Archive for the ‘Dine Out Vancouver’ Category

Dine Out Vancouver 2010

Flying Tiger

Dine Out Vancouver is the local restaurant industry’s way of trying to make it through the lean months before Vancouver returns to being the prime tourist destination that it is. Now in previous years it’s happened when it’s winter, but since we weren’t having an issue with lack of tourists during the Olympics it’s been pushed back to spring.

Dine Out is a good chance for people like me to try out some of the city’s best restaurants, places that an unpaid blogger could not normally afford to go. For all the resturtants and information you need check out Tourism Vancouver’s special Dine Out site [dov].

Underground dining – figuratively. Maybe.

I had no idea, until I read this post at Senses and Style – apparently there’s a trend (or movement, or what have you) for surprise dining. Dining without a helmet. Ultra-spontaneous dining. Let me elaborate;

No Fixed Address is where you email reservations (to and that’s it – your involvement is done until chewing is required. You know the date you will be dining, but you do not know where dining will occur until the day before (so you can plan transportation appropriately) and you don’t know the menu until the day of (so you can… I’m not sure why? Maybe so you have some option to say “Strawberry’s will kill me” and adjustments can be made for you, or you can back out.) Once there and seated all you have to do is enjoy. I like it.

Have a look at S&S’s adventure in mystery dining here, complete with pictures.

photos by Senses and Styles

Some January culinary ideas. A person’s gotta eat, right?

The gang at Sense and Styles has some excellent suggestions for yummy things to do this month. Here are the short versions;

The titular Long Table

The titular Long Table

The Irish Heather’s Long Table Series

Running every evening between January 11th and  February 11th, come sit at one big long table with a few dozen other food-minded people at the Irish Heather. Depending on what night you come, there is a different excellent meal, complete with a matched drink, for a mere $15 (plus tax and tip.) For example;

Monday, 11th of January, House Made Beef Meat Balls, Tomato Sauce served with Hand Made Spaghetti, w/ 5oz – Glass of Sandhill Syrah.M $15 plus tax & service

Click here for each day’s offering!

“Just Like Dinner at Nona’s House”

Similar to The Irish Heather, but exclusive to three Tuesday nights only – January 12th, 19th, and 26th – enjoy a hearty plate of food paired with R&B beer for $19. Plus, be there at 6 for the wine bar!

The Main Event – East Meets West

Technically Main isn’t where East Van meets West Van, but that’s the kind of thing that gets me punched in the arm. And pedantry aside, this is an awesome event. Running from January 18th to 24th, a number of Main street restaurants will be offering three-course tasting menus for set prices of $25, $35 and $45. And a portion of those sales will go to The Greater Vancouver Food Bank. So, it will be one of the rare times you can eat AND help others do the same.

I’m particularly looking forward to this, as it is an excellent excuse to try more of the restaurants in my neighbourhood. Click here for a list of participating restaurants.

Eee up to Senses and Styles – I will be keeping an eye on them and you should too!

Friday night’s alright for perogies.

Don’t knock it – my first post title was an SCTV reference, “Cabbage rolls and coffee”, but that’s never sounded appetizing to me.

I’ve heard of this monthly event over and over, year after year, and I’ve never been. But I’m thinking about this Friday. By all accounts, you won’t find a more satisfying Ukrainian dinner in town, and you can’t beat the price – two things that have turned this quiet little event into a must-try for those in the know in Mount Pleasant.

Here are the details for the dinner, including a menu, which happens the first Friday of every month (This Friday, Feb. 6th, as it happens.) Also of interest is that besides the vegetarian-friendly varieties of perogy, they also have vegetarian cabbage rolls as well.

Burgoo on Main

butter chicken
I’m slowly working my way through the various restaurants on Main Street – I’ve got a backlog, technically, I just don’t have a good photo to go with it, which I think is key. If you’ve ever seen Jeffery’s food posts, you’ll understand what I mean – he’s set the standard. We can say something is yummy, but it’s better if we can show how yummy it looks too.

