Vancouver - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
June 26th, 2013
The newly opened Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods serves-up seasonal, simple fare with a focus on veggie heavy salads, sandwiches, soups and stews.
We loved the chopped albacore tuna with avocado, cucumber, pickled red onions, cilantro, and ginger soy dressing ($6.50) but if June-uary” has you craving heartier fare, try the Moroccan chicken with chickpeas spicy stew ($8).
The informal, cafeteria-style service is elevated with light and bright modern design (Eames-style chairs, reclaimed wood tables and concrete floors).
And right next door to YYoga? Perfect for a healthy sweat date with the girls. —Laura Cropper
1903 W. Fourth Ave., Vancouver, www.tractorfoods.com
June 21st, 2013
Serving German street food—curry wurst is a late night classic of sliced bratwurst with curry ketchup and Kennebec fries—plus great sides like kohlrabi and apple coleslaw and warm pretzels with house made mustard and pickle, we predict it will be summer's funnest Riesling and beer fueled nightspot.
It's helmed by two design-savvy gents Clinton and Dane, who pulled the exact colour palette from 1974 Volkswagons for their vinyl banquette seating for a fresh and inspired look. Planks of BC spruce line the walls, and double as serving platters (an economy of materials was part of the design philosophy), plus German whimsy kicks in the authentic cuckoo clock on the far wall and 16 ounce white ceramic beer steins. Fleet objects crafted the gorgeous light fixtures in her nearby studio, while Home Depot copper fittings dress up the walls.
You'd bestie make it over there. —Sarah Bancroft
105 E. Pender St., Vancouver, www.bestie.ca
For more images from Bestie's opening party, please see our Editors' Diary.
June 19th, 2013
Just in time for the summer party season, we've stumbled up the best party planning tip ever: hire professional bartenders!
No more warm white wine, buckets of empties, or overserved uncles: Liquid Assets bar tending came to a recent wedding shower I threw in my back yard, and made sure everyone was topped up with Proseccco so I could concentrate on mingling. Armed with coolers of ice when they arrived (one less planning headache for me) they were discreet and professional, and happy to do the heavy lifting.
I'll raise a glass to that! —Sarah Bancroft
June 14th, 2013
Enfant terrible TV host, Anthony Bourdain has decalred Peruvian cuisine - a mix of Incan, European and Asian influences - as the next big food trend.
With that in mind, early adopters should head to Chicha, which features a range of dishes from Peru, like empanadas and anticuchos.
The laid-back room and vintage acoustic recordings of La Bamba reflect the simple yet elevated dishes. We recommend the Mixto Cebiche ($13) with fish, mussels, scallops and squid, and the Causas, a classic Peruvian dish of whipped and chilled potatoes. Our favourite was the Atún Causa ($11) with albacore tuna, black sesame, passion fruit ponzu, wasabi cream and cilantro potato.
And there's only one way to end a meal of South American delights: Pisco sour, por favor!
Dinner from 5:00 pm, Tuesday-Sunday, 136 E. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-620-3963, chicharestaurant.ca
June 7th, 2013
Although it quietly opened last winter, East of Main has a new seasonal menu that feels mighty fresh.
With the help of acclaimed chef Tina Fineza, this quaint little Chinatown café offers refined Mediterranean tapas, ideal for a small gathering of friends. What to order? First of all, start with the tastiest olives in the city, infused with refreshing citruses ($5), the Almond Dukkah, a simple dish of ground almonds and spices served with olive oil and flatbread ($5), and eggplant served with couscous and yogurt ($6). Finish off with some Spanish-inspired plates, like the Spanish Potato Torta ($6), and the Braised Heritage Angus Beef ($8), served with patatas bravas. Wash it all down with the outstanding Fred & Ginger ($10), a lively take on the classic Moscow Mule incorporating rhubarb bitters.
Tastes like summer. —Anya Georgijevic
223 East Georgia St., Vancouver, 604-899-2777, http://eastofmaincafe.com
May 31st, 2013
Overalls and tractors? More like the shepherd who markets to celebrity chefs.
