Dish N Dazzle featuring Wines of Argentina – Get Your TIckets

Dish N Dazzle

When and Where?

Dish N Dazzle
Thursday, May 7, 2015
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre EAST in the Parkview Terrace

What is Dish N Dazzle?

This is a fundraising event for the BC Hospitality Foundation and will feature

  • More than 100 wines from Argentina
  • 14 of Vancouver’s best restaurants
  • A cocktail competition with 6 expert bartenders
  • A live Jazz Band – Les is More
  • A Latin DJ
  • A HUGE silent auction focused on hospitality, hotels & restaurants

The Wineries

Below is the list of wineries from Argentina participating in this event.  There are some great ones, like Catena, Colome, Graffigna and more.  Very exciting wines to try from these wineries.

  • Alamos Winery, Amalaya, Bousquet, Casa Bianchi, Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete
  • Colome, Dona Paula, El Esteco, El Porvenir de Cafayate, Escorihuela 1884, Finca Decero
  • Finca Flichman,    Finca las Moras, Graffigna, Huarpe Wines, Kaiken, La Vuelta
  • Lagarde, Layer Cake, Marcelo Pelleriti Wines, Mascota Vineyards, Masi Tupungato, Pasucal Toso
  • Que Guapo, Santa Ana, Septima, Tamari, Tapiz, Tinto Negro, Vina Cobos, Vistalba, Zorzal Wines

What About the Restaurants?

Here are the participating Vancouver restaurants.

  • Aura at Nita Lake Lodge, Bistro 101 at PICA, Black + Blue, The Bon Vivant Group
  • Café Pacifica at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Chef Ann Kirsebom, CinCin
  • Donnelly Group, Forage at the Listel Hotel, Homer St. Cafe and Bar
  • Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, La Grotta Del Formaggio, PIER 7 restaurant + bar

Do You Want a Discount on Your Ticket?

Tickets are $75 but because you are reading my article, use promo code WOA15 for $69 tickets.

More information on Dish N Dazzle is on their website.

Italian Excellent Quality Experience in Vancouver and More

Italian quality experience

Italian quality experience

To me, Italy is always known for quality products: food, wine, olive oil, cars, and more.  To help spread the word, a dual pronged approach is underway in Italy that crosses the oceans, and lands here in Vancouver.  The first is Expo Milano 2015, the Universal Exhibition that Milan will host from May 1 to October 31, 2015.  140 countries will participate to offer their technology related to guaranteeing healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone while not over taxing the planet.  The theme for the Expo is “Feeding the Plant, Energy for Life”.   It sounds very interesting and if I had a chance to go to Italy this year, I would make a point to visit the Expo.  You can read about the Expo at the italianqualityexperience.it website.

In addition to Expo 2015, “Ospitalita Italiana – Ristoranti Italiani nel Mondo” ( Italian Hospitality – Italian Restaurants in the World ), promoted in part by all Chambers of Commerce in Italy, is underway to promote:

  • traditions of Italian food products and improve global culture of Italian food and wine
  • to enhance the image of authentic Italian restaurants abroad and to guarantee the quality standards
  • to create an international network of Italian restaurants and to support them in promoting Italian products of excellence.

We are fortunate to have a local restaurant, Federico’s Supper Club as being certified by this program.  In total there are 1700 authentic restaurants in the world.  You can tell that the restaurant is certified by a Golden Q trademark plaque at the restaurant.  How did Federico’s and the other restaurants become certified?  They had to meet these quality guidelines:

  • The restaurant must have at least one person able to relate with customers in Italian
  • The percentage of traditional Italian dishes and recipes should be at least 50% of the total number of dishes
  • The wine list must contain not les than 30% of Italian DOP/IGT wines
  • The restaurant must offer only DOP/IGT extra virgin olive oil of Italian origin or Italian extra virgin olive oil
  • The chef must be qualified for the preparation of dishes according to Italian recipes
  • The names of all courses in the menu must be available in the Italian language

To see the complete worldwide list of “Ospitalita Italiana”, visit www.10q.it.

I, and other media types, were invited to Federico’s Supper Club to taste some Italian dishes and enjoy some Italian wine to kick off Italian Hospitality – Italian Restaurants in the World and Expo Milan 2015.  Some exceptional Prosecco was brought in from Italy, as well as still red and white wines.  Federico’s made Arancini, mini pizza bites with anchovies and caramelized onions, and a real standout for me, which was smoked salmon and caramelized onions on a crostini.  I had never experienced such wonderful melding of flavours before.  I can highly recommend trying to make this yourself, or visiting Federico’s.  I am not sure if it is on their regular menu.  Enjoy a few pictures I took of the event, enjoy Italian food & wine, visit Federico’s, and visit Expo Milan 2015!

Astoria Corderie Valdobbiadene DOCG

Astoria Corderie Valdobbiadene DOCG

Beni di Batasiolo Langhe Rosso

Beni di Batasiolo Langhe Rosso

Arancini

Arancini

Smoked salmon with caramelized onions on crostini

Smoked salmon with caramelized onions on crostini

 

Vancouver Foodster Best Pizza Challenge is On!

Best Pizza ChallengeAre you like me, that loves pizza?  Vancouver Foodster has announced his Vancouver Foodster Best Pizza Challenge running March 5-28. 2015 at restaurants all over Vancouver and beyond! You taste & vote.

