Skin

Passed around bites included Scallop Tartare, Lamb Merquez, Fennel Pannacotta with kelp caviar and crispy pork skin.

Paul Chalmers (co-owner)

Paul Chalmers (co-owner) spoke and recognized their Executive Chef Jefferson Alvarez as well as their Manager Phil Reigh.

Fraiche Restaurant is located at 2240 Chippendale Rd, West Vancouver, BC and online at http://www.fraicherestaurant.ca

By: Richard Wolak

Brunch: Jay Brazeau at Fraiche

Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.

For my ninth brunch in this series, I was joined by Actor Jay Brazeau at Fraiche Restaurant in West Vancouver talking acting, life and more!

Jay Brazeau

Jay Brazeau is an actor, director, and writer who has been in over 215 roles in his career thus far. Last year I saw him in the film “Fathers and Sons” , he recently joined me for the Brunch at Fraiche in West Vancouver on a beautiful sunny day, we sat at the corner window with a spectacular view of the whole city.

Jay grew up in Winnipeg, went to Toronto he wanted to become a comedian, he ended up performing at Yuk Yuks and was on the same bill as Howie Mandel and Jim Carey. He then returned to Winnipeg and did animation, then decided to give Vancouver a try and came out West. He knew no one, but got involved with the Vancouver Theatre Sports league. After doing improv with Vancouver Theatre Sports this opened him up to not saying no and going forth in acting.

When did you begin your acting career?

I was 19 years old and I walked into a theatre workshop and asked to be an actor. I was then thrown into “Wacky this Fuddlejake “. Always ended up hanging out, you have to hang out to get the parts. My father took me to movies in Winnipeg, and I loved it. I was then cast in 3 plays – 1) Cyrano 2) Christmas Carol and 3) Creeps

What was your favourite role you ever played in a film?

“Father and Sons ” there was no dialogue, they only mapped out a light story to give guidance.

What were your most recent films?

  • “Living in a Car “
  • “Brothers and Sisters “
  • “Duke “

What was your favourite role you ever performed in a play thus far?

  • “Cyrano ” in Pittsburgh
  • “Drowsy Chaperone ” in Vancouver – originators felt really great about our production.

Did you always want to be an Actor?

No I wanted to be a cartoonist as a kid, doodled like crazy, always wanted to express myself in an artistic way.

Do you ever get nervous?

I get nervous when having to talk in front of an audience as myself, I love to play other roles.

What do you do in your spare time?

  • Used to collect ugly lamps, going to garage sales to find the lamps.
  • Playing scrabble with my neighbor Alex
  • Writing
  • Watching “Breaking Bad ” tv series

Chestnut Chorizo Soup

Traditional Eggs Benedict

Vegetable Omelet with wild mushrooms

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Jay and Richard both had the Chestnut Chorizo Soup ($9), then Jay had the Traditional Eggs Benedict ($16) and Richard had the Vegetable Omelet with wild mushrooms ($15). For dessert, Jay and Richard both had the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($9) with vanilla ice cream.

What is your favourite food?

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Rice Pudding

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?

  • Paros in Burquitlam (Greek –off North Road –owned by Alex – my neighbor)
  • Bons off Broadway
  • Brazza in North Van for coffee

Have you acted in the theatre production of “Hairspray” more than once?

I did the original musical production of it in New York. You are probably wondering how this happened, I came out to New York for the audition and spent the day in New York, then they called me back to audition again. I got the part and then was part of the Broadway production in New York. Then in 2010, I played the same role in the Stanley Theatre production in Vancouver.

What was it like to star in the trilogy of Carl Bessai films where your role was unscripted?

I was only in the last two “Fathers & Sons” and “Brothers & Sisters ” –Before the film I was able to combine film and theatre experience, it was a life changing experience for me.

Is there a role you wanted to play that you didn’t get after auditioning? If so, what was the role and in which play or film?

“Death of a Salesman ” 17 years ago when I had one son, I want to revisit this play again now that I have two sons.

How does a Canadian Actor make it in the film industry?

