The West Coast Culinary Experience

A press release about a very interesting tasting of BC wines and enjoying culinary dishes prepared at PICA on Granville Island.  Enjoy now till Oct 13, 2019.

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PICA (Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts) highlights BC’s best in new culinary activity

Vancouver, May 9, 2019 – The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is excited to announce the debut of The West Coast Culinary Experience; an immersive exploration of British Columbia’s vibrant culinary landscape.
From the ocean to the mountains and Okanagan Valley, British Columbia boasts a rich and diverse terroir that produces a vast selection of regional ingredients. The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) will be highlighting the many flavours of the West Coast in their new culinary activity, The West Coast Culinary Experience is available for bookings now until October 13.
Located at the gateway to Granville Island, one of Canada’s most visited neighbourhoods and home to the iconic Granville Island Public Market, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is Vancouver’s leading culinary education center with classes for everyone from aspiring professionals and home chefs alike.
The West Coast Culinary Experience is a deep dive into the flavours of British Columbia and begins with a walking tour of Granville Island. The walking tour weaves through the bustling public market where guests will work up an appetite as they take in the many local artisans and food purveyors from butchers and chocolatiers to bakers and baristas. Tour guides are globally trained chefs, certified sommeliers, food writers, and food experts from PICA, who will answer questions and provide cooking tips, while they point out historical details and reveal hidden, cultural landmarks.
A sommelier-led wine tasting follows the walking tour and features four exceptional BC wines: Mission Hill, Quails Gate, Blue Mountain, and Hester Creek. Guests will experience the province’s different wine regions while learning about grape varieties and what’s new in winemaking during this interactive tasting session.
With thirsts quenched and appetites peaked, up next is a cooking demonstration and tasting. The instructing chef will share best practice for selecting the freshest fish and seafood and demonstrate various cooking techniques. This may include an exploration of traditional recipes from West Coast aboriginal nations or how to clean, filet, and debone a whole salmon. Guests will leave with a better understanding of local seafood and insights on current flavours and cooking styles.
three-course meal at PICA’s Blue Hat Bistro concludes the West Coast Culinary Experience. Guests will have two or three dishes to choose from for each course including vegetarian options.
The West Coast Culinary Experience is an interactive and immersive journey through the traditions, history, and trends of British Columbia’s cuisine. Guests will see, taste, and learn what makes the Vancouver and British Columbia world-class culinary destinations.
The West Coast Culinary Experience is available for booking seven days a week from May 1 until October 13. Tours begin at either 10:00 AM or 3:00 and last approximately 3 hours. Each tour can accommodate up to 16 guests and costs $167 per person before tax. For more information or booking, please call: 604.734.4488 or email: wcce@picachef.com or via eventbrite.

Have You Tried Improv Mondays with Michelle: Fake Stories, Real Improvisers?

We all need to laugh.; to take the edge off our day; from work, family, friends, scratches on your new car, the ketchup stain on your new shirt or blouse.  Why not laugh with the Vancouver Theatre Sports League?  They have an upcoming series called “Improv Mondays with Michelle“.  Give it a try!  Here is some info about this new improv show.  Enjoy!
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Improv Mondays

Improv Mondays

You’ve fallen in love with her on YouTube and now the indomitable Michelle Gidard (played by VTS ensemble member Angela Galanopoulos) is coming to the live stage. Starting Monday, May 6th  Vancouver TheatreSports will present Improv Mondays with Michelle – Fake Stories, Real Improvisers hosted by the character Michelle from the popular web comedic soap opera Michelle’s.

The original web series, created by Galanopoulos and fellow VTS ensemble member Andrew Barber, is set in the mythical restaurant Michelle’s in Hope. The VTS show diverges from the original concept as each performance is not necessarily set in Hope – the locations and contents of each story will vary dependent on audience input. What will be consistent is that all will be over-the-top funny with the larger-than-life Michelle in charge. The first half of the show consists of short-form scenarios and the second half of the show will be a mini soap opera – all based on audience contributions. Each scene’s comedic melodrama will be enhanced by live musical underscoring by pianist Matt Grinke.

