SEEN IN VANCOUVER #516 | Local Architect Argues To Keep The VAG Exactly Where It is

September 26, 2014 

Local firm Peter Cardew Architects just sent us an email and video link countering the already accepted and established plans for the new Vancouver Art Gallery. “How can we ensure the public supports a new VAG? Ask them.” Food for thought:

In the search for alternate sites on which to construct a new Vancouver Art Gallery there was little public participation to ensure the best site was chosen for a major public building in the city. Also, in an economic climate that is far less robust than when the idea of a totally new gallery was first proposed, it is critical that public money be seen to be wisely spent. Only through actively encouraging open dialogue about such issues can governments, the public and potential donors be assured of enthusiastic public support. This video is intended to stimulate that dialogue and that enthusiasm.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “Cinara” Looking To Hire More Staff As Hours Set To Expand

September 23, 2014 

Cinara is located at 350 West Pender St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-616-8464 | www.cinara.ca

Cinara Restaurant is located at 350 West Pender Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-616-8464 | www.cinara.ca

The GOODS from Cinara

Vancouver, BC | We are looking for experienced staff to supplement our team as we open for lunches starting September 30th. We are seeking a Garde Manger to work Tuesdays to Saturdays, two lunch servers to work Monday to Friday, and a Bartender for Friday and Saturday nights. We are looking for hard working, experienced, positive people to join our team that are creative and flexible to help with our daily menu changes. We are a fun and outgoing team and are looking to find the right fit. If you feel that this could be you, please send your resume and cover letter to alison [at] cinara.ca. We will contact all successful candidates shortly.

Chefs Lucais Syme and Gill Book deliver modern European cuisine at Cinara. We aim to uphold the traditional cooking techniques of Europe in making as much as possible in house from naturally leavened breads and pastas to preserves and cheeses while implementing modern twists and techniques along the way. We use the finest and freshest quality locally sourced ingredients where possible and in many ways let the clean flavours build on each other and speak for themselves. It is our goal to serve some of the finest food Vancouver has to offer while still being approachable and in a comfortable setting for our guests. Learn more after the jump… Read more

GOODS | Movies At Market Returns This Fall With Screening Of ‘Chef’ Comedy Oct. 3 & 4

September 17, 2014 

The GOODS from Market by Jean-Georges

Vancouver, BC | Movies at MARKET returns this fall with a brand new line up of foodie films, starting with the acclaimed movie Chef on October 3rd and 4th. Hosted by Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver in its private Blue Moon Theatre, Movies at MARKET has grown to become a cult favourite for film buffs and foodies alike. Chef, a light-hearted comedy with a star-studded cast, promises not to disappoint.

Directed by and starring Jon Favreau, the film co-stars Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr. and Oliver Pratt. Favreau plays the part of professional chef Carl Casper who suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner. Left to figure out what’s next, he finds himself in Miami, where he teams up with his ex-wife, his friend and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen — and zest for life and love.

Once the lights come up, guests of the Movies at MARKET series are escorted to MARKET by Jean-Georges’ main dining room where the second course of the evening awaits. Chef de Cuisine Montgomery Lau has created a four-course dinner menu inspired by the film du jour. From the more formal Pasta Aglio e Olio with Orzo, Clams and Mussels to the less serious but equally tantalizing Flavours of a Sandwich Cubano with Roasted Pork Shoulder, Swiss Cheese, Fried Pickles Sour Dough Crisp and Fixings, the dinner is a play on the movie’s theme with Chef Lau’s twist on the flavours of an epic food truck journey.

With only 36 seats available per screening, the exclusive Movies at MARKET series is the hottest date night ticket in town. The evening includes a glass of bubbly, gourmet popcorn, film screening, and a private four-course dinner. The doors open at 5:00 pm with a glass of bubbly upon arrival, and the event starts at 5:30 pm with the screening of the movie followed by dinner. Tickets for Movies at MARKET are priced at $78 with wine pairings available for an additional $55 or $110. For more information or for reservations, call the restaurant at (604) 695-1115. Read more

GOODS | Cibo Trattoria Set For BC Vs. World “Bottle Royale” Wine Supper On October 1st

September 16, 2014 

Cibo Trattoria is located in the Moda Hotel at 900 Seymour Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-602-9570 | CiboTrattoria.ca

Cibo Trattoria is located in the Moda Hotel at 900 Seymour St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-602-9570 | CiboTrattoria.ca

The GOODS from Uva Wine Bar & Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | In what has all the makings of a true bottle royale, Cibo Trattoria will host a one-night-only, five-course dinner and comparative tasting that will pit a number of hand-selected wines from British Columbia against those hailing from New Zealand, France and Italy on Wednesday, October 1 at 6:30pm.

