AWESOME THING WE ATE #919 | A Sweet Summer Camp Dessert At “Blacktail Florist”

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Chef Jimmy Stewart and his kitchen team at Gastown’s good-looking Blacktail Florist share a knack for playful, tweezery presentations, but the high premium they put on light-hearted aesthetic exactitude never comes at the expense of taste. There are many dishes of evidence (ahem, pop rock-sprinkled salmon belly in dilly endive), but the one that tripped us out the most deliciously was a dessert: cedar campfire-flavoured cream and condensed sweet potato puffs that spread out over a landscape of decadent malted milk crumbs littered from on high with smoked salt, cranberries and (what looked to be) cornflowers. It was a combination of combinations that we never knew combined, and in doing so superbly it closed a meal that killed from the first bite.

Blacktail Florist | 200-332 Water Street | Vancouver, BC | 604-699-0249 | blacktailflorist.ca

MORE AWESOME THINGS WE ATE

GOODS | Rhett Williams Stirring Colonial American “Shrub” Cocktails At Pourhouse

Pourhouse is located at 162 Water St. in Vancouver, BC | 604-568-7022 | www.pourhousevancouver.com

The GOODS from Pourhouse

Vancouver, BC | Shrub: a popular summer drink in Colonial America made from a fruit and vinegar syrup, mixed with spirits. Rhett Williams, bar manager at Pourhouse, has developed a selection of shrubs that he’ll be using to create delicious and refreshing cocktails all summer.

Rhett’s expertise in cocktails and cocktail culture is far reaching, as can be seen on his blog – And One More for the Road. He’s fascinated by all things cocktail and wanted to familiarize the Vancouver market with a truly classic drink. Shrubs originated in the 1600’s in Colonial America as a way to preserve fruit. In later years, alcohol was added and a wonderful drink was born.

The shrub is simple to make, but quite time consuming – mix fruit with sugar and leave it overnight in the fridge to create syrup. Add vinegar (apple cider usually, but wine or balsamic works too) to dissolve the sugar and let sit for another day or two for the acidity to mellow. Mix the syrup with a spirit of your choice. Then add soda and ice to complete the delicious summer cocktail.

Rhett and the Pourhouse will be featuring seasonal Shrubs, with flavours changing weekly: strawberry and gin, white peach and bourbon, rhubarb and Akvavit, and bramble (blackberry and bourbon) just to name a few. Read more

GOODS | Gastown’s Nicli Antica Pizzeria To Open “Next Door” At The End Of The Month

Nicli Antica Pizzeria is located at 62 East Cordova in Vancouver, BC | 604-669-6985 | nicli-antica-pizzeria.ca

Nicli Antica Pizzeria is located at 62 East Cordova in Vancouver, BC | 604-669-6985 | nicli-antica-pizzeria.ca

The GOODS from Nicli Antica Pizzeria

Vancouver, BC | Vancouver’s top pizzeria, Nicli Antica Pizzeria, is set to open some new doors towards the end of this month. Next Door is the name of Nicli’s new room opening right ‘next door’ to the pizzeria. It occupies the space that formerly housed Vicino.

Chef Dave Tozer is in the final stages of the menu development, but will concentrate on a mixture of Italian-inspired snacks and small plates. The concept is share plates – similar to Spanish tapas (called ‘cicchetti’), hand-crafted, modern classic cocktails with an Italian-focused wine list to complement Nicli’s award-winning list. This is social dining at its Italian best. Picture sharing braised pork belly with a white bean cassoulet, a plate of arancini, a steaming bowl of chorizo and mussels in white wine, a medley of bruschetta or mini fried pizzette accompanied by a rich Nebbiolo, Super Tuscan or glass of prosecco. Chef Tozer is also producing his own house-made ricotta, salumi and a selection of fresh pasta dishes – just a few dishes to tempt your taste buds and imagination. As at Nicli, Next Door’s menu will change to reflect seasonality of ingredients.

