The GOODS from Spotted Bear Bistro
Tofino, BC | If you’re visiting Tofino this weekend, don’t miss Spotted Bear Bistro‘s Feast Tofino pig roast event on Friday, May 24th. The restaurant is taking a break from its regular Feast menu to host their “Piggy Parts Party: Bits & Bites Inspired by Pig, made with Pig & Love” featuring Spotted Bear’s new head chef, Cam Young. Tickets are $40 per person. Diners can expect a snout to tail pork feast paired with refreshing beer supplied by Tofino Brewing Com. and live music by The Poor Pistols, Tofino’s own all-female bluegrass band. The event will start at 6:30pm with an open seating arrangement. It’ll be a boot-stomping, pork-feasting, local beer-swilling heck-of-a good time with your friends from the Bear! Tickets are limited, so call 250-725-2215 to reserve for this special summer kick-off event today.
by Robyn Yager | Dace has created the perfect ladies white button-up shirt. I love the relaxed yet structured style. Pair with a pair of loose trousers, a high-waisted skirt, or perhaps some tailored shorts.
The Legendary Army & Navy Shoe Sale continues until May 5th. It takes a little bit of searching around but you’re bound to find something amazing here. Scan the goods for Kelsi Dagger, Michael Kors, Pour La Victoire, and lots more.
Chanel becomes a graphic novel. Illustrated by Bernard Ciccolini and written by Pascale Frey, the book is a history of Coco in a colourful frame-by-frame comic en Francais. Forget Batman, I’ll take Chanel! Here’s a preview. It’s not published yet, but you will be updated when it is!
Always take Cary Grant’s Timeless Style Advice, but never take it for granted. One of his best gems: “If a man wears the kind of clothes that please him, then, providing they’re clean and don’t shock society, morals, and little children, what is the difference as long as that man is happy?” (via GQ Winter 1967/68)
Common clothing stains and how to remove them, because you never know when a Beaujolais mishap will strike, and when it does you’re going to need to deal with it!
The Essential Menswear Movie Guide (via FourPins). This article is a collection of “cliff notes on the most essential flicks of menswear’s cinematic canon”, highlighting such films as The Great Escape, The Graduate, and the Talented Mr. Ripley (did someone say boat shoes and crisp whites?)
Local looks and wants deciphered from the photographs up top…
1. Lace up two-tone heels seen in Gastown.
2. Bike: Denim vest, jeans, toque, and a sweet bike in black and yellow.
3. HeyJude8: Grey wide-brimmed fedora and leather jacket at Eco Fashion Week.
4. MSC12: Flat-brimmed floral print baseball cap with a questionable statement.
5. Close-up of a Uplifting Jacket at the Nicole Bridger’s “Be” show at Portside Pub.
6. A men’s grey polka-dot button up shirt at Union Street’s Charlie & Lee.
7. A Marc Jacobs army green track jacket won’t protect much against the elements (at least he looks good).
9. Brogued white lovelies with turquoise lacing (seen on Granville Island).
Robyn Yager is the style reporter for Scout Magazine. She runs The Rain Season blog and is enthused by anything out of the ordinary. She loves 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 Ariel Taylor | Spring has officially arrived on the coast and with the warming weather and blooming city streets it’s hard to want to stay inside. The coastal mountains are also starting to wake. However, melting snow and muddy trails can make this a tumultuous time of year to go exploring. In the months before summer truly arrives, stick to lower ground and closer to home. A great place to amp up for another outdoor season is North Vancouver’s Lynn Headwaters Park. Conveniently it’s just a bridge crossing away.
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park is what the North Shore is all about. Located approximately 30 minutes from downtown, this park really does offer something for everybody. Whether you’re into a mellow creek-side stroll, a serious cardio climb, or a full day wandering among the trees, it will not disappoint. Added bonuses: dogs are welcome, parking is free and for those of you without wheels, it’s easy to access via public transit. Seriously.
Take Hwy 1 to the Lynn Valley exit and follow the road north past the turnoff for Lynn Canyon Park. The road will eventually veer to the left, but continue along the narrower right fork until you hit the parking lot. If you’re riding the bus, get yourself to the downtown SeaBus terminal and take it to North Vancouver. Once on the other side, head to the bus loop (located just outside the main gates) and hop on the 229 bus for Lynn Valley. Try to grab a seat, since you’ll be on it until pretty much the last stop.
