Vancouver - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
September 1st, 2006
Does a skinny latté sometimes pass for a healthy breakfast?
Well turns out that Tibetans have a better idea they eat a handful of berries a day and many live disease free for well over 100 years.
While living forever might be a little much, these super berries, called goji berries, are a tasty and convenient way to top up your vitality.
Believed to be one of the world's healthiest foods (move over blueberries and pomegranates) they are rich in anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and many micro-minerals.
Tasting somewhere between a dried cherry and a cranberry, they can be eaten in hot cereals, smoothies or just on their own (double check the label to ensure organic certification).
It is said in Tibet that eating goji berries in the morning will make you smile all day.
So now all you have to do is offer some to your cranky boss.
Read more at www.gojiberry.com
August 25th, 2006
Is it just us, or is there a surplus of buff young men cruising the aisles at the new Cambie and 16th Avenue Capers Community Market?
Could be the new condos upstairs, or the fact that there’s almost an entire city block worth of wholesome groceries to be had, but either way, take a peek in his cart and see if he’s worthy:
You see: A loaf of 700 Degree wood-fired rosemary-onion bread from Savoury Coast restaurant .
Translation: He knows it from his downtown power lunches. Score one point.
You see: A deli container (made from 100 percent compostable materials, no less) filled with hand-peeled local shrimp.
Translation: He does a mean spicy shrimp quesadilla. Score one point.
You see: A bag of local, organic Yukon Gold potatoes.
Translation: he’s got a washboard and he still eats carbs. Score two points.
You see: Fair trade espresso from Ethical Bean.
Translation: There’s nothing sexier than a social conscience. Score one point.
You see: A fresh bouquet of pink dahlias with an adorable note card from the local Regional Assembly of Text.
Translation: He’s noticed you, too.
Capers Community Market, 3277 Cambie St., 604-909-2988
August 18th, 2006
Dear vitamin v,
I just wanted to share with your readers a fabulous restaurant in the heart of downtown that is seriously under-priced!
We had dinner at Saveur last night on the corner of Thurlow and Haro (used to be Piccolo Mondo). They have a fantastic three-course menu for $38! The menu is "eclectic French" and each item we had was fresh, flavourful and presented beautifully! It is definitely a rival for Le Crocodile across the street (at a quarter of the price, I might add).
We have been there for lunch and dinner and each time the chef's wife has been our gracious hostess. We just can't understand why the room is half empty? I may be shooting myself in the foot by getting the word out, but I couldn't bear to see this fantastic place go under! Give it a try and see if you feel the same.
We, too, love a French prix-fixe. Chef Stephane Meyer’s well-executed menu will indeed be perfect for a quiet, romantic dinner on a crisp fall night. Thanks for the reminder.
Saveur, 850 Thurlow St.,604-688-1633, www.saveurrestaurant.com
August 11th, 2006
When was the last time you lunched in the company of a cabinet minister, a former Vancouver mayor and the current James Bond?
It happened to us on a recent Sunday at noon, par chance, at the fabulous Bacchus bar in the Wedgewood Hotel.
The Wedge is renown for comely cocktails, sink-into-it chairs and a venue for sexy fireside chats with a confidante, of course.
But when the bar throws open its windows to the street in the summer, it takes on a whole new breezy ambiance.
We love the hangover-busting Limonata-fresh squeezed lemonade cut with soda ($5.95) and the organic green salad topped with bacon, pine nuts, and a crunchy, battered coddled egg ($13), which explodes when pierced with a fork. (It must be ordered to be believed.)
Then there's the breadbasket containing baby cheese scones, the uniformed servers, a pedigreed British chef, real linens, good coffee and a pair of chocolate truffles with the bill.
And the eye candy? It's on the house, too.
The Wedgewood Hotel, 845 Hornby St., 604-689-7777. View menus at www.wedgewoodhotel.com
August 4th, 2006
Like we need another excuse to break out the twelve-o-clocktails.
But Nu’s Sunday Jazz Brunch is just so celebratory, it demands a glass of bubbles.
Amid the sultry musical stylings of jazz diva Karen Holness, luxuriate on the sunny oceanfront patio as your complimentary amuse bouchea demi-tasse of frothy hot cocoa and baby croissantarrives.
Then delve into brunch dishes such as brioche French toast, Brie and black truffle omelette, or pork belly and potato hash (all $9.90) while watching the boats float by.
Or Pierce Brosnan at the bar.
We know what we’d choose.
