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Wine Seller, Incense Maker and Tea Drinker, Rasoul Salehi, Does ‘The Dishes’

Rasoul's palate and sense of smell are finely tuned, translating to a next level appreciation of food and wine, making him a great resource to draw on for a list of fantastic places to dine in Vancouver - going above and beyond by answering a few questions that we didn't even ask!

Wine Seller, Incense Maker and Tea Drinker, Rasoul Salehi, Does ‘The Dishes’

Rasoul Salehi outside of Cioppino’s in Yaletown

The Dishes asks Vancouverites to walk us through a map of their ideal day and night on the town. We’re talking breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night cocktails. Tax and tip included.

Although commonly known around town as a ‘wine guy’ due to his long-standing role as Director of Sales & Marketing / Managing Partner at both LaStella and Le Vieux Pin wineries, Rasoul Salehi is also a long-time restaurant scene aficionado. In fact, Salehi likely visits more restaurants than even the most dedicated of diners, as his role keeps him constantly in motion, talking, tasting and (of course) selling wine.

Salehi takes his tea as seriously as his wine, and dedicates a lot of personal time to incense making and natural perfumery. In other words, his palate and sense of smell are finely tuned, translating to a next level appreciation of food and wine. He’s also a great conversationalist, and someone who is perpetually curious about the people and places around him. All of these things considered, we knew Salehi would be a great resource to draw on for a list of fantastic places to dine in Vancouver – going above and beyond by answering a few questions that we didn’t even ask! Dig in to Rasoul’s recommendations below…

Good morning! What’s for breakfast/brunch?

Canale (as good as the best of them) and a short americano at Viva Cafe & Bakery in Kits, or breakfast pizza and a cappuccino at Di Beppe. Their breakfast pizza – with its perfect texture to the yolk, spot-on marinara sauce and perfectly rendered guanciale/bacon bits – is too damn tasty, and the cappuccino is the closest thing in the city to what I have had in Italy: dry, fluffy, and the right size, roast level and intensity. The added side of an amaretto cookie on the house is a lovely touch.

As for brunch: Delara for their fresh baked bread, dips and all the nostalgic egg dishes which appeals to the Persian in me.

Viva Cafe & Bakery 1555 Yew St. MAP
Di Beppe 8 West Cordova St. MAP
Delara 2272 West 4th Ave. MAP

Where should we meet for coffee/tea?

O5 Tea in Kits for a wide range of tea offerings or The Chinese Tea Shop (by Daniel Lui) in Chinatown if I’m looking to only delve super deep into the world of Chinese tea.

For coffee, Prototype on East Hastings for espresso sets and pour over. Micro batch roasting taken to a whole new level.

O5 Rare Tea + Kombucha Bar 2208 West 4th Ave. MAP
The Chinese Tea Shop 101 E Pender St. MAP
Prototype Coffee 883 East Hastings St. MAP

Now we’re hungry again. What’s for lunch?

Soba noodle salad or chicken broth ramen soup at Harvest Union, cause you gotta support the nicest people and farmers, plus clean eating never tasted so good.

The breakfast sammy with mortadella added from Livia makes for a perfect breakfast/lunch combo. Vietnamese salad rolls from the Wooden Fish when I find myself on the North Shore – especially their lobster with mango and caramelized garlic butter sauce. Drooool.

Dosanko. Everything on the menu, but especially the fried chicken and egg salad sandwich with cheese crust. Plus, order their pickle dish (tsukemono) – always spot-on – and each ingredient is preserved with a different brine and technique.

Harvest Community Foods 243 Union St. MAP
Livia 1399 Commercial Dr. MAP
Wooden Fish 1403 Marine Dr. MAP
Dosanko 566 Powell St. MAP

Who has you figured out at Happy Hour?

¿CóMO? Tapería knows what’s up.

¿CóMO? Tapería 209 East 7th Avenue MAP

What’s for dinner?

Anything Chef Jiwon at Bar Gobo puts in front of me; anything Chef Cooper at L’Abattoir puts in front of me (but always secretly hoping for the hay aged and hay smoked quail); or anything Yuji San at Yuji’s from Japan has on his fresh sheet. You don’t want to miss out on his tempura dishes and that shiokoji grilled chicken is outrageous.

No budget concerns? Let Chef Roger at Boulevard or Chef Pino at Cioppino’s take over. When they have the pass, both restaurants are frankly world class, and go head-to-head toe-to-toe with the very best from anywhere.

Bar Gobo 237 Union St. MAP
L'Abattoir 2178 Carrall St. MAP
Yuji's from Japan 2083 Alma St. MAP
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar 845 Burrard St. MAP
Cioppino's Yaletown 1133 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC MAP

What’s for dessert?

I want to have an alternating nightly table at Boulevard and L’Abattoir for [respectively] Chef Kenta’s and Chef Oliver’s desserts. For real. These two powerhouses just can’t do anything other than awesome. A warm hug for the soul and the mind.

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar 845 Burrard St. MAP
L'Abattoir 2178 Carrall St. MAP

Where are you taking us for late night cocktails?

Elephant (more for wine, though; but the late night eats is where its at), and Vij’s if I’m in the mood for a casual vibe. Bar seats at Blue Water Café or Elisa for some crudo and tartare snacks if I’m feeling more fancy.

Elephant 1879 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1H8 MAP
Vij's Restaurant 3106 Cambie St. MAP
Blue Water Cafe 1095 Hamilton St. MAP
Elisa 1109 Hamilton St. MAP

Where do you take your special someone for a date night romantic night?

Cioppino's Yaletown 1133 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC MAP
Bacchus 845 Hornby St. MAP
Barbara 305 East Pender St. MAP
Okeya Kyujiro 1038 Mainland St., Vancouver, V6B 2T4, Canada MAP
AnnaLena 1809 West 1st Ave. MAP

The farthest you are willing to drive for a certain dish without having to arrange accommodation, and what is the dish you’re driving to eat? I’ll drive for Vietnamese salad rolls at Wooden Fish in West Van; ling cod in sour cabbage soup at Richmond’s Fish Man; and Pad Thai at Steveston’s Baan Lao. All well worth the time in my car.

Wooden Fish 1403 Marine Dr. MAP
The Fish Man 8391 Alexandra Rd #1170, Richmond, BC MAP
Baan Lao Fine Thai Cuisine 4100 Bayview St., Richmond, BC MAP

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