Restaurant Scene Report: Reviews & News You Can Use

Scout’s weekly distillation of everything that has happened in Vancouver’s restaurant scene…


The Georgia Straight

The Georgia Straight celebrated their 2009 Golden Plate Awards this week with several chefs and restaurateurs spilling the beans on what goes on behind the scenes in this industry we call restaurant. It was probably the best Golden Plates issue I’ve seen to date, though some of the results and categories still sucked goat. How could I ever possibly send a note of congratulations to Chambar for their 3rd place finish in the “Hottest Male Server” category? That’s Carolyn Ali, food and travel editor of the GS, introducing the issue on You Tube above. For the full results of the awards, click here.

The Westender

I ruined a brand new pair of Vans reviewing the Twisted Fork Bistro on Granville last week, and it was worth it. The week before I enjoyed bangers and Yorkshires as big as landmines at The Three Lions on Broadway, so I’ve been having fair luck (next week: The Alibi Room). Also in the WE, David Martin, chef at The Greedy Pig, gets profiled.

The Globe & Mail

Alexandra Gill sits down for a Steve Da Cruz libation at Gastropod. The guy is a wizard. Think Gandalf but beardless and 30. That’s a shot of him muddling at Gastropod’s 2nd birthday party this past winter.


The dear old CBC catches gangsters defacing and shooting up an Earls because of their involvement in the anti-douchebag “Bar Watch” public relations boondoggle. Says cop: “This incident speaks to the success of the Bar Watch program in removing undesirables from restaurants and bars.” So it’s a success if the bad guys shoot at the restaurant? Explain that to me, please.

The Vancouver Courier

Tim Pawsey pays a visit to the brand new Au Petit Chavignol on East Hastings. More on this brand new restaurant below. It looks to be a real goodie.

The National Post

Local restaurateur Emad Yacoub (owner of Italian Kitchen, Sanafir, Coast) comes clean in a basic Q&A: “I always tell all my staff, We’re in the entertainment business, not in the restaurant business.” So cheer up.

The Vancouver Sun

Mia Stainsby visits Market in the Shangri-La hotel (again).

Restaurant PR

The following releases are pooled from our list of Recommended Restaurants

From Lumiere…

From Bishop’s…

(Vancouver, BC) — On Tuesday, March 31st at 6:30 p.m. Bishop’s and La Parran Wines and Spirits will host a very special dinner to feature wines from three French wineries: Bastide du Claux (Luberon), Domaine Challias (Rhone) and Domaine Le Grand Vallat (Provence). Special guest for the evening is Marc Valentini, winemaker from Le Grand Vallat.

“As none of the six wines being poured are currently available in B.C., we wanted to capitalize on the fact that M. Valentini was coming to Vancouver for the International Wine Festival, and use the opportunity to showcase his wines with our wonderful local ingredients,” comments John Bishop. “It’s a unique opportunity for our residents to taste some extraordinary wine.”

The six wines being poured are:

Bastide de Claux

AOC Cotes de Luberon Malacare 2006 | (40% Grenache, 30% Carnigan, 30% Syrah), 89 points from Robert Parker. Bastide du Claux is an organically farmed vineyard whose vines range in age from 18 to 75 years.

Domaine Challais

2005 Cotes du Rhone Villages
Vin de Pays d’Uchet d’Uzes Viognier 2006

Domaine Le Grand Vallat (certified organic in 2007)

Le Grand Vallat Viognier 2006/2007Le Grand Vallat Le Domaine Cotes du Ventoux 2004 | 50% Grenache from 29-year old vines, 50% young Syrah.
Le Grand Vallat Gaia Cotes du Ventoux 2004 | 80% Grenache from 80-year old vines, 20% Syrah, 89 points from Robert Parker.

The wines were specifically chosen to complement Chef Andrea Carlson’s four-course menu featuring Duck Confit and Potato Gnocchi, Roasted Lamb Loin, Bison Tenderloin and ending with sampling of Natural Cheeses from Farm House Cheese in Agassiz.

