Robyn Yager | One of the best feelings is stumbling across a treasure where and when you least expect it. Such was the recent case when I found myself inside an adorable shop in New West – Brick & Mortar Living – quite by chance. They had everything from home goods and jewelry to accessories and bars of chocolate from Vancouver’s own Beta 5. They also sell vintage pieces like luggage and other well worn goods. I was besotted by the selection and all the attention to detail. Owned by Julia Dewhurst, Emma Nash, and Jennifer Pistone, the store opened a little under a year ago (June 7th, 2013 marks their one year anniversary). What makes them particularly special is their loyalty to place. Brick & Mortar offers diverse products, mostly from BC. Even when they source farther afield, the items tend to be from within Canada. It’s clear that they have a serious love-love relationship with where they are. Check them out on your next trip to River Market!
Robyn Yager is the style reporter for Scout Magazine. She is enthused by anything out of the ordinary, loving art, striped shirts, macchiatos, classic literature and picking through thrift stores for unique treasures. Her mission is to inspire Vancouverites in their sartorial choices and to see beauty and style everywhere.
by Andrew Morrison | Chef/restaurateur Angus An of Kitsilano’s multiple award-winning Maenam restaurant is opening a new counter-service eatery called Longtail Kitchen in New Westminster’s popular River Market. An, you might recall, trained at New York’s French Culinary Institute and worked in such famed kitchens as Jo-Jo, The Ledbury, The Fat Duck, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Nahm before opening Maenam in 2009. He’s one of Vancouver’s top culinary stars. His new joint is named after Thailand’s ubiquitous, iconic, and often turbo-charged “longtail” water taxis) — a cool name that fits that address’ Fraser River waterfront location and Thai theme.
The lease was just signed this week, but it’s been in the works for many months. And it’s no wonder. Between shuttling to and from New York City where An consults at the famed Kittichai restaurant, overseeing the perennially busy Maenam, and raising a young family, An is a busy guy. You’d think opening another establishment would seem a daunting, overly complicated prospect, but he shrugs the notion off. “I wouldn’t have done this if it didn’t feel right for me,” he says. “It’s a fine balance, but I can do it comfortably.”
The 25 seat, 880 sqft Longtail will focus on sea-centric Thai street food. “Quick and easy Thai fisherman comfort food”, is how An likens it, adding that there “will be noodle dishes, fish stews and fish curries, with price points ranging from $8 to $12.” Sadly, there will be no liquor license to start off with, but the application is under way. They’ll also be trying for a sectioned-off patio (which would work beautifully with garage door frontage), but if you’ve ever been to the River Market, you already know how easy it is to take your meal outside and sit just about anywhere (the gull population mercifully appears to be about 1/50th that of Granville Island market).
Longtail is being designed as a multi-functional space. By day it will concentrate on regular service with a retail component (selling An’s signature curry sauces, spices, cookbooks, etc.) and then at night it will host cooking classes, private functions and special chef-collaborative suppers. “I’m a longtime fan of Angus’ cooking,” says Mark Shieh, the River Market’s Director. “He and I have talked a lot about the future of restaurants. One of our goals at the Market is to reconnect with food in a meaningful and playful way. Angus’ imagining of a restaurant as a multifunctional seaside kitchen is a great fit with our Food 360 approach.”
Longtail Kitchen is another big “get” for River Market (already home to Wild Rice, Re-Up, Wally’s Burger, La Grotto del Formaggio, among other food fetishist faves). Opening day is scheduled for early May, 2013.
We’ve been fans of Wild Rice since it opened way back in 2001. Over the years it has proven to be one of the most consistent restaurants in town, staying true to owner Andrew Wong’s original concept of a restaurant that was modern and open in design and outlook (both gastronomic and environmental) but true to his Chinese heritage. And as a founding member of Ocean Wise and Green Table, it has been a leader in sustainability since long before it was sexy. Behind the consistency is the chef, Todd Bright, whose passion for local product and unique preparations are deliciously evident on the plate, 7 nights a week. Wild Rice expanded this time last year by opening a new location in the revamped River Market out in New Westminister. Bright came on as a chef/partner in the new enterprise, which is to say we’re very grateful that he took time he couldn’t spare to answer the following questions…
Where did you go to school? Toowoomba, Australia.
