DINER | British Gastropub “The Fat Badger” To Open In The West End’s Old Le Gavroche

fatbadger

by Andrew Morrison | When Le Gavroche closed last month after some 35 years in business at 1616 Alberni, I half expected to see its old Victorian shell knocked down in favour of some crappy condo that a prominent architect staffed out to a junior with a lazy eye. Despite the best efforts of Chef Robert Guest, the place felt done after longtime owner Manny Ferreira decamped for Miradoro in the Okanagan, which sort of explains why a bailiff had to eventually slap a notice on the locked front door exclaiming $80,000 in unpaid rent. To put it another way, nobody went.

The good news, of course, is that it’s not going to be demolished to make way for the kinds of buildings that have robbed Coal Harbour of the personality it used to have. It’s been picked up by chef Neil Taylor, Ed Perrow, and Georgia Goritsas, the same triumvirate that brought us Espana on Denman Street two years ago. They signed the deal on the space earlier today.

It’s going to be a proper British gastropub, which makes sense since both Perrow and Taylor are English imports.

They’re calling it The Fat Badger.

“Before we opened Espana,” Perrow says, “Neil and I always talked about a doing a proper pub when we sat and reminisced about the places we used to drink at in Chiswick and Hammersmith.” So what does a “proper pub” mean? I’ve been told to expect some local craft beers plus a few British classics (London Pride, Fullers, etc.), a little “by the glass” wine list, a handful of cocktails, and Neil’s always reliably good food. “We want to keep the menu small,” Perrow points out, adding that the goal is to change it two or three times a week, “depending on what we are getting in fresh from local suppliers.”

Taylor says we can anticipate a “casual, warm environment” with British gastropub-style dishes. At dinner, “you can expect to see dishes such as roast pork belly with colcannon; black pudding and cider; grilled lamb with pea purée, morels and mint sauce; roast cod with spinach, baby onions, wild mushrooms and red wine; and some classics like Lancashire hot pot and braised oxtail with suet dumplings. Appetizers could feature potted Dungeness crab with buttered toast, fried pigs trotters with English mustard, or jellied ham hock and rabbit terrine with piccalilly.”

And what about lunch?

“For lunch we will have a delicious burger with aged English cheddar or even Stilton; a daily pie such as fish, steak and kidney pudding, chicken, ham and leek; and soups such as cock-a-leekie, Cullen skink, or game and lentil. For desserts, we will have dishes like eton mess, sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream, treacle tart with custard, lemon meringue pie and arctic roll, homemade ice creams, and a great selection of British and Irish cheeses. Bar snacks could include black pudding scotched eggs with HP sauce, hand-cut fries with curry sauce, London pride battered cod and chips with tartare sauce.”

Sounds great, but will there be roast beef and Yorkshires? Yes. Every Sunday, The Fat Badger will be tabling a special traditional roast, be it rib of beef with Yorkshire puddings and horseradish “or roast leg of lamb with mint sauce or roast pork shoulder with hot English mustard and apple sauce.”

The Fat Badger will be open for lunch and dinner, with brunch service on the weekends. Hours will probably be 11am to 11pm. Expect a quick turnaround on this. I imagine they’ll be ready for their first service at some point in April.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

Espana

Details

1118 Denman Street | Vancouver, BC
Telephone: 604-558-4040
Web: www.espanarestaurant.ca
Sun-Thu: 5pm – 1am | Fri-Sat: 5pm – 2am
NO RESERVATIONS

Gallery

The People

Owners: Ed Perrow, Neil Taylor, Georgia Goritsas
Bar Manager: Kieran Blair

About Espana

España is a cozy and intimate forty seat restaurant that showcases flavours and wines from Spain. Chef Neil Taylor produces a menu of 40 or so tapas dishes that are created using a mix of locally sourced seasonal produce, meats and seafood, as well as ingredients imported from Spain. The menu changes weekly and specials such as Paella and tortilla change daily. The unpretentious atmosphere and warm ironwood bar, invite you to sample some of the many Spanish wines by the glass, along with sherries, beers and Spanish inspired cocktails. Located a block from popular English Bay, the no reservation policy translates into a swiftly moving line-up during peak dining periods. Open until 1am during the week and 2am on the weekends. Late nights buzz with hospitality professionals and post-show diners.

DINER: A Look Inside The Spanish-Themed “Espana” In The West End (Opens Tonight)

September 13, 2012 

by Andrew Morrison | Two first-time restaurateurs, Ed Perrow and chef Neil Taylor, are about to enter a new world this evening. Their eatery, the Spanish-themed Espana, opens at 5pm this evening (Thursday) on Denman. For a refresher on what’s in store for the West End, here’s what I wrote about it back in July:

Ed Perrow, the amiable fellow who ran operations at Bin 941 & 942 during their heyday (and was recently a front of house fixture at La Brasserie, Cibo, and Uva), has partnered up with Cibo’s highly regarded and soon-to-be-former chef Neil Taylor. Together, they are opening a new, Spanish-themed restaurant called “Espana” in the old Cosca space at 1118 Denman Street.

