Vancouver - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
February 3rd, 2012
A girl can never have too many shoes, too many bags, and too many macarons.
Don’t believe us? Then try and resist Soirette’s 17 delectable takes ($2 each) on the most precious French confectionery. Freshly settled in Coal Harbour, Soirette Macarons & Tea will easily break through any will power you may think you have when you say “I’ll just have a couple.” Start with a sweet coconut Malibu, add a savoury element with Caramel Fleur de Sel and Pink Peppercorn, then get nutty with Pistachio before getting intense with chocolate and, lastly, freshening up with some Mandarin. One, two, three… Who’s counting? —Anya Georgijevic
Soirette Macarons & Tea, 1433 W. Pender St., Vancouver, 604-558-3308, www.soirette.com
January 17th, 2012
Back in the day, drinking beer involved frat houses, funnels and ping pong tables.
Not any more. Bitter Tasting Room is the beer-lover’s answer to a wine bar, from the same people who brought us Salt and the Irish Heather. The room is modern, the list of ales and lagers is as big as a phone book and if you ask nicely, the bartender will even whip you up a beer cocktail, which, for the record, does not involve dropping a shot of Jagermeister into your pint glass.
Take that, Alpha Beta Gamma Delta. —Kelsey Dundon
Bitter Tasting Room, 16 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, 604-558-4658, www.bittertastingroom.com
December 29th, 2011
Raise a glass! Our editor share their favourite holiday wines:
Pfaffenheim Gewurztraminer is a mouthful to say but the French wine is floral and fruity and pairs nicely with Thai takeout making for a perfect night in. $18.49 at Kensington Wine Market, 1257 Kensington Rd. N.W., Calgary, 403-283-8000, www.kensingtonwinemarket.com —Jaelyn Molyneux, Calgary editor
Moving from London back to Vancouver meant that my favourite wines (usually from Spain) were suddenly a lot more expensive. The Rioja Crianza from Campo Viejo is a good staple when you don’t want to spend much money, it is oaky, fruity, and rich (all the things I hate in a white wine but love in a red.) $14.99 from BC Liquor Stores. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg, Vancouver fashion editor
For a sparkler that won’t set you back, we love Sieur d'Arques Première bulle Blanquette de Limoux mousseux (2008) ($17.55). It’s the perfect girly sipper, from the pretty pink label to the fruity bubbles. At selected SAQ locations. —Jennifer Nachshen, Montreal editor
As a rare girl that doesn’t like Champagne, I always make sure to stock up on riesling, which can feel just as festive and taste just as sweet. This one by Tantalus is my personal favourite: very floral with strong hints of both apple and pear. Its full-bodied, yet breezy palette makes it a great companion for any celebration. $22.90 at Village VQA Wines.—Anya Georgijevic, Vancouver beauty editor
Cedar Creek Riesling 2010 ($17.90) I’m a seafood-aholic and this light, bright riesling goes beautifully with almost anything from the ocean. —Kelsey Dundon, Vancouver lifestyle editor
Outis Etna is a fabulous wine that we discovered at Terroni. According to Max Stefanelli who runs the L.A. outpost, this ruby red is best paired with meats and caponata. $16 per glass, $74 per bottle at Terroni, 720 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-504-1992, www.terroni.com —Athena Tsavliris, Toronto editor
After living in Argentina, I figure you can't ever go wrong with malbec. The full-bodied flavour and richness of the Andeluna Malbec pairs perfectly with nights spent reminiscing around the fire with old friends. $25 at Firefly Wines, 2857 Cambie St., Vancouver, 604-875-3325, www.fireflyfinewinesandales.com —Kelsey Mulyk, Managing editor
Bear Flag's smooth red blend wins points on several counts: a female winemaker, a highly drinkable blend oozing vanilla and cherry, an accessible price point, and an illustrated label by an emerging artist (because, yes, packaging counts!) $ 12.99 at BC Liquor Stores. —Sarah Bancroft, Editor-in-chief
November 9th, 2011
Our coffee cups runneth over.
David Hawksworth, the chef who catapulted the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s Hawksworth Restaurant to national acclaim, has just opened the Parisian-inspired Bel Café right next door. It's quietly elegant (like his wife Annabel, for whom it is named) without actually being quiet—even on opening day it was packed. We sampled an assortment of freshly baked macarons (loved the rose and raspberry) and we’ll soon be back for some of their imaginative sandwiches (think roasted butternut squash with Asian pear and brie) and maybe some sanded almonds too (just because).
Topped off with some French-pressed coffee, bien sur. —Kelsey Dundon
Bel Café, 801 W. Georgia St., Vancouver, www.belcafe.com
October 28th, 2011
They had us at hand-painted wallpaper.