Voting criteria –  some things to help you judge your favourite pizzas – keep these things in mind: originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.

After you have tried each of the pizza creations at the participating restaurants, you can then VOTE for your favourites (you can vote once per day through out the promotion, voting ends on March 28, 2015.

The pizzerias are scattered throughout the Vancouver lowermainland.  Each restaurant has produced a “special” combination of toppings for this contest.  Here is a list of the pizzerias and their creations.  Enjoy and vote!

How Does this all Work? For the public challenge, you are invited to go out and order any or all of the pizza creations in this challenge, then you decide who you think has the best pizza creation for the People’s Choice award winners. 

Share your experiences: Tweet (and don’t forget to tweet or instagram your photos) throughout the challenge, our twitter and instagram address is @vanfoodster and the hashtag is #PizzaChallengeYVR please include this hashtag in all your tweets during the challenge.

Voting criteria –  some things to help you judge your favourite pizza creations – keep these things in mind: originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.

Get some friends together and make a night of it, visit 3 restaurants or more to share and taste the different pizzas or go solo or with a friend – just remember to VOTE for your favourites between March 5 – 28, 2015. 

Here are the 14 Pizza creations in this challenge, listed in no particular order other than when they were received by us.

The Pizzerias

Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria

Pizza Pomo Verde

Description: Urbani’s Spicy Fennel Sausage, Carozzi Tellagio Fromaggio, Fior di Latte, Fresh Fennel, Green Apple Chive Slaw

Price:  $16

Created by: Executive Chef Will Lucas

Offered: from 11:30am daily

Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria

6011 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Tel:  604-299-8002

Twitter:  @CottoEnoteca

Web:  http://cotto.ca/

 

Steel Toad Brewpub

Duck Confit Pizza

Description: Duck Confit, barbeque sauce (sauce is made in-house). It’s Sweet and tangy with a touch of spice. 12″ thin-crust forno fired, topped with Gouda cheese.

Price: $16

Created by: Chef Robbie Robinson created the pizza, forno chef Cameron Lewis perfected it.

Offered: After 11am Mon – Fri, after 10am Sat – Sun

Steel Toad Brewpub

97 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-709-8623

Web: http://steeltoad.ca/

Twitter: @SteelToadBeer

 

Alberello Pizzeria

Verde Noce 

Description: Verde Noce translates green walnut. House-made pesto base with toasted walnuts, roasted red and yellow peppers, caramelized onion, oyster mushroom sautéed in garlic oil, and aged mozzarella topped with fresh soft goat cheese & basil.

Price: $14

Created by: Azin Etesami (Owner/pizza lover) and Cristina Marianetti (Chef)

Offered: all the time

Alberello Pizzeria

115 W 15th Street, North Vancouver

Tel: 604-770-4484

Web: http://www.alberellopizzeria.com/

Twitter @Alberellopizza

 

Lombardo’s 2go

The Roma

Description: Thin, crisp, baked to perfection. A hand tossed thin crust filled with salami, ham, mozzarella and quark cheese. Baked at 700 degrees to a crisp and delicious finish. Available exclusively at Lombardo’s 2go.

Price: $4 per piece

Created by: Giulia Lombardo

Available: Mon – Fri 11am – 7pm, Sat – sun 12pm – 6pm

Lombardo’s 2go

1641 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 428-8646

Twitter:  @LombardosPizza

Web:  http://lombardos.ca/

 

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar

Pizza Bianca Gorgonzola

Description:  It is a pizza which combines the salty sweet flavor of prosciutto di parma with the sharp creaminess of a Gorgonzola piccante on a base of Sam Marzano tomato sauce. The prosciutto and gorgonzola are bridged by dried figs that have been bloomed in Red Moscato Wine and Honey. The pie is finished with organic arugula.

Price: $15

Created by: Chef Patrick Doré

Offered: all the time (11am-11pm Monday-Friday and 11am-10pm on Sundays) and will be offered on both our restaurant and bar side.

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar

765 Beatty Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-688-6368

Web: http://www.frankiesitaliankitchen.ca/index.php

Twitter: @FrankiesItalia1

 

The Bibo

Pizza Montanara

Description: Montanara means something that comes from the mountain, all the ingredients remember flavour from woods, mountains, forest and wild nature.

Price $24

Offered: Thursday: dinner; Friday-Saturday-Sunday: lunch and dinner

Created by: Chef Marco Di Stefano

The Bibo

1835 W 4th Ave, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-6177

Twitter: @TheBiBo

Web:  http://www.thebibo.com

 

 

Il Castello Pizzeria

Zucca

Description: Pancetta, fior di latte, crispy sage, and toasted pine nuts on top of a butternut squash puree base.

Price:  $17

Created by:

Offered: Tuesday-Sunday Dinner.

Il Castello Pizzeria

119 East 2nd Street, North Vancouver

Tel: 604-987-4992

Web: http://ilcastellopizzeria.com/

Twitter: @IlCastelloNVan

 

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Patate Pancetta

Description: Crème Fraîche, Fior di latte, Thinly sliced roasted potatoes, Pancetta, Carmelized Onions, Romemary, Basil, Grana Padano, & lemon juice.

Price:  $16.25

Created by: Chef Don Letendre

Offered: From open to close daily.