Three weeks back, Burgoo opened it’s third (I’m pretty sure it’s third) location on Main – it used to be a Subway, so automatically it’s a step up for the neighbourhood. I went with my best gal and two friends visiting from Calgary and it was fantastic – not exactly what I expected. The sign says “comfort food”, which always registers as cheese and carbs. They did have mac and cheese on the menu, but I went for the butter chicken. Surprise! It was delicious, but not the creamy variety we usually associate with the dish. Served on a wood plank (cuz they’s hot!) and add a side of herb biscuits… fantastic.

The group also enjoyed an opener fondue – cheese, fruit, bread… glah. I also have a picture of another dish, eaten by one of the visiting friends, but I can’t remember what it was and it’s not on their online menu. But it looks like a chowder. I’ll say chowder.

As a bonus, Kristin Kreuk was having dinner on the patio, which thrilled the pair of Calgarians to no end.

Funny story…

So, we had dinner, Kristin Kreuk is there. Giggles all round. We leave before her and her group, and cross the street for gelato. Yum. As we’re sitting and eating our desert, the Kristin Kreuk Krew come in for some iced confections as well. Polite smiles. Fair play. She dances to the cheesy pop on the radio a bit, and Calgarians applaud. A little forward. They leave. We leave. We get in car and drive, and that’s when we pass her and beau (ok, alleged beau) who are walking. So, they must live in the DON’T ALL STARE! Sure enough, they look at us all looking at them. OK, kind of creepy now.

The next day, I’m leaving a mom and pop shop and who’s coming in? Kristin Kreuk. Awkward.

But, I can confirm that Kristin Kreuk lives in Mount Pleasant. S’true.

Kristin, I’m harmless, I swear.

Cappucino jjbean Homer and Davie 2008_0325

I do like coffee. A lot. I own a cappuccino machine and I buy expensive shade grown, organic beans. This means that when I leave my home and buy a cuppa java I am often less than satisfied with what I drink.

jjbean don’t just sell cups of coffee – they are small scale roasters. Which means the beans with which the coffee has been made have been roasted a very short time before they were ground for your coffee. And you can taste the difference. There used to be an expression in restaurant reviews started by the Michelin guide. “Vaux le voyage”
If you care about really good coffee, jjbean at Homer and Davie is worth the trip.

I have no relationship with this company and this was my first visit

Dine Out Vancouver 2008: Raincity Grill

Raincity Grill

Every Year Tourism Vancouver puts on Dine Out Vancouver [tv] which provides an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to try some of Vancouver’s best restaurants at a reasonable price. The event runs from January 16th through to February 3rd. The other night my girlfriend Lydia and I went to Raincity Grill [tv]. For my foodie girlfriend’s review of the meal go here [mm]. For my less accomplished tongue’s take on the meal read on.

Raincity Grill
1193 Denman St. Vancouver, B.C.
V6G 2N1

There are some meals that are incredibly good. There are some meals that are fantastic. The Raincity Grill’s Seared Fraser Valley chicken (pictured above) is neither of those because quite frankly it was perfect. The entree was the best thing I have ever eaten. I mean ever, ever. It was so good that I felt that the rest of the resturant was actually privileged to watch me eat it, and I’m sure that the other patrons went home and spoke of my meal in the hushed tones of reverence that some people use for having seen the Beatles play the Cavern Club in Liverpool [cc] or how people who were at the fight speak of the Ali / Forman Rumble in the Jungle [wp]. My meal was a once in a lifetime event that may possibly have changed the course of human history.

But I’m getting ahead of myself and soon you might be suspecting that my enthusiasm is dropping into the realm of hyperbole. It is not, and I stand by my statement, that this is the greatest meal I have ever eaten. It started out kind of shitty though, I mean I really hated the starter.

