STAFF MEAL | Gastown’s “Wildebeest” Eats Korean Tteokbokki And Kalbi For Staff Meal

April 21, 2014 

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The Staff Meal photo essays detail the stories behind the family-style meals that some of Vancouver’s busiest restaurant crews get either before or after service. 

by Ken Tsui | Before unlocking the doors to usher in another fully-booked dinner service, Wildebeest chef Ashley Kurtz is putting together a staff meal based on his memories from the time he spent in South Korea. While travelling the country, he discovered tteokbokki, a dish of rice cakes cooked in a spicy sauce.

Today, this ubiquitous Korean street vendor staple is at the core of the meal. As the sauce bubbles, Kurtz effortlessly moves around the kitchen, throwing kalbi (thin, marinated slices of beef short rib) on the grill, fluffing the freshly cooked rice while occasionally returning to the giant pot of tteokbokki for a quick stir. As the sauce thickens, he doles out his house-made kimchi, soy marinated bean sprouts and sesame leaves as side dishes.

When the meal is served, the staff gather around a long table, ladling out tteokbokki and wrapping sesame leaves around the rice and short rib. Kurtz sneaks a bowl of puffed wild rice onto the table for a bit of added crunch. Co-owner James Iranzad sits down to the spread, looks across the table and jokes, “OK, but where’s the beer?”

READ MORE GLUTTONY STORIES

GOODS | Bambudda Launches New Cocktail List And Tweaks Menu As New Patio Looms

April 21, 2014 

Gastown’s Bambudda is located at 99 Powell Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-428-0301 | www.bambudda.ca

Gastown’s Bambudda is located at 99 Powell Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-428-0301 | www.bambudda.ca

The GOODS from Bambudda

Vancouver, BC | Bambudda has sprung forward with their new Spring cocktail list. On the list you’ll see new creations by barman “Buck” Friend like the “Secrets of a Geisha” – rum, chambord, lime, lychee sake foam. A “Bubble Tea” cocktail made with gin, blue caracao, rhubarb bitters, green tea liqueur and hibiscus bubbles is also available, along with 7 other new cocktails. Chef Korzack has also tweaked the dinner menu with some new dishes. Shitake mushroom dumplings with chrysanthemum pesto, glazed lamb and cumin flatbread. Duck is done with red dates, burdock puree, chrysanthemum greens and a black tea jus. What’s more, the patio will be ready to go in a couple of weeks, possibly sooner if the weather cooperates. Read more

GOODS | Big Long Table Feasts Over Easter Weekend At “The Irish Heather” In Gastown

April 18, 2014 

The Irish Heather is located at 210 Carrall St. in the heart of Gastown | 604-688-9779 | IrishHeather.com

The Irish Heather is located at 210 Carrall St. in the heart of Gastown | 604-688-9779 | www.irishheather.com

The GOODS from The Irish Heather

Vancouver, BC | Join in the festivities this Easter Weekend with a sumptuous feast at the Irish Heather on Sunday April 20th and Monday April 21st. In true Long Table style, guests will gather round a communal table for an evening of good food, fine drink and much merriment, all at an unbeatable price.

The Long Table Series was originally designed as an alternative dining option when the recession was hitting hard and hindering folks from enjoying a night out. It has endured as a popular weekly event because it remains a unique and affordable experience that brings together all those who share a common love of food and good company.

This festive gathering marks the launch of the new Long Table Series menu for the season, and guests this weekend will enjoy what will become the Sunday special; Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Roasting Jus and Roast Potatoes, all washed down with a crisp pint of Grimbergen. Bring family and friends, or come to meet some friendly faces over a hearty home-cooked meal. At only $17 including the artisan beer, it’s hard to find an experience around town better suited for this holiday weekend. Details after the jump… Read more

WELCOME | Gastown Hideaway “Notturno” Has Joined The Growing Scout Community

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We’ve invited Gastown charmer Notturno to join the Restaurant section of our GOODS program as a great place for a bite and a glass. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We would like to thank them for their support and for making Vancouver a more entertaining and delicious place to be.