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

1380 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-251-2292

Web: http://www.famoso.ca/locations/bc_commercial_drive.php

Twitter: @FamosoPizzeria

 

Pizza Fabrika

 

Dark Matter Ale Sausage

Description: Dark matter ale sausage, braised beef short rib,  sautéed mixed mushrooms, and red onion

Price:  $15

Created by: Chef Michael Wiese

Offered: 5pm until late, nightly

Pizza Fabrika

1680 Robson Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604.559.1680

Web: www.pizzafabrika.ca

Twitter: @PizzaFabrika_CA

 

Novo Pizzeria

Pizza con burrata e speck

Price: $23

Description: San Marzano tomatoes, Aleppo pepper, burrata, DOP speck, baby heirloom pomodori, vincotto pearls, basil oil.

Created by:  Carmine Paradiso and Charles Richard

Offered:  All the time

Novo Pizzeria

2118 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel:    (604) 736-2220

Web:  http://www.novopizzeria.com/

Twitter:   @NOVOPizzeria

 

Bella Gelateria Yaletown

Monte Carlo

Price: $18

Description: Goat Cheese, Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes, Fior Di Latte, Italian Rosemary Chicken (Local Fresh Free Range from Rossdown Farms)

Created by: Chefs team collaboration.

Offered:  Lunch and Dinner daily.

Bella Gelateria Yaletown

1089 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver

Tel: 778-737-7890

Web: http://bellagelateria.com/yaletown/

Twitter @BellaYaletown

 

Pizza Barbarella

The Hawaiian Punch

Price: $18 ($13 for lunch-sized version)

Description: Brown sugar-glazed and house-smoked fresh pineapple and hot capicollo, with bocconcini and aged mozzarella, tomato, finished with grana padano, served on our organic, sourdough crust. Softens the cynicism of even the most ardent pizza purist.

Created by:  n/a

Available:  Lunch, dinner daily and happy hour (weekdays 3pm-5pm)

Pizza Barbarella

654 East Broadway, Vancouver

Tel: 604-210-6111

Web: http://www.pizzeriabarbarella.com/

Twitter: @PizzaBarbarella

 

Ragazzi Pizza

Cotto é Crudo

Description: Prosciutto and bocconcini topped with a salsa fresco and basil

Price: $13.95

Created by: Manager Paul Teixeira

Offered:  Thursday to Sunday Only

Ragazzi Pizza

2996 E. 22nd Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-433-2235

Web: http://www.ragazzipizza.com/

Twitter:   @RagazziPizza

 

Pizza Carano

Spicy Coconut Kale

Price: $15

Description: coconut cream, kale, peanut satay marinated mushrooms, fior di latte, coconut flakes, chili oil

Created by: Chef Trevor Hagenbuch

Offered: Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm to 10pm, and Sunday, 4 to 9pm.

Pizza Carano

4241 Fraser St, Vancouver

Tel: 604-877-1270

Web: http://www.pizzacarano.com/

Twitter: @PizzaCarano

 

Make sure you pick up one of the Pizza Challenge postcards available at each of the participating restaurants. Remember to Vote for your favourites daily, all the voting details are at http://vancouverfoodster.com/pizza-challenge/

 

Vancouver Foodster Presents Tasting Plates East Village on March 11

Local foodies and tourists alike are invited to tantalize their taste buds at our next Tasting Plates event.  This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 10 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the evening, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

Visit our Tasting Plates site and view our past events, photos and more!

  • Vegetarian options will be available at many of the participating restaurants.
  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking dinner event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, transit, car, walking, roller skates, or carpooling.
Participating restaurants:

Platform 7

2331 E Hastings Street, Vancouver

Web: http://www.platform7coffee.com/

Twitter: @Platform7Coffee

Cuisine: Coffee and baked goods

Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar provides a unique coffee culture experience. Platform 7 transforms you to a Victorian London Train Station to experience beautiful hand-crafted espresso and coffee brew bar drinks. We selected Stumptown Coffee Roasters from Portland, as our flagship coffee roaster. Dialing in the perfect profile on our Strada, gives us the distinct pleasure in presenting the absolute best cup of coffee to our guests. From a delectable selection of the finest locally-sourced artisan bakeries to our tailor-made sandwiches, the Platform 7 experience can take one on an exotic journey to taste exquisite coffees from around the world. Providing a guiding and careful hand, our staff take great pride in presenting and serving our guests with unique and enticing brew techniques.

windsor_black

Windsor Meats

2276 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver

Web: http://www.windsormeats.com/

Twitter:@WindsorMeats

Cuisine: Butcher Shop and Meats

Windsor Meat co. East Village. Our newest and most artisan focused location featuring Heritage Free Range Pork, Local Grass Fed & Barley/Alfalfa Finished Beef, Free Range Chicken, House Made Sausages, and Charcuterie. We source all our fresh meats from only the finest B.C. ranches and farmers that take pride in ethically raised meat. Our butchers are highly trained in nose to tail butchery and sausage making and would be happy to custom cut or source anything you are looking for.

olivia

Di Olvia

2632 East Hastings Street

Web:http://www.dioliva.ca/

Twitter: @diolivastore

Cuisine: Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tastings Bar

Di Oliva Tasting Bar has over 50 kinds of Extra Virgin Premium Olive Oils from around the world and Balsamic Vinegars imported from Modena, Italy.

