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Archive for the ‘Gastown’ Category

Dine Out Vancouver is back! Did you know I’ve been doing Dine Out Vancouver since, like, forever? My first year was when Rob Feenie still had his restaurants and I was there for DOVF.

Running from January 18 to February 3, the prix fixe portion of this year’s program has changed to 4 price points – $15, $25, $35 and $45. There are also more lunch and brunch options, usually at a cheaper price than dinner. This would give an opportunity to try the pricier restaurants with less.

The menus are now live and reservations are open. Actually, Aeroplan members already had access since Monday, so I had the opportunity to go through all the menus. Here are some suggestions, based on past experience (Dine Out or not) as well as menu attractiveness (e.g. value for the money, choice of ingredients, creativity in the menu, enough options for two people, etc.). Now keep in mind I curated the list based on my preference (as you know, I’m a meat lover), my way of thinking, so it may not all suit your taste. But hopefully this gives you a place to start.

I’ve included links to the menu to make it easier for you.

$15 Suggestions

  • Brewhall
  • Chutney Villa (Last year was $20 so I’m guessing portion size would be smaller this year, or it’s super deal for $5 less!)
  • Popina
Chutney Villa Dine Out Vancouver 2018

Chutney Villa Dine Out Vancouver 2018

$25 Suggestions

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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Running from January 19 to February 4, more than 300 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus and more than 35 special events are planned over this 2-week period.

Ocean Wise Pop-up Cafe 2017 Dine Out

Vancouver Aquarium Pop-up Restaurant 2017 Dine Out

The 3-course dinner are priced at $20, $30 or $40. Some restaurants may charge extra for special menu items. Some restaurants are also offering a lunch menu, which could be at a cheaper price point. The menus are now live and reservations are open. Pretty excited about some of the participating restaurants this year. After perusing the menus, here are our suggestions, based on past experience (Dine Out or not) as well as menu attractiveness. I’ve included links to the menu to make it easier for you:

$20 Suggestions

$30 Suggestions

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When Mr. and I planned a dinner out with my colleague SM and fiance CD, we were looking at a number of restaurants in Gastown. In the end, we decided on Wildebeest because its menu was quite intriguing.

Intriguing, how? There’s a lot of game meat on the menu. And we ordered a lot of them.

Food

I don’t think I’ve seen duck hearts on a menu before. These Popcorn Duck Hearts were addictive – they’re crispy outside, meaty inside. Slightly bigger than chicken hearts, and not gamey (to me). The batter was thin, and it wasn’t greasy. The yogurt sauce was like a dipping sauce, bringing freshness and creaminess to the dish. You really could keep popping them in your mouth like popcorn.

Popcorn Duck Hearts

This Bison Carpaccio looks like a typical carpaccio, except with the use of bison instead of beef. The bison was lightly seared on the outside so it’s practically rare. Even though it’s leaner, it’s still tender, buttery. The sorghum “popcorn” added some crunch. The highlight of the dish was the sous vide egg yolk.

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CC bought a Travelzoo voucher to a 6-course tasting menu at Bauhaus Restaurant and invited me to join her. Since its opening I’ve been wanting to try Bauhaus, and find out what German fine dining could be like, and now is my chance.

Food

The Chef’s Tasting Menu changes seasonally, and when we went, they just launched a new one.

Before we got into the six courses. We were first greeted with some Bread, served with whipped butter with sea salt or butter with paprika.

bread

We also received an amuse bouche, which was a White Bean Veloute. It was light, with a hint of smokiness from the drizzle of paprika oil. There’s some horseradish foam at the top but I didn’t get the pungent peppery flavour of horseradish. It was just the right few spoonfuls of veloute to whet the appetite.

white bean veloute

First course was Tuna, soy marinated Yellowfin tuna. It’s an Asian-inspired flavour profile. The fish was lightly seared on the outside; the flesh texture was nice and firm, and the marinate wasn’t too overpowering. The salt in soy was balanced by the sweet orange carrot meringue and slightly tart orange gel. The presentation of this plate was stunning, loved the colour, but there were a lot of components on the plate and I wasn’t too sure how to approach it.

tuna

Next, Cod. The little piece of cod was sous vide; because the cooking temperature was well-controlled, the meat texture turned out very nice. (more…)

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I was invited to sample the menu at Burgundy Restaurant, a quaint 30-seat restaurant in Gastown by the ACME Cafe.

Burgundy Restaurant

Each table got to share a few appetizers and entrees. But before that, we got to see and take photos of the full-size entrees – so we didn’t have to do that during dinner service. What a genius idea! That way we didn’t have to scramble to take the photos and could actually enjoy a hot plate of food. Really appreciate that gesture.

Take photos of entrees ahead of time

Food

First of all, we each had a Gin n’ Juice. What a refreshing drink on a warm day! It’s on the sweet side so it’s a bit deceiving – watch how much/many of this you’re drinking.

Gin n' Juice

Here are the appetizers we tried – full-size plates shared among the 4-5 of us at each table:

Tuna Nicoise was the table’s favourite dish. It was nicely seasoned, well balanced; the eggs were cooked well. I loved the use of tuna carpaccio instead of the traditional seared tuna.

Tuna Nicoise

The Crab Cakes is gluten-free, thanks to the use of quinoa as the breading on the outside. (more…)

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A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to the Tasting Plates Gastown Edition. Gastown is a neighbourhood that intrigues me but I never spend enough time exploring. The event offered me an opportunity to re-visit some restaurants while discovering some new ones.

Instead of duplicating my Twitter coverage through the evening of the event, I have taken a different approach with this recap post. I’ve used Storify to build my story using pictures from the event along with additional comment at each stop. Click on the image or link below to check it out. Find out what I liked and what I didn’t like, and what I wished to have done differently on this tour:

Tasting Plates Gastown 2014 on Storify

Tasting Plates Gastown 2014 on Storify

Tasting Plates Gastown Recap on Storify

Tasting Plates is a good way to explore new and long-standing restaurants in the neighbourhoods. The next one is Tasting Plates Main Street and I hope to see you there!

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While we’re continuing our Dine Out Vancouver coverage this week, I’m pleased to let you know that some restaurants have decided to extend their menu offering for a few more days. Here are their end dates and menus:

Until Feb 7

Until Feb 9

Until Feb 11

Until Feb 12

Until Feb 13

Until Feb 28

This year’s Dine Out has been my recent favourite. Overall, I think the restaurants have raised the bar and put out a much more interesting and tastier menu, and the service quality has also seen improvement. We have 2 more reviews coming up this week so be sure to follow them!

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