The GOODS from Espana
Vancouver, BC | The West End’s popular Espana is looking for passionate, dedicated, and hard-working cooks who would like to join a small kitchen team. Ideally, candidates will have experience working in good, busy, high volume restaurants, but this is not essential if you are willing to learn. All interested candidates should email neil [at] espanarestaurant.ca with their resume and details. You can learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Le Parisien
Vancouver, BC | You’re invited! Celebrate our two year anniversary with us on Friday, April 11th and through until May 15th. These past two years have made us so proud to be a part of the West End community and we are always excited to get to know new people. So whether you’re a regular customer or you’ve just been meaning to check us out, join us this Friday and be the first to try our new dinner menu featuring all main courses for $20 or less.
We’re also excited to present our new Spring ‘Wine and Dine’ menu. Enjoy three courses of French bistro favourites: Charcuterie, Roasted Free-run Cornish Hen with Frites and a Dessert of your choice. All complete with a bottle of house red or white from Calona Vineyards, $69 for 2 people. The ‘Wine and Dine’ menu features fresh, local ingredients that are carefully chosen by our executive chef, Alexander Carriere, to pair the recipes from the bistros he loved in Paris with the beautiful ingredients we have here in British Columbia.
What else is new at Le Parisien? Live Music! Every Thursday night we will showcase a new local artist, with music styles ranging from jazz, folk and more. This week, on April 10th Pepper Really and Yujiro Nakajima playing acoustic gyspy-folk and classic French favourites. The duo will be playing sets at 6:30pm and 8:00pm. Learn more about Le Parisien after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Greenhorn Espresso Bar
Vancouver, BC | Greenhorn espresso bar is going through a spring make-over that will make your Greenhorn experience just a little sweeter. We reopen on Saturday for regular brunch service and the same killer coffee you’ve grown to love and depend upon. With the lovely spring and summer weather you’ll also likely be tempted to sit outside at one of our patio tables or at the bar of our new open window. And coming soon, a small, eclectic mix of vinyl in our new curated record shop in the back together with a show from local artist Aaron Blake Evans (opening Saturday April 26).
Reader T.R. | Above Coal Harbour | 6pm | Vancouver, BC | SHARE YOUR VIEW
We love posting the photographs that reveal the views from our reader’s windows. Whether it’s a back alley in the fall or a sandy beach in high summer, we’re always stoked to see what you see from home, work or while on the road. What does your view look like right now? Take a snap of it and send it in. Check out the gallery of our all-time reader submissions below… Read more
by George Giannakos and Robyn Yager | Slowing down a little and breaking out a good book is never a bad idea. But what to read? You could walk into any bookstore and roll the dice on a recent release, but here’s another option: pick up a book that you last put down 5, 10, or 20 years ago. For the next book in Scout’s Read It (Again) series, we’ve picked J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous Lord Of The Rings series.
Why You Should Read It Again: The Lord Of The Rings – considered one of the best books of the millennium – is as deserving of a second read as Samwise Gamgee is deserving of a second breakfast. Admittedly, the first read can be a bit of a trek, similar to the storyline itself. When it’s read a second time, however, one fully appreciates the finer details in language, song, and character, thus making it a more robust reading experience. The Lord Of The Rings is recognized as more than just a story about destroying “the one ring to rule them all”, it’s about letting go – of the past, of previous identity, of wanting to control everything. These deeper themes in the story can easily go unnoticed among the excitement of a first read. In the same way Bilbo craves a second adventure after returning home from his exploits in The Hobbit, you too will crave the adventure Tolkien brings by reading it again.
Pair It With: We could learn a thing or two from the eating habits of Hobbits. In addition to taking on a harrowing quest to destroy the one ring and the Dark Lord, Hobbits are also talented eaters and drinkers. This leads us to wonder: if Hobbits were to pass through Vancouver, what would they drink and where? We reckon one stop would be Robson’s Forage. With its penchant for only the freshest, most sustainable local ingredients, not only does it sound like the sort of place that Hobbits and Elves would likely frequent, but it also offers a most suitable beverage with which to quench an adventurer’s thirst: The Savory cocktail. It’s made with dill, Okanagan Spirits’ Aquavitus, and Victoria Spirits’ Gin. It looks like something straight out of Middle Earth and tastes that way, too. Though heavy up front in gin botanicals, it ends on notes of fennel and anise with the slightest hint of dill.