“Next Door is making the wait for Neapolitan pizza at Nicli that much more enjoyable. We want Next Door to become part of the Nicli experience – you can start with a drink and an appy at Next Door, then go next door to Nicli for pizza. We see Next Door as a place where you can come by for a pre-dinner drink and snack before doing a Gastown hop, or, if you are looking for a night out, order a few more plates and make an evening of it here,” says Nicli and Next Door General Manager Anthony Sterne. “Vancouverites have really taken to share-plate dining and it’s a concept that is very Italian. In Italy, they eat dinner much later than in North America. Evenings generally start by meeting friends for an aperitivo and light snacks followed by a full dinner later and ends with more wine and conversation with more friends. It’s a very social way of life. By opening Next Door, we are hoping to replicate that ‘dolce vita’ feeling.” Read more

GOODS | Salt Tasting Room Lines Up New, Delicious “Salt Cellar” Events This Summer

Salt Tasting Room is located in Gastown's Blood Alley (look for the flag) | 604-633-1912 | salttastingroom.com

Salt Tasting Room is located in Gastown’s Blood Alley (look for the flag) | 604-633-1912 | salttastingroom.com

The GOODS from Salt Tasting Room

Vancouver, BC | Gastown’s award-winning tasting room and wine bar has revealed its latest round of favourite merchants to be featured during its upcoming Salt Cellar Series.

Salt Tasting Room will open up its cellar for patrons to sip and sample exceptional artisanal cheese, charcuterie, wine and fine spirits from exceptional producers from across B.C. this summer.

First up on the series schedule is Italian specialty food distributor Bosa Foods. Guests can expect their tastebuds to be titillated with a special sample of the producer’s best meats and cheeses. Bosa will also test out some of its newest products on the evening’s guests. Then in July, Salt will welcome whisky-loving women down to their communal tasting tables to try out a series of classics perfectly paired with a sampling menu. In August, one of B.C.’s most iconic wineries, Sandhill Winery offers guests a taste of their new releases.

These unique dining experiences offer excellent value for those who appreciate tasting plates, exploring new wines and having them professionally paired. Tickets are $51.60, tax and gratuity included. Space is limited. All events begin at 7 p.m. sharp. For more details and to purchase tickets, check out the full schedule after the jump… Read more

DINER | “Tacofino” Nabs Gastown Location, Set To Open In Blood Alley Before Christmas

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by Andrew Morrison | Gastown’s ancient and long dormant Pig & Whistle location (15 West Cordova) has been attracting plenty interested parties looking to capitalise on the neighbourhood’s rise. It’s nothing short of astounding that nothing has opened there in the last decade. I mean, it’s right next door to the original Boneta and around the corner from Gassy Jack Square with entrances on both West Cordova and Blood Alley. It’s a prime spot – definitely a fixer-upper like so many character buildings in Gastown – and the truth of it is that people have tried to pick it up. A lot of well known restaurateurs have taken good, long, hard looks at it and either balked or bolted. There was even a restaurant company that signed a lease (last year) and then shat the bed by running out of money, thereby leaving a lot of people in the lurch.

Tacofino finally inked their deal a few days ago, and are set to pick up where the last almost-tenant left off. We can confirm that they’re aiming to have the 3,000sqft space set with 80 seats and open to the public by the winter. The main entrance will be in Blood Alley, across a 15 seat patio, but those looking for the food truck experience (Tacofino, you’ll recall, started out as a food truck), can visit the takeaway window that’s being built for the Cordova side.

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I recently visited the space with owners Ryan Spong and Jason Sussman (missing Kaeli Robinsong, who is in Tofino at the moment), GM Gino De Domenico, and chef de cuisine Christine Deyoung, all of whom were excited at the prospect of trying something new with the Tacofino brand. The new menu, Sussman says, “will be inspired by everything that we’ve done so far.” Some favourites – things that have been on their food truck and commissary menus – will stay. I trust, for example, that they won’t mess with their fish taco or their margaritas. That being said, I’m stoked to see what new stuff they come up with, and I’m particularly interested in seeing what a patio looks like in Blood Alley. They’re hoping to start construction soon and plan on having it open before Christmas,. And what a nice present that would be! Check the photos below for a taste of what these guys do…