Cibo General Manager/Sommelier Robert Stelmachuk and Executive Chef Faizal Kassam will share the stage with one of Vancouver’s preeminent wine personalities, Kurtis Kolt, as they host the B.C. vs. World ‘Bottle Royale’ Dinner. Named the Sommelier of the Year at the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival and one of Western Living Magazine’s Top 40 Foodies Under 40, Kolt is a local wine critic, consultant and judge and was recently announced as the new wine columnist for The Georgia Straight.

“Kurtis is highly regarded as a leading spokesperson for B.C. wine and we’re thrilled to welcome him as guest host of this event,” said Stelmachuk. “Faizal’s focus on farmer-driven dining will also provide the perfect complement as we put the best of B.C. up against the pick of the international crop.”

“I’m excited to be a part of this marquee event,” said Kolt, who has long been a fan of Stelmachuk’s wine programs. “These B.C. wines demonstrate our region’s diversity in terms of terroir, and when paired on an equal playing field they can hold their own against standout wines from similar climates around the world.” Menu after the jump… Read more

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The Kind Of City Vancouver Nearly Became In The 1960s

September 5, 2014 

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by Stevie Wilson | The story of Vancouver is one of continuous development, and despite our city’s relatively short history it nonetheless features more than few unusual, unexpected, and straight-up odd chapters.

One fascinating example of what could have been is Project 200, an ominous-sounding urban plan from the 1960s that sought to wipe out much of the waterfront in present-day Gastown to make way for a re-imagined pedestrian plaza and, of course, a massive freeway.

Following WWII, many cities across the world began planning their reconstruction and rehabilitation with an optimistic eye towards the future. Despite not having endured the catastrophic physical destruction that took place in most European cities, Vancouver (and indeed Canada as a whole) was still very much in the throes of post-war redevelopment thought.

The aforementioned eight-lane freeway was one of numerous infrastructure proposals in the late 1950s intended to stimulate business and expedite traffic through the downtown area via large Autobahn-like trenches. The Georgia Viaduct – through the destruction of Hogan’s Alley – was built as part of this larger vision.

Freeway planning in Vancouver was nothing new; the 1928 Bartholomew Plan had also envisioned widening and expanding vehicle access to the downtown core. Project 200 – named for its initial $200-million price tag – was to span from the CPR Pier (near present-day Canada Place), across the waterfront to approximately Abbott St. and up towards Dunsmuir. The introduction to the proposal eloquently explains:

The citizens of Vancouver have long had a great love for their harbour and a desire to be at the water’s edge and part of the busy scene. The realization of this desire and at the same time the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown business and retail centres is the challenge of Project 200.

Canadian Pacific Railway, department store giants Woodward’s and Simpsons-Sears, Marathon Realty, and Grosvenor-Laing Investments all championed the large blueprint, which was estimated to encompass around 8-million square feet. Big money, no doubt, but the project was ultimately tossed aside when financing became contentious and plans for the freeway were abandoned.

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However, perhaps the most interesting bit about Project 200 is that a few of the proposed structures were actually built. Circa 1969, architect Francis Donaldson designed the Canadian Pacific Telecommunications Building at 175 West Cordova, a monolithic example of bold New Formalist architecture. And in 1973, Donaldson completed a second building proposed by Project 200: the nearby Granville Square at 200 Granville (home of The Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers).

This towering concrete building was the tallest reinforced structure in the country at the time of its completion, and is the only skyscraper to have been realized from the plans. The large open design of the plaza demonstrates the post-war emphasis on accessible pedestrian/gathering spaces, while traffic was to be segregated to higher-volume thoroughfares out to the suburbs via the freeway(s). It planned to include “a large shopping centre […] parking for 7,000 auto-mobiles, and a residential high-rise and townhouse complex”. One could almost confuse it with a contemporary development proposal…

The Project 200 concept reveals much about the mid-century fascination with vehicles, efficiency, and the desire to connect, but it’s probably for the best that the plans never fully came to fruition. Take note of these neat structures on your next trip down to Gastown and around the waterfront, and try to imagine how different it all might have looked.

The Project 200 brochure and photos for this piece came courtesy of Tom Carter and Jason Vanderhill. You can view the rest of the document here.

