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Taste of Yaletown is back! Running from October 18-28, 2018, restaurants in the Yaletown neighbourhood will offer innovative pairings and special menus at set prices of $25, $35, and $45.

The Yaletown Business Improvement Association, the event organizer, just released the list of participating restaurants. They are:

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West Oak recently celebrated its 5th anniversary in the Yaletown neighbourhood. As a follow-up, Areta, Alice (Double A!) and I were invited to a hosted dinner at the restaurant. I’ve been here a couple of times beforehand, one of which was an evening out with a few of my girlfriends a few years ago.

Disclosure: This meal was provided to me complimentary of the restaurant. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Food

We got a sneak peek of some of their new cocktails (from left):

New Cocktails at West Oak

The Aperol Spritzer Mimosa is their new take on the classic brunch cocktail. This is available only during brunch, but the restaurant made one for us to try. Aperol, prosecco, fresh juice (orange, grapefruit, etc.) — it was juicy, citrusy, fizzy, refreshing. Great for a patio brunch. There’s no reason a mimosa fan wouldn’t enjoy this.

Tiffany Blue could become a local IG sensation. The Ciroc Apple came through and gave it some tartness, almost face puckering. You can really taste the apple here. The addition of edible silver makes it sparkle like a precious piece of jewelry.

Tiffany Blue

The last cocktail, at the time this was written, hasn’t been named. It just had a nickname “Green Thumb“. It had gin, elderflower liquer, basil, cucumber. It reminded me a bit of mojito – it’s light and crisp, and herbaceous.

Then, we dove into dinner, with a couple of appies to share. (more…)

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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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The other restaurant that I visited during the Taste of Yaletown media event was La Pentola at the Opus Hotel. La Pentola also offers a 4-course menu for $45.

Food

It’s a big menu, with two salad options for first course:

Beets, Frisee, Pickled Onion, Hazelnuts, Whipped Ricotta

Beet Salad

Duck and Radicchio, Frisee, Grapes, Pecans, Balsamic, Parmesan

Duck Salad

Both salads were tasty. Frankly I was so focused on the hot dishes I only had a small bite of each salad. They looked good, with just the right amount of dressing. I probably would’ve chosen the beet salad because I like beets, but the duck salad sounded more interesting.

Second course is pasta. The Linguine Vongole was quite good. Pasta was al dente, clams tasted fresh. (more…)

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I was invited to the menu preview of the 2017 Taste of Yaletown. Organized by the Yaletown BIA and similar to Dine Out Vancouver, participating restaurants in Yaletown are offering a $25, $35, or $45 menu until Oct 27. At the preview event, I got to sample the menus at two restaurants, one of which was House Special, serving Modern Vietnamese cuisine.

Food

House Special offers a 4-course menu for $45. The first course was Mekong Wonton. Shrimp and monkfish mousse wontons were sitting in a sweet, sour and spicy tamarind seafood broth, which was inspired by a traditional Vietnamese dish Canh Chua Ca. It’s different from other types of Asian sweet and sour, or hot and sour soup. I could taste the sweet and sour combo from the tamarind but I was definitely caught by surprise when the pineapple flavour hit my palate. Being so familiar with the Chinese style wonton soup, this Vietnamese version was almost refreshing to me.

Mekong Wonton

The second course was Caramelized Pork Jowl Banh Hoi, which is their take on a lettuce wrap but with endives. (more…)

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Did you know WildTale’s Dine Out menu is only $30 this year? When my family and I went there for Dine Out last year it was $40! I was invited to a preview of this year’s menu and I was curious to see how it has changed.

Turns out there are a couple repeating items on the menu, which makes this $30 menu a pretty good deal.

Food

One of the repeating items is the WildTale Seafood Chowder. Well, it’s not entirely the same as last year’s, but the idea is there. The chowder was the most memorable appetizer last year, and this year’s chowder was my favourite appetizer on the menu. It was rich, creamy, flavourful – and the corn and crab fritter was nice and crispy, adding some texture to the soup.

WildTale Seafood Chowder

If you look for something lighter in the appetizer, either the Organic Beets & Watercress salad or the Albacore Tuna Carpaccio would make a great option. I love beets, so any beet salad could easily win my heart. These beets were sweet, balanced by the hint of bitterness in watercress. It’s missing some tang and acidity, though – I love me some goat cheese in my beet salad. (more…)

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On the rare occasion that CC and I got to hang out we chose to check out CandyTown in Yaletown, and we decided to first grab a bite at Small Victory Bakery.

Food

While CC opted for a sandwich, my eyes were set on those fluffy croissants in the showcase. I didn’t simply go for a butter croissant, though; I wanted a Breakfast Croissant. Sadly they sold out of it, so I went for the Bacon & Cheese Croissant instead. It’s light, fluffy, buttery. Then, as I got to the middle, there’s melted cheddar cheese with some meaty bacon. Of course, for the meat lover in me, I wish there’s more bacon. But because the cheddar cheese was also salty, too much bacon would’ve shot the salt level through the roof. This was perfectly balanced, and seriously, I could’ve easily had another one of these.

Bacon & Cheese Croissant

Christmas is just around the corner, so obviously I had to order a seasonal item. Cue the Mont Blanc. (more…)

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