by Andrew Morrison | There’s a lot of potential for eating and drinking around Olympic Village. I say “potential” because despite a willing and eager resident market of hungry and thirsty would-be participants, the emerging neighbourhood has yet to be properly served. The two behemoth eateries that dominate the area – namely Tap & Barrel and Craft Beer Market – don’t interest me in the slightest. They’re fine for game nights with chicken wings and such, but the deficit they run in personality is hard to build a community around, and that’s exactly the job new restaurants need to do hereabouts. So there’s room enough for newcomers.
First up: Steel Toad, a new brewpub opening later this month. Located in the old 1918 steel foundry at 97 East 2nd Avenue between Ontario & Quebec, it’s almost as big as the others, boasting 175 liquor primary seats on the main floor, 40 seats on the patio, and an 80 seat dining room on the lofty mezzanine. Though it will share a beery focus not unlike its larger neighbours, Steel Toad comes complete with its own resident brewmaster, Chris Charron, who will be crafting seven (maybe eight) different beers on site (think Golden Ales, English Bitters, Stouts, Saisons, et cetera) to augment a beer list put together by accredited cicerone Jessica Sharpe (formerly of Barvolo in Toronto).
As far as environment is concerned, the place feels just as vast as its neighbours, but instead of a battery of television screens turning evenings into blue light fiestas of Sportsnet zombieness, I’m told that Steel Toad will drop down a single 19′ screen on game nights only, preferring instead to focus on live entertainment. Remember that?
But most importantly, I fully expect the food to be significantly better than what we’ve seen so far from the big chains nearby. The chef is the young (37) and talented Robbie Robinson, who comes to the project – his big executive break – after years spent toiling at The Smoking Dog, The Vancouver Club, the Wedgewood, Le Crocodile, Claridges in London, and West (during the tenure of David Hawksworth). The menu reads well enough – a mix of pizzas, modified pub classics, and off-grid unusual suspects (eg. foie carpaccio, pork neck hoagie) – but it’s the execution that counts. Robinson says he’s ready to go, and I believe him. I just hope he has a good, reliable crew of cooks to back him up, because this place is going to be busy from day 1.
by Michelle Sproule | Have you ever had one of those experiences when you start thinking about how good an Earnest Ice Cream sundae is and you get so besotted with the memory of it that you get in your car and drive half way across town fully prepared to wait in a ridiculously long line up just to taste it only to realize that it’s Monday night and you have to wait all the way until Thursday before the tiny storefront opens it’s doors for service? Yeah, me too.
It’s not that they’re trying to torture us ice cream fiends. They have, it should be noted, distributed jars of their ice cream to numerous locations throughout the city where you can purchase it on any day of the week to pacify your cravings. The limited hours in the Fraserhood are out of necessity. They use that rest of the time (and all the space) to make the ice cream that will meet demand through the rest of the week.
Their smashing success has made the maintenance of the status quo impossible, so owners Ben Ernst and Erica Bernardi have decided to expand. They’ve just taken possession of the old Organic Lives space at 1829 Quebec Street on the corner of 2nd Avenue, where Mount Pleasant meets Olympic Village. When it comes on line this winter, this will be their main production space, though it will have a small retail component as well, which is to say we can walk in off the street and score ice cream by the scoop. The expansion also means that both locations will eventually be open for at least 6 days a week.
Right now, plans have been submitted to the city and they are just waiting for their permits. Though significantly larger, the new design will be similar to the Fraserhood location in layout and aesthetic (white walls, wood beams, brick — an uncomplicated, product-focused environment), plus there will be windows allowing customers to look into the production facility, which will take up the majority of the floor space.
The best case scenario for their opening date would be some point in December, but early 2015 is probably more realistic. Take a look inside…
by Ken Tsui | The first Sunday of the 3rd annual Food Cart Fest went down this past weekend. Located at 215 West 1st Ave (on the seawall just west of Olympic Village), the new summer tradition is anchored by a laager of 20 food carts dishing out their best. Diners will be happy to learn that the organisers added more seating and new activities this year. Lisa Giroday was on hand from Victory Gardens with her trowel, for example, hosting workshops, while Michael Unger – formerly of the Biltmore Ping Pong Club – was hosting several outdoor on multiple games. As always, there was music, plenty of people-watching, and – naturally – a deep selection of delicious foods. Take a look!
The GOODS from Dockside
Vancouver, BC | With a full day of music and activities, Granville Island is Vancouver’s Canada Day headquarters. Again this year, Dockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel is many ways to join the party including a pancake breakfast, an all-day BBQ on Vancouver’s best patio and the official cake-cutting ceremony at 2pm. Granville Island always buzzes on Canada Day and this year will be no different. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival has programmed free jazz throughout the day, while kids love the Canada Day Parade and the Children’s Festival with performers and face painting.