From the park entrance there are lots of possibilities depending on what you’re in the market for. Lynn Loop is probably the most frequented trail as it offers a quick 1.5 hour tour of the park – about 5km total. The trail is relatively flat and runs along the side of Lynn River. Though often crowded, particularly on weekends, the towering Cedar and Hemlocks help to shape its wilderness facade. Expect wet conditions for the next few weeks as spring runoff and seasonal rainfall can often spill the river’s banks.
For those with a little more time, the Headwaters Trail takes you to beautiful Norvan Falls (pictured at top). Located approximately 7km from the parking lot and accessible year-round, this is a great option for just about any afternoon. The relatively flat path parallels the river until it meets Norvan Creek. This time of year the creek is in full force so exercise caution, particularly if children or pets are around. Make sure not to cross the bridge to the far bank, but instead head right along the shoreline path until you reach the falls – don’t worry, the thunderous sound of crashing water will tell you that you’re on the right track.
If you’re looking to take in some vistas but don’t have a whole day to spend finding them, Lynn Peak is a great option. This 9km round trip trail will get your heart pumping without taking up your whole day. By the time you’ve reached the top you’ll have gained about 700m of elevation. The trail can be rocky in places so think about appropriate footwear. At the summit you’ll be rewarded with views of Seymour Mountain and the downtown skyline. On a clear day you can see as far south as Washington State. Conditions on the trail this time of year are variable but worth checking out. Have a backup plan in case you get turned around.
Give the weather a few more weeks and soon these next spots will be once again accessible to those of us wanting an extra escape. Hanes Valley, Lynn Lake, and Coliseum Mountain are each reserved for experienced hikers and those prepared to spend anywhere from 8 to 12 hours on the trail. I’ll note that Hanes Valley is an A–B hike (meaning you will not end up where you began) and should thus be planned for accordingly. You’ll exit via the Grouse Mountain gondola where public transit is available to take you back into the city. This is a super fun full-day excursion with lots of beautiful photo ops and even a cold beer (or two) once you make it to the Grouse Mountain lodge. The last push is definitely the hardest so make sure you save a little something for that home stretch.
Lastly, Lynn Lake and Coliseum Mountain are both steep climbs, but with the right group of friends they can be inspiring experiences. The Lake trail is poorly marked at times so it’s even more important to stick together and keep an eye out for trail markers. Coliseum is better marked overall, but a series of narrow passages can lead to some steep drop offs if you wander off trail. The higher elevation of both these routes mean snow sticks around longer so expect wet conditions even into early June. Both routes are around 24km round trip so make sure to leave first thing in the morning to avoid getting caught in the dark.
Be careful, be prepared, and have fun!
Ariel Taylor is a writer and professional student living and working in the West End. Though never short on opinions, she approaches most things in life with an open mind and a grain of salt. She suffers from acute wanderlust (hence her Get Your Ass Outside column) and as a result can be packed for most adventures in 10 minutes or less.
by Andrew Morrison | Pidgin, the highly anticipated first Vancouver restaurant from Canadian Culinary Champion Makoto Ono, opened last night to friends and family at 350 Carrall Street (across the street from Pigeon Park on the DTES). I took a look inside while they were preparing for service and stayed until it started to fill up. “We ended up feeling pretty good,” Ono’s business partner, Brandon Grossutti, told me this morning — so much so that they let the door go and finished the night with two full turns.
Designed by Craig Stanghetta with several installations by local artist Ricky Alvarez (a tandem we also saw to great effect at Revolver), the finished room is startlingly beautiful — the most mature of Stanghetta’s restaurant spaces to date. Alvarez’s works – I spied a collection of suspended scissors, a white forearm with hand brandishing a cleaver, golden thread-suspended blocks of quartz in the washrooms, a goosewing fastened to an orange decahedron, a California quail taxidermist’s triptych set in alcoves above the chef’s table – make for easy conversations, as do the weighty metal menus, the magnetic wall sections (to fasten the menus to, natch), and the service of JoieFarm “Noble Blend” and soju from gleaming taps.
Clearly, a lot of thought went into everything a diner’s eye might set upon, and that includes the wide angle view of the oft-sordid goings on across the street at Pigeon Park. There are at least a dozen seats right in the window, which tells me Grossutti and Ono are not in the least bit embarrassed by their bright projection of style and cuisine in the heart of the Downtown Eastside. And nor should they be. The contrast between inside and out might be massive, very real, and as striking to those who congregate on the northeast corner of East Hastings and Carrall as to the diners themselves, supping foie gras rice bowls and sipping Negronis in heated, cloistered comfort behind an unfrosted window, but that’s the reality of Vancouver, and I dig that they’re framing it instead of running from it. Stanghetta and Alvarez may have outdid themselves, but for the time being this is the talking point that will dominate the rest.