To see ticket prices and show length for all our shows, click here.

NOTE: This show is suitable for children aged 8 and over. We cannot accommodate younger children, toddlers or infants. Any show may contain mature content and language, parental discretion is advised.

Pick Your Poison This Spooktober at Vancouver Theatre Sports

If you like to laugh and enjoy a drink why not try a Vancouver Theatre Sports show this October?  Their press release is below.

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‘Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.’ Shakespeare’s three witches aren’t the only people who know how to brew a mean concoction.
 
This month is Spooktober at Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTS), and the company is presenting a ‘fangtastic’ foursome of appropriately spooky improv shows. As a ‘bone-anza’ for patrons, VTS Bar Manager, Paul Belsito has crafted three ‘boos-y’ Creepy Cocktails – potions and poisons in keeping with the ‘spirit’ of the event.  

  • Bloody Caesar – a Canadian classic, blood-red Clamato juice, vodka, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce garnished with olives and a lime wedge $8.75
  • Killer Kool Aid – perfect to accompany feature show Cult Fiction; will you be the first to ‘drink the Kool-Aid?’ – concocted from vodka, Amaretto, melon liqueur and cranberry juice $8.75
  • Witch’s Brew – a beer-based draught with Paul’s secret ingredients; eye of newt or toe of frog anyone? $6.75

The Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge will also be offering its regular menu of wines, spirits and beer.

Get a group of ‘f(r)iends’ together and make a ‘zombie-line’ down to the Improv Centre. Treat yourself to a hilarious evening of meet, drink and be scary.

Creepy Cocktails are only available during the run of VTSSpooktober from October 9 through 31, 2018 at The Improv Centre on Granville Island. Show information and tickets for all VTS shows can be found at vtsl.com

About VTS’ Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge
Tucked away at the back of Vancouver TheatreSports™ home theatre –  The Improv Centre on Granville Island (1502 Duranleau Street), the fully-licenced Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge is a convenient place for theatre patrons to meet for pre or post-show drinks. Patrons can also take their beverages into the theatre with them to enjoy during the performance.  The Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge is open for theatre patrons Tuesday through Sunday evenings from 6:30 p.m. More information on Vancouver TheatreSports™, The Improv Centre and the Neil Macrae Bar and Lounge visit www.vtsl.com  Vancouver TheatreSports™ appreciates the support of its season sponsors: City of Vancouver, CMHC Granville Island, The Georgia Straight and The Granville Island Hotel.

FLAMENCO, TANGO AND WINE at Granville Island – Get Your Tickets

Do you love latin dance?  And wine from Argentina?  Here is an event for you.  Enjoy.

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Carnival del Sol

Day: Thursday, July 5th, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Venue: Performance Works – Granville Island

 

The sights, sounds, and sips of Latin America come to Vancouver for one night only with Flamenco, Tango & Wine in One Night, a celebration of Argentinian wine and award-winning entertainment presented by Latincouver in collaboration with Flamenco Rosario. Join The dancers from Vancouver’s Flamenco Rosario and Argentine Tango Lab for an authentic taste of flamenco and tango in an intimate setting, while indulging in a flight of Argentinian wines curated by an on-site sommelier.

Flamenco Rosario
Gabriel Monti (Tango)
Gabriela Rojo’s BC Tango
Mozaiko (Flamenco)
Calle Verde (Flamenco)

Tickets: 30$ in advance or 35$ at the door // 25$ group tickets 15+

Ticket price includes a Wine Tasting of the following wines:

Wines from Argentina

Wines from Argentina

 

Buy tickets at this link.
More info here.

Murder on the Improv Express: Get Your Tickets!

If you have never attended an improv show you should.  It is so much fun as the audience helps to guide what the comedians do on stage.  No two shows are ever the same.  This improv is put on by the Vancouver Theatre Sports League on Granville Island.  The shows start April 12 and finish on May 26.

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Murder on the Improv ExpressPicture this – a luxury train trapped in the Canadian Rockies with a passenger list that includes a prominent socialite, a retired military officer and a famous detective, and oh yes, there’s a corpse. What you have are the makings of a classic murder mystery. Welcome to Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy.