The magic words “a good dive bar” might sound a little oxymoronic to most people fond of nights out, but we tend to like dive bars just as much – if not more – than cocktail bars. This new series will shine some light on bars in Vancouver that are great to drink in on any day or night of the week but are all too often overlooked on account of their decor, “dive” reputation, or location (usually all 3).
by Shaun Layton | Hidden upstairs above the corner of Denman and Davie is The Bayside Lounge. Their website claims that The Bayside is a “trendy martini bar” and “the place to see and be seen in Vancouver”. It’s statements like these – so incredibly way off! – that make me love the place.
First things first, any bar or restaurant that publicly claims to be the place “to see and be seen” is instantly taken off my radar, as they usually end up being the gathering places of Hummer-driving Ed Hardiots, bottle service chicks, and Jager bombers. Yes, you can get “martinis” here, but this is a victim of the “Martini List” craze I talked about in my Martini article. I’ll stick with a G and T or a cold beer, thank you very much.
There are many reasons why I love the Bayside, and not one of them involves food or drink. Don’t get me wrong, they have a decent list of pub-style appetizers that go great with cold beer, but it’s the neon sign that still glows all over the room on late nights that I love. I love that they’re open until 2am every night and until 3am on weekends. And I love the hell out of the sunken circular bar (one of the coolest in the city). I know a few of my barkeeps who have dreamt about taking over the bar and not changing much. It sort of reminds me of the legendary Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. Though this one doesn’t slowly rotate in a circle while you sip a Sazerac, it’s still pretty swanky. I’ve even heard that there used to be phones on the tables…for what reason, I have no idea. The huge windows and banquettes that surround the room and offer a million dollar views are real beauties and probably vintage 1980′s. The stories they’d tell! Fair warning: it can be pretty magical to day drink here.
Exhausted industry staff, myself included, like to go to The Bayside after work, especially those times when all you need is a frosty beer and something deep fried. The best is the late nights when you look around the room and see the mixed bag of people it attracts while listening to a DJ spinning appropriate 80’s mash-ups. The staff are as classic as the decor, with most of them having been there for a while (they’re always prompt and personable).
And don’t forget about the view. It’s definitely one of the best in the city as it overlooks English Bay from an elevated vantage point. Overall, The Bayside is a great spot to relax with a sunset and watch all the people waiting in line for over an hour to sit at the other nearby restaurants that serve basically the same food. If only they knew!
Shaun Layton has helped to maintain a top notch bar scene in Vancouver for ten years, and since day one at Gastown’s L’Abattoir, where he is the Bar Manager. He also runs his own consulting company, designing bar programs and training staff locally and as far away as St.John’s, NFLD. Layton has competed and travelled throughout the USA and Europe, touring distilleries, breweries and bars. He was recognized in 2012 as the Bartender of The Year by Vancouver Magazine.
by Andrew Morrison | The West End will land a new and very interesting eatery called Exile tomorrow. The 20 seater is located at 1220 Bute St. off Davie in the old House of Empanadas spot.
The owner is Vanessa Bourget, a young import from Quebec with some 14 years in the trade. You might remember her hosting the Holistic Cocktail Bar in The Waldorf’s hideaway back in 2012. Most recently, the Holistic Nutritionist and Chartered Herbalist was Head Bartender and Creative Beverage Director (respectively) for Nuba and Heirloom Vegetarian.
I took a walk-through the other day and was immediately struck by how much it reminded me of The Acorn. Maybe it was a trick of the light, but the look – marked by dark stained wood, angled mirrors, and bespoke polyhedron light installations – appeared to be virtually identical to that of the celebrated vegetarian restaurant on Main Street. Indeed, I’d cry bloody foul if the two restaurants didn’t share the same designer: Scott Cohen (see also Les Faux Bourgeois, the Waldorf redux, Pronto, and remember Gastropod). If Exile served Argentine steaks instead of “plant-forward” cuisine, it might be less of a bang on the head, but the ingredients – like Acorn – are foraged or sourced almost entirely from small local farms.
