Nook is an easy restaurant to love but a difficult one to find a seat at. Even though they’re consistently packed, there’s no pretension in the air and the staff know what they’re doing, both in the front and back of house. The pizzas are a close approximation of Neapolitan authenticity (using a gas-fired oven), and we’ve never had one that we wouldn’t want to order again. Bonus: tidy drinks list and a charming room designed by Scott Cohen and Stephan Gagnon (see also Les Faux Bourgeois).
781 Denman Street | Vancouver, BC | 604-568-4554 | www.nookrestaurant.ca
Though it takes a far more elevated approach to the dining experience than most Vancouver restaurants (let alone its pizzerias), Robson’s legendary CinCin nevertheless boasts a wood-fired oven and has been churning out great pies since shortly before the Industrial Revolution. Seriously, it earned a place in the top 3 before any of the others on this list were even born.
So grab a seat at the bar, order a glass of 2008 Andrea Oberto Barolo (yes, they sell it by the glass – along with 30 others) and pick a pizza littered either with Calabrian nduja and mozzarella or wild mushrooms and fennel salami. Feasting like this at CinCin is one of the little gifts that Vancouver gives its learned initiates. It might cost more than the others, but treat the extra expenditure as an Ambiance & Service Tax and order another glass.
1154 Robson St. | Vancouver, BC | 604-688-7338 | www.cincin.net
The GOODS from Ocean Wise
Vancouver, BC | After a delicious battle for chowder supremacy at the Vancouver Aquarium, defending champion chef Chris Whittaker of Forage Restaurant again earned the title of 2013 Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion in Vancouver at the sold-out, annual event.
Thirteen top Ocean Wise chefs from British Columbia joined the sustainable seafood movement at the ever-popular Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown by presenting their best, ocean-friendly seafood chowders, paired with beers, to an eager crowd of 600 people. A panel of celebrity judges sampled each mouth-watering chowder and crowned chef Chris Whittaker of Forage as 2013 Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion in Vancouver. After indulging their taste buds in all 13 Ocean Wise chowders, guests at the event chose chef Ned Bell of YEW Restaurant + Bar as the winner of the People’s Choice award.
Chef Whittaker impressed the judges’ panel for the second year in a row with his enticing recipe for Creamy B.C. Spot Prawn Chowder, featuring the classic flavours of bacon, white wine and thyme, and finished with smokey chicharon and poached egg.
Chef Bell’s choice of Ocean Wise humpback shrimp, pink peppercorn cream and BC Cranberry & Okanagan Apple Relish culminated in a mouth-watering chowder named The Big Red, which won the crowd’s allegiance with ease. Chef Paul Cecconi of Brodo Kitchen and Catering with CodFathers Seafood Market won the award for best pairing – Outlandish Mussel-Saffron Chowder paired with Red Racer ESB beer by Central City Brewers and Distillers.
“As the sold-out nature of this event demonstrates each year, the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown is a fun and delicious way to celebrate sustainable seafood,” says Ann-Marie Copping, Ocean Wise manager at the Vancouver Aquarium. “Overfishing is the single biggest threat our oceans face today. In fact, we’re already fishing the last 10 per cent of all large, predatory fish from our oceans. It’s heartening to bring together our sustainability-conscious chefs and suppliers to share their passion with consumers who deeply care about the health of our oceans. We are so grateful to our partners, participants and guests for their support.”
This year’s sixth annual Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown in Vancouver showcased 13 top Ocean Wise chefs who joined the sustainable seafood movement by competing head to head in this friendly competition. Their original, ocean-friendly seafood chowders were paired with beers that highlighted each chowder’s flavour profile. The diverse ingredients of the chowders ran the spectrum, from Ocean Wise Dungeness crab chowder with salmon bacon to Ocean Wise smoked oysters and chanterelle chowder. A list of participating chefs and their bios can be found here.
This year’s panel of distinguished judges included:
· Guy Dean – Vice president and chief sustainability officer, Albion Fisheries Ltd.