As in countless whodunnits, this one is set in the 1930’s and involves many of the set characters and scenarios you’d expect to find. However, what isn’t known is who is the victim, who is the killer and how the dastardly deed was done. These are just some of the things that will be established by audience suggestions during the course of the show. What is known is that audience members will die laughing at all the improbable plot twists and turns.

Show information and tickets can be found at vtsl.com

Killer Cocktails!

In homage to the great cocktails of the period, Vancouver TheatreSports’ Bar Manager, Paul Belsito has created two ‘Killer Cocktails’ to complement Murder on the Improv Express. Both are priced at $8.75 for a single and $12.75 for a double:

  •  Corpse Reviver: Based on a classic 1930’s hangover cure, it’ll bring you back to life – Gin, lemon-lime juice and a splash of soda.
  •  Prohibition Pleaser: People couldn’t drink before 1933 … but they found a way. This one looks and tastes like it’s alcohol-free – it is anything but – Glayva Liqueur, Amaretto, and cranberry juice.

Another favourite libation of the era (of any era really) was champagne. No self-respecting barman would be ‘caught dead’ without a good supply of bubbly – after all you never knew when a train might be delayed, or stuck in an avalanche. The Club Car could not afford to be caught short. Similarly, The Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge will also be featuring piccolo-sized bottles of Henkell Rose bubbly at $9.75 in addition to its regular menu of wines, spirits and beer.

Killer Cocktails are only available during the run of VTSL’s Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy from April 12 through May 26, 2018 at Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge in The Improv Centre on Granville Island.

Holiday Spirits Abound at Neil Macrae Lounge

Vancouver TheatreSports Christmas Queen 2(Vancouver, BC) – The holiday season is a time of indulgence with all the cookies, mince tarts and candy canes not to mention egg nog and mulled wine.

Paul Belsito, manager of the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at Vancouver TheatreSports’™ The Improv Centre, has been getting into the festive spirits a little early this year. He’s been designing special cocktails to complement VTSL’s upcoming show Christmas Queen 2 – You Better Watch Out which opens with previews starting November 25th and runs through December 20th. This year’s edition of the Christmas Queen saga finds our favourite blue-haired ‘Dame’ dropping in on Santa and his elves at the North Pole Workshop.

“I’ve tried to theme the drinks to represent some of the show’s key characters,” says Belsito. “I think I’ve created ones that are in the ‘spirit’ of the show – fun and a little naughty.”

Ice Queen (blue): Melon Liqueur, Blue Curacao, Lemon/Lime Juice with a splash of soda water

Santa’s Little Helper (red): Fireball, Ginger Ale, Cranberry Juice

Tipsy Elf (green): Crème de Menthe, Amaretto, Lemon Juice

Value-priced at $8 (Scrooge would approve), and jewel-toned as a string of Christmas lights, VTSL’s holiday cocktails are available only through the run of Christmas Queen 2. Paul’s cocktails are sure to delight even the sourest Grinch.

Join us for a little holiday cheer and festive spirits Wednesday through Sunday evenings from 6:30 p.m., November 25 through December 20 in the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at Vancouver TheatreSports’ The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street on Granville Island. The fully-licenced Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge is a convenient place for theatre patrons to meet for pre or post-show drinks. Patrons can also take their beverages into the theatre with them to enjoy during the performance.

Vancouver TheatreSports™ appreciates the support of its season sponsors: City of Vancouver, CMHC Granville Island, The Georgia Straight and The Granville Island Hotel.

Palate Promenade

A Few Notes from Palate Promenade: Granville Island Discoveries

As part of Dine Out Vancouver, Vancouver Foodster presented the “Palate Promenade: Granville Island Discoveries“.  Did you know that there is now a distillery on Granville Island or an artisan sake maker?  I did not, but glad I attended this event and found you, and now you know too.  Below are a few brief notes of my experiences.   Enjoy!

