All posts by cassandra

Andre McGillivray, Steve DaCruz and Anthony Sedlak opening the corner suite bistro de luxe in July 2009

Andre McGillivray and Steve Da Cruz have formed their own company, pistol star restaurants inc. and with Chef Anthony Sedlak – the popular host of Food Network’s The Main – will open a new restaurant named the corner suite bistro de luxe in Vancouver this July 2009.

The restaurant will be founded upon a back-to-basics approach with contemporary twists in both the cuisine and restaurant design. Sedlak’s menus will be French at heart done in a modern perspective and delivered at a bistro price range. With the corner suite bistro de luxe McGillivray, Da Cruz and Sedlak plan to offer a smart, eclectic, and innovative restaurant with the intention of livening Vancouver’s independent downtown dining scene.

the corner suite bistro de luxe will serve lunch from noon until 5:00 pm and dinner until 1:00 am Monday through Saturday, closing at midnight on Sundays. Located on the corner of 850 Thurlow Street, the room will have 130 seats total, with 90 in the dining room and 40 in the bar. The restaurant will be owned and managed by McGillivray and Da Cruz, both of whom have operated some of Vancouver’s most successful restaurants. McGillivray was instrumental in the formation of the wildly popular Boneta; Da Cruz has managed and tended bar while creating some of the most coveted cocktail lists in the city. And Sedlak – who is a Vancouver native and earned his stripes at The Observatory and La Trompette before winning the Food Network’s Superstar Chef Challenge and becoming host of The Main – is excited to bring his comfort cooking out from behind the camera and back to the plates of diners.

The restaurant is anticipated to open July 1st, 2009.


Twenty-five year old Anthony Sedlak obtained his first job as a busboy at Lupins Café – one of the restaurants atop Grouse Mountain – at the age of 13. He was very quickly promoted to a line cook position at the mountain’s main kitchen. By 16 Anthony was working at the resort’s flagship dining room, The Observatory, where he made his way from 2nd cook to 1st cook and then Chef de Partie. At the same time, Anthony also completed the Culinary Arts Program at Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver and a four-year BC Chefs’ Apprenticeship through Vancouver Community College.

Next, the just turned 20-year-old Sedlak joined the team at La Trompette in West London. Though he joined the restaurant in a junior role, Sedlak worked his way up to the position of Executive Sous-Chef in just one year. The time in London would prove to be a pivotal experience for the young chef, with late night hangouts with the crew from Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay’s all part of an 18-hour day’s work. Following two years at La Trompette, Sedlak returned to Vancouver and accepted a Sous-Chef position at The Observatory.

In 2006 at just 22 years of age, Sedlak was selected to represent Canada at the Hans Bueschken World Junior Chef Challenge in Auckland, New Zealand, where he took silver medal honours. Later that same year, Anthony was one of six participants selected to compete in Food Network’s Superstar Chef Challenge. Anthony was a natural in front of the camera as well as in the kitchen, and he won the competition.

Since 2007, Anthony has traveled between Vancouver and Toronto to film the Food Network series, The Main. With filming now wrapped for the 2009 season, the corner suite bistro de luxe will bring Anthony back to his hometown of Vancouver, and into his own restaurant kitchen.
Andre McGillivray moved to Vancouver in 1991 with a few years of restaurant experience under his belt. His first day in the city, McGillivray landed a position at the newly opened CinCin restaurant, where he stayed and worked the bar for the next eight years. After CinCin, Andre held a number of managerial positions at some of Vancouver’s top restaurants, namely Lucy Mae Brown, Lumiere, Feenie’s, and Chambar. In 2006, Andre returned to Lumiere and Feenies as General Manager, and followed with a position as Maitre’D at the renowned Le Crocodile.

Deciding that 18 years of experience running other people’s restaurants was enough, Andre opened his own restaurant, Boneta, in June of 2007. Boneta became one of Vancouver’s most acclaimed and talked about restaurant openings of that year, and the restaurant earned numerous awards and accolades locally, nationally, and internationally.

It was at Boneta that McGillivray first worked with Steve Da Cruz, and the two became friends quickly. In late 2008, McGillivray and Da Cruz left Boneta, but remained in close contact. The friendship would prove to be serendipitous. In April of 2009 the two formed a partnership under the name pistol star restaurants inc. and their first restaurant, the corner suite bistro de luxe, will open in July 2009.


Steve Da Cruz honed his skills in many New York restaurant bars including; Ristorante Brunelli, The York Imperial, Anju, Ruby Foo’s Times Square, Mona’s, The Tupelo Grill, Time Café, Fez, and City 75 at the Rockefeller. From the top of the Algonquin Hotel to a basement with Tony Bennett and an underground speakeasy, Steve earned his stripes behind the bar, and then some.

