801 West Georgia St.,
Ph: (604) 673 - 7000 or Reserve Online
Before going to see La Cage aux Folles at the Vancouver Playhouse, I was invited to dinner at Hawksworth. Although it had been on my "must visit" list for a while, this was my first opportunity to dine here and I was looking forward to it.
We both decided on appetizers and an entree, self-righteously planning on not having dessert. Although that plan did not last much past our first look at the dessert menu.
357 Davie Street
Phone: (604) 685 -8070
Shortly after Chef Rob Feenie joined the Cactus Club restaurant chain and introduced his new line of signature dishes, I lunched with a friend at the Bentall 5 Burrard street location.
Spotting the barbecue duck clubhouse sandwich on the menu, I ordered it. I was hooked on this updated club sandwich of barbecued duck, pan seared chicken and prosciutto served on a pecan fruit bread. Or maybe it was the fries which were just right, crisp outside, soft inside and not overly brown.
On subsequent occasions, usually dropping in for lunch on the spur-of the-moment, I inevitably end up with the same choice.
Culinaria Restaurant - at the Art Institute of Vancouver
100 - 609 Granville Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Ph: (604) 639.2055 or Reserve Online
We enjoyed a delightful dining experience at Culinaria before strolling down Dunsmuir Street to The Queen Elizabeth Theatre to see Vancouver Opera's La Traviata.
Culinaria is a fine dining restaurant that showcases the skills of students at the International Culinary School of the Art Institute of Vancouver. Among the programs offered are Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, Restaurant Management and Sommelier training.
562 Beatty Street
Ph: 604- 879-7119 or Reserve Online
We were going to see the opening night performance of This at the Vancouver Playhouse so we strolled a couple of blocks over to Chambar for a pre-show dinner.
My companion had the celeriac and fennel soup, with cave aged Gruyére, chervil and a grilled crouton. He declared it to be absolutely delicious and when I was offered a spoonful, I had to agree - creamy and bursting with flavour.
Brix Restaurant and Wine bar
1138 Homer Street
Vancouver, BC V6B2
Ph: (604) 915-9463 or Reserve Online
Conveniently located on my way home from dance classes on Granville Street or shows at the Queen Elizabeth or Playhouse Theatres, the courtyard patio at Brix is a favorite place for us to drop in for a light, late evening supper.
On this visit however, three of us walked up Homer Street for an early supper. We opted to each pick two appetizers to share. First up came the Buffalo mozzarella salad with vine ripened tomatoes, red onions, and a sun dried tomato and olive tapenade. The sun dried tomato added a piquancy to the olive tapenade.
Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca 869 Hamilton Street, Vancouver. BC Ph: (604) 569-2535 or Reserve Online
I have now enjoyed two excellent meals at the revamped Lupo Restaurant and this review reports on both of them.
The last time I had dined at that location was before there was a change in ownership last July. Julio Gonzalez Perini who ran Villa Del Lupo in the Heritage house on Hamilton Street for many years, sold it in 2005. I had a nice dinner at Villa del Lupo more than a year ago, before Perini bought back the space. At that time the food was good though not outstanding and we had some amusing moments as you can read in my review of that visit.
Since then this lovely building has been reborn as Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca once again under the ownership of Executive Chef Perini, together with Michael Mameli, wine director and co-owner. The Chef de Cuisine is Takeo Hiro and Jeff Salzauler is pastry and dessert chef. The intent of the new management was to carve a niche, so to speak, as a neighbourhood restaurant featuring exellent food at reasonable prices. It appears that they have succeeded.
In March, for our pre-show dinner before heading to The Playhouse to see The Love List, we decided to visit the new incarnation of Lupo Restaurant. Although when we arrived, early as usual, there were only a few tables occupied, the place filled up really quickly. The service was attentive and timely.
We enjoyed the pre-show menu served from 5 to 6 pm which offered a choice of 4 starters, 4 entrees and a dessert . You could chose to have a two or three course meal which I really appreciated as I often find that three courses are just too much. My companion at that meal loved the lentil and sausage soup while I enjoyed a beautifully presented carpaccio. Then I had a sinfully tender lamb version of osso bucco while he had the beef short ribs.
The service was impeccable, the food excellent and we vowed we would come back soon.
My second visit was last week just before going to see Vancouver Opera's wonderful production of The Marriage of Figaro at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Shanghai River Restaurant
#110-7831 Westminster Highway,
Ph: (604) 233-8885
With its large diverse Chinese community, Vancouver celebrates Chinese New Year in style. This year a group of us, 12 in all, took the Canada Line out to Richmond, for a Chinese New Year banquet at the Shanghai River Restaurant. Arranged by Susan, whose petite frame belies her formidable social organizational skills, the evening promised to be a veritable feast and it was.
As we were led to our table which seated 12 quite comfortably, we passed by the pastry area where the dumplings and noodles are freshly made. We sipped on our hot tea while Susan and Nick decided what needed to be added to the standard banquet menu for 10 people. The rest of us debated whether to order beer or wine. Five of us settled on a bottle of Mission Hill white wine of unknown varietal. The menu did not specify. We guessed it was a Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris but we got so involved with the various dishes that we forgot to ask them to bring back the bottle so we could check. The others ordered beers.
Maenam Thai Restaurant 1938 West 4th Avenue Vancouver. Ph: (604) 730-5579 or Reserve Online
The last time I visited this location at its previous incarnation as Gastropod I enjoyed an excellent meal. Since chef Angus An renamed it Maenam and changed the focus to Thai specialities in May last year, I have not had an opportunity to revisit. But heading off to the Jericho Arts Centre to see The Vic, we decided to test our taste buds against some spicy Thai dishes.