Dockside Lounge

Our starting point of the event.  Dockside poured us each a glass of Marina Light Lager and paired it with some pan-fried squid with chili and scallions.  The squid was cooked to perfection, soft and not too chewy, and the chili gave a subtle amount of spice.  To this we had lime wedges to add some citrus to the squid, and I also used it with the lager, enhancing both.  The Marina Light Lager is light bodied, not too much hops.  Not too challenging to drink, but tastes more refreshing with a squirt of lime.

Web:  http://www.docksidevancouver.com/

Marina Light Lager and chili squid from Dockside Lounge

Marina Light Lager and chili squid from Dockside Lounge

Artisan Sake Maker

One of my surprise stops, I have not had sake for a long time.  This one, a Junmai Nama-zake (sake), was served slightly chilled, in an ISO wine tasting glass.  It has a nice light citrus and yeast aroma.  Light body with cantaloupe and peach flavours.  Low acidity, soft in the mouth.  Finishes with a light acidic prickle.  If you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, you will like this sake. I was surprised to find out that the rice for this sake comes from Abbotsford, BC.

Another related surprise was the SakeKasu rice cream and rice bran cookie.  The ice cream is made from the lees that remain after the fermented rice mash has been pressed during the sake making process.  It had a sort of nutty or roasted grain flavour to it.  Very enjoyable.  With the rice cream, we had a rice bran cookie, with the bran coming as a byproduct of the rice milling process.  I recommend visiting Artisan Sake Maker.

Web:  http://artisansakemaker.com/

Junmai sake from Artisan Sake Maker

Junmai Nama-zake (sake) from Artisan Sake Maker

SakeKasu rice cream from Artisan Sake Maker

SakeKasu rice cream from Artisan Sake Maker

Liberty Distillery

Truth Vodka from Liberty Distillery

Truth Vodka from Liberty Distillery

Another first for me is this distillery on Granville Island, producing both triple distilled vodka and whisky.  The whisky is a work in progress as the distillery must age the whisky in barrels for 3 years before selling it, but the vodka is currently available for consumption.  One of the owners, Lisa, lead us through a brief tour of the distillery and told us about the fermentation and distillation process for both the vodka and whisky.  Organic wheat is used for the whisky and organic barley for the vodka; both coming from BC.

Web:  http://thelibertydistillery.com/

Still apparatus from Liberty Distillery

Still apparatus from Liberty Distillery

Granville Island Brewing

Is pulled pork poutine and beer a perfect pairing?  Yes.  At Granville Island Brewing, they let us sample three of their beers:

  • Island Lager
  • Robson Street Hefeweizen
  • Auld Skool Scottish Ale

For my tastes, I am a full-bodied beer lover, so the Scottish Ale was my favourite.  I enjoyed the roasted malt and coffee flavours.  Some of my friends on the tour enjoyed the Hefeweizen, slightly off-dry with some banana and orange flavours. Again the lager, although good, with light hop flavour, is a bit too light for me.

Web: http://gib.ca/

Granville Island Brewing pulled pork poutine and Lager Hefeweizen and Scottish Ale

Granville Island Brewing pulled pork poutine and Lager, Hefeweizen, and Scottish Ale

Liberty Wine Merchants

Liberty Wine Merchants has several stores in the Vancouver lower mainland.  The Granville Island store, is their newest location, opening about 2 years ago.  I like to stop here for wine, when I’m shopping at the market.  We sampled 2 wines from the BC winery Nichol Vineyard. Their 9 Mile White 2011 is a blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer.  The Gewurztraminer added some lychee, while the Riesling added some citrus and a round mouthfeel.  I think this is a pretty versatile wine to enjoy with cheese or seafood dishes.  The Syrah 2011 had nice aromas and flavours of violets and red fruits.  A well structured wine to pair with some grilled lamb chops or sausages.

Web: http://libertywinemerchants.com/pages/about-us.php

Nichol red and white wines at Liberty Wine Merchants

Nichol red and white wines at Liberty Wine Merchants

Oyama Sausage

Oyama Sausage is my go-to place for terrines and pate.  Today we had a sample of their saucisson sec (dry sausage) and their country pate.  The sausage was very nice.  It was not overly fatty and has peppercorns to add some spice and flavour.  The pate was also very good, with a higher fat content, just melted in your mouth.  Quality food products.