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “L’Abattoir” In Gastown On Hunt For Front Of House Staff

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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 | The award-winning L’Abattoir restaurant is hiring servers, server’s assistants, and a maitre’d. The successful candidates can expect a positive and professional working environment, competitive wages and tips. Apply in confidence via email with resume attached to paul [at] labattoir.ca. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump…… Read more

WELCOME | “Blacktail Florist” In Gastown Has Joined The Growing Scout Community

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We’ve invited Gastown’s recently opened (and especially attractive) Blacktail Florist to join the Restaurants section of our GOODS program as a recommended local eatery. 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 thank them for their support and for making the neighbourhood a more delicious place to be.

OTHER RESTAURANTS WE RECOMMEND

GOODS | Heather Hospitality Group Joins (RED) In Fight Against AIDS Through June

The Irish Heather is located at 210 Carrall St. in the heart of Gastown | 604-688-9779 | www.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 | Heather Hospitality Group join’s (RED), Mario Batali, Pat LaFrieda, and the biggest names in food to fight AIDS this June. At Salt Tasting Room, proceeds from each glass of Rose sold will be donated to (RED), and at the Irish Heather proceeds from every pint of Guinness will be donated to (RED) during June 1-10, 2014. Other participating Vancouver restaurants include: Bestie, The Parker, Save on Meats, Pidgin, Culver City Salads, Chambar, Nelson the Seagull and Tacofino. Learn more after the jump… Read more

GOODS | ‘Bambudda’ Entering Summer With New Menu & Cocktails, Two Outdoor Spaces

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 | Officially, summer doesn’t start until June 21st (at 6:54 am to be exact.) But, like everyone else in town, Bambudda owner Ray Loy is ready to call it as soon as the sun comes out.

Along with the warmer weather, Vancouverites will also welcome the return of Bambudda’s sunny sidewalk bar, where the glass wall opens and patrons can perch not a foot from the pavement. There, bartender Buck Friend’s cocktails will cool you down or heat things up, depending upon your mood. Highlights include the shockingly coloured Bubble Tea (a bright blue gin and Curaçao concoction topped with fuschia hibiscus bubbles), Sum Yung Gai (a sparkling coupe of gin, cava, Maraschino and lavender syrup) and Secrets of a Geisha (a soft sipper of rum and Chambord topped with a lychee sake foam).

For those seeking a more intimate experience, Bambudda’s red brick side patio takes over the corner of Powell and Columbia. Here, under a canopy of trees, Chef Scott Korzack’s light and colourful menu incorporates the finest of the season with dishes like delicate tuna tartare paired with grapefruit, horseradish and tapioca crackers, a fresh asparagus salad complemented by Asian pear and kohlrabi, and the jovial Happy Pig: szechuan pepper pork cheeks in a warm Chinese Happy Wine vinaigrette topped house-made pickles of radish and green strawberry. Read more

GOODS | Boulevardier Cocktails At PiDGiN Benefit The (RED) Global Fund To Fight Aids

Pidgin is located at 350 Carrall Street in Vancouver’s Gastown | 604.620.9400 | www.PidginVancouver.com

Pidgin is located at 350 Carrall Street in Vancouver’s Gastown | 604.620.9400 | www.PidginVancouver.com

The GOODS from Pidgin

Vancouver, BC | From June 1st to 10th PiDGiN joins leading restaurants, bars and food trucks from around the globe in raising money and awareness for the fight against AIDS in the EAT (RED). DRINK (RED). SAVE LIVES campaign. For ten days, partial proceeds from the sales of PiDGiN’s classic Boulevardier cocktail will go directly toward (RED)’s Global Fund for HIV/AIDS.