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #514 | Staff Tasting At Highly Anticipated (Imminent) Gyoza Bar

September 3, 2014 

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by Andrew Morrison | The highly anticipated Gyoza Bar – a new 80 seater at 622 West Pender St. – is set to open for its first service this Saturday. The restaurant, which comes to us via Seigo Nakamura (owner of Miku and Minami), underwent staff training/tasting last night and is headed for a “friends and family” dry run this evening.

I took a look inside last night as the staff were eating their way through the menu. There was a great energy in the space with all the opening hires getting to know one another over a shared, educational supper as GM Nicola Turner and corporate chef Kazuya Matsuoka guiding their chopsticks.

It’s an awesome-looking menu, and the few bites I managed made an impact. When you eventually go for the first time, set aside your gyoza cravings for a moment and aim for the chicken shio ramen. The broth is like an umami sauna, plus they sous vide the meat so it’s wicked tender. Bonus: the noodles,  prepped in house, are insanely good.

Check out the menus in the images below and let the drooling commence. You have until Saturday…

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | New “Chambar” Is On The Lookout For Experienced Line Cooks

Chambar is located at 568 Beatty St. in Vancouver’s Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 | chambar.com

Chambar is located at 568 Beatty St. in Vancouver’s Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 | chambar.com

The GOODS from Chambar

Vancouver, BC | The award-winning Chambar restaurant is looking to add line cooks to the team for both AM and PM shifts now that business is underway at the new Beatty St. location (next door to the original). All interested parties with experience should their resumes in confidence to tia [at] chambar.com. Learn more about the new location here. Read more

DINER | First Look Inside The New Location Of “Chambar” (Now Open On Beatty Street)

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by Andrew Morrison | The new Chambar opened this morning, right next door from the original. Scout broke the news of the award-winning Belgian-Moroccan restaurant’s expansion plans after the location was secured a year ago. We’ve been tracking its construction ever since.

Today was opening day, and the first time the previously evenings-only restaurant had ever served breakfast and lunch. Many of the dishes on offer this morning had transitioned into the new Chambar line-up from a menu made famous at the original location of Cafe Medina (eg. the short rib fricassee, Belgian waffles, etc.) before it moved to its new location on Richards Street last week. The old Medina, you’ll recall, used to be next door to the old Chambar.

Confused? It’s actually not as complicated as it seems.

The short story is that the owners of Chambar (Karri & Nico Schuermans) launched Cafe Medina with a business partner (Robbie Kane) seven years ago. When Chambar announced its plans last year to expand next door with a brunch/lunch service featuring chef Nico’s original dishes designed for Cafe Medina, a future with the two eateries existing side by side and competing against one another with the same dishes was plainly undesirable. The solution was a cordial split between the partners and several city blocks of distance between their respective new restaurants.

The new Chambar, as you can see from the shots above and below, has clearly maintained the soothing, casual aesthetic of the original, and yet is has grown considerably in size, both in seating and production capacities (the new kitchen is massive). It has also gained a patio, which will no doubt be considered one of the better ones in the city before summer’s end.

The quality of the food and drink, in my mind at least, is something of a given. I have no doubts about the kitchen or bar staff. The big question for most people will be this: “Does it feel like the original?” And it’s a fair question to ask, because in addition to the great drinks and delicious food, Chambar tabled a tangible soul — which is a rare thing in the restaurant business. The spirit of the eatery was one of the original location’s best qualities, not to mention a probable cause of the storied Chambar Effect. To date, I’ve only broken bread once at the new address, but I think the answer to that question is a big yes. Chambar remains Chambar, all day and well into the night.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

HEADS UP | Last Chance To Try The ‘Nectar Juicery’ Pop-Up In Holt Renfrew’s Skybridge

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by Luis Valdizon | There’s only one day left to discover Lara Kozan and Tori Holmes’ Nectar Juicery pop-up inside the Holt Renfrew skybridge. Their juices are made from 100% organic fruits and vegetables, and sell for $10 a bottle. Take a look…

Ends August 16 | Holt Renfrew Skybridge at Pacific Centre (737 Dunsmuir) | nectarjuicery.com

EXPLORE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

GOODS | “Cavalier Cup” Hockey Tournament Set To Go Down At Sunset Beach On Aug. 16

Cavalier is located at #217-207 W. Hastings St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-681-0047 | www.cavaliergastown.com

Cavalier is located at #217-207 W. Hastings St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-681-0047 | www.cavaliergastown.com

The GOODS from Cavalier

Vancouver, BC | To mark their one year anniversary, Cavalier: The Fine Jewellery Shoppe is launching the inaugural Cavalier Cup, an outdoor hockey tournament at Sunset Beach, on Saturday, August 16th. Proceeds from this annual event will benefit and raise awareness for ALS BC.

