by Andrew Morrison | One of the best restaurants to open so far this year is Burdock & Co.. It took over the old Cafeteria space at 2702 Main Street at 11th just a few months ago. It’s owned by noted local food promoter and former Bishop’s chef Andrea Carlson and her partner, designer/architect Kevin Bismanis. It’s gotten great press to date and even been shortlisted for enRoute Magazine’s 2013 Best New Restaurants in Canada list. The room is small and the look is airy, woody, clean and a little subdued, but not the least bit sleepy. A homey feel is achieved by way of mismatched antique silverware, natural linen napkins, and a floor staff that engages without being overbearingly “on message”. They know the contents and nuance of every dish on the menu, and can talk at length (with no small amount of pride) about every facet of the restaurant. Permeating everything is a sense of comfort. Burdock & Co. makes one feel totally at ease. There are no luxurious trappings or “talking point” design motifs. It’s honest and endearing, refreshing and real.
I fell hard for the fried chicken and pickled vegetable plate with crispy skin and charred chili vinegar . The breading on the chicken sports great flavour and the pickle sting of the garden medley gels well with the gentle punch of the sauce. It’s also really pretty to look at, with its bright colours artfully arranged on earthy ceramic. The other hit was a well-composed plate of burdock and heritage pork sausage slices hiding amidst perfectly seasoned potato cubes, all under a canopy of fresh dandelion . Neither were substantial in size, which left me wanting a little more. Still, their impact was more on the palate than on the belly, so the satisfaction comes from being wowed. It might therefore be especially prudent to order more than one dish per person. You can then share or hoard according to your miserly or generous sensibilities.
For drinks, they offer a tidy selection of wines and a handful of interesting beers (I love that Summer Solstice session ale from California’s Anderson Valley Brewing Company – so good with the chicken ), as well as some original cocktails and non-alcoholic concoctions, like the Cascadian Cooler of apple, fenugreek, lime, mint, and ginger beer was really refreshing . The list reads well, with curation being the name of the game.
I don’t want to give Carlson and Bismanis any ideas, but what they’re charging per plate is shockingly low for the quality of the ingredients and the love that comes across loud and clear in the cooking (everything is local, sustainable, organic). I was a little taken aback by the price of their non-alcoholic drinks ($6.50 for the Cascadian Cooler), but dollar for dollar I reckon Burdock & Co. to be one of the better value restaurants on Main. If you haven’t been yet, go, and snag that chicken dish before it’s gone.
Burdock & Co. is open 7 days a week from 5pm on. They do not accept reservations.
by Andrew Morrison | Fans of former Bishop’s chef Andrea Carlson rejoiced last month when we reported that she was taking over the reins at Strathcona’s Harvest Community Foods, but now we have even better news: Carlson and her partner Kevin Bismanis have secured an East Van location for a new restaurant.
The address is 2702 Main Street, which was until recently Cafeteria (and before that, Ping’s Cafe). Cafeteria owners Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart knew that Carlson was looking for a spot in the area, and they were looking to down-size their far-flung operation without taking a loss (they also own Pied-a-Terre, La Buca, and The Sardine Can). A chat here, an email there, and the deal was done. All was set and signed back in September, but it wasn’t until last week that Carlson got the keys. She and Bismanis are hoping to turn it into a 30 seater – called Burdock & Co. – before the end of November.
More good news? She’s not abandoning Harvest to do this. Phew!
As far as renovations are concerned, they’ll be swapping out the tables and chairs, keeping one side a lengthy banquette and the other a big communal table. The 4-5 seat bar will remain with its full liquor license. They’ll also be doing some painting. Even though that doesn’t sound like a big redux, Bismanis is an architect and those folks like to fiddle. I expect we’ll see a completely new room from what we see in the shots above.
Burdock & Co. will follow Carlson’s well established penchant for urban agriculture and farm to table cooking. She has spent most of her career building solid relationships with artisan suppliers and farmers, and she is pretty dialled in with local CSAs and projects like SOLEfood and Innercity Farms. Vancity is in on the funding of the restaurant, so expect a celebration of the local in every respect. Maybe it’s time to switch banks!
by Andrew Morrison | Andrea Carlson, formerly the chef de cuisine at the West End’s Raincity Grill and Kitsilano’s legendary Bishop’s, has just taken the helm at Harvest Community Foods in Strathcona. The wee local, seasonal, organic, and sustainable grocery store at 243 Union St. has always had a short menu of all-day items like soups, sandwiches, and steam buns, but Carlson is re-drafting its entirety to focus on – among other things – Asian-inspired noodle soups, including bowls of proper Japanese ramen made with real deal pork broth. There is no good ramen in the whole of the DTES (or anywhere near it). It’s one of the things I’ve long hoped to see arrive in the area, and I trust it will prove especially awesome. Few local chefs are as dialed into our local food systems as Carlson. Her relationships with BC farmers, CSA producers, and artisan food makers of every stripe go deep and wide. It’s fair to expect good and tasty things when her new menu goes live within the next few days.