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ALL THE LOCAL “GOODS”

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: “L’Abattoir” In Gastown On Hunt For Experienced Server

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L’Abattoir is located at 217 Carrall St in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood | 604-568-1701 | www.labattoir.ca

The GOODS from L’Abattoir

Vancouver, BC | L’Abattoir is hiring for its front of house team. The service position starts at 2-3 shifts per week without any “I can’t work on Sundays cause I watch football” restrictions. The successful applicant will have a minimum of 5 years fine dining experience with appropriate wine and food knowledge. Apply to paul [at] labattoir.ca. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more

VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #229 | It Had A Few Pieces Of Rain Activated Art

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(via) You know how when it’s sunny there are a million things to do and everyone is super excited about all of them, but when it’s raining nobody gives a damn about anything and they just want to go home and sulk until the sun comes out again? It would be nice – cool, even – if we had reasons to look forward to the rain. Not for our gardens, slip-and-slides, or Fred Astaire fetishes, but rather to appreciate some public pieces of art that were only visible in the wet.

Such is the case on an old building’s brick wall in Hartford, Connecticut, where artist Adam Niklewicz created a 30ft x 45ft “Charter Oak” tree – a symbol of American independence – using sealant, stencils, and graphite transfers. According to Niklewicz, “Public art should embrace the existing environment and work to enrich reality.” We couldn’t agree more.

While it’s true that Vancouver doesn’t have the deep well of historical context to draw from that Hartford does, I’m sure we could come up with a few ideas for similar wall treatments. How about the iconic maple tree that Vancouver’s early settlers used to meet under to seek shade, shelter, and gossip? It was located in Maple Tree Square (the heart of Gastown), right where the statue of Gassy Jack Deighton stands today. I’d like to see it again, wouldn’t you?

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OTHER CIVIC IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS

DINER | New Eatery “The Blacktail Florist” Ready To Bloom At The Gates Of Gastown

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by Andrew Morrison | Is there room for another interesting restaurant in Gastown? Absolutely. A lot of people fear a future of fewer original restaurants in the neighbourhood (increased Donnellization, chains moving in, etc), so I think it’s only natural to imagine interesting newcomers as sandbags against the slow trickle of ubiquity.

And I think “interesting” is a bit of an understatement when it comes to Gastown’s next new eatery. It starts with the name: The Blacktail Florist. It’s a masculine/feminine compound; “blacktail” being a reference to the indigenous west coast sub-species of mule deer, and “florist” because the restaurant will be loaded with floral installations “arranged” for our enjoyment. I like it because it almost refuses to make sense, like a big “fuck you” to every ill-imagined “kitchen restobar + public house” that has been cruelly unleashed upon our streets in recent years. Of course it’s not as good as the working name that Wildebeest had before it became Wildebeest (“J&J’s House of Bad Decisions”), but its seeming arbitrariness is still pretty awesome. Plus I dig the simple, stark branding by Glasfurd & Walker:

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The Blacktail Florist is located in the same spot as the old HousexGuest at 322 Water Street (previously So.cial at Le Magasin, McLean’s). I expressed my doubts about HousexGuest before it even opened back in October 2011, and wasn’t surprised to hear about its closure.

I have no doubts about The Blacktail Florist. It’s chef/co-owner is Jimmy Stewart, a first-timer journeyman-lifer who dropped out of cooking school to spend nine years working his way up the ranks at Beachside, CinCin, Lumiere, Maze and The Ledbury in London, DB Bistro, and Bearfoot Bistro. His last (and first executive chef) job, ironically, was at HousexGuest. Though I heard excellent things about his food, it was already too late for the restaurant.

