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Posts Tagged ‘Dine Out Vancouver 2013’

This year I have been rather careful on my spending on Dine Out, despite having planned 7 dinners in total (haha). In the past I usually had a good mix of $28 and $38 menus; this year, I only had one $38 dinner: the Poor Italian Ristorante, with the name Tony Parsons attached to it. We didn’t choose it because of its celebrity fame. We were simply attracted to its menu.

Dine Out at Poor Italian

Dine Out at Poor Italian

Food

My parents and I were able to pick something different for each course (except for dessert which only had 2 options), which is always a good sign. But first, a bread basket! Wow this was the first and only bread basket I received during Dine Out this year. The other 6 restaurants did not offer free bread at dinner – there was always a surcharge to order bread on the side. A welcomed change for sure!

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

The Insalata Caprese di Buffala was a refreshing start to a meal. (more…)

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With the number of foodies at the office, we went out one evening for Dine Out. After much consideration, we decided on Prestons because of its location (pretty close to the office) and its approachable menu (something for everyone). I remember a couple years ago when we blogged about a tasting event there, I said I would return for its regular service because that media event wasn’t their best. Well, here I am.

Dine Out at Prestons

Dine Out at Prestons

Food

For appetizer I ordered the Prawn Gyoza. If you have been following my posts, you would know I’m not a huge fan of Pan Asian food, so obviously I had reservations about this dish. The verdict? It was Lisa’s favourite at the media event 2 years ago, and it didn’t disappoint me this time around. No, these aren’t the traditional, authentic gyozas, but they were very tasty. (more…)

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In addition to the traditional prix fixe menu offered by restaurants in Vancouver, the Dine Out Vancouver organizer also put together a number of culinary events, including the popular Street Food City. Returning for its second year, a dozen or so food trucks gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery, allowing food truck enthusiasts to experience street food all in one spot!

So I made it over to the Vancouver Art Gallery with my colleagues. Of the list of participating food trucks, some I have already tried, some I’m not particularly interested in. I had my eyes set on the Kaboom Box and that’s exactly where I headed.

The Kaboom Box

The Kaboom Box

Food

Some food carts had a special DOV creation on their menu, not for the Kaboom Box. Of its regular menu, I was choosing between the Hot Smoked Salmon Sandwich and the Venison Burger. In the end, I ordered the Hot Smoked Salmon Sandwich because it claims to be “world famous” and appears to be the most popular menu item.

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’m not really a salmon burger person. (more…)

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Dine Out #3 at Gramercy Grill, a date night with Mr. We chose this place because they offer 4 options for appetizers and desserts, and 6 options for entrees. Some cost extra, but we like options!

Dine Out at Gramercy Grill

Dine Out at Gramercy Grill

Food

To start, I ordered Trio of Oysters. I thought it was a nice way to start given that it’s not another beet salad or squash soup (haha!). I got three decent size Chefs Creek Oysters, meaty with a light, clean finish.

Trio of Oysters of the Day

Trio of Oysters of the Day – mignonette or classic cocktail sauce

Mr. ordered the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio. It’s not a huge plate but just enough meat to whet your appetite. (more…)

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Dine Out #2 was a long trek (for us in the ‘burbs) to the Oakwood Canadian Bistro in Kitsilano. I have wanted to go for last year’s Dine Out but no one else seemed to be interested in its menu. Luckily, they have returned for another year of DOV and the menu is equally attractive. I happily scheduled a double date with WK and MS over the weekend.

Dine Out at Oakwood Canadian

Dine Out at Oakwood Canadian

Food

A double date gave us a good opportunity to see/try almost everything on the menu. For appetizers, I most enjoyed the Smoked Cheddar and Cauliflower Soup. The cheese was rich and the soup was creamy, but it was a bit too salty…until you mix in the tomato foam. The slight tartness of the tomato foam helps cut through the richness and balance out the flavours.

Smoked cheddar and cauliflower soup

Smoked cheddar and cauliflower soup – tomato foam, thyme croutons

The Pork Ravioli, even though it’s a carb dish, had probably the smallest portion of all. The 2 raviolis were of decent size, the filling was tasty, but the pasta dough around the filling was just way too much. And it was under-cooked so it was hard. I thought the apple wasabi sauce was interesting. The glistening pork rind added crunchy texture to the dish, but I think it would be better if it’s smaller and just sprinkled on top.

Pork ravioli

Pork ravioli – apple wasabi butter, rind, radish sprout

WK ordered the Albacore Tuna. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver officially kicked off on January 18 and right away I started on the eating. Typically, downtown is the destination to go for Dine Out, but a number of North Shore restaurants have some tempting menus and so, we decided to venture out. On this first night of DOV, my parents and I went to Fishworks in North Vancouver.

Dine Out at Fishworks

Dine Out at Fishworks

Food

Since there were 3 of us, it was the perfect opportunity to try every dish on the DOV menu. Let’s start with the appetizers.

The Dungeness Crab was probably the tastiest of the three. It was a coconut soup with a crab claw in its perfect form. The soup was creamy, reminding me of Thai curry with lots of coconut milk. I could also taste a hint of heat in the soup.

Dungeness crab

Dungeness crab – in coconut soup with enoki mushrooms

The Qualicum Beach Scallops was the most creative appetizer. (more…)

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Returning for its 12th year, Dine Out Vancouver 2013 will run from Jan 18 to Feb 3. During this two-week period, participating restaurants will offer prix fixe menus at $18, $28 or $38. The menus are now open for public to view, and restaurants have begun taking reservations.

This year, Tourism Vancouver has created a new website www.dineoutvancouver.com to provide a one-stop shop for all DOV-related activities. In addition to restaurant menus, there is also a schedule of events taking place concurrently, offering you multiple dimensions of culinary experience. Tickets are sold separately for these events. Be sure to check out Street Food City where food carts are gathered together to throw you a big food cart party!

Crowd @ Street Food City 2012

Crowd @ Street Food City 2012

We have done some DOV coverage in the past, so I suggest you to check out our collection of DOV tastings (unfortunately, some restaurants have closed since DOV 2012 or are not participating this year). In addition, use the Search function to look up other restaurant reviews that we’ve done outside of Dine Out Vancouver.

Angus Tenderloin at Black + Blue, DOV 2012

Angus Tenderloin at Black + Blue, DOV 2012

Based on our past experience, please keep in mind that what you experience during Dine Out Vancouver isn’t necessarily the true reflection of the food & service quality of the restaurant. Why that is the case still bothers me, as I see this as a marketing opportunity for restaurants to expand their customer base or at least get some word of mouth promotion through diners. Yet some restaurants that we visited in the past didn’t take advantage of this opportunity and failed to live up to the expectation that they establish through non-DOV time.

All in all, this is still a good opportunity to check out some of the restaurants at a more affordable price. Happy eating!

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