And yet – despite the overt similarities – I’m not at all convinced that Bourget’s goal was to copy or even emulate any other restaurant. Far from it. Judging from her obviously dedicated affections for healthy foods, I expect everything about Exile to be entirely genuine. And I further trust that Cohen – as a designer – is in the midst of fleshing out an aesthetic in a series of interiors that began with Acorn. Exile was merely next, and whatever comes after that should count itself lucky. So if/when a knee-jerk reactionary diner next to your table says “These guys totally ripped The Acorn off,” politely let them know that the two restaurants share the same designer. Either that or just stare at them with crazy eyes and growl until they run from the place afraid, leaving you to feast on their leftover beet bacon, rabbit liver, and foraged pistou.
The menu from Northwest Culinary grad Lina Caschetto (ex-Fable, Wildebeest, Cuchillo, Les Faux Bourgeois) focuses on fermentation, curing, dehydration, pickling and preserving. It will also incorporate sustainable, land-based aquacultured trout and a selection of game meats such as elk, venison, boar and duck. Caschetto is also part of the Elementa culinary crew, which is sort of a loose brain trust of young, fiercely talented cooks who – by individual reputation – I believe will one day serve as the core of the next generation of Vancouver’s best and most exciting executive chefs and restaurateurs.
Also in the kitchen is former Nuba cook Kaylie Barfield and Caschetto’s Elementa cohort, Melanie Witt, who most recently toiled at Wildebeest and Montreal’s Lawrence. Front of house manager Camille Flanjak, I’m told, is a master forager “whose obsession with plants, mushrooms and permaculture has been an invaluable resource” to the restaurant. Bourget, of course, has not only designed the list of apothecary-inspired cocktails, but also made room for some small batch beers and a selection of sustainable, organic, and biodynamic wines.
Exile clearly has talent, purpose, and drive up and down the ranks. By accident or design (it’s unclear), it also looks to be an all-female operation, which is definitely a rarity in the restaurant world. Its ethical bent doesn’t come across as preachy, and the cooks are only absolutist in their sourcing. ”This is not a vegetarian restaurant,” Bourget points out. “It’s a considerate restaurant.” To wit, they avoid the top four mono-crops (corn, wheat, soy, canola), and don’t use pork, beef, or chicken. As for the general absence of seafood from the menu, Bourget says “We wanted to give the ocean a break.” With the philosophy, cooking methods and ingredients employed “exiled” from the norm, naming the eatery was easy.
Exile will function as a healthy artisan cafe in the day Monday through Friday and as a restaurant and bar Wednesday through Sunday evenings. They will also serve a weekend brunch, complete with vegan french toast, root vegetable hash, boar bacon, and 49th Parallel coffee. The complete dinner menu is below, with prices ranging from $6 to $16. We wish them well.
‘Oyster’ mushrooms, bloomed seeds, seaweed & spirulina
Naturally fermented and pickled vegetables, sprouted nuts
Levain rye bread, infused oil & vinegar, cultured butter (V)
Seed pate & nut cheese, stone fruit
Pemmican: wild berries & cured big game (M)
Cured rainbow trout, fennel choucroute, cashew cream, smoked roe (F)
Farm House ‘lady jane’ cheese, hot pepper brittle (v)
The mushroom soup (VE option)
Foraged & cultivated plants, nori
Roots, foraged & cultivated
Shoots, coconut oil & smoked salt
Fermented buckwheat porridge, beet bacon & foraged pistou (V)
Game saucisse, lentils, rabbit liver, apple, horseradish (M)
Cast iron broth pot
Game meats, seasonal sauces, roots & shoots | Choice of bone broth (M) or mushroom bouillon
‘Cake in a jar’ – our daily whim
Apple, nut crumble, honeycomb & nettle sorbet
Maple pie, dates & chocolate buckwheat soil
Handcrafted vegan chocolates
The GOODS from Ocean Wise
Vancouver, BC | With the addition of 55,000 square feet of amazing exploration space at Vancouver Aquarium this summer, the Aquarium’s signature fundraising gala, Night at the Aquarium, presented by PCL Construction Group, will be an event you won’t want to miss. Taking place on June 19th, Night at the Aquarium is a celebration of our oceans and raises funds to support the Aquarium’s conservation, research and education efforts, including its national sustainable seafood program Ocean Wise™.
