The GOODS from SFU Woodwards
Vancouver, BC | There’s a diverse range of interesting cultural programming happening at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards) over this month. Expect a theatrical take on A Christmas Carol that sees Scrooge as a pawn shop owner on Hastings Street, screenings of the film Far From Vietnam, and The Tempest Replica dance production. Get all the details and more after the jump… Read more
The one and only leather maestro, Ken Diamond, will be at The Shop Vancouver in Chinatown on Thursday December 5th to put custom belts together starting at 4pm. His wallets, belts, key fobs, key chains, moccasins, beer cozies, and a new collab wallet will also be available for purchase until 8pm. “Come down and take a look at Ken’s fantastic leather goods and enjoy a beer provided our friends by Pabst.” says owner Brett Beadle. Don’t mind if we do! Watch the video above from the last time these two hooked up. Good times.
The Shop Vancouver | 432 Columbia Street | Vancouver, BC | DETAILS
The GOODS from Vancouver Urban Winery
Vancouver, BC |Just in time for the Holiday season, Vancouver Urban Winery has launched the first edition of their “Colab Series” featuring 2012 chardonnay with Road 13 and 2012 pinot noir with Bench 1775. The ribbon-adorned gift pack is perfect for friends, as a hostess gift, for Secret Santa exchanges or stylish party potables. Coming in at a cool $45 for the set (or $24 each), the limited edition package is available at Vancouver Urban Winery’s Retail Shop at 55 Dunlevy Avenue until December 31st (or while supplies last). Best part? Try before you buy: step up to the stainless steel taps and have the sommelier pour you a taste of each. Get the tasting notes and details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Pidgin
Vancouver, BC | Gastown’s Pidgin gets into the holiday spirit with 5 inventive, classically rooted winter drinks that will make the top of any cocktail connoisseur’s wish list. Pidgin’s head barman, Robyn Gray, has assembled a collection of quality cocktails to warm up the holidays.
This winter, try the All Scrooged Up, a chocolate orange cocktail made with vodka, winter syrup, and muddled Japanese orange topped with chocolate foam. Add some spice to the season with the Flip D’Hiver, a cocktail prepared with Asian 5 spice rum, Amaro Averna, pear nectar, maple syrup and a whole egg that gives it a snowy foam top (dusted with a dash of nutmeg). Other cocktails include French 75 (Pre-Prohibition) made with cognac, lemon, and cane syrup served in an elegant champagne flute, and the Irish Sour shaken and fine-strained with whiskey, lemon juice, Guinness syrup, Irish bitters and egg white.
And special to the list is the Mostaccioli, a winning cocktail fashioned by the late Derek Vanderhiede for The BC Hospitality Foundation’s Dish‘n’Dazzle competition. The tasty concoction features bourbon with Tuaca liqueur, vermouth, whiskey barrel bitters and is garnished with express orange oil and outfitted with a moustache cherry pick and coaster. Read more
The GOODS from Ask For Luigi
Vancouver, BC | Ask for Luigi opened for its first lunch service this past Wednesday (Nov 27th). Lunch is offered Wednesday through Friday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. The lunch menu is essentially a smaller version of the dinner menu and will include pasta dishes and paninis made with house-made bread. Take-out is also being offered during lunch. Have a read of the full lunch menu after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Bambudda
Vancouver, BC | Bambudda bar manager Buck Friend has introduced a series of new cocktails that will help keep you warm and fuzzy for the imminent cold season. The original “Tsui Hang” cocktail – a rye based drink infused with salted plums, goji berries and other goodness served in a cold teapot – is the only carry-over from the opening cocktail list, but don’t worry – the popular “Gwie Lo” and the rest of the originals drinks will still be available by request.
The new cocktails include the “Pre – Opium”, which can be described as “a summer classic with a winter twist”. It’s done with white rum, Malibu and pineapple, and it’s finished with a warm white chocolate foam. It sounds like a pina colada, only it’s better. Another crowd pleaser is the “Shucks”, which sees Cognac, clove-infused Lillet, apricot and applewood chip smoke. Come warm yourself up with one of our tasty new infusions, and learn more about Bambudda after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Cadeaux Bakery
Vancouver, BC | This Christmas season Cadeaux Bakery offers a delicious selection of pastries and desserts for all your holiday celebrations. We will be featuring three amazing Yule Logs in the flavours of Chocolate, Chestnut or Rum Egg Nog for $19.99 each. Other options include Sticky Toffee Pudding (packs of 2) $6.99, Traditional Fruit Cake (boozy and filled with fruits and nuts $24.99), and a sweet selection of Christmas cookies and truffles. The fruit cakes have been lovingly cared for the last few months now and are in limited quantity so please call and reserve yours early. Also this year, Santa will once again be making a stop at Cadeaux so come on down with the kiddies and meet the big jolly guy for one last chance to get on his “Nice List”. He, along with Mrs. Claus, will be at the bakery on Saturday December 21st from 11 am to 3 pm. Learn more about Cadeaux after the jump… Read more
If you have the 2013 edition of the locally produced and always odd Miracle & Connelly Calendar on your wall, you’re likely making arrangements to secure the new one. If you’ve seen a copy of one of these hand-inscribed calendars hanging on a friend’s wall, you’ve probably wanted one. If you’ve never seen or heard of it, trust us, you want one! 2013′s legendary calendar – the strangest yet – came complete with 12 months stuffed with all manner of horrible and wonderful days (eg. October 22nd was Silverfish Awareness Day), and we don’t doubt that 2014′s will be just as weirdly memorable.