 

Odd Society

1725 Powell Street, Vancouver

Web: http://www.oddsocietyspirits.com/

Twitter: @oddspirits

Cuisine: Distillery tasting room

Jackalope’s Neighbourhood Dive 

2257 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Web: http://jackalopesdive.com/

Twitter: @JackalopesDive

Cuisine: Southern

 

Pallet Coffee Roasters

323 Semlin Drive, Vancouver

Web: http://palletcoffeeroasters.com/

Twitter: @PalletCoffee

Cuisine: Coffee roaster and cafe

 

renfew cafe

Renfrew Cafe

826 Renfrew St, Vancouver

Web: http://www.renfrewcafe.ca/

Twitter: @renfrewcafe

Cuisine: Tea and pies

Advance Tickets: $45 per person. $148 for a 4 pack of tickets ($37 each) or $210 for a 6 pack of tickets ($35 each) * (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pack or a 6 pack). Regular Tickets $55 per person after March 8, 2015.

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Adieu to DOVF With the Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl

Dine Out Vancouver has come and gone for another year.  I am sure many of us have added girth from all the tasty meals we had.  My last event during Dine Out Vancouver was the Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl on the last day.  Commercial Drive is an interesting, eclectic mix of restaurants and shops.  For this Brunch Crawl, the participating restaurants/businesses were:

  • Turks Coffee Lounge
  • The Lemon Square
  • Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
  • Parallel 49 Beer
  • Lear Faye
  • Bakery Sate
  • JamJar
  • Federico’s Supper Club
  • Stateside Craft

Below are a few pictures of my crawl, and some comments. Enjoy and let’s chat Dine Out again next year.

Pizza and beer, from Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria and Parallel 49 Beer, for breakfast is a great way to start a day!  Famoso’s Korean BBQ pizza was really different, and super tasty.  Love their homemade bbq sauce. I’ve tried Parallel 49 Beer before. The Ruby Ale is an easy to drink beer.  Not too dark or hoppy.  Probably a good beer for people to try if they want something with more body than a pilsner.  The other beer that I had and enjoyed was the Salty Scot, Scotch Ale.  This beer has lots of body and flavour. Dark fruit, dark malt, caramel.

Famoso Margherita, Cavoletti, and Korean BBQ Pork pizza slices

Famoso Margherita, Cavoletti, and Korean BBQ Pork pizza slices

Parallel 49 beer

Parallel 49 beer

Going for a coffee after pizza and beer was a good idea.  The Turks Coffee Lounge poured a very nice Velvet Cortado, a type of latte.  The Cortado went nicely with The Lemon Square square.  Lots of lemon flavour, and not too sweet.

Turks Velvet Cortado Butter Espresso and a Lemon Square

Turks Velvet Cortado Butter Espresso and a Lemon Square

Stateside Craft, is place to go for a wide selection of beers, but I already had 2 beers with Parallel 49, so I had their Goat cheese, tomato and basil benny, and their Braised brisket corn hash.  I enjoyed the hash, topped with a light, fluffy egg on top.  The benny unfortunately appears to be made earlier in the  morning and was cold.

Stateside Craft Goat Cheese tomato basil benny and Braised brisket corn hash

Stateside Craft Goat Cheese tomato basil benny and Braised brisket corn hash

Another benny to try was at Lear Faye.  Lear Faye’s Benny was called the East Van benny, made with wilted greens, pico de gallo and avocado holandaise sauce.  Lots of salty, creamy, and spicy flavours.  Really good.  Equally good was the Last Tango French Toast.  The bread was really thickly cut and was moist throughout. I’d have this again.  Sipped a cappuccino to go with these delightful dishes.

Lear Faye East Van Benny and Last Tango French Toast

Lear Faye East Van Benny and Last Tango French Toast

Federico’s Supper Club was moving us more into lunch dishes, but very good lunch dishes. We had samples of Rigatoni alla Gricia (smoked pork cheeks, pancetta, Pecorino Romano and black pepper), Fritelle di Baccala (salt cod fitters on mint pesto and roasted red pepper), and Terrina di Cioccolato (chocolate terrine, Callebaut chocolate and mixed berry compote). All three dishes were very rich.  I really liked the Rigatoni.  Not all pasta needs to have a tomato or cream sauce.  Also really loved the chocolate terrine.  Dark chocolate with a berry compote for dessert is hard to beat anytime.

Federicos Rigatoni alla Gricia, Fritelle di Baccala, and Terrina di Cioccolato

Federicos Rigatoni alla Gricia, Fritelle di Baccala, and Terrina di Cioccolato

Bakery Sate provided us with a take-out box containing a butter croissant, cheddar cheese scone, and coconut macaroon.  The croissant was nice and crispy.  Equally well done was the cheddar cheese scone.  Not too crumbly or dry.  The coconut macaroon was done well, but I am not a fan of the flavour of old coconut.  I do like the lighter flavour and texture of young coconut.  Have you ever tried a young coconut pie?

Bakery Sate Butter croissant, Cheddar cheese scone, and Coconut macaroon

Bakery Sate Butter croissant, Cheddar cheese scone, and Coconut macaroon

I hope you enjoyed these pictures and gave you an idea of some places you would like to visit.