Web:  http://www.oyamasausage.ca/

Saucisson sec, country pate, and a cornichon from Oyama Sausage

Saucisson sec, country pate, and a cornichon from Oyama Sausage

Jackson’s Poultry

If you are looking for lower fat alternative meats, there is Jackson’s Poultry serving up chicken and turkey (maybe duck too?). They served us a Turkey finnochio sausage and hot buffalo chicken wings.  I in particular liked the sausage.

Web:  http://www.jacksonspoultrycompany.com/

Turkey finnochio sausage and hot buffalo chicken wings

Turkey finnochio sausage and hot buffalo chicken wings

A Bread Affair

Chevre with pistachio and chive and a pecan cranberry spread on baguette slices were served to us at A Bread Affair.  The bread is made right there, with fresh products constantly being brought out.  How can you go wrong with freshly baked bread, and chevre spreads?

Web:  http://www.abreadaffair.com/

Chevre with pistachio and chive and a pecan cranberry spread on baguette slices

Chevre with pistachio and chive and a pecan cranberry spread on baguette slices

ChocolaTas

For those of you with a sweet tooth, there is ChocolaTas in the Market, making beautiful looking (and tasting) chocolates.  We were given three to sample:

  • lavender – Mild lavender flavour, smooth dark chocolate. Not bitter.  Very nice.
  • Salted Caramel – Lightly salted, soft caramel. Not sticky.
  • 67% Chocolate Ganache – quality dark chocolate. Again not too sweet, or bitter. Just right.

I prefered the lavender and the Chocolate Ganache, being a dark chocolate lover.

Web:  http://chocolatas.com/

Lavendar, salted caramel, and 67 percent chocolate ganache

Lavender, salted caramel, and 67 percent chocolate ganache

 

 

There was also Agro Cafe on the tour, but I ran out of time.  They offer a range of coffees and dishes, such as shepard’s pie, mac & cheese and pesto pasta salad.  Thank you to Richard Wolak, aka @vanfoodster, for the invitation to this event.

Palate Promenade

Palate Promenade: Granville Island Discoveries on February 1

Palate PromenadeEver wish you could go to Granville Island and just eat everything?!

Presented by Vancouver Foodster and Granville Island, this new event in the Dine Out Fest will allow you to do just that, well almost. Visit over 11 Island merchants including restaurants, breweries, Canada’s only Sake winery, the only BC Craft Distillery handcrafting spirits from 100% BC organic grains, butchers, bakers and more.

Following your “passport” as your guide, you will enjoy dishes, bites, sips and samples as well as have a chance to meet the chefs, tour breweries, a sake winery, a distillery and discover more around the island.

Registration: Granville Island Hotel -this is where you will show us your tickets and will pick up your Dining Passport Map Cards

Buy your tickets here.

Visit each of the participating restaurants and establishments at your leisure by walking, bike or moped.

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Participating merchants include some of the Granville Island’s best including:

Dockside Restaurant

1253 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @eatDockside
Web:  http://www.docksidevancouver.com/
Cuisine: Restaurant

Dockside Brewing Co.

1253 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @eatDockside
Web:  http://www.docksidevancouver.com/
Establishment: Brewery

 A Bread Affair

1680 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Twitter: @breadaffair
Web:  http://www.abreadaffair.com/
Establishment: Bakery

ChocolaTas

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @Chocolatas1 
Web:  http://chocolatas.com/
Establishment: Chocolatier

Granville Island Brewing 

1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
Twitter: @itsgoodtobehere
Web: http://gib.ca/
Establishment: Brewery

Jackons Poultry

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @JacksonsPoultry 
Web:  http://www.jacksonspoultrycompany.com/
Establishment: Butcher