They’re $20.14 each, 3 for $50, or 5 for $80. Email us [at] miracleandconnellypresents.com to lock down a copy. The calendars will be available at two launches this week: Thursday, November 28 (7pm – late) at the Dunlevy Snackbar in Strathcona and Friday, November 29 (9:30pm) at Solders & Sons (247 Main Street).
Railtown’s Union Wood Co. makes a lot of awesome things (kickass aprons, an outdoor communal table for Boneta, boxes for Victory Gardens, seats for Wildebeest, and much more), so it was entirely appropriate for them to have someone else make something awesome for them. Check out their brand new “Go West” t-shirt, which was designed by Massachusetts artist Shane Swift. The hand-drawn work is now being screened on premium cotton T’s. You can grab your own either online or in the shop.
$25 | Union Wood & Supply Company | 503 Railway Street | 604 675 9033 | www.unionwoodco.com
by Andrew Morrison | Douglas Adams once wrote: “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news.” Too right. I expect that word of Boneta’s closing next month will reach far and wide and fast before you finish reading this.
It’s official: the award-winning Gastown eatery from Mark Brand and Neil Ingram will shutter for good after a final service scheduled for December 23rd. Though it’s not listed for sale yet, I’ve been told that Brand and Ingram are already in discussions with more than one interested party and that they have no plans to reopen the restaurant after the Christmas holidays.
Management were told of the decision to close before the weekend. The remainder of the staff were told late this afternoon.
Boneta, named after Brand’s mother, launched at its former location, 1 West Cordova St., in July of 2007. It moved a stone’s throw away to its current location in The Garage development four years later in September of 2011.
Its highly idiosyncratic French-West Coast food concept stayed true through four chefs. The first was Jeremie Bastien, a former sous chef from Lumiere. He was followed by Jason Leizert and Ciaran Chung, and finally the talented Jeff MacIntosh (I expect he’ll pop up elsewhere soon). The cuisine successfully hovered in that hard-to-nail nether region between casual and fine dining. So did the service. The atmosphere, however, was invariably casual. As a favourite hang-out for gourmands at rest (it was the unofficial headquarters of restaurant industry veterans on their nights off), it will be sorely missed.
Business, I’m told, has been good, and being a regular customer myself, I didn’t find that hard to believe. The bar remains a magnet for cocktail lovers, the dining room always looks busy, and it’s long been a popular venue for large parties and corporate functions. Few restaurants in the city garner greater respect than Boneta. So why close now?
“We sat down and looked at where the dining scene was going and decided to get out on top,” Brand tells me. He also sees the move as a much needed chance to concentrate on his other projects, among them Portside, Sea Monstr Sushi, The Diamond and, of course, the big renovation of Save On Meats. For Ingram, it’s a little different. “This is my mid-life crisis,” the 47 year old says with a laugh. “Some people buy a sports car. I’m selling a restaurant. I want a change.” Will we see Ingram open another restaurant somewhere down the road? I expect so. The longer he takes a holiday the worse off our restaurant scene will be.
They might be happy and excited for the change, but I don’t share their enthusiasm, at least not yet. I think this sucks, straight up. It’s as hard to imagine Gastown without a Boneta in 2014 as it was difficult to imagine Gastown with a Boneta in 2007.
To say that a lot has changed in the neighbourhood in those seven years would be a spectacular understatement. Boneta’s success and popularity showed that it was possible to do something a little (or a lot) more elevated than your basic tourist trap or pub in the neighbourhood, and I can’t help but wonder if any of the newer restaurants – L’Abattoir, Cork & Fin, Secret Location, House Guest, Pourhouse, et cetera – would have dared open in these parts if Boneta had not first blazed the trail. Perhaps the old Latin logical fallacy of Post hoc ergo propter hoc (After this, therefore, because of this) actually works in this regard.
Like so many other restaurants, Boneta was conceived over after-work drinks between the original trio of Brand, Ingram, and Andre McGillivray. Brand was working at Chambar with McGillivray at the time, and McGillivray knew Ingram when they were together at Feenie’s and Lumiere.
According to Ingram, the restaurant came about – conceptually – as the three of them kvetched about their respective places of employment. Over pints, they would pine and lament, saying things like “I wish my restaurant was a little more like yours“. The trio amounted to something of a dream team. “The only thing that could have made it better,” Ingram half jokes, “is if we’d pulled someone out of Vij’s”.
