Garden Parties at Hart House Restaurant this Summer 2013

hart house restaurant logo

hart house restaurant

There’s no better way to spend a summer evening than enjoying fine food and wine in the open air.  Hart House’s annual garden parties are the perfect fusion of regional cuisine, enchanting wines, and beautiful natural surroundings.  Each evening starts with a tasting of wines from the featured region; guests may purchase a bottle or two from the special selection to pair with dinner.  The al fresco dinner is served on the estate lawn overlooking Deer Lake, and is accompanied by live music, making the evening a true feast for the senses.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 – Lobster Fest

Our Lobster Fest features fresh Nova Scotia lobster paired with spirited maritime music.  Celebrate the start of summer with us. $62 per person, plus taxes and gratuity

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – Italy al Fresco

Italy’s passion for food and wine is legendary.  Guests will enjoy savoury Mediterranean cuisine paired with top-quality wines from Italy.  Traditional Italian music will set the mood. $56 per person, plus taxes and gratuity

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – Evening in Provence

Celebrate France’s contributions to world cuisine at this evening featuring the coastal Provence region. Romantic French ballads will provide a tuneful counterpoint. $56 per person, plus taxes and gratuity

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 – Spanish Fiesta

Modern Spanish cuisine is a fusion of Old and New world influences.  The menu for our Spanish Fiesta will feature seafood and Spanish-inspired dishes paired with excellent wines and flamenco music. $56 per person, plus taxes and gratuity

Reservations are available by phone only at 604-298-4278.
Hart House at Deer Lake
6664 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby

About Hart House Restaurant:  

Open since 1988, Hart House at Deer Lake makes an unforgettable impression on guests with its elegant heritage house setting and outstanding Pacific Northwest cuisine.  The 13-acre estate includes a mock-Tudor mansion with tastefully appointed dining room, private function rooms, and heated patio; immaculate lawns and gardens; and a Lakeside Cottage.  Always a favourite for outdoor weddings, Hart House also hosts business lunches and conferences of all sizes, as well as intimate dinners and celebrations.  Our menu changes with the seasons to take advantage of the freshest local ingredients, including herbs from our own on-site herb garden.  Whatever your menu selection, our attentive staff are always happy to recommend wine pairings from our award-winning cellar.

Gastown Food and Culture Tour – Be a Tourist in Your Own City

Gassy Jack our tour guide

People I think tended to get a bit jaded about where they live.  One way around it I found is to pretend you are a tourist and do touristy things.  It is amazing how you find out about new restaurants, or visit sites that you may have gone to so many years ago.  This was my mindset when I was invited to attend the “Gastown food & culture tour” by Taste Vancouver Food Tours earlier this week.  The tour costs $39, but I attended for free.

It was a lovely sunny day.  Besides me there was our tour guide, “Gassy Jack”, as well as a couple and a family from Ontario for this experience. We started at the Starbucks in front of the Pan Pacific Hotel downtown, visiting 9 restaurants/cafes, and 1 clothing store.  Between these stops Gassy Jack would tell us information about a particular old building, and it’s significance to Gastown, or some historical fact about Gastown.  It kept the walk interesting.

Which Places Did We Visit?

Our stops in order were:

  1. Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar
  2. Steamworks
  3. Rogers Chocolates
  4. Canadian Maple Delights
  5. Brioche Urban Baking and Catering
  6. Trees Organic Coffee and Roasting House
  7. Water St. Cafe
  8. John Fluevog
  9. Peckinpah BBQ
  10. Gastown Tea Company

Lobster Mac n Cheese from Rogue

The tour kicked off with a fruit drink and slice of muffin at the Starbucks, followed by Gassy Jack introducing us to a brief history of Gastown.  First official stop was the Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar where we enjoyed a serving of Atlantic Lobster in a Four Cheese Mac n Cheese.  Very tasty.  There was actual pieces of lobster in the dish.

Onward we trekked to Steamworks, a place that I visited many times. Down the winding staircase we descended, and sat next to the large copper tanks where the beer micro-brewing takes place.  Our beer was a ginger beer, made with real ginger root.  It was a light pale ale in colour and the ginger was not overpowering.  There were 2 children in tow, and they had soft drinks, so don’t worry if you are bringing your children along.

Rogers Chocolates was next, were we tasted a chocolate covered caramel topped with sea salt.  A bit chewy.  It would have been nice to have something to wash it down with.

Canadian Maple Delights is another sweet stop along the way.  Maple syrup tea, two types of maple syrup, maple syrup covered popcorn, and some maple flavoured ice creams were all available to sample.  I did like the tea and the popcorn.  The children I think in particular liked the ice cream.

