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Posts Tagged ‘Dine Out Vancouver 2015’

If you haven’t noticed the pattern, I’m actually reluctant to eat at restaurants that don’t take reservations. I enjoy the comfort in knowing that a table will be ready for me at around the time I want, instead of having to live through the stress of lining up and waiting impatiently for people to pay the bill and servers to clear the table. Or I have to be early and wait for the restaurant to swing open the door right at 5 or 5:30pm. And that’s why it’s been awhile since I last went to Twisted Fork. They don’t take reservations.

But lucky me, working downtown and getting off work at 5, I was able to get to Twisted Fork right at 5:30pm, as the door opened, and checked out their Dine Out menu.

Twisted Fork Bistro Menu

And you must be wondering about the post title. When I was trying to look up the dishes on the menu in advance of the dinner, what they looked like and what other people thought about them, I couldn’t find anything online. No Twitter, no Instagram, not even Urbanspoon; that actually piqued my interest even more.

Food

Escargots on the menu? Sign me up! I was really surprised to see that on a Dine Out menu, but hey, I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to have them. The Escargot and Mushrooms was actually like a warm salad. Escargots were diced up and sauteed with mushrooms and arugula. The texture of mushrooms and escargots matched quite well, and the earthy flavour was nice. Mixing in the tomato sauce and putting them all on the baguette crostini was like building my own bruschetta. At certain bites, though, I couldn’t really tell which I was eating, mushrooms or escargots. I suspect there weren’t very many escargots on my plate.

Escargot and Mushrooms

The Braised Lamb Shank was filling! The lamb shank was braised beautifully, meat fell right off the bone. (more…)

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I usually use Dine Out Vancouver as the opportunity to try restaurants that I’ve never been before. Even some of the institutions that have been around for a long time. One of which was Salmon House in West Vancouver. This year, they had a pretty appealing menu for DOV, and so Mr. and I invited Mama and Papa Lam to join us for dinner.

Food

The first appetizer was the Lobster Bisque. It was rich and creamy, and you can taste the lobster essence. Mr. found it borderline salty, but to me it’s normal for most lobster bisque. What made this better was the addition of candied salmon; it added some sweetness to the savouriness, as well as accentuated the seafood flavours in the bisque.

Lobster Bisque

We ordered some House Made Bread to go with our appetizers. For $3, 4 dinner rolls may seem pricey. But fresh, warm, house-made bread is always good and worth more. This was even better because two were regular bread, and two were cheesy bread. They were served with smoked salmon butter, and the salmon flavour was very prominent. If we were not conscious of the fact that it’s butter, we could probably keep eating it.

House Made Bread with Smoked Wild Salmon Butter

The Salmon House Sampler was a generous sized appy. (more…)

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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 (some are on their own websites; some are from the Dine Out Vancouver website which may get taken down any day now):

Until Feb 7

Until Feb 8

Until Feb 11

Until Feb 12

Until Feb 13

Until Feb 15

Until Feb 28

I noticed that some menus have gone up in price, compared to previous year, with similar menu offerings. That, I was a little bit disappointed. Therefore, I have been more picky about Dine Out menus this year, but so far I have been quite happy with what I chose. We have more reviews coming so be sure to follow them!

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For a triple-date night, we went for Dine Out at Chicha, a Peruvian-inspired eatery in the Mount Pleasant area. There were lots of options on the $28 menu, with some interesting combination of ingredients. I was intrigued.

Food

Because of its “tapa-style” menu, instead of 3 courses, you actually get 4 plates at Chicha. Definitely a bonus, I’d say. To start, I ordered myself a Chilcano (left), a ginger-beer based cocktail. It had some nice acidity to it, with a bit of heat from the ginger root. Mr. ordered the Inka Cola, a Peruvian soda which we were told “taste like cream soda.” And it did taste just like cream soda, not much fizz, and a bit sweeter than the actual cream soda we’re used to.

ChilcanoInka Kola

And then the feast began! First, my Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder was pretty good. I was expecting a bit of heat with the aji amarillo chili pepper, but rather on the mild side for me. In addition to fish pieces, there were squid in the chowder, tender and not like chewing bubble gum, which I thought was different from most other ones.

Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder

Mr. had the Palitos de Yuca, which was basically cassava root fries. They were a lot starchier than potato fries, and had a harder exterior too. The Peruvian Huancaina sauce was spicy, creamy, reminded me of a curry mayo. This was quite filling as an appy. While it’s good, I think we prefer regular potato fries.