Be among the first to experience the Aquarium’s expansive new venue, which will be the stunning backdrop to this year’s Night at the Aquarium. Vancouver’s top philanthropic and corporate leaders will be joined by passionate Ocean Wise chefs, like Executive Chef Ned Bell of YEW Seafood + Bar and Chef Rob Clark of The Fish Counter, as they delight guests with diverse culinary experiences.
Guests are invited to bid on unique live and silent auction items such as an unforgettable fishing and wildlife adventure at Langara Island Lodge. You will be whisked away on a charter flight to a luxurious four-night, all-inclusive stay where the best salmon and halibut fishing on a private boat awaits you. There are also once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as accompanying the Aquarium’s head veterinarian for a day on his weekly rounds to get the clinical low-down on the animals under his care. Details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Forage
Vancouver, BC | Crocuses are sprouting, pussy willows are out and Forage has the first catch of Spring – nettles and halibut. Chef Chris Whittaker is thrilled to have the first harvest of halibut, which he is pairing with stinging nettle gnudi and a roasted sunchoke and hazelnut puree for just $22. The Forage team is already excited for Taking the Sting out of Nettles, a special supper that celebrates the arrival of nettles on April 24th at 6:30pm. Get all the details and the menu after the jump… Read more
Fatassenstrasse | Place | The nickname for Denman Street in the West End. It was earned on account of all the street’s many dessert specialty shops and fast food outlets.
Usage: “I’m feeling peckish for shitty poutine and brownies. Let’s go down to Fatassenstrasse and get thoroughly gross!”
The West End and Coal Harbour are the two conjoined urban residential neighbourhoods on the west side of Thurlow Street. They are divided – Coal Harbour to the North facing Burrard Inlet and the West End to the south facing English Bay and Kitsilano – by Georgia Street, and capped in the northwest by the 1,001 acre Stanley Park with its half a million trees, Aquarium, and seawall.
Coal Harbour has gained the nickname “Cold Harbour” in recent years because it is often regarded by locals and outsiders to be bereft of anything to do, not to mention inhabitants. Indeed, it’s been reported that up to a quarter of its skyscraper condos are either empty or occupied for just a few months out of the year. That may be so, but to us that makes it only more of an interesting place to explore.
In stark contrast, The West End is positively teeming. Its main thoroughfares of Robson St., Denman St., and Davie St. make for great walking, and the area they enclose is a mix of old high rises and heritage homes with a lovely mix of low-rise deco apartment buildings thrown in for the sake of charm. Shopping dominates Robson – it has all the major big and generic brands from The Gap to Starbucks – but as it nears Denman it becomes all about food, especially Japanese and Korean. Denman’s nickname – Fatassenstrasse – was earned because for years its eateries were in the high sugar and fat business (Dairy Queen, Fatburger, Cupcakes, Pizza, Creampuffs, Chocolatiers). A new influx of restaurants in recent years – Italian, Spanish, Japanese – have slowed the sugar rush.
The West End is also home to Davie Village, which constitutes the strip of Davie between Burrard and Jervis. “The Gaybourhood”, as the strip is also called, is home to a vibrant, strong, and exceptionally proud LGBT community. The annual Gay Pride Parade takes place here every summer with 150 float and parade entries, 80,000 people partying on Sunset Beach, and over 700,000 attendees.
Dominating the West End’s cultural life are its beaches, of which there are several but none so central and attractive as the broad swathe of English Bay, which offers spectacular nightly sunsets and the annual Polar Bear swim on New Year’s Day.
Stanley Park winter forest tri-colour; Tableau Bar Bistro menu blue; a glass of local Pinot Noir on the patio at Raincity Grill; English Bay beach sand; Pride rainbow sidewalk crossing; the seawall loop in the rain; ubiquitous Coal Harbour skyline uniform tri-colour.