Nu Restaurant + Lounge, 1661 Granville St., 604-646-4668
Hear music and view menus at www.whatisnu.com
July 28th, 2006
1. Its secretive, Blood Alley entrance in Gastown. Look up for the salt shaker.
2. The gorgeous, clean, modern design—with a picture window looking onto a whitewashed flophouse.
3. GM Chris Stearns’ new faux-hawk. Did he get it for his recent stage in the kitchen at Charlie Trotter?
4. Brilliant and unusual wine selects, like the amazing Italian Feudi di San Gregorio white ($60/bottle).
5. The beautiful concrete bathroom walls. Really.
6. Sean Heather’s (The Irish Heather) prize meat slicer.
7. The modern take on the ploughman’s lunch that constitutes the menu. $15 gets you three meats or cheeses from a rotating list, with Terra bread and crackers. So simple, so smart.
8. The tiny plates of “condiments” that come with roasted Spanish macona almonds, organic Similkameen apricots and French cornichons.
9. The fact that the 50-seat room was standing room only even before the opening was announced.
10. That this list could be a least twice as long.
Read more and view the blog at www.salttastingroom.com
July 21st, 2006
Sadly, we don’t mean Capri to Santorini.
But our good old Granville Island has a host of new culinary destinations that deserve a stop-in, even if your Missoni bikini and massive Dior sunglasses give you away.
Load up on local organics at Spud’s new Public Market kiosk near Terra Breads, then saunter over to the just-opened Edible BC—the Store, where you can buy heat-and-eat meals from Rangoli, Quince and Les Amis du Fromage, plus hard-to-find BC treats like Oculus Cherries from Mission Hill wineries.
Finally, stop at the new Liberty Wine Merchants outlet in the Net Loft building across from the market, and be amazed by the local selection—including the delightful new Alsace-style “A Noble Blend” white ($24) from Joie.
Now who says you can’t hop a Bombardier jet and enjoy it all tomorrow morning on Martinique?
July 14th, 2006
You never know who might wander off the massive yachts moored on the Yaletown seawall. But if you grab a table at the sexy new wine bar Bardot directly opposite, you might be the first to know.
Seat yourself on buttery white-leather at an aqua resin table with a view of the waterfall and see how long it takes before a handsome yachtsman sends you over a glass of bubbles from the lengthy list. Correct etiquette? Remember the three S’s: Sip, Savour, and Say thank you—by sending back the same.
After all, you own a yacht too.
Bardot, 1137 Marinaside Crescent, 604-683-5335.
Read more about the company at www.vintropolis.ca
July 7th, 2006
Eating inside is just so last month.
So get some fresh air with your fresh food by packing an haute locally-produced picnic.
Hoist the basket to the lovely Alice Lake near Squamish, dine on sunset patrol at Lighthouse Park, or catch noon rays on top of Cypress Beach, er, Mountain.
Stock the basket with regional delicacies, such as the amazing organic loaves from European Breads bakery: just three ingredients (flour, sea salt, milk) make up the rustic and chewy Georgian Baguette.
Dip it in locally-made black olive tapenade by Golda’s Finest Foods, or top it with generous hunks of Salt Spring Island’s Moonstruck Organic’s baby blue (like a tiny stilton) or the creamy Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Island Brie that comes on its own little cheese board.
And for festive libations, may we suggest a B.C. version of Kir Royale: bubbly topped with a splash of Bremners Pure Blueberry Juice.
It really is good for you. Trust us.
All products available at Whole Foods Market, The Village at Park Royal, West Vancouver, www.wholefoods.com
June 30th, 2006
Now that sale season is in full swing at Holts (race you to the periwinkle Lanvin sack dresses!) a girl needs a place to rest her weary Michael Kors-clad feet (40 per cent off, of course).
So how handy that the top floor of Holts opens into the lobby of The Four Season’s Hotel, where Chartwell restaurant has just taken delivery of a hot young chef from New York, with a resume that includes Le Bernadin and Jean Georges Restaurant.
But wait–even girls who have blown the budget on Burberry bikinis can afford to dine here. Chef has introduced a new “Dine and Dash” menu from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every evening, with two courses for just $29 (parking included).
Choose a fois gras terrine with rhubarb and pistachio, seconded by wild salmon with trumpet mushrooms and horseradish. Or follow up a Dungeness crab cake BLT with soy-braised short ribs and lime potato purée. Or be totally wacky, and order two desserts.
You do own that Lanvin sack dress, after all.
Chartwell, Four Seasons Hotel, 791 W. Georgia St., 604-689-9333, www.fourseasons.com