Vancouver - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
December 28th, 2012
Two p.m. lunches have become by favourite new trend in entertaining (although the Brits did it first). To pair with a seafood and rabbit paella at a New Year's Day lunch, I'd serve the Passe-Tout-Grains (PTG) from Joie Farm, a classic Burgundian blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. $24 www.joiefarm.com —Sarah Bancroft
Indulge in something a bit exotic as you toast to the New Year. Sakagura No Nigori Umeshu is a pressed plum wine that tastes absolutely heavenly after being chilled. The perfectly small bottles are excellent for toting to parties and for gifting to the hostess! $25.99 at www.bin905.com —Kait Kucy
A visit to The Vibrant Vine is a real trip. And not just because it’s in Kelowna. Their psychedelic artwork covers almost every square inch of the winery (which I first discovered when I visited for this video series) and it also enwraps their signature pinot grigio. Vibrant Vine 2009 pinot grigio, $23.50 at Darby’s Cold Beer and Wine, 2001 Macdonald St., Vancouve. —Kelsey Dundon
For some of the season’s best boozy buys, we went to sommelière extraordinaire Jessica Harnois. "Most people know wines from the Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc but for the holidays, nothing beats a good Chenin Blanc. This rich, floral and well-rounded wine pairs beautifully with white meat (like turkey) and works as either an aperitif or served with the main course. I particularly like a French classic: Domaine FL Le Parc Savennières 2007, a prestigious appellation from the Loire region.” 23.60 at SAQ.
Not having a sweet tooth, I prefer a glass of red wine at the end of the meal. And when it is Township 7s 09 Merlot with its notes of Raspberry and Cocoa dust, well who needs desert? —SB $24.99 at www.township7.com
December 11th, 2012
Christmas songs on the stereo, a warm kitchen, and our dog-eared copy of Martha Stewart’s Holiday Cookies certainly put us into the mood to bake.
This year our pantry is stocked with Pemberton Distillery’s extracts, featuring Costa Rican vanilla ($16.95) and Ceylon Cinnamon (from $13). Additive-, gluten- and sugar-free, both are certified organic and cold-pressed to retain maximum flavour. Use them in baking, ice creams, and specialty coffees.
And hey, since we are shopping local we may as well stock up on their original single malt whiskey. Suddenly that specialty coffee got a lot more “special.” —Alexandra Suhner-Isenberg
December 7th, 2012
A single detached house for under $150? You bet!
This Vancouver Special gingerbread house kit from local Beta-5 is a limited edition, and comes with chocolate-covered pretzel railing, jelly bricks and white chocolate stucco. A perfect holiday party activity for your real-estate obsessed friends. Even more fun is the “tear down.” —Sarah Bancroft
$120 at BETA5 Retail Workshop, 413 Industrial Ave., Vancouver, 604-669-3336, www.beta5chocolates.com
December 3rd, 2012
Our team has opened their purses, cupboards and closets to share their favourite everyday items. Today, Editor-in-chief Sarah Bancroft reveals her gourmand essentials. Catch up on more of the series here, here and here.
Staub cookware from Alsace, France is the ultimate kitchen bling. We bought this teal cocotte pot in California for our vacation home but recently saw it (in this colour only) at Anthropologie in Vancouver. 2912 Granville St., Vancouver, 604-734-2529, www.anthropologie.com
This pale pink French rosé became our home entertaining wine this summer, but I feel it deserves a comeback tour for the holidays, if only for its festive name. Tip: order it by the glass at Hawksworth Cocktail Lounge. Whispering Angel rose, $29, http://www.bcliquorstores.com
I went for a Whole Hog dinner at Fat Dragon BBQ, but my biggest take-away was a pair of Origami-paper wrapped chocolate bars designed by Ted Anderson and master chocolatier Wendy Boys of www.cocolico.ca. The milk chocolate with crispy rice, toasted coconut, Ceylon and cinnamon disappeared in a flash at a recent dinner party. $7.50 per at Fat Dragon, 566 Powell St., Vancouver, 604-558-0880, www.fatdragonbbq.com
Last year I picked up lots of cool stocking stuffers at the Dirty Apron Cooking School’s deli for my husband, who is a food stylist. This year its “Dude” gift basket ($100) comes with a Stanley flask, Chambar Ale, an Opinel knife and Oyama sausage—all guaranteed party starters. Dirty Apron Deli, 540 Beatty St., Vancouver, 604-879-8588, deli.dirtyapron.com
Beef dip is my ultimate comfort food and I met my match at a menu tasting for the new Joey Yorkdale, Toronto. The Prime Rib is slow-cooked for 18 hours in an Alto-Shaam oven and served with perfect pommes frites. Late lunch anyone? $17. www.joeyrestaurants.com
November 23rd, 2012
Forget light salads. Weather like this calls for comfort food.
Heirloom, a new vegetarian restaurant in South Granville answers that call with hearty plates meant to be shared. We sampled the surprisingly filling avocado frites ($12), the beetroot sunflower seed tapanade and lentil pecan humous dips ($14) and nursed an algae- and maple syrup-infused lemonade ($6). The biggest hit at our table? Wild and foraged mushrooms served with a walnut onion baguette ($15). That, and the space itself, which is as warm and cozy as this time of year calls for.