Over the last two years Steve has consulted for and managed the bar program at some of Vancouver’s most exciting and beautiful restaurants including Boneta, Chill Winston, and Gastropod. Founded upon his love for the classics, Steve is dedicated to the unearthing of long lost recipes and modernizing them with the finest of techniques. His encyclopedic knowledge of spirits and their amazing stories is a point of pride.

Steve’s personal and program accolades have been many including being nominated as Bartender of the Year in several local media outlets. As well as being partner in pistol star restaurants inc. Da Cruz has also pioneered a new presentation format for classic
cocktails, “The Genuine Article”, a study that contains over 100 recipes.

2004 Geyser Peak Winery Cabernet Sauvignon SKU #343467

Geyser Peak is the third oldest winery in California, founded in 1880 in the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Today the region is known for Cabernet Sauvignon. This particular Cab has a whack of fruit on the nose and palate. Aromas of blackberry and cocoa. A flavourful wine with blackcherry, spice and vanilla flavours. Time in the bottle has softened the tannins. I am drinking this wine when we BBQ steaks and top with a red wine reduction and a sprinkling of blue cheese.

The Teahouse Restaurant in Stanley Park Vancouver

On Ferguson Point in Stanley Park you will find a Vancouver landmark – The Teahouse. Currently know as the Sequoia Grill, the Teahouse will drop the title and become The Teahouse once again; all in time for their 30th anniversary on May 14. The setting here is idyllic. There are Ocean views from almost every seat in the room. On a recent visit the service was more than attentive without infringing on our privacy and the food was cooked perfectly.
Janey McGuire (past owner of West Van’s Beachside Café) has recently been appointed the Teahouse Manager and Chef Carol Chow heads up the kitchen (you may know her from The Hart House in Burnaby). Their combined talent ensure the restaurant runs smoothly.
This is a great place to impress visitors. The menu sticks to the mainly to the traditional, but Chow adds international flavours to the usual suspects, giving more adventurous diners something more exotic.

May 6 +

This week on Good Life Vancouver

In the news

  • Stanley Park’s Teahouse Revivial,
  • A California classic Cab Sauv from Geyser Peak
  • Mother’s Day Suggestions

Recently Added Events

  • Epic Sustainable Living Expo
  • Grouse Mountain Wild Vancouver Island
  • Diva at the Met Canning Techniques

Make Mom’s Day: Celebrate her at Opus Vancouver and Elixir

Moms are marvelous. And the Opus Hotel and Elixir are going to help make sure moms know it, with the Pamper thy Mother package, and specially-created Motherís Day brunch, this Motherís Day, Sunday, May 10th. Give mom pampering to meet her every wish at stylish, intimate, and luxurious Opus, and vibrant Elixir.

Pamper thy Mother
The day begins, at check-in, with a cheery morning welcome for mom and her new favourite kid: Divine treats and sunny fresh flowers. Spend the night in a chic and contemporary designed Superior Double guestroom with two luxurious queen beds. Reminisce over old memories and create new ones during a renowned Facilious facial at Skoah Spa. Next day, savour every tempting morsel of the Motherís Day Brunch served up at the vibrant, French Bistro Elixir. Take advantage of complimentary valet parking and a late check-out: Explore chic and happening Yaletown to momís heartís content. For reservations call 1.866.642.6787.

Mother’s Day Brunch
A sumptuous treat on the second day of the Pamper thy Mother package, Motherís Day Brunch is also a delight on its own. Celebrated chef Don Letendre created the specially-designed menu, featuring divine dishes served in two courses ($29.50) or three ($36.50). Features include French Toast ëPanetoneí with cherry and white chocolate butter and bourbon maple syrup; a warm, soft pretzel with Toulouse sausage, sweet mustard, and assorted pickles; herb-crusted marinated sable, with lentils and sautÈed chanterelles; and Pavlova with passion fruit curd or fresh berries or Valrhona Chocolate Truffle Cake with coconut sorbet. Served with momís choice of wines and bubbles by the glass, specialty coffees, infused Muzi teas, or her choice of fresh pressed juices, each combination creates truly indulgent taste sensations. Motherís Day brunch is served from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Reservations are recommended; space is limited.

Let the Opus Hotel and Elixir help make the most of mom on her special day.