  1. If you are young you move to the USA
  2. If you are old you find a project that you can do here, then move to the USA, then come back to Canada
  3. You seek out Directors like Carl Bessai or Mina Shum

How many productions (films or theatrical) will you act this year?

  • “Old Love ” as Director
  • “Bah Humbug! ” as Actor
  • “Cat Came Back ” with Fred Penner –theatrical production

How did you get casted in the 21 Jump Street tv series?

It was a Steven Cannel production and they hired local actors for many of the film parts, it was very interesting doing this show.

Do you have any memorable films?

“Were No Angels” with Robert Deniro, Sean Penn and Demi Moore – I learned so much on that show. I was originally scheduled for 26 days and in the end it become 46 days.

Is there a Director you want to work with?

  • Clint Eastwood
  • Larry David
  • Abneszia Holland
  • Ann Wheeler

How many agents do you have?

I have one agent in Toronto for Films & Commercials and two agents in Vancouver, one for Film & Theatre and the other for Commercials.

Tell me about your current production “Old Love”

I am currently directing “Old Love” about middle aged people in their 50s, the play stars my wife and Vince Metcalfe and it is being performed at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver.

What is next for you?

I have a play in the works “Fortune and Son” (4 generations of fathers and sons)

What would you like to do in the future?

  • I would like to work with my son on a project.
  • Would like to do a small film
  • Would like to do a murder mystery
  • Find a summer to work with Christopher Gaze in “Bard on the Beach”
  • I want to direct a Musical
  • I want to work with Electric Company
  • I dream to work with Len Carey again

What would you tell a want to be actor?

Always know your audience.

 

Style: a La Carte

Attire: Smart Casual

Time: Sunday 10am – 3:00pm

Fraiche Restaurant

2240 Chippendale Road, West Vancouver

Menu: http://fraicherestaurant.ca

For Reservations, please call 604- 925-7595

Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

Best Beef Burger & Fries in Vancouver

Over the past 8 weeks I have ate my way through 10 of the best burgers all over Vancouver, West Vancouver and North Vancouver to the places that either were faved by readers alike or were on my must visit list.

You can’t judge the burger on its own, most of the time you will find fries on the side of your burger, hence this quest was not only about finding the best and most delicious beef burger it was about finding the best fries and my results are based on this combination of the burger and fries. There are many aspects of what makes a great burger, starting with the bun (was it home baked or from another bakery), the type of cheese, the sauce, the toppings and most of all the meat!

My Best Beef Burger quest was for the best ‘Premium’ or ‘Upmarket’ burger that is over $10, and not from chain restaurants with over 4 locations.

Note: The prices indicated exclude tax.

In ranking order, here are the Best Beef Burgers & Fries in Vancouver.

1)    The Oakwood – FIRST PLACE

The Oakwood

The Burger

House ground AAA Shoulder, crispy buttermilk fried onions, alfalfa sprouts,  smoked cheddar cheese, secret sauce, texture and flavour of the bun, perfectly done meat juicy and flavourful,  pickles, and tomato.

Everything is home made from the brioche bun to the buttermilk fried onion, to the pickles, and smoked cheddar

My take: This was the most unbelievable burger I had on this quest and one that I would repeatedly order in a flash. Every single ingredient here is a standout from the juicy meat, to the freshly baked poppy brioche bun, to the amazing fries and the home made ketchup.

Cost: $16

The Oakwood

2741 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-1965

Web: www.theoakwood.ca

Twitter: @theOakwoodKits

 

2) Stackhouse Burger Bar– SECOND PLACE

 

Stackhouse

Stackhouse Burger

6.5 oz local prime rib patty with pancetta, Portabellini, Guinness cheddar, chipotle aioli and butter lettuce served on a brioche bun with Russet potatoes fries and seasoned to perfection with fleur de sel.

My take: This is definitely the second best burger I had on this quest, Stackhouse specializes in burgers and this beef burger is one that stands out, the meat was perfectly cooked, the brioche buns are baked fresh, the portabellini and Guiness cheddar pack a punch that delivers a sensational taste.