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse Tees Off at Dine Out Vancouver

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse (Image courtesy dineoutvancouver.com)

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse (Image courtesy dineoutvancouver.com)

This is the first year that the Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse participated in Dine Out Vancouver.  It’s sister restaurant at the Riverway Clubhouse in south Burnaby has participated the past two years plus this year, and I’ve had excellent meals there, so I was looking forward to my Dine Out meal on Burnaby Mountain.  It was a great value at $18 and had the following menu:

Appetizer

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP Cajun crispy chickpea & basil cream
BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Chardonnay

or

LOUISIANA FRIED CHICKEN freshly made waffle, tomato & jalapeno chutney, sour cream

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer

or

ONSEN EGG CARBONARA guinness cheddar, bacon, edamame, linguine

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer

Entree

8 OZ. CERTIFIED ANGUS NEW YORK STEAK Yukon Gold roasted garlic mash, market vegetables, green peppercorn sauce
BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Merlot

or

CHAR BROILED MAHI MAHI southern rice pilaf, market vegetables, fresh pineapple salsa

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Pinot Gris

or

SWEET CORN & CREAM CHEESE STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM herb cornbread, market vegetables, barbeque sauce

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer

Dessert

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE IN JAR oreo cookies, shaved chocolate
BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Merlot

or

STRAWBERRY SUNDAE IN JAR vanilla ice-cream, strawberry coulis, chocolate & coconut brownie

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Summerhill Cipes Sparkling

or

APPLE CRUMBLE IN JAR granny smith apple, vanilla ice-cream

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Kerner Icewine $10

My Review

I was very happy to see that they had a BC VQA wine pairing suggestion for each food item served.  My wine was the Red Rooster Chardonnay, which I sipped through the appetizer and entree, and was a nice match.  My dining partner and I picked different items so that we could double up on our food samples, and were happy with both sets of appetizers and entrees.  The only thing that was not quite up to par was the desserts, which were a bit too sweet and not at the same level of quality as the appetizers and entrees.  But dessert is probably the least important aspect of your meal, so I would say to savour the rest of the meal with wine, and then to finish with a coffee, ice wine, or liquor.

I loved the Louisiana Fried chicken with waffle appetizer.  The chicken was not overly spicy so anyone could enjoy it, plus the waffle and a bit of sweetness from the Chutney to go with the savoury chicken is a nice combination.  This dish could be turned into an entree easily.  Also the butternut squash soup with Cajun crispy chickpeas and basil cream was very good.  Again not too spicy.  The drips of basil cream and crunchy chickpeas added bursts of extra flavour and texture to the soup.

Louisiana Fried Chicken on a waffle

Louisiana Fried Chicken on a waffle

Butternut squash soup with cajun crispy chickpea and basil cream

Butternut squash soup with cajun crispy chickpea and basil cream

I had the Angus New York steak with Yukon Gold roasted garlic mashed potatoes, market vegetables and green peppercorn sauce.  The steak was done Medium Well as I had ordered.  I loved the nice char on the steak, and the flavour from the green peppercorns.  I paired the steak with the Red Rooster Chardonnay.  The pairing worked as the Chardonnay as it was quite full bodied thanks to the Sur Lie aging.  The garlic potatoes were really buttery and added to the feel of a decadent main course.  The char broiled Mahi Mahi was quite flavourful, paired with the pineapple salsa, but was a tad over cooked.  Still very tasty.

Angus New York steak with Yukon gold roasted garlic mashed potatoes, market vegetables, and green peppercorn sauce

Angus New York steak with Yukon gold roasted garlic mashed potatoes, market vegetables, and green peppercorn sauce

Char broiled Mahi Mahi with southern rice pilaf, market vegetables, and fresh pineapple salsa

Char broiled Mahi Mahi with southern rice pilaf, market vegetables, and fresh pineapple salsa

The dark chocolate mousse with oreo cookies and shaved chocolate was a bit too much sweetness and chocolate in one spoon.  I do love dark chocolate, but maybe this could have been lightened up a bit.  The apple crumble was not quite as sweet but I found the oat flakes a bit hard to chew.

Dark Chocolate Mousse in a jar with oreo cookies and shaved chocolate

Dark Chocolate Mousse in a jar with oreo cookies and shaved chocolate

Apple Crumble in a jar with Granny Smith apple and vanilla ice-cream

Apple Crumble in a jar with Granny Smith apple and vanilla ice-cream

Overall a wonderful meal, and I would try the Clubhouse again, especially on a sunny day in the summer, sitting on their patio.

 

Broken Rice Modern Vietnamese Food in Burnaby

Burnaby restaurants do participate in Dine Out Vancouver.  Just travel a little east of Boundary and you are in Burnaby.  There are many fine Burnaby restaurants along Hastings Street.  One of these restaurants is Broken Rice, which offers modern Vietnamese food.  They put together a $28 Dine Out Vancouver meal this year.

Broken Rice $28 Menu

Appetizer

Traditional Glass Dumplings Bánh Bột Lọc Steamed tapioca dumplings stuffed with dried shrimp and pork, herb and cabbage salad, Vietnamese pork crackling, nước mắm.

or

Dragon Fruit Leaf Chicken Salad Gỏi Gà Xé Phay Hand torn free range chicken salad, sesame, pickled radish, pickled dragon fruit leaf, pickled carrot, onion, cabbage, jellyfish, peanut, cilantro, nước mắm, shrimp chip.

or

Beef Tongue Banh Mi Bao Lưỡi Bò Bảo Slow cooked beef tongue, pickled jalapeño, cucumber, pickled carrots and jicama, garlic aioli, pâté, cilantro.

