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Posts Tagged ‘gastown’

When Mr. and I planned a dinner out with my colleague SM and fiance CD, we were looking at a number of restaurants in Gastown. In the end, we decided on Wildebeest because its menu was quite intriguing.

Intriguing, how? There’s a lot of game meat on the menu. And we ordered a lot of them.

Food

I don’t think I’ve seen duck hearts on a menu before. These Popcorn Duck Hearts were addictive – they’re crispy outside, meaty inside. Slightly bigger than chicken hearts, and not gamey (to me). The batter was thin, and it wasn’t greasy. The yogurt sauce was like a dipping sauce, bringing freshness and creaminess to the dish. You really could keep popping them in your mouth like popcorn.

Popcorn Duck Hearts

This Bison Carpaccio looks like a typical carpaccio, except with the use of bison instead of beef. The bison was lightly seared on the outside so it’s practically rare. Even though it’s leaner, it’s still tender, buttery. The sorghum “popcorn” added some crunch. The highlight of the dish was the sous vide egg yolk.

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CC bought a Travelzoo voucher to a 6-course tasting menu at Bauhaus Restaurant and invited me to join her. Since its opening I’ve been wanting to try Bauhaus, and find out what German fine dining could be like, and now is my chance.

Food

The Chef’s Tasting Menu changes seasonally, and when we went, they just launched a new one.

Before we got into the six courses. We were first greeted with some Bread, served with whipped butter with sea salt or butter with paprika.

bread

We also received an amuse bouche, which was a White Bean Veloute. It was light, with a hint of smokiness from the drizzle of paprika oil. There’s some horseradish foam at the top but I didn’t get the pungent peppery flavour of horseradish. It was just the right few spoonfuls of veloute to whet the appetite.

white bean veloute

First course was Tuna, soy marinated Yellowfin tuna. It’s an Asian-inspired flavour profile. The fish was lightly seared on the outside; the flesh texture was nice and firm, and the marinate wasn’t too overpowering. The salt in soy was balanced by the sweet orange carrot meringue and slightly tart orange gel. The presentation of this plate was stunning, loved the colour, but there were a lot of components on the plate and I wasn’t too sure how to approach it.

tuna

Next, Cod. The little piece of cod was sous vide; because the cooking temperature was well-controlled, the meat texture turned out very nice. (more…)

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This past weekend, we were invited to go to the Brunch Crawls as part of the Dine Out Vancouver festivities. Put on by Richard the Vancouver Foodster. The first of the brunch crawl series was in Gastown.

Gastown Brunch Crawl

In 4 hours, Mr. and I checked out 7 different spots in Gastown:

  • Prado Cafe
  • Zero Zero Pizzeria
  • The Capilano
  • The Birds & The Beets / Grain
  • Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Bao Down
  • Smallflower Cafe & Bakeshop

The crawl started with a cup of hand-crafted coffee at Prado Cafe. There were a few choices and we ordered an Americano and Flat White.

Prado Cafe

Almost right next door was Zero Zero Pizzeria. The portion was quite generous here. We had two options, including the pizzetta flatbread, but also a new topping combination that wasn’t even available on the regular menu yet!

Zero Zero Pizzeria

A couple of streets over we got to the new Capilano Tea House. They will officially open their door on February 1, so we basically got a sneak preview.

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We were invited to go on a tour to check out the various Donnelly Group properties and their Dine Out Vancouver menu. Executive Chef Alvin Pillay has recently returned to the company group, and he’s quite proud of the menus that he’s put together. Ten of the Donnelly Group properties are offering similar items. Specifically, there are 6 core items that can be found at all these locations, which we tried on this tour, along with their respective beverage pairing. Each Donnelly Group location also offers an additional entree option on their Dine Out menu.

Food

Our first stop was at The New Oxford, where we tried the two appetizers.

The Curried Parsnip Soup could definitely warm you up on a chilly winter day. The curry spices really came through; I could taste a lot of ginger. Soup was creamy, and the roasted apple offered some texture in contrast. Suggested wine pairing is the Volcanic Hills Pinot Gris. The apple note in the white wine was a great match with the soup.

Curried Parsnip Soup

The Winter Salad sounded and seemed simple, but there’s an interesting depth to it. The buttermilk sumac dressing brought tartness and spice, black sesame added some nutty flavours, and the Moroccan pita bread gave it some crunch. The 50th Parallel Riesling isn’t as sweet as a typical Riesling, which worked well with this light salad.

Winter Salad

Next, on a trolley, we were taken to The Blackbird Public House, right upstairs from Royal Dinette.

Bar at Blackbird

The first of the two core entrees was the Bangers & Mash.
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I was invited to sample the menu at Burgundy Restaurant, a quaint 30-seat restaurant in Gastown by the ACME Cafe.

Burgundy Restaurant

Each table got to share a few appetizers and entrees. But before that, we got to see and take photos of the full-size entrees – so we didn’t have to do that during dinner service. What a genius idea! That way we didn’t have to scramble to take the photos and could actually enjoy a hot plate of food. Really appreciate that gesture.

Take photos of entrees ahead of time

Food

First of all, we each had a Gin n’ Juice. What a refreshing drink on a warm day! It’s on the sweet side so it’s a bit deceiving – watch how much/many of this you’re drinking.

Gin n' Juice

Here are the appetizers we tried – full-size plates shared among the 4-5 of us at each table:

Tuna Nicoise was the table’s favourite dish. It was nicely seasoned, well balanced; the eggs were cooked well. I loved the use of tuna carpaccio instead of the traditional seared tuna.

Tuna Nicoise

The Crab Cakes is gluten-free, thanks to the use of quinoa as the breading on the outside. (more…)

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A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to the Tasting Plates Gastown Edition. Gastown is a neighbourhood that intrigues me but I never spend enough time exploring. The event offered me an opportunity to re-visit some restaurants while discovering some new ones.

Instead of duplicating my Twitter coverage through the evening of the event, I have taken a different approach with this recap post. I’ve used Storify to build my story using pictures from the event along with additional comment at each stop. Click on the image or link below to check it out. Find out what I liked and what I didn’t like, and what I wished to have done differently on this tour:

Tasting Plates Gastown 2014 on Storify

Tasting Plates Gastown 2014 on Storify

Tasting Plates Gastown Recap on Storify

Tasting Plates is a good way to explore new and long-standing restaurants in the neighbourhoods. The next one is Tasting Plates Main Street and I hope to see you there!

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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:

Until Feb 7

Until Feb 9

Until Feb 11

Until Feb 12

Until Feb 13

Until Feb 28

This year’s Dine Out has been my recent favourite. Overall, I think the restaurants have raised the bar and put out a much more interesting and tastier menu, and the service quality has also seen improvement. We have 2 more reviews coming up this week so be sure to follow them!

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