OPUS HOTELS Uniquely stylish and always fresh, Opus Hotels redefine the boutique experience, blending contemporary design with warmth and intuitive service. Comfortable guestrooms feature vibrant colours, spa bathrooms and lifestyle-inspired dÈcor schemes. Located in fashionable Yaletown, Vancouverís Opus Hotel is home to vibrant Elixir and the dramatic Opus Bar. Opus Vancouver has been named one of the worldís top hotels by readers of CondÈ Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazine with Opus Bar voted ìVancouverís Most Popular Nightspotî by Zagat Guide. For information and reservations in Vancouver and Montreal call toll-free 1.866.642.6787 or visit

French Bistro meets Yaletown chic in ELIXIR. Chef Don Letendre specializes in classic French cuisine, crafting innovative dishes from the freshest regional and seasonal ingredients. Choose a room to suit your mood: bustling Bistro, airy Garden Room or plush Velvet Room. Open early-morning to late-night, Elixir provides friendly, attentive service in a vibrant atmosphere popular with savvy travelers and discerning locals alike. Elixir is open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday, for lunch daily and dinner nightly. To view current menus or for more information call 604.642.0557 or visit

Tales of the Teahouse

img_7947Nestled on Stanley Park’s Ferguson Point for 30 years, The Teahouse is going back to the tradition that made them famous, and they’re looking for your memories. On May 14th, at a gala event in the park to celebrate their 30th anniversary, The Teahouse will officially drop “Sequoia Grill” from its title and revert back to its original name. To help re-launch one of Stanley Park’s main attractions, Vancouverites are invited to share their memories of the Teahouse for a chance to join in the May 14th festivities and to win one of three exciting vacations.

Janet McGuire, new Teahouse Manager and past owner of the Beachside Café says, “We’re going back to the tradition that set the Teahouse apart from the rest. The Teahouse has become such a landmark in this city because of the people who have experienced so many wonderful occasions here. Countless engagements, anniversary celebrations – you name it, it has probably happened here.” General Manager, Mona Trivedi agrees, “We want to recognize the people who have allowed us to be a part of the big moments in their lives.”

Recently joining the Teahouse is Executive Chef, Carol Chow. Chow’s career began with mentor John Bishop. She then began a ten-year stint with Janet McGuire at her Beachside Café in West Vancouver before six years as Executive Chef of the Hart House. Chow says, “My passion for fine cooking stems from the appreciation of satisfied diners. That’s what I love about the opportunity to cook at the Teahouse. It’s all about giving the people who dine here an unforgettable experience. They have, after all, made this restaurant what it is today. This is a beautiful spot and for 30 years it has been the backdrop to some very memorable events.”

With operations beginning in 1979, the Teahouse boasts fresh local ingredients and classic West Coast cuisine, resulting in comfortable, contemporary dining… as well as the best sunset view in the city.

Bistro Pastis celebrates ten year anniversary with original menu and prices

Bistro Pastis opened May 7th of 1999, and to celebrate ten years as one of Kitsilano’s most Parisian of bistros the restaurant is offering its opening menu, with the original 1999 prices, for the entire month of May.

The restaurant industry is a tough business, and the ability to survive ten years of long hours and economic highs and lows is a testament to a restaurant owner’s commitment to superb service and in this case, authentic French cuisine. John Blakeley opened Bistro Pastis on May 7th, 1999, following a successful career of working as Maitre D’ for Michel Jacob, and as the General Manager at Diva at the Met. Bistro Pastis was a hit right out of the gate, winning Best New Restaurant at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant awards in 2000 and earning a steady top three position each year in the magazine’s Best Bistro category. In 2008, Blakeley was also honoured with an induction into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame as well as a Medal of Merit; a highly regarded recognition from the French government bestowed upon citizens who act as exemplary representatives of their country outside of France.

Ten years ago Bistro Pastis was the only French bistro in Kitsilano. Now joined by numerous contemporary counterparts Bistro Pastis still boasts a loyal clientele, many of whom have been dining at the restaurant since the day it opened. For those who have yet to enjoy this little slice of Paris in the heart of West 4th Avenue, the month of May gives all the excuse needed. Dine on delicious Coq Au Vin for $19.50, grilled Lingcod with tomato confit and lemon black olive vinaigrette for $21.50, or a traditional steak tartare with pomme frites and cornichons for $11.00. All wines by the glass and bottle will also be marked down by 30% for the entire month.

Bistro Pastis is located at 2153 West 4th Avenue. The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am – 2:00pm, dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 5:30pm – 10:30pm and for brunch from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Phone 604-731-5020 for reservations or book a table online at

1999 MENU

Fish Soup du Cap d’ Antibes, Croutons and Rouille, 8.50
Green Pea and Butter Lettuce Soup, Chicken Quenelles, 8.50
Sauteed Escargot, Grilled Asparagus, Shitake Mushroom Tomatoes and Pastis, 9.00
Sauteed Salmon, Lightly Smoked, Spring Greens, Herbs Crème Fraîche, 11.00
Rillettes de Canard Paté, Pain de Campagne Grillé, Mescluns Greens, 9.00
Steak Tartare, Pommes Frites and Cornichons, 11.00
Roasted Roma Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart Onion Compote, Pesto Vinaigrette, 11.00
Belgian Endive, Candied Walnuts, Pear and Roquefort, Hazelnut Vinaigrette, 10.00
Goat Cheese and Shaved Asparagus Salad, Beet Carpaccio, Walnut Vinaigrette, 9.50
Steamed Mussels, White Wine and Shallots, 11.50 Main Course with Pommes Frites, 21.00


