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Archive for the ‘Fine dining’ Category

Whenever we go on our winecation with our friends B&K, we always include a “fancy night out” with a wine dinner at one of the restaurants in the area. For our trip in June, I had my eyes on the 112-year-old Naramata Inn.

Two years ago, famed Canadian chef and Okanagan-born Ned Bell, his wife Kate Colley, and two business partners have taken over Naramata Inn and breathed new life into this heritage building. Naturally, the kitchen is led by Ned, who is no stranger to the Vancouver restaurant scene and local foodies. The menu is all about fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, and quality is basically guaranteed. And with that, it’s been on my radar ever since and now was the perfect time to dine there.

Food

The menu is a prix fixe 2-course or 3-course menu, and we all opted for 2 courses.

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There are so many options in Greater Vancouver for craft beer lovers to find amazing food and beer pairings. You are probably familiar with gastropubs and bars such as Alibi Room, St. Augustine’s and O’Hare’s. If you are looking for a date night idea, or to try something different while still being able to enjoy a pint or two, I’ve put together a list of 8 restaurants ranging from Lebanese to pan-Asian cuisine, to Italian favourites and hidden gem fine-dining.

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Mr. and I recently went on a 10-day road trip to the States. Kicking it off was a celebration of our 4th wedding anniversary and we spent a night at the quaint Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington. Lummi Island is a small island just a 10-minute ferry ride southwest of Bellingham.

The upscale inn deserves a separate post but the highlight of the evening was definitely our dinner at the restaurant. It serves up a 21-course tasting menu every evening, yes 21 courses, that changes regularly and seasonally. It features locally grown produce and other locally fished, foraged and farmed products. And in addition to their kitchen, they also have an outdoor wood-fired BBQ and smoker.

Obviously, with 21 courses this is not your everyday dinner out. The menu costs $225 per person with optional wine pairing for an additional $150 per person. You also don’t know what’s on the menu as they rotate it often. You only receive a copy of the menu at the end of your meal. So you ask, was it worth it?

Without further ado, let us indulge you with a feast for your eyes.

Food

Toasted kale leave, local black truffle, crumbled rye on top — elevated kale chip with the fragrance of truffle and extra crunch from the rye crumble

Wild rainier cherry in nasturtium leaf, wild chamomile, elderflower essence — what an interesting bite. Enjoyed the crisp sweetness of rainier cherry against the herbaceous chamomile and nasturtium. The elderflower essence was made into a little dollop of jelly that combined everything.

Sugar snap peas from their garden, pureed and combined with cream then it’s piped back in the pod — It’s like crudites in a fancy bite. You can taste the freshness of the sugar snap peas. (more…)

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For Mother’s Day, I took Mama Lam to afternoon tea at Origo Club. They offered a special menu for the weekend, but surprisingly, it was at its regular price of $45 per person. Good on them for not raising the price on this special day because many places do. The number of items was the same as usual but with a different line-up of desserts.

Afternoon Tea at Origo Club

Food

Here is what we had for savoury items (starting from the left):

Savoury Items, Afternoon Tea at Origo Club

Tarte aux Épinards – tart shell, spinach, coppa, gruyère, egg. One of my favourite items in the line-up. The tart shell was buttery and there was a lot of spinach in the filling. The filling was well-seasoned too.

Canard à l’Orange – seared duck breast, orange coulis & segments. Another fave of mine. The duck breast was tender, smokey. I wish there were more pieces of this.

Chou au Foie Gras et à la Truffe – choux pastry, duck foie gras & truffle mousse. (more…)

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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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