Now that’s comforting. —Kelsey Dundon
Heirloom Vegetarian, 1509 W. 12th Ave., Vancouver, 604-733-2231, http://heirloomrestaurant.ca/
November 9th, 2012
Sometimes a neighbourhood spot comes along that's so good, we're hesitant to share the address. But we just can't keep Via Tevere to ourselves.
This quaint east side restaurant is Neapolitan pizza heaven, from the top-notch flour to the proper wood-burning stove, which takes centre stage. (And it should - this blue-tiled wonder heats to 900 degrees and churns out perfectly-cooked pizzas in 90 seconds.) The menu is tight, but that doesn't make choosing a dish any easier. The antipasto misto for two ($16) was overflowing with deliciously salted cured meat, fresh Italian cheese, pickled veggies and olives. Choose from the daily pasta (on our night, a hearty smoked salmon penne, $14) or go for the main event, a pizza. The Capricciosa (tomato, fior di latte, prosciutto cotto, salami, artichokes mushrooms and olives, $18) was crispy around the edges, soft and easy to cut in the middle, and insanely delicious to the last bite.
So now the secret's out. Why should food bloggers have all the fun? —Maria Tallarico
1190 Victoria Dr., Vancouver, 604-336-1803, www.viateverepizzeria.com
November 7th, 2012
We spend as much time browsing recipes on Pinterest as the next girl, but sometimes, we're in the mood to browse through a gorgeous book instead. Here are three currently gracing our kitchen table plus one on our wishlist, all by some of our favourite food bloggers.
The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte isn't as granola as the title suggests – though it does include a killer recipe for pumpkin pecan granola. Everything we've tried has been a winner, from the Moroccan stuffed squash to the fennel slaw, in an upscale take on cooking with whole foods. www.randomhouse.ca
Those avoiding gluten are probably already fans of Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille, whose new book Small Plates and Sweet Treats reads like a storybook complete with I-can't-believe-there's-no-gluten recipes. The easy, tasty baked lemon custards are on their way to our regular roster. $20.68 at www.amazon.ca
Not quite as brand new – it came out in February – but also gluten free, La Tartine Gourmande by Béatrice Peltre whisks you away to mealtime in the French countryside (though she currently resides in the US). The chocolate crepes, sweet potato pancakes and cherry tomato clafoutis are some of our favourites, not to mention the many desserts that will have you justifying a once-a-day habit. www.randomhouse.ca
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman isn't out till October 30 and we've yet to see a copy, but we're anticipating rave reviews for the popular blogger's inspired creations. Fans will want to book tickets to Perelman's talk and book signing on November 16, via the Cookbook Store; $40 includes a copy of the book. www.randomhouse.ca
October 26th, 2012
The next few months call for copious amounts of comfort food and we know just the place to go.
Lily Mae’s Comfort Café is a charming little bistro that just opened in Gastown, described as a “French café meets prairie kitchen.” We escaped the heavy rain and popped into its sweet Parisian interior for a light lunch of a fresh Crab & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad ($13), but then we upped the calorie ante with a southern comfort side dish known as Spoon Bread ($4.50), a delicious hybrid of grits and soufflé.
Fully licensed and hearty, we have a feeling we’ll become rainy day regulars. —Anya Georgijevic
Lily Mae’s Comfort Café, 12 Powell St., Vancouver, 604-558-2599, www.lilymaes.ca
October 22nd, 2012
Think you know tea? Maybe. But we bet you’ve never experienced it like this.
Imagine a wine bar, replace the wine with tea, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at O5 Tea, Vancouver’s new Mecca for tea enthusiasts. While sitting under Molo-designed paper lanterns, we opted for a tasting flight of three rare teas ($17). To open up the palate we began with Balkyocha Noeul, a chocolate-y oolong from South Korea, and then proceeded to the grassy Long Jing green tea from the Zhejiang province of China, and finally finished off with Ghorka Estate, a Nepalese tea with notes of pumpkin, apple and clove, ideal for the holiday season. We snacked on Gang Jung ($7), Korean Imperial sweets made in-house with a healthy dose of fruits and nuts.
Truly an afternoon delight. —Anya Georgijevic
O5 Tea, 2208 W. Fourth Ave., Vancouver, 604-558-0500, http://o5tea.com
October 12th, 2012
Vegetarian cuisine sure has come a long way since the tofu stirfry.
The Parker, the newest veggie-full restaurant to hit the scene, is a tiny gem of a place that serves tiny gems of plates. A standout? Poached egg and chanterelles served with holandaise sauce on toast ($9). For dinner. Then for dessert, the chocolate ganache served on a peach compote and finished with fall’s favourite flavours: spicy pumpkin and maple ($8).
Judging by the hip crowd, everyone loves their veggies. —Kelsey Dundon
The Parker, 237 Union St., Vancouver, 604-779-3804, www.theparkervancouver.com