Entree

48-Hour Short Rib Sườn Bò Slow cooked braised short rib, curried kabocha puree, watercress salad, pickled lily stem, red wine reduction sauce.

or

Chicken Fried Quail Chim Cút Chiên Crispy quail, fish sauce honey drizzle, lime, pea puree, poached scallop, quail egg, xôi gấc (traditional sweet gourd sticky rice).

or

Poached Sablefish Cá Kho Poached Sablefish, caramelized fish sauce, Vietnamese wing bean, opo squash, rice, lily blossom, tonkin jasmine, lotus chips, pickled papaya, salmon roe.

Dessert

Rau Câu (traditional gelatin dessert) with jasmine ice cream.

My Review

My guest and I ordered the Glass Dumplings and the Dragon Fruit Leaf Chicken Salad appetizer, the Chicken Fried Quail and Poached Sablefish, and the Rau Câu.

Of the two appetizers, I preferred the Dragon Fruit Leaf Chicken Salad.  It has lots of nice flavours and crunch.  Citrus and herbs, fresh vegetables, and crunchy jellyfish.  A super dish.  The Glass Dumplings were well made, but the dumpling is a bit too thick and chewy for me, and the fish sauce on the dumplings was a little too strong for me.  The herb and cabbage salad was very tasty and very similar to the flavours of the Chicken Salad.

Dragon Fruit Leaf Chicken Salad

Dragon Fruit Leaf Chicken Salad

 

Traditional glass dumplings

Traditional glass dumplings

For the entrees, both were quite good.  The Chicken Fried Quail had some cinnamon spice to the batter, and tasted similar to the Special Fried Chicken from Tropika Restaurant in Vancouver.  It did have a few too many different components though and could have been simplified a bit, such as dropping the pea puree, or the ramen bowl with scallop.  The Sablefish was poached and nicely soft.  I was a bit worried that it came with a caramelized fish sauce, but the sauce was not fishy at all.  It did have very strong sweet, sour, and peppery flavours.  The presentation and vegetables were perfect support to the sablefish.

Chicken fried quail

Chicken fried quail

 

Poached sablefish

Poached sablefish

For both the appetizers and entrees, I sipped a glass of Jackson Triggs Pinot Gris. It was very full of stone fruit flavour and soft on the palate, and was a very complimentary wine to our food.

The dessert was Rau Câu (a traditional gelatin dessert) with jasmine ice cream.  The gelatin was a marbled white and brown colour, which when you tasted it, it reminds one of a Vietnamese coffee.  Nice strong coffee flavour.  The kumquat slices, mandarin orange segments, and strawberry were nice fresh notes in the dessert.  Enjoy.

Rau Câu dessert

Rau Câu dessert

Dine Out Vancouver Downtown Brunch Crawl Delivers Tastiness

This is my Dine Out Vancouver Brunch Crawl for this year.  The first Brunch Crawl was in Gastown and was very filling.  The second one I attended this weekend was in Downtown, more specifically the area east of Hornby, with Hastings to the north, and Yaletown to the south.  A bit of a hike to get to all of the venues, but needed in order to devour all the offered bites.  The venues we visited were:

  • Kingson Taphouse & Grill
  • Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House
  • Nourish Vancouver
  • The Copper Chimney
  • Bella Gelateria Yaletown
  • Small Victory Bread & Coffee
  • Shuraku Sake Bar and Bistro
  • Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar

This was the order that I tackled the venues, but anyone attending could visit them in any order, except for Kingston Taphouse & Grill which was the starting point, where you picked up your registration card.  Below are some pictures of the food I enjoyed at the Downtown Brunch Crawl and comments.  Enjoy.

There is one more Brunch Crawl you may want to attend, is on Commercial Drive on Sunday, Feb. 1.  Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl tickets are at this link.

Kingston Taphouse cornbeef hash, banger, and gravlax

Kingston Taphouse cornbeef hash, banger, and gravlax

Kingston Taphouse & Grill offered us corn beef hash, banger with confit cherry tomato and gravlax with dill & chive hollandaise on a buttermilk biscuit.  Of the three I liked the banger the most as it had some pepperiness to it, and I liked it with the acidity and sweetness of the tomato.

Trees Organic spinach and feta scone, raspberry white chocolate scone, and Peruvian coffee

Trees Organic spinach and feta scone, raspberry white chocolate scone, and Peruvian coffee

Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House freatured a savoury spinach & feta scone, a sweet raspberry white chocolate scone and a single origin, fair trade, organic coffee from Peru.  The two scones were nice and soft, melting in my mouth, but the savory scone did have a sugar coating on, which made it a bit odd tasting.  The raspberry one was fantastic. And the coffee was top quality.  A nice place for a weekend morning coffee and pastry.

The Juice Box cold pressed juices

The Juice Box cold pressed juices

Nourish Vancouver offered us three different items to enjoy.  The first as shown in this picture were two cold pressed juices.  The first was “Light Green”, which was a cucumber-based juice, with ginger and other ingredients.  It tasted healthy and refreshing, but even better to me was the Carrot Orange Ginger juice, which had a smooth texture, with a nice balance between the orange, carrot and ginger flavour.  I would go back for this juice.