The GOODS from Bishop’s
Vancouver, BC | Kitsilano’s famed Bishop’s Restaurant, led by John Bishop and executive chef Andrea Carlson, is seeking a an experienced cook and garde manger. The right candidates will be inspired by local food and fully dedicated to the craft of cooking. Send resumes to bishopsrestaurant [at] telus.net and learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
News from Scout supporter Bishop’s
Vancouver, BC | “It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.” Twenty-five years (and one month) ago, John Bishop taught Vancouver about eating local, seasonal and sustainable food and in doing so, helped create a local cuisine culture. Bishop’s Restaurant first opened its doors to the public 25 years ago last month (December 14, 1985) and it is celebrating the occasion with a special prix fixe menu that pays homage to its first menu so many years ago. Priced at $49, the four-course menu includes such Bishop’s classics as Goat Cheese Salad, Dungeness Crab Cakes, Lamb Three Ways and Death by Chocolate. Read all about it after the jump… Read more
Job Posting by Scout supporter Bishop’s
Vancouver, BC | Bishop’s Restaurant is looking for dedicated individuals with a professional attitude for the positions of garde manger and entremetier. Please send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
Job Posting by Scout supporter Bishop’s
The award-winning Bishop’s Restaurant in Kitsilano is looking for an experienced hostess to work Sunday and Monday evening shifts. Applicants must have a great attitude and be able to work in a strong team environment. In addition to a proficiency with computers and previous experience with the Open Table reservation system, some food and wine knowledge is preferred. Email your resume in confidence to email@example.com. Find out more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
News from Scout supporter Bishop’s
Vancouver, BC | From May 27 to June 19, South Granville’s Winsor Gallery (3025 Granville Street) plays host to a show by famed artist Alan Wood. The Bishop’s Garden – presents a new series of wood relief sculptures, collage and watercolours, based on the haven found in a close friend’s garden. That close friend is restaurateur John Bishop and that garden is the one found in the back of Mr. Bishop’s Point Grey home.
” It seems like I’ve known Alan for ever,” says Mr. Bishop. “In the early days, my wife Theresa and I would save up to buy his work. In turn, Alan and his wife Flora started coming to the restaurant and the friendship grew over the years.”
“When Flora passed away five years ago, I started to drop by John and Theresa’s home. They were always so welcoming and kind. I’d come and sit in the back garden – it became my refuge. One evening, I came for dinner. John and his son David had arranged eight of my pieces around the garden illuminated by candlelight. It was magic. That gave me the idea to try to capture and interpret the calm and happiness I have found there. This show is the result,” says Mr. Wood. “I named the series The Bishop’s Garden because I want to honour the role played by everyone in the Bishop family in creating this special space.” Read more
News from Scout supporter Bishop’s
Vancouver, BC | Bishop’s will be offering a special three course Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings for only $55 this upcoming Sunday and Monday. Their regular menu will also be available. Reservations are highly recommended… Read more
It’s taken us a couple of days to decompress and find the time to make sense of all the stills and clips taken while attending the two outdoor Outstanding In The Field dinners (previewed in last week’s Westender). There is something to be said for great food, great wine, and great people all tabled in devotion to great atmosphere, especially here in BC during the Awesome season. I hope some of that saying gets said in the video above and Michelle’s photo gallery below…
I had an outstanding meal at Bishop’s with some friends and colleagues the other night. This was the second in the restaurant’s summer series of Producer’s Dinners, and I was accordingly very keen to see what the kitchen would do with their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box full of mysterious, freshly-harvested local ingredients sourced from farms in the city and Aldergrove. Special guests were the producers themselves, David Catzell of Fraser Common Farm and Ward Teulon from City Farm Boy. Read more
News from Scout Supporter Bishop’s
(Vancouver, BC) – When you think of dinner at Bishop’s, you don’t usually imagine it coming out of a box but that is literally what will happen this coming July and August. Bishop’s Executive Chef Andrea Carlson is a huge supporter of CSA’s – Community Supported Agriculture. For those who are not yet familiar, CSAs allow small-producer farmers to pre-sell their crops. For a fee, people ‘subscribe’ to share in the harvest. Each week during the season, ‘shareholders’ receive a box brimming with just-picked, organic produce straight from the farm. Read more
Very excited about heading up to Pemberton next month for the ultimate in traveling gastronomic roadshows, Outstanding in the Field. One of my favourite chefs in the province, James Walt of Araxi, will be prepping the five course feast. I’m still not sure if I’ll be able to make the one the very next day at UBC Farm with Andrea Carlson of Bishop’s cooking, but I’m crossing my fingers. I’ve experienced the long table at UBC before, and will always remember it as one of the best al fresco dining experiences of my life!
Full details on both and a little history on OITF after the leap… Read more