They’ve just signed the lease on the 1220 sqft space, and aim to be serving us plenty of Spanish wines, sherries, kalimoxto, pinxtos, tapas, and classic vernacular mains like paella come this September. Espana will be a mid-sizer, just 45 seats, so bigger than The Sardine Can and smaller than La Bodega. I trust it will be better than both. They’re on a budget for decor (anticipate simplicity), but who cares when the food program will follow Taylor’s much-loved style of local, sustainable, and organic ingredients expressed simply, creatively and – one safely presumes – deliciously? Not me. They could gussy it up in duct tape and balsa wood and I’d still go.

This is, of course, excellent news for Vancouver as a whole, but it’s especially a shot in the arm to sad old Denman, which has for years suffered an even worse mentionable restaurant drought than Commercial Drive. For the last two decades – with the exception of Raincity Grill, Kingyo, and a few ramen joints, the West End high street has been an embarrassing shit show of fast food and entry-level sugar shacks (I call it “Fatassenstrasse”). It needs something like this badly.

It’s also all kinds of awesome for Perrow and Taylor. I love it whenever any industry lifer makes the move to go independent, and truly, I can’t think of any two Vancouverites who are more ready to go out on their own than these guys. They both hit the ceiling a while back, and are primed to break through.

I popped in yesterday for a peek while they were reloading after a “friends and family” dry run. The place was as nice and simple as I imagined it would be. Check the photos below for a closer look. You’ll find the menu among the photos, too (for the drinkers, the wine division is 5/5 with a couple of Cavas and several Spanish beers). Dig the mural by the gorgeous ironwood bar. It was hand-drawn in charcoal by local artist Jay Senetchko. We wish them the best for this evening, and trust that they will enjoy a long run.

ALL ANTICIPATED RESTAURANTS

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Hotly Anticipated “Espana” On The Lookout For A Sous Chef

September 1, 2012 

3812777050_e16384fa7e_b

Chef Neil Taylor and Ed Perrow are opening their Espana restaurant in the West End (1118 Denman St.) this September.

The GOODS from Espana

Vancouver, BC | Ed Perrow and Neil Taylor are hunting for a sous chef to join Taylor on the line at Espana. The small, Spanish-themed restaurant, located at 1118 Denman St. in the heart of the Vancouver’s West End, will open to the public later this month. Candidates with 4-5 years of experience are preferred (not essential). What’s most important is a willingness to learn and work hard in a fast-paced, professional environment. Submit your resumes with cover letters in confidence to Neil Taylor at chefyneil@gmail.com. Learn more about the restaurant here.

DINER: Industry Veterans Ed Perrow & Neil Taylor To Open “Espana” On Denman Street

by Andrew Morrison | Ed Perrow, the amiable fellow who ran operations at Bin 941 & 942 during their heyday (and was recently a front of house fixture at La Brasserie, Cibo, and Uva), has partnered up with Cibo’s highly regarded and soon-to-be-former chef Neil Taylor. Together, they are opening a new, Spanish-themed restaurant called “Espana” in the old Cosca space at 1118 Denman Street.

They’ve just signed the lease on the 1220 sqft space, and aim to be serving us plenty of Spanish wines, sherries, kalimoxto, pinxtos, tapas, and classic vernacular mains like paella come this September. Espana will be a mid-sizer, just 45 seats, so bigger than The Sardine Can and smaller than La Bodega. I trust it will be better than both. They’re on a budget for decor (anticipate simplicity), but who cares when the food program will follow Taylor’s much-loved style of local, sustainable, and organic ingredients expressed simply, creatively and – one safely presumes – deliciously? Not me. They could gussy it up in duct tape and balsa wood and I’d still go.

This is, of course, excellent news for Vancouver as a whole, but it’s especially a shot in the arm to sad old Denman, which has for years suffered an even worse mentionable restaurant drought than Commercial Drive. For the last two decades – with the exception of Raincity Grill, Kingyo, and a few ramen joints, the West End high street has been an embarrassing shit show of fast food and entry-level sugar shacks (I call it “Fatassenstrasse”). It needs something like this badly.

It’s also all kinds of awesome for Perrow and Taylor. I love it whenever any industry lifer makes the move to go independent, and truly, I can’t think of any two Vancouverites who are more ready to go out on their own than these guys. They both hit the ceiling a while back, and are primed to break through. So, with Wildebeest looking like it’ll be ready to go late next week (he types with crossed fingers), Espana moves to the top of Scout’s list of anticipated openings, like a freakin’ cherry.