Nourish Vancouver frittata in spelt wrap with leeks, kale, radish sprouts, and shitake mushrooms

Nourish Vancouver frittata in spelt wrap with leeks, kale, radish sprouts, and shitake mushrooms

Their breakfast sandwich was next, a frittata made with fresh eggs, filled with roasted leeks, kale and shitake mushrooms, served with a kale hazelnut pesto wrapped in a spelt flatbread.  It was also topped with radish sprouts.  Again, another tasty dish, meatless, that was packed with lots of healthy ingredients.  Great for a after gym workout (along with the juice).

Living Lotus chocolate ganache

Living Lotus chocolate ganache

The last sample from Nourish was a Dark Chocolate Ganache from one of their partners, Living Lotus.  Not much to say, other than you can’t go wrong with a Dark Chocolate Ganache.

The Copper Chimney butter chicken, basmati rice, and garlic naan bread

The Copper Chimney butter chicken, basmati rice, and garlic naan bread

The Copper Chimney was my favourite stop at the Downtown Brunch Crawl.  They served us their Butter Chicken served with Basmati rice, and garlic naan bread.  This was the best Butter Chicken that I can remember eating in a long while.  It was not overly peppery, and had a wonderful mix of sweet spices, like cinnamon and ginger.  I am definitely coming back here to have a full meal of Butter Chicken.  To this the Basmati rice was nice and fluffy, and the naan had a light garlic flavour, which was nice to dip in the Butter Chicken sauce.  Highly recommended.

Bella Gelateria Yaletown italian toast, Il Tricolore brunch pizza, and chocolate cookie

Bella Gelateria Yaletown italian toast, Il Tricolore brunch pizza, and chocolate cookie

Bella Gelateria Yaletown provided us with a plate containing an Italian Toast (similar to French toast, this one using an Italian Brioche, and topped with some pureed kiwi fruit), Il Tricolore Brunch pizza, made with roasted peppers and eggplant, scrambled organic free range egg and fior di latte, and last a Chocolate G Cookie with Tahitian vanilla gelato.  I quite enjoyed the Italian Toast.  The bread was quite dense and absorbed the flavours of the egg coating.  I also really liked the Tahitian vanilla gelato.  I do like good vanilla, and you could tell that this was made with real vanilla.

Small Victory bakery chocolate hazelnut croissant, almond and blueberry brioche, and a surprise

Small Victory bakery chocolate hazelnut croissant, almond and blueberry brioche, and a surprise

Small Victory Bread & Coffee By this time I think we were all getting quite full.  Some pastries and coffee to calm down the stomach for the home stretch was needed.  Small Victory is a very nice, upscale bakery and coffee shop.  Gleaming displays of assorted pastries danced in front of my eyes.  We were given a sample of three pastries: a chocolate hazelnut croissant, and almond and blueberry brioche, and a honey filo pastry (this one was a surprise, so I’m guessing on this one).  The chocolate hazelnut croissant was my favourite.  Nice and crispy, with a chocolate centre, and more chocolate on top together with the chopped hazelnuts.  A perfect pairing for my coffee.  Also very tasty was the almond and blueberry brioche.  Also recommended to visit.

Shuraku Sake bar and bistro California roll, bbq back rib, and seasonal green gomaae

Shuraku Sake bar and bistro California roll, bbq back rib, and seasonal green gomaae

Shuraku Sake Bar and Bistro I would say was my second favourite venue to visit for savoury samples.  They offered a California roll, Teriyaki bbq baby back rib, and a seasonal green gomaee made with broccoli and green bean.  The Teriyaki bbq baby back rib was amazingly tender, and fell off the bone.  The Teriyaki sauce was not overpowering or too sweet.  A nice glass of Sapporo beer would have been the perfect accompanyment.

Frankies chicken and waffles, Monsieur Andre sandwich, and a mimosa

Frankies chicken and waffles, Monsieur Andre sandwich, and a mimosa

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar was my last stop and they offered Chicken and Waffles, which I was looking forward to.  There was also a Monsieur Andre sandwich made with rye bread, filled with cheese, soprasetta and prosciutto, and topped with egg hollandaise.  There was something bitter to me with the sandwich, so was not my favourite, but the chicken and waffles was nice.

Well that is the roundup of tastes for this Brunch Crawl.  Stay tuned for my tweets and article on the Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl.  Thanks to Vancouver Foodster for organizing all the Brunch Crawls.  It is a lot of work.

Dine Out Vancouver Gastown Brunch Crawl Entices You

This is the second year that Dine Out Vancouver has offered brunch crawls through various neighbourhoods.  The crawls are organized by @vanfoodster, who offers similar Tasting Plates crawls through the rest of the year.  This weekend I was invited to attend the Gastown Brunch Crawl, which was a fantastic and very filling event!  The participating restaurants were:

  • Brioche Eatery Café
  • Milano Coffee
  • Salida 7
  • Jamaican Blue Cold Brew
  • Lily Mae’s Cafe
  • Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Pure Bread Bakery
  • Jules Bistro

A quick check through the Dine Out Vancouver listing I did not see these restaurants offering a separate dine out dinner or lunch menu, so the Brunch Crawls may be the only way to try out some of these places.  FYI, besides the Gastown Brunch Crawl, there is also Downtown, Kitsilano, Main Street, West End, and Commercial Drive.  Details on all the Brunch Crawls are here.

Below are a pictures I took during the Gastown Brunch Crawl with my astute comments.  Enjoy!

