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.
April 25th, 2013
Beach babes, long boards, and bellini bars - it’s all about Huntington Beach, California.
The Shorebreak Hotel’s front desk features a massive wave, there are surf films projected on the walls of the lobby, cruiser bikes and vintage surfboards in the rooms, all done incredibly stylishly. www.jdvhotels.com
Beach volleyball, all year round! And then, of course, there are the surfers (er, we mean the surfing) in and around the famous pier. It’s not called Surf City USA for nothing.
The Huevos Rancheros (pictured, $9) at Zimzala in the Shorebreak Hotel, with excellent coffee and a bellini bar in a breezy room was our idea of brunch heaven. The name of the restaurant means “peace with sand between your toes.”
Order one of the massive longboards from Huntington native Peter Hamborg a firefighter and father of 5 surfing, modelling, lifeguarding boys (why does this sound like a reality TV show in the works)? Cruise The Strand, 10 miles of paved track along the beachfront. www.hamboards.com
Lucky you if you get a sighting of one of the famous surf Woody’s like we did!
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 12th, 2013
La Taqueria fans are partying like it Cinco de Mayo now that the same crew has opened La Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive.
For this incarnation they’ve upped the ante and added tostadas, enchiladas as well as an impressive collection of cold beers, tequila and of course mezcal (a smokey, agave-based spirit), after which the restaurant is named.
Consulting chef Tina Fineza makes the ethnic cuisine shine and ensures everything from the beef cheek tacos to the guacamole is as authentically Mexican as many of the staff.
The airy space keeps a homey feel with turquoise tiling, a chalkboard menu and an old-school liquor cabinet displaying - what else - bottles of mezcal. The 55-seat space fills up quickly, so go early and grab a stool at the bar with a view into the kitchen. Bonus points for the stocked, self-serve salsa bar. —Cassandra Anderton
Open Tuesday-Sunday from 5 p.m., 1622 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, 604-559-8226, http://lataqueria.ca
March 5th, 2013
There’s a new bird in town.
The curiously spelled Pidgin restaurant takes its name from the neighbouring Pigeon Park. A quaint entrance leads into a beautifully designed minimalist space. It’s a lively atmosphere with patrons ogling the delightful dishes and cocktail concoctions being passed around. With a shared plates concept focusing on Asian flavours, Pidgin serves up some of the most original food in the fusion category. The Beef Tataki ($13) is scattered with bit of Gruyere and woodear mushrooms, with angel-hair French fries on the side for some crunch. The Humpback Shrimp ($12) is delicately prepared, ceviche-style, accompanied with citrus and celery for flavour contrasts. Most dishes are under $20, which leaves more than enough room to indulge in Pidgin’s extensive and innovative cocktail list.
With all the attention this hot spot is getting, they've definitely earned their wings. —Anya Georgijevic
350 Carrall St., Vancouver, 604-620-9400, http://www.pidginvancouver.com
February 1st, 2013
You have your favourite sushi joints and you have your favourite cocktail bars, but do you have a favourite sushi bar?
If The Eatery is that place for you, then you’ll be especially happy to know The General Public is now open on Main Street and feels very much like The Eatery 2.0 (it’s backed by the same team). We tried three of their house rolls: the Green Hornet with tempura prawns and mango ($6.95), the KFC with chicken and avocado ($5.95), and the GP with tuna tempura on the inside and spicy tuna on the outside ($7.50). We left stuffed. Which means the Malaysian Retreat – tempura-battered banana and ice cream ($6.50) – will have to wait until next time. —Kelsey Dundon
3289 Main St, Vancouver, 604-558-4676.
January 30th, 2013
Gluten sensitivity and delicious Italian staples have finally found each other.
The masterful chefs behind the Campagnolo restaurants have been perfecting their gluten-free cannelloni recipes since the summer, and the dishes now claim a permanent place on the menus. Over at the original Campagnolo, Squash Cannelloni ($17) is accompanied by ricotta, brown butter, and sage, while Campagnolo Roma embraces a meaty version with Cannelloni al Forno ($18), featuring braised chicken, kale, and a tomato sugo made with the legendary tomatoes from the Stoney Paradise farm.
Free of gluten, but loaded with flavour. —Anya Georgijevic
Campagnolo, 1020 Main St., Vancouver, 604-484-6018, www.campagnolorestaurant.ca
Campagnolo Roma, 2297 East Hastings St., Vancouver, 604-569-0456, www.campagnoloroma.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
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