The dinner with wine pairings is priced at $85 per person including tax and gratuity. As seating is limited, reservations are a must and can be made either by calling the restaurant at 604-738-2025 or on-line at

From The Flying Tiger…

On Sunday March 29, The Flying Tiger and Blasted Church Vineyards will present The Flying Tiger’s first-ever winemaker’s dinner. Chef Tina Fineza will prepare a special five-course dinner, which will be paired with four Blasted Church wines.

The Menu

Salt Spring Island Mussels, Panang Curry, Thai Basil & Sweet Red Peppers (Oceanwise) | Blasted Church Gewurztraminer

BC Albacore Tuna Togarashi, Buckwheat Noodles, 3-Citrus Preserved Ginger & Seaweed Caviar (Oceanwise) | Blasted Church Hatfield’s Fuse

Braised Fraser Valley Organic Pork Belly “Filipino Humba Style” & Garlic Fried Rice | Blasted Church Pinot Noir

Organic Yarrow Meadows Pulled Duck Confit, Sesame Crepes, Vietnamese Coriander, Jicama & Chayote Squash | Blasted Church Revered Series Malbec-Syrah

Steamed Cassava Cake, Toasted Coconut, Fresh Jackfruit & Pineapple

Blasted Church owner Evelyn Campbell and winemaker Richard Kanazawa, along with Flying Tiger owner James Iranzad and Chef Tina Fineza, will present each course and discuss each pairing.

The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $79 (not including tax and gratuity) and may be reserved by calling the restaurant at 604-737-7529. A limited number of 40 seats are available.

From Raincity Grill…

Vancouver, BC… Since 1992, Raincity Grill has been celebrating all things Vancouver, supporting local producers in the area and building relationships within our community. Taking it one step further, Raincity Grill is doing more than simply bringing the ingredient from farm to table; they are bringing the producer as well. On Monday, March 30th, Raincity Grill will host the first in a series of producers dinners, a steal of a deal at $55, or for the designated driver in your group $40 without wines. Aptly named Market Mondays, these dinners will be held the last Monday of every month and will highlight some of the farmers, growers and fishermen that Raincity Grill works so closely with.

This month’s dinner, themed ‘Vancouver Coastal’ and happening on March 30th at 6:30pm, will feature a menu of seafood from Organic Oceans paired with wines from Vancouver Island’s Venturi Schulze. (see menu below). During the four-course dinner highlighting their products, Steve Johansen of Organic Oceans and Lindsay Ferguson of Venturi Schulze will present each course, providing an informative yet informal dining opportunity. For more information or to make your reservations, please contact Raincity Grill at 604-685-7337 or visit

Restaurant News Redux (in case you missed anything)


L’Altro Buca, a casual Italian doppleganger of La Buca, opened in the former Parkside location in the West End tonight. A few new frames are up and there are some brand motifs here and there, but Parkside lovers will readily recognise the room they used to adore. I went by today on my way back from the beach with my sons, just an hour before owners Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach sat their first table for their first service. Here are some shots…

Au Petit Chavignol, a new wine, cheese, and charcuterie bar from the fine folks at Les Amis du Fromage, has opened on East Hastings. See our first look shots below:

Learn more about the restaurant here, including a video of Au Petit while it was under construction.


Yaletown’s Plan B Lounge & Eatery is closing its doors on Saturday, March 28th. There is no fire sale, as they aim to sub-lease to someone who will take over with presumably a rebrand/rethink and a quick turnaround… READ ORIGINAL POST

As noted on Tablespotting this morning, Pinkys has closed in Yaletown, and I doubt it was on account of their inability to use an apostrophe correctly. The steakhouse landed in the forsaken LK Dining Lounge location to mixed reviews… READ ORIGINAL POST

Soma is closing down at the end of March. Area residents and serial restaurant watchers will remember it moved in June 2007 from its Main Street location to an old house (circa 1892) two blocks north and just a few steps in on East 8th Ave… READ ORIGINAL POST

Opening Soon

will be going into the old Soma location (see previous post) will be called 8½, after Frederico Fellini’s famous 1962 film of the same name. They take possession on April 1st, and hope to do a quick turnaround reno, opening just two weeks later…” READ ORIGINAL POST


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