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Posts Tagged ‘Dine Out Vancouver 2010’

Mr. and I often eat out at West Coast restaurants and French bistros. To diversify our culinary experience, we took the opportunity to look for something different for Dine Out Vancouver. We decided on Latin American; we chose Baru Latino as per Frank’s recommendation list.

Food

Honestly, I have limited knowledge about Latin American cuisine, so I went to the restaurant with an open mind and hoped for a great meal. First I noticed that its actual Dine Out menu is different from what’s on the Tourism Vancouver website: Tuna Caribe is replaced by Baru Ceviche; and only 2 Empenadas will be served, instead of 3 as stated online. Second, I concluded that they have 3 main ingredients in their dishes: tomatoes, lime and cilantro.

In addition to the Dine Out menu, we ordered some Latin Empenadas, because we (read: Joyce) like food so much. Because it’s off the regular menu, we got 3 empenadas and we chose a mix of 2 beef and 1 cheese. They came with a smoke salsa, which was roasted tomatoes with chipotle seasoning. I personally found the flavour of the stuffing a bit too mild. I could taste it, but it’s not quite there. To Mr., they were “artery clogging goodness with simple flavours”. (more…)

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My Dine Out Vancouver 2010 kicked off with a location that I’ve been wanting to go for a few years: Il Giardino, part of the Umberto Group. I couldn’t wait to try it such that I had to book it for the first day of the event! (OK, a little bit exaggerating but there’s some truth to it!)

Food

The advantage of doing DOV with 2 or more people is that you are more likely to try everything on the menu, as restaurants usually offer 3 options for each of the 3 courses. In this case, my parents and I did just that – we ordered one of everything, vegetarian dishes included.

Overall I was quite happy with the quality of the dishes. I personally had the Antipasto + Black Cod + White Chocolate Ganache Cake. The Antipasto Misto was of a generous portion and captured the essence of an antipasto plate you’d find in an Italian restaurant. I have to confess, though, I still haven’t learned to appreciate olives. Alaskan Black Cod was not bad; I liked that it had a crust that added texture to the soft, flaky meat. I also appreciated that they put a lot of vegetables on the side, a good balance to a heavy meal. Raspberry White Chocolate Ganache Cake was probably my favourite of the 3 desserts. Although it’s white chocolate, it’s not too sweet. And it’s very creamy. I wish the cake part was slightly thicker; now it’s so thin that it’s barely there.

As for other dishes, (more…)

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In case you haven’t heard, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s Dine Out Vancouver time! I often take this opportunity to test the water, get a sneak preview of what some big players in Vancouver’s dining scene have to offer. Here on VanFoodies.com, each of the writers is giving you their Top 5 list. If you haven’t made up your mind, and/or have no idea where to go, check out the following list. Feel free to share your thoughts on these restaurants with us!

Mr.’s  top 5 places under $20 that he’s never been:

  • MIGZ BBQ on Broadway:  Having been quite satisfied with Memphis Blues, I’ve always wanted to try out another local BBQ joint. Both the St. Louis side ribs and pulled pork are making me salivate as I type. I couldn’t care less about their salad, soup, or dessert.
  • Chutney Villa: I have only had Indian food a few times in my life. It’s a crime considering how long I’ve lived in Surrey. I know little about the cuisine but I’d like to try something other than butter chicken this time.
  • The Calling: Ok I think it’s about time someone tells me what a Sheppard pie is…(Joyce: Yeah me too. I only know what a Shepherd’s Pie is. lol.)
  • Blarney Stone:  The pub that everyone has talked yet I’ve never been. Wouldn’t mind finding out what’s in an Irish stew and how badly can an Irish pub screw up tofu.
  • The Westward Ho! at the University Golf Club:  The menu would certainly suggest a higher price tag. At $18, I’d try this for what appears to be a great deal.

Frank’s top 5 dinners that he doesn’t want to miss:

  • hidden ($18): I was sold as soon as I saw pacific poutine with halibut cheeks, chicken and waffles, and root beer, hazlenut and maple ice cream parfait. Such comfort food is rarely seen elsewhere. The plus? It’s newly opened inside the Westin Grand Hotel (and, $18 for crying out loud).
  • Baru Latino ($28): Always enticed by empanadas and a sucker for Paella, I was immediately intrigued by the menu. The restaurant also seems legitimately latino.
  • db bistro moderne ($38): The Rock Hen duo and grilled swordfish got me fixated on the menu. The flavours sound uncomplicated and just delicious. How would I decide if I were to have dinner there?
  • Diva at the Met ($28): I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have Diva’s famed Caramelized Stilton Cheesecake. Oh, and the duck liver parfait with rhubarb chutney sounds like a killer combo. (Joyce: According to OpenTable, this menu will be offered until July 2010 so don’t panic if you can’t get a table. You’ve got a few more months to try it out!)
  • Boneta ($38): A favourite of mine… it’s always attentive with its dishes. The menu appears seasonal; and the flavours clean. Come on, they have pork belly! Also, it definitely has one of the better dessert menus.

Joyce’s top 5 restaurants that are worth returning:

  • Cardero’s Restaurant ($28): Decent menu offering with a view of the North Shore in the background. Good value for where it’s located.
  • Le Gavroche ($38): Voted “The Most Romantic Restaurant in Vancouver” for a number of years, this restaurant also has a fair share of wine offering to pair with your meal.
  • Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House ($38): Joe Fortes has since redeemed itself from my very first DOV dinner there. This year’s menu, although has no surprises, offers some solid choices for seafood lovers.
  • Cru ($38): This menu is almost a replica of its regular prix-fixe menu. It’s usually priced at $42 so now you can save a few bucks and buy yourself a cocktail to start the night.
  • Trafalgars Bistro ($28): Mr.‘s and my favourite restaurant and of course I’d take this opportunity to encourage you to give it a try.

Now that you’ve got some idea, better act soon and start booking. Some restaurants sell out quickly – I heard that West was sold out on the first day, as did every year’s Dine Out. For a complete list of Dine Out restaurants, visit Tourism Vancouver’s website.

Happy eating!

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