But it’s not Stewart’s pedigree that convinced me that I’m going to like The Blacktail Florist. Nor is it my fondness for the actor of the same name. It’s that he’s so quietly smart and so nerdishly dedicated to his craft. I don’t think the 26 year old is going to get much sleep between now and this weekend, when he will serve his Scandinavia-inflected West Coast micro-seasonal fare to friends and family for the first time (the restaurant opens to the public next Wednesday, April 2nd). He’s wound up and ready to go, and his menu, which you can enlarge by clicking below, reads something wicked…

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But it’s the room, too. I love the room. The dining areas seat 80 people, including 16 chairs at a gorgeous communal one piece facing the 12 seat bar. There are big booths throughout, and warm, neutral wood – lots of the stuff. And the windows! The original geometric/deco 3-D windows used to be painted black in the HousexGuest days, but now they’re focal points, with each vitrine within showcasing colourful flower arrangements. The overall design is by Craig Stanghetta (interview), who has a proven ability to modernize old spaces without insulting their antiquity (eg. Revolver). To wit, the original mosaic floor – filled with concrete in its broken spots – snakes like an ancient waterway through the bright dining room, and the original pressed tin ceiling panels are still there, shining bright in white above some very attractive light installations by local firm Good Animal (see also Pidgin, Homer Street).

The bar program is very small and run by Connor Gotowiec, fresh from the Union Bar in Strathcona/Chinatown. There will only be four original cocktails (kitchen driven with local ingredients), but the bar is fully stocked so tipplers can order their Aviations and Old Fashioneds as they please. Wine is the province of GM/Sommelier Adam Mayhew, who has come down from Bearfoot Bistro to join his old co-worker Stewart. And if you see Chen-Wei Lee of Bao Bei, Wildebeest, and Winner Winner fame working the floor, that’s because he’s come on as the operations manager.

The team looks especially solid, which is another reason why I think The Blacktail Florist is going to kill it next week and for long beyond. Take a closer look below…

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

HEADS UP | Contenders Sign-Up For The 2014 Aprons For Gloves Restaurant Rumble

March 25, 2014 

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If you’re in the restaurant trade it’s time to sign up and tryout to be a contender for Restaurant Rumble 2014. All interested would-be pugilists are invited to go to the Aprons For Gloves website and register now. “Contender Sign Up” closes April 11th so get on it now. Tryouts will be held on Saturday April 12 + Sunday April 13 at Action Boxing, 769 East Hastings Street. You must complete the contender forms, waivers and get the medical form signed by a doctor. Bring your signed documents and your $200 deposit with you to tryouts in order to participate. Sorry, no exceptions!

WELCOME | East Cordova’s “Pony Salon” Has Joined The Growing Scout Community

March 21, 2014 

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We’ve invited Gastown’s excellent Pony Salon to join the Style & Retail section of our GOODS program as a recommended place to get your lid properly sorted. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be posting their news in addition to hosting a page for them on our curated list of independent goodness. We would like to thank them for their support and for making BC a better looking place to be.

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ALL THE LOCAL “GOODS”

Notturno

March 21, 2014 

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Details

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280 Carrall Street | Vancouver, BC
Telephone: 604-720-3145 | Email: info [at] notturnogastown.ca
Web: www.notturnogastown.ca | Twitter: @notturnogastown
Hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday: 6 p.m. to late | No reservations

Gallery

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The People

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Chef/Co-owner – William Robitaille
Bartender – H
Co-owner – Scott McTavish
Wine Consultant – Chris Royal

About Notturno

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A Gastown Italian bàcari with an ever-changing selection of cicchetti share plates, craft cocktails, wines by the glass and BC-brewed craft beers, Notturno has something for everyone.

Chef and co-owner William Robitaille has designed Italian-inspired fare with a focus on seasonal, market-fresh products. Industry trained in the West Coast style with Italian and Spanish influences, Robitaille has worked in some of the finest restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler where he developed new and exciting menus. Wine consultant Chris Royal has curated a wine program that expertly complements the food menu.

Known around the world simply as “H”, Notturno’s craft cocktail maker and Vancouver Magazine’s Bartender of the Year for 2013, designed our signature cocktail Gli Felice. This along with H’s five monthly creations is sure to please every taste. Like our menu, our space delivers an eclectic combination of historic and modern.