(RED) was created in 2006 to engage millions of people in the fight to end AIDS in Africa, which is home to 2/3 of the world’s estimated 35 million people with HIV/AIDS. (RED) works with the world’s most iconic brands and organizations to develop fundraising campaigns through products and services that trigger corporate giving to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS. Funds are then invested in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, with a focus on countries with a high incidence of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Read more

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The Imposing Neoclassical Giant At The Gates Of Gastown

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by Stevie Wilson | The old, neoclassical-style building at western edge of Gastown and the northern end of Seymour Street – now known as Waterfront Station – is one of Vancouver’s many standing examples of civic evolution. Similar to the current structure of the Hotel Vancouver, the Granville Street Bridge, and various other sites across the city, this building has gone through several changes in its 100 years. Though it now operates as a transit hub for the SkyTrain, Seabus, and West Coast Express, it was once a different kind of station altogether: the terminus of the CPR Railway’s transcontinental line. It is the third incarnation in a series of historic sites whose predecessors were ultimately destroyed in favour of new design, new tastes, and the accommodation of civic development.

The first CPR station was constructed nearby at the foot of Howe St. in 1886, but it was not much more than a single-level shed. The second station, designed by Edward Maxwell, opened in 1898 adjacent to the current site, where the Granville Plaza now stands. It featured beautiful chateau-style brick architecture with a large, arched stone entranceway, two imposing tower facades, pitched roofs, and spires similar (though on a much smaller scale) to the current Hotel Vancouver, which was also built by the CPR. The chateau-style design is found throughout many of their other (former) properties, including the historic rail station in New Westminster (now a Keg restaurant) and the Château Frontenac in Quebec City.

The stations third design was constructed between 1912-1914 and reflected the success of CPR’s trade route expansions. The exterior features a colonnade façade typical of the time, with a large interior reminiscent of Beaux-Arts design. Look closely in the photos below and you’ll notice the CPR banner atop the south-facing main entrance. Inside, Canadian landscape murals high across the walls act as a subtle nod to the cross-country route of the pioneering CPR line.

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Originally, the interior featured a lunch counter and kitchen, dance hall, and lodging for travellers, in addition to amenities for staff. Outside, the bronze Angel of Victory statue by Coeur de Lion stands as a memorial to CPR employees lost during WWI.  It’s worth noting that the locations of the three stations had an impact on the development of the city; their location far west of the Granville Townsite became a new focus for economic growth, which in turn contributed to the area’s evolution into the “downtown” that we recognize today.

By the late 1970s the station had begun its transformation into a modern transit hub. Commuter rail travel was eventually taken over by Via Rail in the 1978, and service shifted to Pacific Central Station off Terminal Avenue. A year after the opening of the Seabus terminal in 1977, the lobby at Waterfront Station was renovated by Hawthorn Mansfield Towers Architects to include shops, restaurants, and offices. The construction of the Expo Line in 1985 required the removal of several CPR tracks. However, the West Coast express, which opened in 1995, operates on original rail lines. Take a look around next time you’re waiting for the SkyTrain, and enjoy a glimpse into one of Vancouver’s busiest landmarks. Like any good historic building, it’s rumoured to have plenty of ghosts, too, so be sure to keep an eye out.

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY

GOODS | Gastown’s “Notturno” Serving Up New Dishes & Cocktails To Welcome June

Notturno is located at 280 Carrall Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-720-3145 | www.notturnogastown.ca

Notturno is located at 280 Carrall Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-720-3145 | www.notturnogastown.ca

The GOODS from Notturno

Vancouver, BC | We’re pleased to launch our June menu, which includes a new take on one of our most popular features – the horse tenderloin carpaccio, now with pickled shallots and horseradish crema. And what do a shadow boxer, a suffering bastard, a painkiller, and a bee’s dream have in common? We’re not really sure, but they’re the features on our new June cocktail menu. Get all the details and learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “Bambudda” Is On The Lookout For An Experienced P/T Server

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 is looking for a server with at least 3 years experience. This is a part time position to start. Candidates must have good knowledge of food and wine/spirits in addition to a genuine passion for hospitality. The position will require you to work Friday and Saturday evenings. Please send your cover letter and resume in confidence to ray [at] bambudda.ca. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more

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