That is, until its Ono’s turn, because the heart of the matter is his French/Japanese/Korean food. I tried just a few of his dishes, definitely not enough of the menu to square and share a judgment with any kind of confidence, but suffice it to say that he’s wicked clever, and that I’d happily eat everything that I tried last night again (especially the squid and the tataki). I will, however, predict that if the service can hold up its end of the bargain (always a tall order when there’s a fierce talent in the kitchen) that Pidgin might just rapidly join the rarified ranks of the most ambitious restaurants in the city. It definitely has the potential to be that good. But make your own call. Pidgin opens tonight (Sunday) for real at 6:30pm. Click here for further intel/context, and browse the fresh shots below…
Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout and Culinary Referee & Judge at the Gold Medal Plates and Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.
by Andrew Morrison | Restaurant wonks and food lovers will be happy to learn that the main floor of the old building at 261 Powell St. (next to Bean Around The World and Big Lou’s Butcher Shop) has been picked up by a pair of industry veterans who are aiming to turn the raw shell of the place into a 93 seat restaurant by the end of Spring 2013.
Those same folks will remember chef Stu Irving (above right) from his days at Cobre, Wild Rice, Bin 941 and, most recently, The Diamond, but they’ll have to go way back to recall his business partner, John Cooper (left above). Cooper used to work with Irving at Raintree in its 1990s Gastown heyday, back when the now long defunct restaurant was nurturing the early careers of Michael Dinn (JoieFarm), Tyson Reimer (Peckinpah), Andy Crimp (ex-Chambar), Karen Barnaby (Fish House), and many more (it shuttered in 2002). He only just returned to the front of house this year.
Their new project is called Cuchillo (Spanish for “Knife”). The food concept sounds like a slightly more health-conscious evolution of Irving’s work at Cobre, which closed last year after its lease came to an end (it is now another location of Rodney’s Oyster House). From what I understand, the plates will be modern interpretations and presentations of dishes that would be recognized by the peoples and cuisines of Latin America, so if I were to give it a name, I’d call it Modern Pan-Latin. Though there will be plenty of meat on the menu, expect to see some vegan/vegetarian stuff on it as well, albeit without any lifestyle harpery (Cooper is a vegetarian, but he’s not the least bit evangelical about it).
I don’t have an exact date for the building’s beginnings, but it’s in Japantown (DTES) and looks like it has 1890-1910 bones; lots of thick wooden beams and – get this – grey brick, not red. There are several SRO apartments on the three upper floors, the side windows of which can be seen up through the cool-looking, angled skylights casting natural light on one side of the soon-to-be dining room (these look like transparent buttresses). The whole was recently redone from top to bottom and given a seismic treatment, so there’s a naked corset of reinforcing steel wrapping around the room’s waist. From the schematics (see below), you can see a lounge area that includes an 18 seat bar facing a 30 seat communal table leading to a dining room proper opposite Irving’s open kitchen (the design is being done by Mary Lou Rudakewich from M Studios). The whole thing is long and thin with very high ceilings; rather reminiscent of Wildebeest. According to Irving and Cooper, there hasn’t been a business in the space for roughly 30 years (they don’t know much about it except that it was a Japanese bath-house at one point).
It’s just a few blocks from my house, so I’m very interested to see how they do here. It’s a big room on a stretch of the Downtown Eastside that hasn’t seen an interesting restaurant in some time (the food program at the No. 5 Orange notwithsanding), so it will have its challenges. And despite Irving’s long history of cooking interesting things in the neighbourhood and how Cooper’s Mom was once upon a time Miss Gastown in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (she used to own Maggie’s Boiler Room on Powell in the 1970′s), the pair will almost certainly be labelled “gentrifiers” by the many NIMBYs who claim to represent the DTES. When I remind Irving of this, he bridles. “I grew up white trash and clawed for everything I have. How could people possibly make that argument?” When I tell him that people will still make the argument regardless of his upbringing, his intentions, or his history of toil in the community, he just shrugs his shoulders and says, “I cook honest comfort food, nothing fancy.”