Gratin of Spring Salmon in a Savora Mustard and Fresh Herb Crust, Béarnaise Réduction, 21.50
Halibut en Papillotte, Navy Beans, Mushrooms and Sun Dried Tomatoes, 23.00
Grilled Lingcod, Brandade Croquette, Tomato Confit, Lemon and Black Olive Vinaigrette 21.50
Snapper ,Prawns and Clams Bouillabaisse, Aïoli and Croutons, 22.00
Sole Normande, Shrimp and Mushrooms, Riz Pilaf White Wine and Cream Sauce, 21.50

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Potato Sandwich, Caramelized Apples, Sherry Réduction, 21.50
Cassoulet with Duck Confit, Toulouse Sausage, Smoked Bacon, Braised White Beans,22.00
Coq au Vin Chicken Braised in Red Wine, Pearl Onion, Bacon and Mushroom, Home Made Fettucini, 19.50
Roasted Wenzel Duck Breast, Rösti Potato Galette, SwissChard, Shitake Mushrooms, Sour Cherry Sauce, 25.00
New York Steak, Pommes Frites, Peppercorn Sauce, 22.00
Calf Liver, Double Smoked Bacon, Onion Rings, Pomme Purée, Grainy Mustard Jus, 21.00

Side Dishes
Pommes Frites
Sauteed Garlic Spinach
Haricots Vert
Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Shallots and Herbs, $6.50

Mink A Chocolate Café Fights Cancer with Chocolate

Mink A Chocolate Café is pleased to announce that during the month of May it will be donating all tips received at the café to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of BC. We welcome you to contribute to this worthy cause as you drop by for a freshly-brewed coffee or pick up a treat for Mother’s Day.
Mink A Chocolate Café is quickly becoming known for its charitable endeavours as well as its premium-quality handmade chocolate. Every month, the staff at the cafe donates 100% of their tips to a registered charity of their choice. This month’s selection was suggested to us by one of our customers, who will participate in the BMO Vancouver International Marathon on May 3rd to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of BC. We were so impressed by her enthusiasm and commitment to this cause that we donated some gift cards for her to raffle off at a fundraiser she held along with donating all of May’s tips from our café to the charity.
We hope you will take this opportunity to support the Society’s work as you pick up a gourmet chocolate bar or some luscious bon bons in preparation for Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10th.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of BC is dedicated to finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin), myeloma, and related blood diseases, as well as improving the quality of life of patients and their families.
Mink A Chocolate Café “on the park”
863 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
(Between Hastings and Cordova, just south of Waterfront Centre)
8:00 AM to 6:00 PM weekdays & 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM weekends

Vancouver’s Cibo Trattoria and Moda Hotel Hit the ‘Global’ Food & Wine Scene

Cibo Trattoria and The Moda Hotel received warm accolades from international industry leader – Food & Wine Magazine. In their May 2009 issue, Food & Wine contributors identify Cibo and The Moda Hotel as one of 2009’s BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL VALUES stating “At year old Cibo, chef Neil Taylor cooks delicious, rib-sticking Cali-Italian dishes to pair with esoteric Italian Wines.”

“Offering our hotel guests and Vancouver diners a unique dining experience with top-quality, Italian-inspired dishes made with only the finest, local organic ingredients is at the heart of every touchpoint at Cibo Trattoria,” says Laura Rizzo, VP Marketing. “It is a wonderful compliment for Cibo Trattoria and the Moda Hotel to have Neil and his team recognized at this elite culinary level.”

A little about Cibo and Moda – Situated in the heart of Vancouver’s Arts and Entertainment district, the Moda Hotel is a unique 57 room boutique hotel like none other in Downtown Vancouver, Canada. This heritage building, built in 1908, blends the best of old world style with modern, contemporary interior design. At Moda, guests can wine and dine at Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, located off the Moda Hotel lobby. Sebastien Le Goff, Head of Operations and award-winning ‘Sommelier of the Year,’ offers patrons of Uva and Cibo some of the best wine-pairings and service that Vancouver’s culinary scene has to offer. The highly regarded Executive Chef Neil Taylor is also sure to impress with his exquisite yet simplistic, same-day fresh Italian dishes.

For more details about Moda Hotel and Cibo Trattoria visit and