If you had a motto, what would it be? Work hard, play harder.
What’s the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? I love chicken skin! I know lots of people are opposed to eating poultry skin for health reasons these days, but it’s the best part.
What ingredient grosses you out the most: We would never use this at Wild Rice, but you know what natural raspberry flavouring is made of right? Natural raspberry flavor, or castoreum, comes from the anal extracts of a North American beaver.
Default drink of choice: Beer — anything local and cold.
What are you the most proud of: I’m really proud of the team we have built at Wild Rice, and that we get to be part of the River Market renewal process.
What are you the least proud of: I’m the least proud of not being able to answer this question honestly.
Your favourite smells: Roasted chicken stock is pretty awesome.
Your least favourite smells: The smell of something burning. I hate the smell of something burning!
Your chef role models: Neil Perry, Tetsuya, and Marco Pierre White.
Your favourite sound: I really like the sound of a busy restaurant. The roar of the hood vents, sizzling pans, communication from my crew, laughter and chatter from the dining room. It’s music to my ears!
Your least favourite sound: Dropped cutlery. It pings through the entire restaurant. It’s horrible.
The best way to die: Fat, happy and with no regrets. Read more
by Claudia Chan | There’s a brand new farmers’ market in town happening in South Van and they’re scouting out farmers for the harvest season. During their six-week launch from September 15th to October 27th, 2012, the River District will be holding a market down by the waterfront on Saturdays from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. The market will take place next to the riverside, pier, restaurant and 7,000 lovely homes. It’s considered one of Vancouver’s new up in coming communities. The market features 21 vendors, as well as 4Cats Art Studio hosting children’s activities.
If you’re an artisan, a local farmer or know of one, this is an opportune moment to showcase the fruits of your labour and connect with and sell directly to the ever-growing River District community. To become a vendor or for more info, you can contact Wendy Hainstock, market manager at email@example.com.
The GOODS from Wild Rice
Vancouver, BC | Chinese New Year’s Eve, on Sunday, January 22nd, heralds the Year of the Dragon (lunar year 4710), a time when family and friends gather to celebrate with special meals the New Year’s opportunities and beginnings. Unlike in Western culture where dragons are considered evil, fire-breathing creatures; in Chinese culture the Dragon is revered as a benign, powerful, divine being – a symbol of heaven, the ‘yang’ principle (male, fire, vital energy) and China itself. In Chinese mythology, Dragons control the rain and by doing so, bestow fertility upon the land and its people. An ancient Chinese legend has it that a carp (which swim up stream to breed as do salmon), if it swims through the gate at the stream’s beginning deep under the mountains will be transformed into a Dragon. Dragons are a big deal, a very big deal and this year is the Year of the Water Dragon – an especially powerful and unpredictable Dragon. To celebrate, Wild Rice Proprietor Andrew Wong and Executive Chef Todd Bright will offer a special Year of the Dragon Menu that pays homage to the Water Dragon… Read more
The GOODS from Wild Rice
Vancouver, BC | Hankering for har gow? Desiring dumplings? Craving cha siu bao? Yearn no longer. Wild Rice Executive Chef Todd Bright, a master of the art of new-style dim sum, will be conducting three intimate cooking classes in dim-sum making at the newly opened Wild Rice in New Westminster’s River Market starting next Monday, December 5th. Subsequent classes will be held on the following two Mondays – December 12th and 19th respectively. Details after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | The new Wild Rice (aka Wild Rice Too) is only a few weeks away from opening. I toured the space at New West’s River Market with owner Andrew Wong yesterday and they’re looking very much on track. The skinny: the garage-door fronted, water-view dining area will seat 52 at square, interchangeable tables and sport a living wall of herbs and greens; the lounge will see a 12 seat bar, 3 couches, 2 armchairs and a host of low-slung coffee tables (a la the original Wild Rice on Pender); the open kitchen will include a line-fronting chef’s table of 8; and the patio – oh, the patio! – will seat about 35. Take a look. There’s clearly still a lot of work to do, but wow…
Get a load of architect Marianne Amodio’s gorgeous vision after the jump… Read more