Artisan Sake Maker

1339 Railspur Alley, Vancouver
Twitter: @ArtisanSake 
Web:  http://artisansakemaker.com/
Establishment: Sake Winery

Oyama Sausage

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @OyamaSausage
Web:  http://www.oyamasausage.ca/
Establishment: Butcher

Liberty Distillery

1494 Old Bridge St, Vancouver
Twitter: @TLDistillery
Web:  http://thelibertydistillery.com/

Establishment: Distillery

Liberty Wine Merchants

1660 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Twitter: @GILibertywine
Web: http://libertywinemerchants.com/pages/about-us.php

Establishment: Wine shop

Agro Cafe

1363 Railspur Alley, Vancouver
Twitter: @agrocafe 
Web: http://www.agrocafe.org
Establishment: Cafe

Rose Revival 2013 at Bridges Restaurant – Get Your Tickets

Rose revivalRose wine has been making a come back worldwide.  No more do you think of an off-dry white Zinfandel.  BC has many nice rose wines, as well as from around the world (France is big rose country).   Liberty Wine Merchants is hosting their 2013 Rose Revival, with proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.  Read the note below from Liberty, get your tickets and have fun with rose!

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ROSE REVIVAL 2013

Monday, May 6th 2013
Bridges Restaurant | Granville Island
7pm-9pm

Liberty Merchant Company & Bridges Restaurant proudly present the 5th Annual Rosé Revival Tasting. All proceeds benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (BC – Yukon). To date we have raised $11,971 for the Foundation.

Sensational Rosé wines along with delectable hors d’oeuvres, exciting door prizes and great company await you. Join us on Monday May 6th, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00pm at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island to celebrate pink wine and support pink ribbons.

Tickets are $29.99 and available at all Liberty Wine Merchants locations. For more information on this and future events, please visit http://www.libertywinemerchants.com.

March Feast Menu at Edible Canada

Edible Canada window

Edible Canada window

I first had a chance to eat at Edible Canada during Dine Out Vancouver, together with some fun friends.  The food and atmosphere was wonderful.  The restaurant is located in Granville Island.

I received this email from Edible Canada about their latest $30 seasonal feature menu.   I see a few things I would like to try like the BBQ Pork belly, and the roast ling cod with scrunchins! You have to be an east coaster, or a foodie, to know what scrunchins are 🙂  Maybe have a Gamay Noir with the pork belly and a Riesling with the roast ling cod.

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March 5, 2013. Vancouver, BC. Edible Canada is encouraging locals to come down to Granville Island for dinner this March to enjoy a seasonal feature menu. For only $30, diners can enjoy a four-course dinner, feast on local cuisine, plus take advantage of a 10% discount at our Retail Store.  With 25 Canadian wines either on tap or by the glass, your server can help you find the perfect pairing for each course.

MARCH FEAST MENU

March 6th – 31st

$30

Sunchoke Veloute with Garlic Chips

chorizo, maple crème fraîche, croutons

OR

Chef’s Winter Greens

diced apples, pumpkin seeds,

maple pecans & smoked cheddar

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Wild Barley Arancini

Okanagan apple butter, glazed beets,

Agassiz hazelnuts & alpindon cheese

OR

Albacore Tuna Club

pickled onion, crispy bacon, croutons

& spiced tuna aioli

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Newfie Fish and Brewis

roasted ling cod, crispy potato,

croutons, creamed kale,

Fiore pork scrunchins

OR

Sage & North Arm Farm Pumpkin Rotolo

Agassiz hazelnuts, Happy Days goat

cheese, brown butter vinaigrette

OR

Heritage Angus Steak Frites

8oz sous-vide flat iron steak, arugula,

chimichurri, red wine jus, duck fat frites

(Supplement $4)

 OR

Fiore Farms BBQ Pork Belly

Hazelmere Farms braised collards, grits,

crispy poached eggs & jus

(Supplement $4)

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 Granville Island Tea Company Chai Brûlée

fresh fruit

OR

 Pear & Raisin Cobbler

black pepper ice cream

Guests can easily reserve a table on our website here, or via phone at 604-682-6681. *Note that we are closed Sunday evenings until May