· Rob Clark – Co-owner of The Fish Counter and Ocean Wise chef partner
· Chester Carey – Serious Beer program instructor and certified cicerone
· Sid Cross – Food and wine aficionado
· Andrew Morrison – Founder of Scout Magazine
· Tim Pawsey – Food and wine journalist
· Jamie Maw – Food and wine journalist
During Ocean Wise month in November, consumers are invited to join the sustainable seafood movement by eating ocean-friendly seafood to keep our oceans healthy. Look for the Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item for the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. Read more
The GOODS from Forage
Vancouver, BC | Santa’s elves have been hard at work all year preparing for the festive season at Forage; canning and jamming, pickling and preserving, all to share throughout the upcoming festive seasons. Forage is open for lunch in December – Wednesdays to Fridays beginning December 4th and concluding December 20th. Chef Whittaker offers a four-course menu for $28, with the added bonus of house made cranberry preserve for each guest to take home. There is one catch, you must bring friends, minimum reservation is for four people and reservations are absolutely required. Like Forage year-round, the feast is served family style. Check out www.foragevancouver.com or call 604-661-1400 for further information and to book your fun Forage feast. Learn more and take a look at the menu after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Hapa Izakaya
Vancouver, BC | In support of the efforts to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan, Hapa Izakaya has announced today that they are now donating $1 from every edamame dish sold within Hapa’s Vancouver locations, between Friday, November 15 and Monday, December 9 to the Canadian Red Cross.
“Our hearts are saddened by the tragic devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan”, says owner, Justin Ault. “The Hapa family stands with their staff, friends and guests who have loved ones affected by the typhoon and hope this small gesture will provide some comfort to those greatly in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Donations collected will support the Canadian Red Cross to provide urgently-needed basic services to affected communities. This includes carrying out search and rescue operations, distributing food, and mobilizing items like blankets, clothing, hygiene kits and sleeping mats.
The GOODS from Milano Coffee
Vancouver, BC | The holiday season is officially underway in Vancouver and with it comes the task of checking off the shopping list with great gifts for friends, family, coworkers, and all those in between. While it may seem like a daunting chore, locals are in luck this season with Milano Coffee’s sublime stocking stuffers and espresso pick-me-ups to revive tired holiday shoppers.
Ideal for even the fussiest on the list is the jovial Jingle Bell Blend. With seven ultra premium single varietals, its rich, warm bergamot flavour has juicy strawberry and vanilla notes to make this medium roast a fitting blend for Christmas morning. The Jingle Bell Blend is available in 340 gram bags at $17.50. Pick up the Jingle Bell Blend for stocking stuffers, teachers gifts, and have a couple of extra bags on hand just in case.
The perfect companion to Milano’s Jingle Bell Blend, or any super premium roast on the run, Milano Coffee travel mugs come in red, white, brown and green. Priced at $19.95, these travel mugs are even better with a Milano Coffee gift certificate tucked inside; available in any denomination.
Whether they’re lounging in Gastown, checking out Commercial Drive or exploring the streets of Downtown Vancouver, Milano Coffee is happy to provide shoppers with thoughtful gift ideas followed by a well-deserved break from the hustle, bustle and stress of holiday shopping! Read more
The GOODS from Le Parisien
Vancouver, BC | Le Parisien presents Beaujolais Nouveau on November 21. Beaujolais Nouveau Day is marked on the third Thursday of November with great festivities in France. Under French law, the wine is released at 12:01am, just weeks after the wine grapes have been harvested. Parties are held throughout the country and around the globe to celebrate this first wine of the season.
Le Parisien is celebrating this grand French tradition on Thursday, November 21 with a three-course family-style dinner, paired with Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. With a very short maceration of 3 to 5 days, followed by a traditional alcoholic fermentation and pressing, Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is made with Gamay grapes, and is extremely low in tannin with fruity aromas and a bright transparent red hue. Guests will celebrate the release by gathering around communal tables to share in a decadent meal, while sipping on fresh unadulterated wine. This joyous occasion will be accompanied by a live performance from local French vocalist, Pepper Bayard. Details and menu after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Music Direction
Vancouver, BC | Music Direction’s branded playlist for November goes back to our roots. It’s chock-full of Canadian goodness; a playlist that builds a sense of place and the kind of connection to a local community that Robson’s Forage Restaurant exemplifies. It includes Ancient Mars by The Zolas. The Beat Stuff by Hannah Georgas, Free Man in Paris by Joni Mitchell, Wondering Where the Lions Are by Bruce Cockburn, Bleed a Little While Tonight by Jeremy Fisher, Keeping Time by Steph Macpherson, Haiti by Arcade Fire, Weighty Ghost by Wintersleep, Bahamas by Caught Me Thinkin, On Your Own by The Matinee, This Tornado Loves You by Neko Case, and Sugar Mama by The Deep Dark Woods. Unpretentious and gratifying. Music Direction designs branded playlists for experience-conscious businesses. We believe that music is an effective marketing tool; the strategic selection of music can help communicate and strengthen a brand’s identity. The right music at the right time can influence consumer behaviour and increase sales. Have a listen by pressing play, then learn more after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Tableau Bar Bistro
Vancouver, BC | Today, Tableau Bar Bistro is pleased to officially make two long-awaited announcements: Henry Wong is promoted to Executive Sous Chef and Alain Canuel is named new restaurant manager. Diners can expect a fresh focus on creativity in the kitchen thanks to Chef Henry, while Alain brings a charismatic leadership style and a passion for exceeding guests’ expectations. Armed with decades of experience and possessing undeniable talent, both are welcomed assets to Tableau Bar Bistro’s award-winning team.