Palitas de Yuca

Each of us received two entrees, i.e. 4 for us! Each of the Pan Con Chicharron Sliders had a hearty slice of pork belly, and the fatty part just melts in your mouth!
(more…)

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Back in August, Mahony & Sons celebrated the opening of its 3rd location at Stamps Landing, where Monk McQueen used to be. It’s such a beautiful location with fixture imported from Ireland and a gorgeous view of False Creek. When Dine Out kicked off, my girlfriends and I decided to have our next dinner together there.

Mahony & Sons Stamps Landing

Food

Before we placed our food order, I got myself an Irish Rose. I completely forgot that I had it at the opening party until I saw the picture just now, but the description on the menu was just so appealing that I had to get one. It is actually really similar to a mojito, but it uses gin with a mix of lemonade. It was refreshing and fruity. Good girly drink, even better in the summer!

Irish Rose

Its Dine Out menu is only $18, serving some of its popular dishes. To start, we all ordered the Pacific Chowder. I had it at the opening party and really liked it, and this was no difference. It was rich and creamy, and was in no shortage of seafood. Every spoonful there were chunks of salmon and cod. You can tell they used some big prawns, and they were really good. Meat was still crunchy — I just wish they put in more of them. Fennel flavour was a bit subtle but overall a very good chowder.

Pacific Chowder

Then, I had the Mahi Mahi Taco. I was expecting a couple of small tacos, but arriving at our table was a cone-shaped tortilla wrap. (more…)

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During Dine Out time, there are a number of culinary events happening in the same two-week period, including the Brunch Crawl series put on by Vancouver Foodster. It’s similar to his series of Tasting Plates, except it happens on a weekend morning, perfect timing for brunch.

We were invited to check out the Kitsilano edition this past weekend. In 4 hours, we visited 6 restaurants in the neighbourhood:

  • Darby’s Public House
  • Krokodile Pear
  • Linh Cafe
  • Momento Coffee
  • Novo Pizzeria
  • Rain or Shine Ice Cream

Food

The event started at Novo Pizzeria where we were served a trio including Arugula and Blood Orange Salad, Novo Breakfast Pizza & a Sicilian Canoli. Pizzas at Novo have always been great – this one was no exception, especially with the use of a sous vide quail egg on each slice. The canoli was light and flaky, with nutty flavour from the pistachios and citrus fragrant note from the orange blossom water and citrus essence.

Novo Breakfast Pizza, Arugula & Blood Orange Salad and Canoli

Next, we beat the football fans and made our way to Darby’s Public House, a popular pub in the neighbourhood. They served a generous portion of their brunch items: Half an Eggs Benedict, Hangover Hash and Mini Huevos Rancheros. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, with runny yolks bringing everything together. Although I’m not particularly interested in Mexican food, I found myself enjoying the Huevos Rancheros with the subtle heat in the jalapeno ginger sauce. A fried egg would have worked well but poached egg was just fine.

Eggs Benedict, Hangover Hash & Huevos Rancheros

Then, a coffee stop at Momento Coffee. (more…)

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Happy New Year! Can’t believe it’s already January 6, but that also means Dine Out Vancouver is returning next week!

Did you know that in addition to dining at 277 participating restaurants for a prix fixe menu at $18, $28 or $38, you can also buy tickets to a variety of culinary events over the 17-day period?

Dine Out Van 2015

Dine Out Van 2015

Here are some that caught my eyes:

  • International Chef Exchange: You will feast on a delicious meal hosted by two vegetarian restaurants, Terre à Terre from Brighton, UK, and Vancouver’s The Parker.
  • Food-tography: A Culinary Photography Tour: On this culinary tour of Railtown, tour participants will eat and sip their way through three local eateries while getting tips and lessons from a seasoned photography pro.
  • Side Dishes – The Best of Hawksworth: Enjoy a three-course dinner prepared by Chef David Hawksworth and the team, with optional wine pairings to match.
  • Street Food City IV: For seven days (!!), gather and feast on delicious food prepared by more than 20 of Vancouver’s food truck vendors.
  • Feast on Film – Like Water for Chocolate: Guests will view the Mexican film Like Water for Chocolate, a film about the power of food and love, while enjoying a three-course meal, with VQA wine pairings, prepared by four emerging chefs from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.
  • Six Course Discourse: Join Follow Me Foodie’s Mijune Pak as she welcomes six Vancouver chefs, David Hawksworth, Pino Posteraro, Angus An, Robert Clark, Taryn Wa and Thomas Haas, to share what’s on their mind and their inspirations.
  • Brunch Crawl – West End: Visit 7+ restaurants throughout the West End neighbourhood as you taste all sorts of dishes in this brunch crawl. This is one of the six Brunch Crawls presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Menus for the prix fixe dinners will be available on January 7. (more…)

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