ALL ANTICIPATED RESTAURANTS

GOODS: The Moda Hotel’s “Cibo Trattoria” Accepting Reservations For New Years Eve

December 12, 2011 

cibo221

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | On Saturday, December 31st, Executive Chef Neil Taylor and General Manager David Fert are planning to send Cibo guests into 2012 with a memorable New Year’s menu and a fun-filled experience they will not soon forget! An early and late seating are available and include complimentary bubbles upon arrival, party favours and a midnight countdown. Details after the leap… Read more

GOODS: Cibo Trattoria Hosting “Odd Bits” Dinner With Chef/Author Jennifer McLagan

November 23, 2011 

cibo221

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | Cibo Trattoria in conjunction with Barbaro-Jo’s Books to Cooks is pleased to present a very special evening with author and chef Jennifer McLagan on Monday, November 28th.  Her acclaimed book “Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal” rediscovers the delights of less celebrated morsels of the animal.  Executive Chef Neil interprets these bits with his unique Italian style in a dinner you will long remember.  Menu and details after the jump… Read more

GOODS: Acclaimed “Cibo Trattoria” To Open For Lunch During The Month Of December

November 15, 2011 

3812777050_e16384fa7e_b

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | For the first time since opening in 2009, we at Cibo Trattoria are pleased to announce that we will be offering lunch service Monday through Friday from December 1 – 30. Patrons will now be able to enjoy Executive Chef Neil Taylor’s rustic Italian cuisine from 11:30am to 3:00 pm in our cozy yet vibrant dining room. Neil’s seasonal and farm-driven cuisine will delight all palates with an a la carte menu or a three course prix fixe for just $32.00 that also includes coffee or tea. Details after the jump… Read more

GOODS: “Cibo Trattoria” Presents The Often Elaborate And Esoteric Food Of Lombardy…

November 1, 2011 

3812777050_e16384fa7e_b

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | On Wednesday, November 9th, Cibo’s monthly travelogue of food from the various regions of Italy takes us to Lombardy.  This diverse region stretches from the Alpine meadows near the border of Switzerland to the cosmopolitan city of Milan and on to the Po Valley – the heart of Italy’s rice production. Executive Chef Neil Taylor’s menu showcases this widely divergent cuisine, and you can check it out after the jump… Read more

GOODS: “Cibo Trattoria” To Host Special Terralsole Vineyard Supper November 10th

October 29, 2011 

cibo221

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | Join Cibo’s executive chef Neil Taylor and General Manager David Fert as they welcome Mario Bollag and a tasting of six of his extraordinary wines at an exclusive winemakers dinner on Thursday, November 10, 2011.  The three course dinner will be paired with three Brunellos, 1 Syrah, 1 Merlot and 1 Rossoni di Montalcino.  The amazing price of just $89.00 per person also includes a complimentary glass of bubbles upon arrival (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Read more

GOODS: The Moda Hotel’s “Cibo Trattoria” Readies For Three Regional Italian Suppers

cibo221

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | With the season of golden trees, crisp cool air and new fall fashions approaching, so are the next three Regional Dinners at Vancouver’s very own internationally acclaimed and award-winning Cibo Trattoria. The Regional Dinner Series at Cibo have really become popular with true Italian cooking enthusiasts. Each dinner is carefully planned and prepared monthly by Executive Chef Neil Taylor to cater to a specific geographical region in Italy. Each four course dinner represents the culture, ingredients and rich history of traditional meals from the region highlighted for the month. There is also an exquisite wine pairing option each month personally selected by Cibo’s General Manager and Sommelier, David Fert. Get all the details after the jump… Read more

GOODS: Moda Hotel’s “Cibo Trattoria” To Host Night Of Sicilian Fare This Wednesday

3812777050_e16384fa7e_b

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | Often known as the region with the most distinct and varied culture in Italy, take a culinary adventure of Sicily at Cibo Trattoria’s next monthly Italian Regional Dinner series. Because Sicily lies to the south of Italy, its short distance from the African coast led to a long history of invasion and conquests that resulted in a lavish mixed heritage of Greek, Arab, Roman, Norman descents.

Enjoy a chance to feel like you have escaped to Sicily for an evening, right here on the West Coast. Cibo Trattoria is featuring a Sicily Dinner event on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 from 5pm into the late evening. This four course dinner set at $48 with an optional exquisite $48 wine pairing represents the culture, ingredients and rich history of traditional Sicilian meals. Menu after the jump… Read more

GOODS: “Cibo Trattoria” In The Moda Hotel Hunting For Experienced, Full-Time Server

cibo221

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | An experienced, full-time server is needed to work evening shifts at Cibo Trattoria; the busy, award winning restaurant attached to the Moda Hotel. Must have excellent food and wine knowledge, at least 3 years experience in high end restaurants, be very flexible and able to work under extreme pressure. Food and service standards are very high and your ability to multi-task is mandatory. Please send your resume to info@cibotrattoria.ca. You can find out more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more

GOODS: Moda’s “Cibo Trattoria” Celebrating Venetian Food And Culture This April 26th…

3812777050_e16384fa7e_b

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

The GOODS from Cibo Trattoria

Vancouver, BC | Cibo Trattoria plays tribute to Venice, Italy for a special Venezia (Venice) Dinner on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011, from 5pm into the night. This special and fun-filled evening is one of Vancouver’s “must attend” events for those who love Italian food, wine and history.  Guests will enjoy an evening of romance where violin musicians will set a lovely mood with the entire room solely lit by candles and Cibo’s inviting staff appropriately dressed in attire from the 1600’s. Details after the jump… Read more

Next Page »