The new look by Andrea Rodman Interiors is designed to combine the rustic look synonymous with the surrounding Gastown neighbourhood and modern detailing. Master woodworkers Josh Hooge and Steve McFarlane of J&S Reclaimed Wood Custom Furniture have created a new feature wall and bar counter.

Reviews

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Eater Magazine – Vancouver Heat Map | This tiny bar and restaurant tucked away on Carrall has cocktail fans thoroughly over-excited thanks to bartender H’s creative concoctions – impressively, William Robitaille’s Italian tapas even delighted notoriously hard-to-please Globe & Mail critic Alexandra Gill.

Alexandra Gill, Globe and Mail | Notturno’s signature Gli Felice is, as advertised, “a taste of Tuscany in a glass.” I happily say to you that of all the tiny tapas-style wine bars in Gastown, Notturno hits higher than most.

Vancouver Magazine | Don’t miss chef’s succulent Venetian ling cod, which is poached and whipped with olive oil while warm, then served with salty pops of steelhead roe [...] “H” (Vancouver magazine’s 2013 Bartender of the Year) mixes exacting craft cocktails with bitter-predominant Italian flair.

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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “The Portside” In Gastown Looking To Fill Several Positions

March 17, 2014 

The Portside Pub is located at 7 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC | 604.559.6333 | www.theportsidepub.com

The Portside Pub is located at 7 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC | 604.559.6333 | www.theportsidepub.com

The GOODS from The Portside

Vancouver, BC | The Portside Pub, located at 7 Alexander in Gastown, is looking to fill positions in every aspect to facilitate the launch of their brand new maritime-influenced menu and their extension of hours. Think you’re up for it? If you are, you have a minimum of 5 years experience in bars/restaurants, you must be friendly beyond belief, self motivated, organized and ready to hustle. Craft beer knowledge is a definite asset that we’ll be looking for. If you feel like you’d be a good fit, send your resume to info[at]theportsidepub.com. Learn more about The Portside Pub after the jump… Read more

GOODS | “Wildebeest” Set For Craft Beer Supper With Delta’s Four Winds Brewing Co.

Wildebeest is located at 120 West Hastings Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-687-6880 | www.wildebeest.ca

Wildebeest is located at 120 West Hastings Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-687-6880 | www.wildebeest.ca

The GOODS from Wildebeest

Vancouver, BC | On Wednesday, March 26th at 6:30pm Wildebeest celebrates the special release of several new craft beers from Four Winds Brewing Co. with a five-course menu created by Chef Wesley Young. A local favourite, Four Winds Brewing Co. is known for using a combination of new world and old world methods to produce flavourful West Coast, Belgian and German style beers. With representatives from Four Winds Brewing Co. in attendance, guests have an exclusive first look into the brewery’s freshest additions, and feast on innovative, seasonally inspired dishes crafted in harmony with each new brew.

Tickets for this event are limited and on sale for $69 each, which includes a five-course dinner and Four Winds Brewing Co. craft beer pairings. Reservations can be made by contacting eat@wildebeest.ca or for more information visit us on facebook. Menu and details after the jump… Read more

GOODS | Gastown’s “Irish Heather” Gets Ready For Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations

March 13, 2014 

The Irish Heather Gastropub is located at 210 Carrall Street in the heart of Gastown | 604-688-9779 | IrishHeather.com

The Irish Heather Gastropub is located at 210 Carrall Street in the heart of Gastown | 604-688-9779 | IrishHeather.com

The GOODS from The Irish Heather

Vancouver, BC | 2014 will mark the 18th celebration of Ireland’s patron saint since The Irish Heather opened on March 14, 1997. Over the years they’ve had some crazy, out of control St. Patrick’s Days packed to the rafters with locals and whoever famous happened to be in town (from U2 to Sean Penn and everybody in-between). Being the only Irish-owned establishment in Vancouver means that they’re in high demand. The distinct absence of green beer helps, too! Get all of the details about this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations from owner Sean Heather after the jump… Read more

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