We first fell in love with House Guest when we got a sneak peek at its gold ceilings, vintage suitcase tables, and catacomb-style skull wall. Then we tried the newly opened supper club’s t’schin t’schin duck rolls, mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes and seafood platter, and we were hooked. We can’t decide what we’re more excited about: a Saturday night spent listening to our favourite DJs spin at the antique-desk-turned-DJ-booth, or a Sunday brunch with chicken and waffles and a Guinness-infused Caesar.
Maybe both? —Kelsey Dundon
Open Wednesday to Saturday, brunch on Sundays. House Guest, 200 - 332 Water St., Vancouver, www.housexguest.com
October 27th, 2011
Well, it’s official: 2011 is the year of the pizza, and there is another charming new addition to our city’s pizza scene.
Settled on Main Street in the booming Strathcona neighborhood, Pizzeria Farina is a tiny gem no bigger than your favourite hole-in-the-wall. Its stark white brick interior is warmed with wood tables and shelves filled with canned anchovies and bottles of olive oil. On their large paper scroll menu: seven outstanding thin- crust pizzas, including the Margherita ($12)—the holy grail of all pizzas—and the delicious sopressatta ham topped Calabrese ($14). Extra love for the pie? Top it all off with some delicious anchovies ($2). —Anya Georgijevic
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 5pm until the dough runs out. Pizzeria Farina, 915 Main St., Vancouver, 604-681-9334, www.pizzeriafarina.com
October 20th, 2011
If breakfast is a bowl of Cheerios eaten over the sink (admit it, you've been there) consider these three S's: savoury, satisfying, and sitting.
Raincity Grill's new brunch menu scores three for three with locally sourced, hearty dishes like the winning Helmers Potatoes and Ham Hock Hash with poached free range eggs and hollandaise ($13) or the Dungeness Crab and Chive Omelette ($18). Lighter lunchers can sample the Ricotta Crepes with Hannah Brook Farm Greens (an appie on the $20 prix fixe menu) or a warming bowl of Vancouver Island Manilla Clams in white wine broth ($17).
Time to say "Cheerio" to your breakfast routine.—Sarah Bancroft
Saturday and Sunday brunch, 10am - 2:30pm, Raincity Grill, 1193 Denman St., Vancouver, 604-685-7337, www.raincitygrill.com
September 2nd, 2011
Their foodcarts have caused a souvlaki sensation.
Now Nu Greek has just opened their first storefront right beside Vancouver’s other favourite foodcart-turned-storefront, Japadog. We tried the grilled octopus souvlaki (so tender you could cut it with a butter knife) served on housemade pita with tzatziki, cucumbers and enough onions to make us un-kissable for a week. We combo’d it with a side of minted chickpeas and a bottle of water and the whole thing set us back a mere $8.50.
Now that’s what we call good Nus. —Kelsey Dundon
Nu Greek, 542 Robson St., Vancouver
August 26th, 2011
We always dream of strolling the streets of Paris and indulging in many of its charming patisseries: Well, that dream just a came a little closer to home.
Brought to you by the acclaimed pastry chef Thierry Busset, the new Thierry brings Paris to us with its delectable offerings of all things French, both savoury and sweet. On the savoury end, grab a Primavera Sandwich ($8.50), a lovely mix of roasted pepper, artichoke, goat cheese and black olives. Then move onto the countless sweet offerings like the pretty Citrus Madeleine ($1.25), the out-of-this-world Lemon Tart ($5.75) or bite-size Hazelnut Financiers ($8 for 8). Quench your thirst with a White Plum House Soda ($3.95), but don't even think about leaving without sampling one of Thierry Espresso Blend creations.
When in ‘France’, have a glass of wine too. —Anya Georgijevic
Thierry, 1059 Alberni Street, Vancouver, 604-608-6870, www.thierrychocolates.com
August 23rd, 2011
We’re all for plaid, maple syrup and denim formalwear.
But every now and then it’s nice to encounter Canadiana that’s a little more classy than kitschy. Like the just-opened Oakwood Canadian Bistro. The Fourth Avenue haunt is home to polite people, chic surroundings and house made food crafted from seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. We started with the tomato coconut mussels ($15), chowed down on the cast iron Cornish hen with cauliflower puree ($19), and doubled up on dessert (we shared, we swear)—the baked apple dumpling ($6) and raspberry panna cotta ($5). We finished it off with a Caesar ($8). Nope, not a bloody Mary, a Caesar.
Pretty tasty, eh? —Kelsey Dundon
Oakwood Canadian Bistro, 2741 West 4th Ave., Vancouver, 604-558-1965, www.theoakwood.ca