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Taste of Yaletown is back for its 17th year! For the first time, it will run for the entire month of October, with restaurants offering special menus created especially for the event.

This year, Taste of Yaletown (TOY) is putting an emphasis on community and bringing the community back together safely. For every TOY menu sold, Yaletown Business Improvement Association (YBIA) will be donating $2.00 to The Greater Vancouver Food Bank and Yaletown House, a not-for-profit long-term care home for seniors. In addition, the YBIA has partnered up with Earls Yaletown to buy lunch for all 150 staff at the Yaletown House to give thanks for keeping Vancouver seniors safe during the pandemic. Yaletown House is the only seniors home in Vancouver with zero cases thus far. All 150 staff members will be able to book their lunch at any time that works best for them.

Also new to TOY this year is the “Healthcare Happy Hour”, to honour and celebrate every healthcare worker that has been on the frontlines of the pandemic. Taking place every Wednesday during TOY at 4:00-6:00 pm at Bill Curtis Square, healthcare workers can stop by the event for some live music, and pick up a gift basket put together by Yaletown businesses and restaurants. The YBIA will also be setting up a community board where Yaletown visitors can share their own messages of appreciation and support for healthcare workers.

Participating restaurants include Banter Room, Bistro Sakana, Brix & Mortar, Cactus Club Cafe, Grand Chinese Restaurant, Hapa Izakaya, Provence Marinaside, Robba da Matti, Sushi Maro, The Flying Pig, The Greek by Anatoli, and WestOak. Restaurants will be sharing their special menus on their social media channels.

For more information, visit yaletowninfo.com/tasteofyaletown/

Photo credit: Yaletown BIA

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Taste of Yaletown is back! Running from October 18-28, 2018, restaurants in the Yaletown neighbourhood will offer innovative pairings and special menus at set prices of $25, $35, and $45.

The Yaletown Business Improvement Association, the event organizer, just released the list of participating restaurants. They are:

(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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The other restaurant that I visited during the Taste of Yaletown media event was La Pentola at the Opus Hotel. La Pentola also offers a 4-course menu for $45.

Food

It’s a big menu, with two salad options for first course:

Beets, Frisee, Pickled Onion, Hazelnuts, Whipped Ricotta

Beet Salad

Duck and Radicchio, Frisee, Grapes, Pecans, Balsamic, Parmesan

Duck Salad

Both salads were tasty. Frankly I was so focused on the hot dishes I only had a small bite of each salad. They looked good, with just the right amount of dressing. I probably would’ve chosen the beet salad because I like beets, but the duck salad sounded more interesting.

Second course is pasta. The Linguine Vongole was quite good. Pasta was al dente, clams tasted fresh. (more…)

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I was invited to the menu preview of the 2017 Taste of Yaletown. Organized by the Yaletown BIA and similar to Dine Out Vancouver, participating restaurants in Yaletown are offering a $25, $35, or $45 menu until Oct 27. At the preview event, I got to sample the menus at two restaurants, one of which was House Special, serving Modern Vietnamese cuisine.

Food

House Special offers a 4-course menu for $45. The first course was Mekong Wonton. Shrimp and monkfish mousse wontons were sitting in a sweet, sour and spicy tamarind seafood broth, which was inspired by a traditional Vietnamese dish Canh Chua Ca. It’s different from other types of Asian sweet and sour, or hot and sour soup. I could taste the sweet and sour combo from the tamarind but I was definitely caught by surprise when the pineapple flavour hit my palate. Being so familiar with the Chinese style wonton soup, this Vietnamese version was almost refreshing to me.

Mekong Wonton

The second course was Caramelized Pork Jowl Banh Hoi, which is their take on a lettuce wrap but with endives. (more…)

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