Cost: $15

Stackhouse Burger Bar

1224 Granville Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-3499

Web: http://www.stackhouseburgerbar.com/

Twitter: @StackhouseBB

 

3)       Romers Burger Bar – THIRD PLACE

Romers

Man’s Man Burger

All-natural Heritage Farms range-fed Angus beef, Thick-sliced applewood bacon, local creamery amber ale cheddar, onion strings, smoked alder salts, vine-ripened tomato, whole grain mustard. Added a side of the Fresh-Cut Fries with truffle oil and regianno.

You can ‘Pimp Your Burger’ by adding savouries, marvelous mustards, different types of cheeses and more.

My take: Another place that specializes in burgers and this Man’s Man beef burger is another one that stands out, the meat was perfectly cooked, the brioche buns are baked fresh, the onion strings and Amber ale cheddar along with the smoked alder salts made for a mouth-watering experience.

Cost: $11 burger and $7 fries

Romers Burger Bar

1873 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-732-9545

Web: http://romersburgerbar.com/

Twitter: @romersburger

 

4)    Refuel – FOURTH PLACE

Refuel

The Burger

Ground chuck 28 day aged beef, smoked bacon, Stony Paradise farms Tomatoes, aged cheddar cheese, mayo, home made bun by their own bakery at Campagnolo. Hand cut fries blanched and fried.

My take: The beef is aged from 28-35 days and the flavour comes from the aging process, the burger is fried on the grill and the meat is juicy and delicious. The ingredients are superb and these sweet red tomatoes with the aged cheddar cheese pull it all together on their home-made bun.

Cost: $16

Refuel

1944 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Phone: 604-288-7905 ‎

Web: www.refuelrestaurant.com

Twitter: @refuel_bar

 

5) Au Petit Chavignol – FIFTH PLACE

Au Petit Chavignol

Cheese Burger

Ground AAA beef chuck, toasted bun from Island City Bakery  with Leerdammer cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickle, secret sauce, Dijon mustard, ketchup, homemade seasoning salt and frits.

My take: The meat was juicy and tender, but the combination of the Dutch Leerdammer cheese with the caramelized onions have made this burger. The Frites had a good crunch and very lightly salted.

Cost: $12 for burger, Add lettuce & Tomato +$1, Add caramelized onions+$1½

Au Petit Chavignol

845 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-255-4218

Web: www.aupetitchavignol.com

Twitter: @petitchavignol

 

6)    The District –SIXTH PLACE

The District

The No. 13 Burger

Tenderloin & Sirloin beef with tapenade & caramelized white onion mayo, cumin Gouda, secret sauces on a bun made by Fortuna bakery. Awesome fries with seasoning and a good tarragon tartar sauce on the side.

My take: this was a huge burger, the meat tasted good but fell apart too easily which made the burger difficult to eat.

Cost: $16

The District

13 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver

Tel: 778-338-4938

Web: http://www.thedistrictsocial.com

Twitter: @districtsocial

 

7)    Market by Jean-Georges – SEVENTH PLACE

Market by Jean-Georges

Truffle Burger

Two Angus beef burger patties topped with Brie cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, tasty pickles, truffle aioli on both sides of the bun, fries on the side with a light crunch, ketchup on the side.

My take: This was quite the heavenly rich burger with its 2 beef patties, brie cheese and truffle sauce, my only downside was that the fries could have been just that much better.

Cost: $18

Market by Jean-Georges

1115 Alberni Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-695-1115

Web: http://www.shangri-la.com/en/property/vancouver/shangrila

Twitter: @MARKETjg_Van

 

8)    The Teahouse – EIGHTH PLACE  

The Teahouse

Chefs Burger

Canadian Angus beef, aged applewood cheddar, bacon, balsamic braised portabelini, lettuce, tomato, Dijon remoulade, big kaiser bun made by Terra breads, with fries.

My take: The meat was perfectly done, moist and delicious, the balsamic braised portabellini and the aged applewood cheddar was a wonderful combination and the big Kaiser bun just added to the great burger. The fries were disappointing, they were thin and too salty for my liking.