Fat Dragon, as we just saw, couldn’t make it past nine months in these parts. Will Cuchillo fare differently? That remains to be seen, but for the sake of my appetite I certainly hope so. There are stark differences that work in Cuchillo’s favour, chief among these being that it’s on the 200 block of Powell, and not the 500 block. And there might as well be a chasm between the two addresses. Fat Dragon was pretty well isolated where it was, and Cuchillo is much more accessible; closer to Main, closer to Gore, closer to the hordes of Gastown, and on the immediate doorstep of Railtown’s countless small business offices. I reckon it has a significant leg up on account of its location. But we’ll see. They don’t even have their building permit yet, and opening day is a long time away. In the meantime, take a look…
Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout and National Referee & Judge at the Gold Medal Plates and Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.
by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. From our calendar to yours… Read more
We bumped into this set up on Long beach yesterday. Word around Tofino is that a local cook named Peter (Shelter) and his buddy Ricky (SOBO) spent some 15-20 hours building the thing. Note that some of the logs are over 15 feet high, the Y is a single piece, and the loops in the R’s are made out of bull kelp. At the base of each letter were candles, and in front of the whole was a table set with dinner on white linen. Because it’s inset from the beach backing up against the forest, you would nerver notice it until you were behind it reading the letters from the table. The girl, named Rosalyn, said yes. Bonus: it was her birthday. Good times.
The GOODS from Pourhouse
Vancouver, BC | Passionate about great food? Pourhouse in Gastown is looking to hire an experienced Chef de Cuisine. Applicants must have a minimum of 7 years cooking experience, possess strong leadership skills and most importantly be passionate about food. The Chef de Cuisine will be responsible for the daily operation of the kitchen, including ordering, inventory, hiring and managing a brigade of 8 – 10 people. Applicants should send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more
Oyster Seafood & Raw Bar is now a proud member supporter of Scout. We will be publishing their news on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of recommended restaurants to check out. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of our little website. Click ahead to read on or jump directly to their Scout page here… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Whip owners Erv Salvadore and his wife Casey Thiessen have just opened Lucy’s Eastside Diner at 2708 Main St. (the former home of Yummy’s Frozen Dim Sum). It’s a 30 seater with a swivel stool bar, mirrored lunch counter, two front window four tops and a bunch of deuce booths. The menu is very simple: old school diner-esque with fried chicken, melts, burgers, milkshakes and all day breakfasts. They’re licensed, serving Red Racer, Slipstream, Nelson Stout and Steam Whistle beers, plus a limited cocktail selection until midnight (they’ve put in to City Hall for the obligatory 1am extension). That all sounds well and good, but the coolest thing about Lucy’s is that it’s open 24 hours a day! Now all of Vancouver’s service staff have a place to go after clocking out that isn’t Denny’s or The Naam. How sweet is that? You can read more about it my Westender column next Thursday, but in the meantime, feast on the photos after the leap… Read more
Dicks On Dicks | familiar | The nickname for Richards On Richards, the once venerable entertainment venue at 1036 Richards Street. It was torn down in 2009 to make way for – wait for it – condominiums.
Usage: “I kind of miss the bathroom attendant at Dicks On Dicks”.
Inside Vancouver’s original Stock Exchange Building (circa 1929)
475 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 9:30pm
Capacity: 25 seats
Owner: Jeremy Towning
Manager: Kelly Ann Woods
Oyster Seafood and Raw Bar: a new pearl in the Vancouver dining scene. A small and charming room, distinctly focused on Ocean Wise seafood, Oyster blends the charm of the 1920’s with the upscale and modern influences of the twenty-first century. Housed in the original Vancouver Stock Exchange building at 475 Howe Street, this 25 seat oyster haven is open from noon to 9pm Monday to Friday, with daily menu features and 3 – 6pm “buck a shuck” oysters.
The seed behind Oyster is Jeremy Towning. A family background in hospitality and passion for business brought Towning to open Oyster. He has put together a team that is passionate about – yes, you guessed it – Oysters. A wine list focused on seafood pairings, and house-designed “batched cocktails” are among a few of the inventive creations at Oyster.
Oyster offers a broad choice of non oyster offerings; try the chopped shrimp salad, the delectable Lobster Butter mini Hoagies or for the carnivore in the crowd the Philly Cheese Steak mini sandwich features AAA shaved rib eye with caramelized onions and aged cheddar. Sharing plates see a selection of Organic Ocean Wild Salmon Tartare, Crab Claw Cocktail and the always popular Steamer Bowls – clams, mussels or ALL In. Add some Potato Salad or an order of Garlic Toast and lunch is a done deal.
Oyster features a selection of BC’s finest seafood, as fresh as can B, with the emphasis on freshly shucked Oysters, prepared Scallops, Mussels, Clams, Crab and fin fish, cooked in with global flare and maintaining the flavours inherent to BC seafood and the waters they come from.
Oyster is located at 475 Howe Street (at Pender). To book private weekend functions please call 604-899-0323.