STILL HAMMERED REVELLERS JUMPING INTO THE FRIGID OCEAN ON NEW YEARS DAY
A STUNNING, CURVED (VERY RARE) MOSAIC ON THE WALL OF THE INDONESIAN CONSULATE
HOT BBQS AND COLD BEERS ON THIRD BEACH
RAINY WINTER DAY RESPITE IN THE TROPICAL EXHIBIT OF THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
THE ALWAYS INSPIRING GAY PRIDE FESTIVAL
27KM OF TRAILS WITHIN STANLEY PARK
THREE MORE STARBUCKS LOCATIONS THAN ARE NECESSARY
OUTDOOR MOVIES IN STANLEY PARK
MALKIN BOWL CONCERTS
THE RARE CRICKET GAME AT BROCKTON OVAL
FIREWORK FESTIVALS RUINED BY POLICE POUR-OUTS & SUBURBAN KIDS ARMED WITH KNIVES
A VAST HEATED OUTDOOR PUBLIC POOL AT SECOND BEACH
TWO OF THE BEST PIECES OF WATERFRONT REAL ESTATE IN THE WORLD OCCUPIED BY CHAIN RESTAURANTS (FACEPALM)
THE OLD & STILL VERY LOVELY SYLVIA HOTEL
SEA PLANES BOTHERING NIMBY ASSHATS
FATTY MISO TONKATSU RAMEN AT KINTARO
PATATAS BRAVAS AT ESPANA
PORK GYOZAS AT GYOZA KING
DUNGENESS CRAB & CHIVE OMELETTES AT RAINCITY GRILL
CHICKEN KARAAGE & OYSTERS AT HAPA IZAKAYA
BLACK TRUFFLE & PECORINO PIZZA AT MARKET
CARNAROLI RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE AT CINCIN
MACARONS AND PALMIERS FROM THIERRY
GALBI BBQ BEEF AT SURA KOREAN ROYAL CUISINE
NETTLE & FIDDLEHEAD GNOCCHI AT FORAGE
LIME MARGARITA & CHILE RELLENO AT LOLITA’S
VITELLO TONNATO AT ADESSO BISTRO
AHI TUNA & AVOCADO CARPACCIO AT KINGYO
OFF SALES AT THE DOVER ARMS PUB
CHARCOAL BROTH RAMEN AT MOTOMACHI SHOKUDO
- In 1859 coal was discovered along the Burrard Inlet west of Gastown. The site was subsequently referred to as (you guessed it) Coal Harbour.
- The Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park (c. 1952) is actually a smaller, reimagined version of the original “Bowie Arch”, which was demolished in 1947 due to deterioration.
- In 1923 the city took legal action to expel eight families of First Nations and European descent from Stanley Park. A “rent” fee of $1 month was collected until they were evicted in 1931.
- The Lost Lagoon fountain (erected 1936) was originally a leftover from the World’s Fair in Chicago.
- The famous Nine O’Clock Gun in Stanley Park was first fired in 1898 – at noon.
- In 1956, the Stanley Park Zoo welcomed the first penguin to be born in Canada. His name was “Little Whatzit”.
- Famed swim instructor and English Bay fixture Joe Fortes originally lived in a squatter’s shack near the Sylvia Hotel. He was awarded the title of Vancouver’s first official lifeguard in 1901.
- In 1974, following legislation that allowed the establishment of pubs, the Dover Arms on Denman opened as the first of its kind in the city.
- Although known for its sandy shores, sand is not native to English Bay; 1898 was the first year it was added to the beach.
- The West End was once known as “Blueblood Alley”, given its population of wealthy CPR executives in the early 20th century.
- Following World War II, a large German community settled near the northwest end of Robson, earning it the nickname Robsonstrasse.
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.
The GOODS from Greenhorn Espresso Bar
Vancouver, BC | Greenhorn Cafe is currently looking for a chef/kitchen manager and an experienced cook to join our team. Greenhorn is a newly opened independent cafe in the West end gearing up for a busy spring/summer. Applicants for the kitchen manager position must be comfortable with menu planning, ordering, costing, inventory control, and all kitchen related managerial duties. Applicants for the cook position must have line experience, a good attitude, good knife skills, the ability to work in a clean and organized manner (open kitchen), and the poise that allows one to work independently and as part of a team. Send cover letters/resumes to email@example.com.For more information, read the reveal post on Scout.