New magazine Modern Farmer (funded in part by BC philanthropist Frank Giustra) navigates the most hotly debated crop topics in its debut issue, which is already on backorder. With a mix of punchy headlines (Honey Laundering: A Primer), aspirational DIY (How To Grow Your Own Cocktail), stellar imagery and farmer-approved products like cool birdhouses and waterproof notebooks, Modern Farmer bridges the gap between reading the organic label and understanding it.
But on second thought, we're keeping the overalls.
Order Modern Farmer, US$7.50 (plus $12.20 shipping, ouch) and find the articles online at http://modernfarmer.com
May 24th, 2013
No time for a trip to Bangkok? Modelled after the Thai night markets and serving fresh and delicious street-food inspired dishes, the new Longtail Kitchen restaurant is a culinary and cultural trip in itself.
A 20-minute SkyTrain ride away in the new River Market in New Westminster, it's the latest outpost from chef Angus An of Maenam renown. Named after Thai water taxis, Longtail Kitchen has all the style and panache of An's original restaurant, but with every dish under $12. The fried oysters were light and crispy, and the signature chicken wings instantly addictive, while mains like prawn pad thai, Northern style grilled hen and turmeric curry of lingcod and mussels were light yet deeply flavoured, all served in gorgeous Thai ceramics with vintage Thai utensils. The eclectic room features a black ceiling to evoke night markets, plus a mini-market of Thai wares such as books, cooking pots and even pad thai kits with fresh noodles and spices ($10) to cook at home. Beverages include roasted coconut juice and super-refreshing Thai iced tea with lemongrass, and before long, iced cold beer. With a glass wall that open to a river-front view, plus 25 seats inside, its bound to be this summer's best staycation spot. —Sarah Bancroft
Longtail Kitchen, #116 810 Quayside Dr., River Market, New Westminster, 604-553-3855, www.longtailkitchen.com
For an insider's look at the media preview (complete with the amazing stunt the PR team pulled off on the SkyTrain) please see our Editors' Diary.
May 10th, 2013
Looking for a late-night snack after quaffing a few Gastown cocktails, but no longer have the stomach for cheap donair and cardboard pizza? Don't noodle over it - head to restaurateur Mark Brand's newest venture, No. 1 Noodle House.
Located in the much-loved "old Boneta" space, Brand is bringing post-bar ramen to the masses with his 75+ seat joint. We recommend a bowl of Tonkotsu, served with pork broth, pork belly, soft boiled egg, bamboo shoots and mizuna ($9.50). Also on the current modestly-sized and modestly-priced menu is bahn mi, chicken wings, spring rolls and edamame.
Still in its soft open phase (with menus being finalized and liquor licence pending), earn cool points with your gang by being the first in the noodle know.
Cash only, open for lunch and dinner, No. 1 Noodle House, 1 Cordova St. W., Vancouver, www.no1noodlehouse.ca
April 23rd, 2013
As mom always said, "Eat your vegetables."
We'll do just that with pleasure at Chef Andrea Carlson's new venture Burdock & Co., which features a veggie-forward menu with a heavy serving of local ingredients. To that end, the dishes will change with the season, but get there soon to experience the current highlights: fresh oysters with finger lime caviar; halibut with braised spring radish and hop shoots; and fire roasted green farro with spruce tips, black garlic and sorrel.
And it's not just the food that is rustic yet refined - the flavours are complemented by a naturalist wine list from Matthew Sherlock and cocktails by bartender Lauren Mote, while the 30-seat room is a mix of vintage decor and salvaged materials
Finish our plate? We're way ahead of you, mom. —Laura Cropper
Dinner from 5 p.m., 2702 Main St., Vancouver, 604-879-0077, https://twitter.com/BurdockAndCo
April 19th, 2013
When it comes to buying natural and local, our protein is right at the top of the list.
So when The Honest Butcher (aka the dynamic David Ritzer) opened his doors we stepped right in line. On a recent visit we scored flank steak for the BBQ, stewing beef for a moroccan tagine, coarse-ground beef for burgers, and minced pork for Asian meatballs served on rice noodles: a week's worth of dinners for under $40. Throw in some paté and a container of the Vietnamese pho broth and there's lunch, too. The concept is whole-animal butchery so nothing goes to waste (not least of which your hard-earned money). Now this is meat we'd like to eat. —Sarah Bancroft
The Honest Butcher, 3209 W. Broadway, Vancouver, www.thehonestbutcher.com