Canada Day kicks off in earnest with Dockside’s Pancake Breakfast, and the Dockside team will be whipping up hotcakes and Canadian bacon until 10:30am to help everyone fuel up for their full day of Canada Day activities. Breakfast is $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Starting at 11am, Chef Simon McNeil and his team will fire up the BBQ for the Great Canadian BBQ featuring Dockside’s Old Bridge Lager Pulled Pork, Smoked Fraser Valley Chicken, Grilled Sockeye and a host of other delicious mains and sides including our special Canada Day Poutine! The BBQ costs just $29.95 per person for all this goodness. To make Canada’s birthday official, Dockside will be serving up a free giant birthday cake next door in Ron Basford Park after the National Anthem ceremony at 2pm. It’s first come, first served for a piece so come sing at the top of your lungs then dig into the cake. Read more
The GOODS from Edible Canada
Vancouver, BC | Eric Pateman, proprietor of Vancouver’s vibrant Edible Canada Bistro, is pleased to introduce Tyler Dallner as Chef de Cuisine. “We are incredibly fortunate to welcome someone with his passion, experience and vision to lead our culinary team” says Pateman. “Tyler is an incredibly promising young Canadian chef with experience ranging from Canada’s hallowed Langdon Hall, to the world’s leading restaurant, Noma in Copenhagen.”
Dallner graduated from the Culinary Management Program at George Brown College in Toronto and, while he gained extensive knowledge through his experiences cooking in Europe, he sought to establish his career on Canada’s West Coast where he could carry out his passion for ancient farming methods and wild foraging, both traditions deep-rooted in the Canadian food culture. “It’s clear that the local food movement is growing here in B.C., but at Edible Canada we are approaching it from a different angle” he explains. “We source the finest ingredients from the Vancouver area while paying homage to all the cultures and emerging food traditions that this vast country is carving for itself. Our food encompasses Canadian cuisine, not just West Coast.”
Supporting Dallner in his vision are Food and Beverage Director, Courtney Massion (ex Sonora Resort & Lumiere), and Restaurant Manager, Joshua Carlson (ex Provence). Together this talented Management team provides over 20 years of top-end industry experience, solidifying Edible Canada as one of the must visit restaurants in the city. Read more
The GOODS from House Wine
Vancouver, BC | Join Michaela Morris and Michelle Bouffard from House Wine at Legacy Liquor Store for a series of themed sit-down tastings. The Wine Savvy Tasting Series is a fantastic way to learn more about your favourite topic without having to commit to a lengthy wine class. Whether you are a casual hobbyist or a serious wine collector, there will be something for everybody.
Rediscover Chardonnay. Steely and demure to voluptuous and unrestrained Chardonnay is one grape whose reputation precedes the glass. A reflection of terroir and fully maleable this globe trotter can be found in premier regions from Champagne and Burgundy to Napa and Margaret River. Join the ladies of house wine, while they dispel the myth of ABC (anything but chardonnay) and take a closer look at this beautiful and versatile grape. Details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from House Wine
Vancouver, BC | Join Michaela Morris and Michelle Bouffard from house wine at Legacy Liquor Store for a new series of themed sit-down tastings. The Wine Savvy Tasting Series is a fantastic way to learn more about your favourite topic without having to commit to a lengthy wine class. Whether you are a casual hobbyist or a serious wine collector, there will be something for everybody. The series starts with Rediscover Chardonnay on the evening of May 28th.
Steely and demure to voluptuous and unrestrained Chardonnay is one grape whose reputation precedes the glass. A reflection of terroir and fully maleable this globe trotter can be found in premier regions from Champagne and Burgundy to Napa and Margaret River. Join the ladies of house wine, while they dispel the myth of ABC (anything but chardonnay) and take a closer look at this beautiful and versatile grape. Get all of the details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Edible Canada
Vancouver, BC | Paired With Pastry is the perfect date night. Hosted by newlyweds Charles & Courtney Massion, this European-inspired evening features a 3 course meal followed by 3 courses of sweet indulgence. Each course of this decadent dinner will be paired perfectly with wines from our award-winning Canadian wine list. Tickets are $80 and include gratuity, a multi-course seasonal menu, and 10% off all retail products. Menu and details after the jump… Read more
(via) In Finland, citizens have the option of the Sauna Lauta, a three deck floating sauna with hammocks, outdoor grills, and diving platforms for dips after hot hot hot sessions inside the sauna. If the powers that be are serious about their “most liveable city” nonsense, they’ll green light a pilot project wherein a dozen of these bookable babies can be accessed at different points along False Creek…
The GOODS from House Wine
Vancouver, BC | From the heartbreak grape’s birthplace of Burgundy to its more recent success stories in Oregon, New Zealand and California, Pinot Noir has captured the hearts of winemakers and seduced numerous wine drinkers. To discover this grape’s special charms, join the house wine ladies on the evening of Wednesday, April 23rd at Legacy Liquor Store in Olympic Village for a comparative tasting of Pinot Noir from across the globe. Besides visiting more established areas we will pour examples from newer dwellings of BC, Chile and Argentina. Be prepared to fall in love! Details after the jump… Read more