A proud local, Executive Sous Chef Henry Wong was born and raised in Vancouver and spent much of his childhood at his parent’s restaurants, learning his way around a kitchen at a young age. He honed his skills at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver and finished a formal three-year apprenticeship at Lumière restaurant, training under chef Marc-André Choquette and chef Rob Feenie. He continued his culinary journey in San Francisco, Hong Kong and Montreal, where he worked at various Michelin-starred restaurants learning from renowned chefs, such as chef Corey Lee. In 1998, Chef Henry helped open Cibo Trattoria and Uva Wine Bar before settling at the Loden Hotel in 2008, again under the wing of Marc-André Choquette, Executive Chef (Chef MAC) at Tableau Bar Bistro. Read more
The GOODS from CinCin
Vancouver, BC | “Nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen,” says CinCin Executive Chef Andrew Richardson. The evening of November 1st will signal the beginning of CinCin’s ninth annual, month-long Festa del Fungo. Join Chef Richardson in celebrating truffles and wild mushrooms, which herald the lusty flavours of autumn.
Richardson, whose Michelin-starred skills and contemporary Italian cuisine have been pleasing the appetites of his guests for the past 18 months, has been busy meeting with his suppliers. Together they have selected the finest native examples of mushrooms that best demonstrate the flavours of our coastal fields and forests. Guests will be treated to a nightly rotating list of mushroom varieties including golden chanterelles, lobster, hedgehog, hen-of-the-woods, king oyster and portobello. A number of specialty dishes will be featured on chef’s ‘mid-course’ menu, including Chef’s chestnut and potato gnocchi served with rosemary, almonds, and of course, his decadent truffle cream.
Chef Richardson has also been on a quest for the world’s finest truffles. Each dish on the special menu has been designed specifically for the festival, in order to pair perfectly with the striking flavours of fresh black Burgundy or white Alba truffles. “We buy only the best, hand-selected from experts we trust,” he says. “The trick with truffles is not to clean them too early,” he adds. “They are truly living ingredients, and their layer of earth should be gently washed just before use.” Read more
The GOODS from CinCin
Vancouver, BC | The critically acclaimed San Felice + Viticcio wineries are set to pair up with Chef Andrew Richardson’s Contemporary Italian Cuisine on November 11th and 14th respectively. We are particularly pleased to introduce these two wonderful wineries that exemplify modern Italian winemaking techniques, but are based in historic vineyards. This is also a special opportunity to introduce Shane Taylor, CinCin’s new Wine Director. Shane recently qualified as an Advanced Sommelier from the London-based Court of Master Sommeliers, one of the wine world’s most senior and prestigious accreditations. He is delighted to present these two wine dinners. Get all of the details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Le Parisien
Vancouver, BC | Le Parisien presents Fondue Night on October 29 for the second edition of La Table; a series of French communal dinners designed to evoke the tradition of sharing, conversation and a sense of community. Guests are encouraged to put on their favourite sweater, hurry down to Le Parisien for fondue après work (or ski), and gather with family, friends and strangers. After all, nothing brings people together like dipping soft pillowy pieces of bread into a bubbling hot communal caquelon of melted cheese.
Chef Tom Lee will be sourcing fine cheeses from Les Amis du Fromage to be paired with Domaine de Grachies. This unique white wine from France’s south western region Cotes de Gascogne, is a blend of Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc. Dinner is priced at $65 inclusive of tax, gratuity and wine pairing. Details and menu after the jump… Read more
by Michelle Sproule | My fog alarm went off early this morning so I had a fun (if chilly) photo adventure around the city trying to find some pretty in the grey from Strathcona and the DTES to Stanley Park and English Bay. One of my favourite things about this weather phenomenon is how – with a dash of suspended disbelief – it tends to temporarily remove once familiar points of reference. You can ask yourself questions like: Is this calm water without horizon the start of a vast ocean or a mere duck pond? Does this beach ever stop? Will this road have an end, and if not, where does it lead? Is that building 50 storeys high or just 3? Such fleeting mysteries are only ever revealed to the patient, so not to me. I much prefer to take the riddles home, every time.