Dine Out Vancouver 2012 is set for Jan 20-Feb 5, 2012 and is now open for reservations. In its 10th year, 230 restaurants are participating in this event, offering prix fixe menus at $18, $28 or $38.
While I understand this event is meant to be a filler to help restaurants through its down time (January is usually the slowest month due to post-Christmas blues), I have always hoped and expected restaurants to treat this as an opportunity to showcase and market themselves and bring their A-game. Not usually the case. In fact, I’ve heard many stories where restaurants completely flopped during Dine Out, but redeemed themselves afterwards on a separate visit. I don’t quite get why restaurants would want to ruin customers’ first impression on them if Dine Out were their first point of contact. Perhaps thinking people are being cheap to go the Dine Out route?
Anyway, I thought I’d round up some past Dine Out experience that we have had in recent years (2009-2011), good and bad. Maybe this will help your research as you try to determine which ones to try. Here’s the list in alphabetically order, but I also included its menu price:
- Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge ($38)
- Baru Latino ($28)
- Beachside Forno ($18) – good value
- CinCin Ristorante ($38)
- Cork & Fin ($28)
- Diva at the Met ($38) – now with a new chef
- Il Giardino ($38)
- Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House ($38) – a lunch DOV review but its regular dinner was also pretty good
- La Terrazza ($38) – recommend
- Mosaic Bar & Grille ($28) – solid food, have since returned a few times
- The Old Spaghetti Factory ($18)
- ORU Restaurant ($28)
- The Sandbar Restaurant ($28) – recommend
- Water St. Cafe ($28)
There are more reviews from before 2009 but I thought it may not be as relevant since a lot could change in the past 3 years. We’ve also got non-Dine Out reviews on a few other restaurants. Be sure to use the Search function to look up your interested restaurants here.
I have to say, though, this year’s Dine Out menus are rather disappointing. I’ve gone through a large number of them, including the ones listed above, but I do not see the same amount of creativity in the menu items. It’s not as exciting to be planning my to-eat list this year, compared to previous years. Hopefully the few ones I picked out will not disappoint me.
To check out the menus, visit the Tourism Vancouver website.
Do you plan on going to any Dine Outs this year? If so, which restaurants are you going to?