Dine Out Vancouver 2008: The Flying Tiger

Flying Tiger

Every Year Tourism Vancouver puts on Dine Out Vancouver [tv] which provides an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to try some of Vancouver’s best restaurants at a reasonable price. The event runs from January 16th through to February 3rd. The other night my girlfriend Lydia and I went to The Flying Tiger [tv]. For my foodie girlfriend’s review of the meal go here [mm]. For my less accomplished tongue’s take on the meal read on.

The Flying Tiger
2958 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

After going to Bistro Pastis [mbv] and Aurora Bistro [mbv] so far on my year of meals for Dine Out Vancouver I was actually glad to discover upon arrival that The Flying Tiger was quite a bit more laid back than our first two resturant choices. With a televsion in one corner showing sports, and relaxed ambient music throughout the resturant it certainly had a different vibe than we’d experianced previously.

We were quickly seated at a table by the open kitchen. In most resturants “by the kitchen” is code for the shitty seats, because you get tied up in the flood of activity of food going in and and plus the heat from the kitchen plays havok with the temperature. None of that was a factor, and being able to watch the kitchen staff turn out meals gave us an enticing preview of what we were about to be served.

Dine Out Vancouver 2008: Bistro Pastis

Bistro Pastis

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Every Year Tourism Vancouver puts on Dine Out Vancouver [tv] which provides an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to try some of Vancouver’s best restaurants at a reasonable price. The event runs from January 16th through to February 3rd. On Saturday night my girlfriend Lydia and I went to Bistro Pastis.

Bistro Pastis
2153 W 4th
Tel 604-731-5020

I’ve always had trouble reviewing restaurants, because so much of how a restaurant is enjoyed is beyond the quality and taste of the food. If I’m reviewing a movie I try to look past the fact that I had to wait in line to get into the threatre and I can not blame the fact that an annoying couple is explaining the plot of the movie to each other in the row behind me on the director. Is it fair then that it is hard to stay incredibly positive about a restaurant when part of the experience is less than stellar?

We went to Bistro Pastis last year [mbv] and it was one of those places we decided that we needed to go again this year. The only drawback last year was the wait for a table, which saw us standing on West 4th for about twenty minutes. At the time I didn’t mention it in my review because I figured it was a one off, and the food was so good. This year again we were again left waiting for our seats for around twenty-five minutes. I realize that Dine Out is a busy time, but clearly if it’s happening every year something needs to be done. Either they need to take less reservations, space them apart better or just get the table service to go a bit quicker.

Actually probably not the last one, because once we did sit down everything came quick quickly. Having examined the menu online we already knew what we were going to order, and we were soon eating some very fine French cuisine. Lydia has a much better review than I could do so go read that here [mm]. I would recomend anything on the Dine Out menu, though I would also suggest that ordering a side of the fries is well worth the addition onto the fixed menu price.

Dine Out Vancouver 2008: Aurora Bistro

Aurora Bistro
2420 Main St.
Vancouver, BC.
V5T 3E2

Aurora Bistro [dov] was one of the resturants I went to during last year’s Dine Out Vancouver [mbv] and having enjoyed it so much my girlfriend Lydia and I made sure that we added it to the list of must visit places for this year. If you’re a foodie and want a full review of the meal then check out Lydia’s bite-by-bite coverage of our meal over at Meal Max where she’s trying to win money [mm].

Aurora Bistro

Like last year I had the cornish game hen, which probably says as much about me being predictable than it does about the quality of the meal. Still it was excellent once again, though ten dollars more expensive with the rise of the Dine Out Vancouver fare from $25 to $35. The accompanying potato gnocchi was very good as well as was the soup that I had to start. If you’re not worried about spending a little extra money get the suggested wines to go along with each course, the ice wine in particular was qutie a nice addition.

Aurora Bistro was nice to return to, and frankly I’m surprised I never made time to go there during the rest of the year. The meal was filling and even at $35 the Dine Out Vancouver price is well worth a visit.

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