Velvet Cortado at Milano Coffee

Velvet Cortado at Milano Coffee

The Velvet Cortado is a small latte made at Milano’s Coffee, where they roast their own beans.  Very good.  We also had a lemon square from Lemon Square which had great bright lemon flavour, but was not overly sour. Good with coffee.

Jamaican Blue Cold Brew truck

Jamaican Blue Cold Brew truck

More coffee, this time from Jamaican Blue Cold Brew.  What makes this coffee different is that it is cold brewed, which I am told reduces acidity by 70%.  Good if you have acid reflux possibly plus would be better for your teeth.  Made with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans.  If you want, they will warm up the coffee for you after cold brewing.

Pure Bread Bakery variety of pastries

Pure Bread Bakery variety of pastries

If excellent baked goods is your thing, and you just picked up a cup of coffee, then Pure Bread Bakery is a great place to visit.  Yes we were allowed to sample all the pastries, sweet and savoury, that you see.  All were very tasty. Recommended.

Brioche Eatery Café assorted Italian pastas eggplant and ribs

Brioche Eatery Café with assorted Italian pastas, eggplant, and ribs

Brioche Eatery Café had assorted Italian pastas (a lobster ravioli!), eggplant, and succulent ribs.  Just a taste of each, but all very good, and very filling.

Jules Bistro Cassoulet salmon mini quiches and chocolate terrine

Jules Bistro Cassoulet, cured salmon in crossant, mini quiches, and chocolate terrine

Jules Bistro brought some French flavours to our Brunch Crawl. Cassoulet (a cassarole made with beans, chicken, and sausage), house cured salmon, mini quiches and chocolate terrine.  Cassoulet is one of my favourite dishes.  Comfort food.  Enjoy with a glass of pinot noir.  All their food was very good, and the chocolate terrine and dark and decadent.

Salida 7 bacalo croquette veggie tortilla sardine on bean puree toast and fennel salad

Salida 7 Bacalo croquette, veggie tortilla, sardine on bean puree toast, and fennel salad

Salida 7, a Spanish restaurant offered, Bacalo (cod) croquette, veggie tortilla, sardine on bean puree toast, and fennel salad.  The Bacalo croquette and veggie tortilla were my favourites.

LilyMae’s pulled pork grits beet carrot juice and French toast

LilyMae’s pulled pork grits beet carrot juice and French toast

LilyMae’s Cafe had us trying their pulled pork & cheese grits, beet carrot juice, and French toast.  The juice tasted very healthy, and was enjoyable to sip for a breakfast or brunch.  The pulled pork & cheese grits was rich and filling, and the French toast was cooked to perfection.

Rodneys Oyster House crab cake eggs benedict

Rodneys Oyster House crab cake eggs benedict

My last stop was Rodney’s Oyster House to try their crab cake eggs benedict.  The egg was poached nicely and the creaminess of the yolk helped make the crab cake a bit moister.

If these pictures entice you, please visit them, and if the Brunch Crawl attracts you, why not join one during Dine Out?

2015 Calgary International Beer Festival

Just in case you are one of my readers in Calgary, or are travelling to Calgary for May 1 or 2, and you like beer, this festival is for you.  Read on.

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Glass of beer

Glass of beer

Already rated as one of the 20 best beer festivals in the world, the 2015 edition of the Calgary International Beer Festival, presented by Sobeys Liquor, is expanding to over 250,000 sq ft on Stampede Park in the BMO Centre and Corral on May 1st and 2nd making it the biggest beer festival in Western Canada! Everyone will find a new favorite amongst the hundreds of local, national and international craft beers while being able to sample tasty food from over 40 of Calgary’s best restaurants, pubs and eateries. Alberta Beer Festivals (ABF) has a mandate to not only promote & celebrate the craft beer industry, we also believe it is important to be environmental conscious and strong members of the community. If you require further event information, a media kit, tickets for contests or yourself please do not hesitate to contact us. What to Expect This year the festival will take up all five halls of Calgary’s BMO Centre and the Corral, boasting over 250,000 square feet of beer! On top of the great beer selection, some of Calgary’s best eateries will be featuring their food at the Calgary International Beer Festival.

There will be special seminar stages where people can sample food and learn about some unique breweries and beer made right here in Alberta! We have local bands taking part in the festivities to keep up your spirits, and keep the atmosphere lively. It’s good to be a VIP! These tickets get you early access to the festival via a separate entrance, free swag, great door prizes and free access to seminars. On top of that, many breweries will be bringing special cask beers to the event and Beer Geeks get first crack at these beers all for six bucks more! As a way for people to enjoy a wider beer and food selection this is a sampling event!

Event Dates and Times Friday May 1st: VIP 3pm to 10pm – General Admission 4pm to 10pm Saturday, May 2nd: VIP 1pm to 9pm – General Admission 2pm to 9pm BMO Centre Halls A,B,C,D & E and the Corral at Stampede Park Alberta Beer Festivals – Brewing Beer Culture At Alberta Beer Festivals, we strive to educate our fellow Albertans on all things beer related! Part of what we do is promote craft beer created in our own back yard, in addition to creating a brew culture with positive experiences for everyone. Along with ABF`s charities of choice Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary (AAFS) and Kids Up Front we want to invite you to be a part of this year’s world renown Calgary International Beer Festival. For more information please visit www.albertabeerfestivals.com.