Cost: $16

The Teahouse

Ferguson Point, Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-669-3281

Web: http://www.vancouverdine.com/teahouse

Twitter: @The_Teahouse

 

9)    Beachside Forno – NINTH PLACE

Beachside Forno

 

House-Made Wagyu Beef Burger, caramelized onions, pancetta, white cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes on a house-made milk bun and house-cut fries and ketchup on the side.

My take: The type of beef used while being top notch wasn’t moist and flavourful like the others relying on the caramelized onions and cheddar to lift it to the next level.

Cost: $16

Beachside Forno

1362 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Tel: 604-926-3332

Web: http://www.beachsideforno.com/

Twitter: @Beachside_Forno

 

10) Gerard Lounge — TENTH PLACE

Gerard

Beef Sirloin Burger

Canadian Angus beef, white cheddar, bacon, mushrooms, Portuguese bun, horseradish aioli & red pepper relish

My take: Although huge in appearance that didn’t make up for the overall taste of the burger. The meat was a little too dry, and the bun would have been so much better had it been a Kaiser or Brioche.

Cost: $17

Gerard Lounge

845 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604.682.5511

Web: http://www.vancouver.suttonplace.com/restaurant/Lounge_Menu.htm

 

Note: I know there are more restaurants around the Vancouver area that have Burgers & Fries and I was unable to get to all of them on this quest.

Which Beef Burgers & Fries are your favourite from a restaurant around Vancouver or in the suburbs?

Feel free to add your comment here and name the place and their location, the cost of each excluding tax and why you think they are the best!

By: Richard Wolak

Best of the West

Last night I attended a wonderful event hosted by the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver along with House Wine that was filled with wonderful bites from many of West Vancouver and the North shore’s restaurants as well as BC Wine for guests to sip.

Alain Raye (R) of Le Regalade

Beef Shortribs in peppercorn sauce from La Regalade

Mangia E Bevi

Prawn & Grapefruit Ceviche from Beachside Forno

Dungeness Crab Terrine from The Observatory Restaurant

Fraiche

Fois Gras Tart from Fraiche

Such a spectacular setting for this event, it was held on the pier on the water at Ambelside, the lucky 200 guests at this sold out event were treated to delicious food from restaurants that included Chez Michel, Fraiche, Beachside Forno, Carmelo’s, Zen, Mangia E Bevi, The Observatory Restaurant, The Beach House, La Regalade and Louis Gervais Fine Foods.

Loved the food, wine and the trio playing jazz in a setting that was bar none!

By: Richard Wolak

Harmony Arts Festival Wine Garden July 29-Aug 7

house wine is thrilled to be hosting the Wine Garden at The Harmony Arts Festival presented by Odlum Brown Limited. Located on the water’s edge at the foot of 15th Street in Millennium Park, the Wine Garden looks onto the Pacific Arbour Garden Stage which is programmed with daily and nightly entertainment. Sip on wines selected by house wine and nibble on superb Italian fare from Mangia e Bevi Ristorante as you take in the sounds and sights of this unparalleled waterfront experience. Everyone is welcome!

 

White

2009 Prospect Winery, ‘Birch Canoe’ Pinot Blanc, BC

2010 Cono Sur, Viognier, Chile

 

Rosé

2010 Vieille Ferme, Rosé, Côte du Ventoux, France

 

Red

2010 Finca Los Primos, Syrah, Argentina

2009 Rilento, Nerello Mascalese, IGT Sicilia, Italy

 

Beer

R&B Brewing, Bohemian Lager

 

Prices:

wine – $7/glass, $35/bottle

beer – $7/glass

non-alcoholic beverages – $3 each

 

*Assortment of salad, pasta, sandwiches, skewers & daily grilled items available for purchase.

Wine Garden hours:

-Friday, July 29th: 4:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Saturday, July 30th: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Sunday, July 31st: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Monday, August 1st: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Friday, August 5th: 4:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Saturday, August 6th: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Sunday August 7th: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

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