3 Cheese Tortellini in Sicilian Salsiccia Sauce from Brioche

Brioche Urban Baking and Catering was one of my favourite stops.  While I thought we would be enjoying some baked goods, I was surprised that besides some home baked bread, drizzled with olive oil, we were also served Sicilian pasta, in particular Three Cheese Tortellini in a Sicilian Salsiccia Sauce.  The sauce was light and bright.  I would go here again to try a full plate of this pasta.

My next surprise was Trees Organic Coffee and Roasting House.  With this name, I was expecting to have some sort of coffee drink.  Instead we were treated to a slice of lemon cheesecake.  Their cheesecakes have been voted as #1 in Vancouver.  It was quite dense and had a genuine lemon flavour.  Another place that I would visit again.

Water St. Cafe was our classiest spot on the tour.  I like this restaurant.  Try it out during Dine Out Vancouver.  We were led to the upstairs seating in the restaurant.  I had never been upstairs and did not know there was private seating.  We were treated to a crab cake with kernel corn.  I liked it, but it was very small.  It would have been nice to have a bit more.  While we waited for our crab cake we were told a few stories about the Cafe.  One was that the Cafe is haunted.  I won’t tell you the whole story.  You have to attend the tour.  The other tidbit was that the Twilight cast had a post movie production party there.  So maybe I was sitting in the same chair as Bella or Jacob!

John Fluevog was our clothing store stop.  J.F. is a designer shoe store, started here in Vancouver.  Wear the shoes that Lady Gaga and Madonna wear!

Pulled pork with Carolina vinegar sauce from Peckinpah

Peckinpah BBQ was my other favourite spot on this tour.  They serve Carolina style BBQ.  What’s the difference with other BBQ?  It’s it sauce.  Instead of a thick tomato based sauce, the Carolina style sauce is vinegar based with chilies added. This sauce was served with pulled pork.  I like to judge a BBQ spot on their pulled pork.  I enjoyed it.  The vinegar sauce was not too spicy.  But I need to come back to try a bigger serving of their pulled pork.

Our last stop was the Gastown Tea Company, where we were served tea! and a chocolate cookie.   The tea was called Green Mystique and was served on ice.  They have a wide range of teas that are in sample cans that you can open and sniff before deciding what type of tea you would like to enjoy.  There are white, green, and black teas.  There was one that I really liked the aroma called A Night in Paris.  I would have liked to try this tea.

There is a wrap up afterward at the Gassy Jack statue.  Overall the 2 hours passed by very fast, I learned a bit about Gastown, and a few new restaurants to try. Enjoy!

Dragon Feast of the Century Luncheon at the CCFCC 2011

Today the Rainflower Restaurant in Richmond, BC was the site of the Canadian Culinary Federation Culinaire Canadienne Chef’s Conference luncheon, “Dragon Feast of the Century“. We were taken through 5 appetizers a savory seafood dish and a dessert. No wine was served, but maybe I can suggest some wines that could have went with these dishes.

Dragon Feast of the Century Menu

  • Drunken Squab Breast and Arctic Char Nanjing Style
  • Dungeness Crab & Lobster in Jade Purse
  • Braised Fraser Valley Duck Breast, Empress Style
  • Tenderloin Teaser in Filigree Cup
  • Yin Yang Steamed Eggplant
  • Seafood Siu Bang
  • Longevity Date Cake

My favorites of the luncheon were the:

  • Braised Fraser Valley Duck Breast, Empress Style
  • Tenderloin Teaser in Filigree Cup
  • Yin Yang Steamed Eggplant
  • Seafood Siu Bang

The Fraser Valley Duck Breast was served cold on a piece of deep fried tofu.  A mixture of enoki and other mushrooms accompanied the duck breast. The duck breast was very full flavoured and the mushrooms had an earthiness.  I would serve this with a slightly chilled pinot noir.

The Tenderloin Teaser in Filigree Cup consisted of small pieces of tender beef along with chopped bell peppers and slices of asparagus. A very nice dark sauce with a bit of pepperiness on the finish. I would like to have this beef with an Okanagan Valley or WA State Merlot.

The Yin Yang Steamed Eggplant was quite surprising with a burst of flavour on your palate.  The eggplant was sweet and smooth with a dark soy flavour and green onion bright notes. This could be my overall favorite dish of the luncheon. Pair this with a juicy tempranillo.

The Seafood Siu Bang was a mixture of seafood wrapped inside a pastry, topped with sesame seeds and baked. Quite delicate with the light flavours of the seafood and the flakiness of the pastry. An unwooded chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc could work here.

We also had a live demonstration of noodle making by hand.  A master chef from Hong Kong came to this event and demonstrated his noodle making technique.  Here is a video I recorded of the noodle making process.  It is quite interesting. I hope you have a chance to go to one of the CCFCC events. Enjoy.