Along with great food and beverages, spectators will enjoy a high level of talent on display—this won’t be some beer league pick-up tournament. In addition to being successful entrepreneurs, Cavalier co-owners Dane Stevens and Keith Seabrook are both professional athletes. Bragging rights aside, the winning team will take home $5,000 in prizes, which is sure to make the tournament a highly spirited affair.

“Sports are a great way to bring the community together for an important cause. With my background in professional hockey and Dane’s in lacrosse, organizing this tournament made perfect sense as a way to help raise money for ALS BC,” says Keith Seabrook, a 2006 second round draft pick of the Washington Capitals. Read more

HEADS UP | Chambar To Host Big “Fire Sale” Tomorrow (Aug. 13) Before Move Next Door

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The old location of Chambar shuttered this past Saturday in anticipation of the big move to the new address next door. While the restaurant is on this pergatorial dark side of the moon, they’ll be hosting a ”fire sale” this Wednesday, August 13th. Goods on the block will include furniture, decor, miscellaneous kitchen equipment, plates, glassware, and Micros POS terminals/printers. It’s a cash only affair, with doors opening at 562 Beatty Street at 11am. If you have great memories of the original Chambar, this is you big chance to take a piece of it home. See you there!

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #512 | First Look (And Taste) Inside The New “Cafe Medina”

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With the highly anticipated opening of the new Cafe Medina set for this Tuesday at 780 Richards Street, the restaurant’s kitchen crew and front of house team took Saturday to get in some practice with friends and family. The special “dry run” service saw delivery of chef Jonathan Chovancek’s new menu and our first look at the new interior by designer Brian Kane. Take a look below…

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

GOODS | New “Cafe Medina” Set To Open Tuesday With Chef Chovancek At The Helm

The new location of Cafe Medina is set to open later this summer at 780 Richards Street

The new location of Cafe Medina is set to open Tuesday, August 12 at 780 Richards Street | www.MedinaCafe.com

The GOODS from Cafe Medina

Vancouver BC | Next Tuesday, August 12 marks a new beginning for Café Medina when the beloved Vancouver brunch and lunch restaurant opens the doors to a bright, spacious and refurbished location at 780 Richards Street (at Robson Street).

While the change of scenery brings many refinements to Café Medina — increased seating capacity, high ceilings, a proper bar and an open kitchen layout among them — Owner Robbie Kane has gone to great lengths to migrate and preserve the same subtle touches that have helped make the café a veritable Vancouver institution since it first opened in 2008.

Café Medina will close the doors of its former location at 556 Beatty Street after service on Sunday, August 10 before holding the inaugural service in its new home on Tuesday, August 12.

Further details, including Executive Chef Jonathan Chovancek’s exciting new menu — a mix of Café Medina’s trademark Mediterranean-inspired dishes alongside fresh new seasonal creations — will be revealed on opening day.

GOODS | New “Foe And Dear” Collection Of Peridot Jewellery Now In Store At ‘Cavalier’

Cavalier is located at #217-207 W. Hastings St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-681-0047 | www.cavaliergastown.com

Cavalier is located at #217-207 W. Hastings St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-681-0047 | www.cavaliergastown.com

The GOODS from Cavalier

Vancouver, BC | August is here and so is the new Foe and Dear collection exclusive to Cavalier. The birthstone for August is the vibrant green gemstone peridot, which also happens to be the gift for 15th wedding anniversaries. Using gemstones sourced by owners Dane and Keith, designer Katherine Huie has made a collection of rings, necklaces and earrings just for the shop. Each piece is handmade and one-of-a-kind using rough peridot gemstones and complemented beautifully with 14K gold fill settings. Foe and Dear jewellery is a collection of delicate, handmade, one of a kind pieces made with love from start to finish by designer Katherine Huie. Unique and exotic materials ranging from brass, to 14K gold, to precious stones makes Foe and Dear a blend of mystery and romance, reminiscent of stories both whimsical and dark. As part of Cavalier’s initiative to support the community, 5% of all Foe and Dear sales are donated to The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Learn more about Cavalier after the jump… Read more

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