Together, they were aiming for something that was a little like Feenie’s, a little like Lumiere, and a little like Chambar, but entirely their own. Their choice of location was a risky one, as 1 West Cordova had just finished chewing up three different restaurants in as many years. What’s more, they only had a one year lease. I remember how they built the place. It was with their bare hands.
BONETA OVER THE YEARS
The rest is history. In a story I wrote for Vancouver Magazine several years ago, I quoted a restaurant lifer who, in comparing the $8 million price tag of David Aisenstat’s Shore Club (now closed) to the less than $100,000 spent to launch Boneta, said: “For eight million, I would have preferred 80 Bonetas.” Who wouldn’t?
Boneta has won over a dozen coveted awards since opening, even landing a spot on enRoute Magazine’s 10 Best New Restaurants list in 2008. These accolades and achievements were earned and shared by a great staff. Today’s fine crew – led by Ben de Champlain (who actually got his start in the kitchen) – compliment some first tier alumni. To wit, Chad Clark, now the general manager at Hawksworth, was a member of Boneta’s opening team; Rodney Scharf managed the floor before moving on to run Cork & Fin; Simon Kaulback, now co-owner at Mamie Taylor’s in Chinatown, was a fixture for several years, moving up from barman to general manager; Justin Tisdall, now the GM at Chambar, also toiled behind the bar early on, as did Steve Da Cruz, who went on to open the Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe in 2009 (with McGillivray) before opening The Parker in 2012 with ex-Boneta chef Jason Leizert. And who can forget Charlie Ainsbury? Amazingly, between Scout and Vancouver Magazine, Boneta has counted three Bartenders of the Year behind its wood and well (Brand, Kaulback, de Champlain), while Ingram, let it not be forgotten, was once crowned Sommelier of the Year. But who’s counting?
Like I said up top, it’s hard to imagine Gastown without Boneta. I’m going to miss it terribly; the excellent art by Charles Forsberg and Johnny Taylor, the tossing of spent corks behind the bar (in the thousands), and the oddly-shaped brass pole at the end of the bar that thousands of strippers once used to help them climb up and down the stage (salvaged from The Drake). But most of all I’m going to miss the feeling upon entry that I was home. That’s a pretty rare and special feeling, and I know it was felt by many.
The restaurant’s motto - BONETA LOVES YOU – never felt the least bit false. With a few weeks remaining, there’s still time to reciprocate.
Boneta, I love you, too.
The GOODS from Bambudda
Vancouver, BC | Bambudda is pleased to announce the appointment of Scott Korzack as their new Executive Chef. Diners can expect a fresh new element being added to the menu. Scott left his position as Sous Chef at L’ Abattoir to take on this new role. “We’re all very excited to have Scott join us. With his talent, imagination, creativity and penchant for using unique, local ingredients, no doubt he will inspire his kitchen team to strive for excellence,” says owner Ray Loy. Scott has been working with food since the age of 15. He grew up in Georgetown, Ontario, where he worked at his parents butcher shop. He joined the opening team at Mark McEwan’s “One” restaurant in Toronto, and worked in Grand Cayman before coming out to Vancouver to join the team at L’Abattoir. “Scott has a palate for Asian flavours and I’m very excited to work with him to create dishes that I grew up eating and loving while also adding his own flavours and influences. He loves exploring Chinatown seeking out new ingredients,” says Loy. “With his calm and composed demeanour and focused energy, he will elevate the menu to new heights. Reservations can be made at bambudda.ca. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Salt Tasting Room
Vancouver, BC | On Tuesday, November 26th, Blood Alley’s Salt Tasting Room will host a Salt Cellar Series highlighting Natural Wine in BC. This event takes place in the underground Salt cellar where – in a relaxing and unique environment – guests will be seated around a 30ft long communal table to enjoy cheese, meats, condiments and wine.
Two to three times a month, Salt Tasting Room opens up their cellar for guests to sample a tasting menu built around wines from a selected winery, paired with artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and house-made condiments. This particular evening will explore sustainable winemaking in the green era; all things from biodynamic and organic wines will be tasted and discussed for their merits in the glass. This unique dining experience is not to be missed, as it offers excellent value for those who appreciate tasting plates, exploring new wines and having them professionally paired. Details and tickets after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | On December 2, 2013 The Parker is excited to present a 5 course dining event for $49 hosted by our very our Chef Curtis Luk and his friend from Top Chef Canada‘s Season Two, Chef Jimmy Stewart of Housexguest. The two Top Chef alumni will team up to deliver an exclusive coursed tasting menu showcasing some of the finest and surprising ingredients that diners can expect well thought out and gorgeously plated offerings with an eye toward the unexpected and most of all a sense of playfulness on their plate. If you haven’t made plans for a Meatless Monday yet, December 2, 2013 is your night. The $49 includes tax, and diners can choose from several times to attend. But get your tickets quickly.
Slightly vexing will be the decision whether to choose from the suggested wine pairings by Steve Da Cruz or simply stick with some legendary cocktailery from the bar (expect Steve to be at his most tempting). Tickets for The Fall of Autumn on December 2nd can be purchased by calling the restaurant or via email through info [at] theparkervancouver.com. Read more