Category Archives: Good Life Samplings

Brunch at Wildtale

Where to Brunch in Vancouver? We suggest Brunch at Wildtale

I’d love to go for brunch every weekend, but unfortunately I seem to be stuck in front of my computer far too often eating leftovers or toast with peanut butter and pickles; an odd combo but a good one. Once in a while I do get to go out for a treat, and I must say this day was pretty cool, as I got my hair done and I had an amaze meal.

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First up, thanks to Blo for my blow-out. I went for the Victory Rolls again. I love my hair when it’s straight and not the usual crazy curls.

Then off to Wildtale to meet up with some pals for a media brunch. Wildtale opened last spring and is owned by John Crook and Erik Heck, restaurants veterans and owners of Flying Pig. (Brunch is great here too, check out my post here). The restaurant is heavy on the seafood with a bit of a southern touch.

You might go for a Caesar, but I opted to sample a Fresh Start, a smoothie made from green apple, fennel, honeydew, kale and lime. Can’t have booze all day every day. Believe me, it’s not good.

Wildtale Brunch

As the official pork ambassador for BC and Alberta Pork,  I of course had to sample the Maple Glazed Bacon with rosemary and thyme syrup.

Wildtale Brunch

Wildtale Brunch

I chose a Chopped Salad as well as the Oyster Po’ Boy, since we were sharing so I didn’t have to take on the whole dishes myself. The salad was a tasty combo of veggies, cheese and shrimp, and the Po’ Boy was plush with those crispy deep fired oysters I love, with plenty of tartar sauce and a ton of wonderful fries.

Wildtale Brunch

I also had to have the baked oysters, and was super pleased I made that choice. Never enough oysters, I say.

Wildtale Brunch

Wildtale Brunch

Wildtale Brunch\Wildtale Brunch

Others ordered up Crab Benny, Fried Beefsteak Tomatoes with basil aioli, chicken and waffles and a smoked salmon benny on a perfect pan-fried potato rosti and there was a definitely generally consensus that the kitchen was on its brunch game.

Wildtale Brunch

Some wacko also thought we should have dessert, but I thought I’d burst if I had anything more. I remember when I was scolded by an editor when I went to a restaurant to review it, and didn’t sample the desserts, but this is my site now, so I can do whatever I want. Right? :o) In any case you can see they have some wonderful items on the sweets side, and I do remember having an amazing banana cream pie here last spring; click for that write up is here. 

Wildtale
1079 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P9
(604) 428-9211
Weekdays: 11 am – Midnight
Saturday: 10 am to Midnight
Sunday: 10am – 11pm
Happy Hour: 3-6 pm and 9-Midnight every day at the bar and in the lounge

*Brunch was on Wildtale
**Featured Image by James Chung of Hellovancity – thanks for this!

Halibut at the Wedgewood Hotel’s Bacchus Room

Halibut Season – It’s What’s Fresh at the Wedgewood Hotel’s Bacchus Room

There’s a new chef in town at the Wedgewood, Executive Chef Simon Bolsover and he’s sourced some Haida Gwaii Halibut, featured daily on the menu.

We stopped in for a leisurely Friday lunch, but as my pal Melissa is not only gluten free, but also dairy, poor thing, we had to switch it up from the fish and chips that day.

Steelhead Bacchus

Melissa’s BC Steelhead Salmon with spiced quinoa, root vegetable, caper raisin & orange vinaigrette was perfectly seared and full of flavour.

Bacchus Halibut

I made my own creation, modifying the Alaskan Weathervane Scallops with kabocha squash risotto, beet greens, so I could enjoy a bit of halibut as well.

bacchus lounge

This is truly an often forgotten gem. The room is old school cool, we sat in the regal lounge and the service is always top notch. Their afternoon tea is one of the best in the city and we’ll be back to chronicle that soon. Best of all this is a family-owned and operated boutique hotel an one of the only Relais and Chateau properties in British Columbia.

Halibut Specials

Monday Haida Gwaii New Season Halibut olive crushed potato, shrimp caper, parsley butter sauce

Tuesday Haida Gwaii New Season Halibut corn chowder, pod peas, chorizo sausage braised gem lettuce, clam

Wedgewood Halibut

Wednesday Haida Gwaii New Season Halibut with Puy lentils, chanterelle mushrooms scorched cauliflower, iberico pork lardo

Thursday Haida Gwaii New Season Halibut cauliflower cheese risotto, curried cauliflower fritters vine tomato, pine nut dressing

fish and chips

Friday Granville Island Beer Battered Halibut hand cut fries, crushed peas, tartar sauce

Arts Club Cooking Class with David Robertson of Dirty Apron Cooking School

What to cook this spring? We take some lessons from Dirty Apron

We updated this post from 2012 as it’s still so very relevant. Especially with spot prawn season starting this week! The Arts Club Theatre Company is known for it’s theatrical productions, but each spring they produce more than just theatre and host cooking classes.  Each class is put on by one of Vancouver’s renowned chefs at a gorgeous private home and raises money for the company. Over three hours guests enjoy cooking demonstrations, some hands on options and a four-course dinner paired with wine. Unfortunately they aren’t doing these in 2016 but I hope they bring them back!

A few years back we climbed up into the British Properties and joined David Robertson of Dirty Apron Cooking School for a spectacular meal, complete with views, charming guests and left with some new cooking tips up our sleeves and a Dirty Apron Cooking School apron.

First course – Citrus Olive Oil Spot Prawns with Crab Cakes

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Citrus crab cakes, olive oil poached spot prawns, pressed avocado

Citrus Olive Oil Poached BC Spot Prawns

Spot Prawns

1 lb BC Spot Prawns (shelled & deveined)
1 Lemon (Zest & Juice)
1 Orange (Zest & Juice)
1 Lime (Zest & Juice)
6 cloves Garlic
Fleur de Sel
Black Pepper
500 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (poaching)

Heat the olive oil slowly with all zest and citrus juice to 135F.
Season the spot prawns with fleur de sel and black pepper. Poach the prawns in the olive oil until just cooked through. Remove them from the olive oil and allow to cool.

Crab Cakes

6 oz Dungeness Crab Meat
2 tbsp Plain Yogurt
1 tbsp Chives (finely sliced)
2 sprigs Italian Parsley
1 sprig Tarragon
¼ Lemon Zest
Pinch Espelette Powder
Salt & Pepper
¼ cup Flour
1 Egg (beaten)
¼ cup Panko (coating)

Pick through the crabmeat and discard any bits of shell or cartilage. Put all ingredients into a bowl and gently mix together and season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into two patties.

Prepare to dredge the patties by placing 3 bowls side by side. In the first bowl place the flour. In the second bowl whisk the egg. In the third bowl, the panko. Dredge the patties in the flour, and then dip into the egg and finely coat with panko.

In a medium sized pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place the cakes into the pan and sear each side until the panko turns golden brown on all sides.

Serve immediately with a salad and Lemon Yogurt

1 cup yogurt
1 lemon

Mix the lemon zest and yogurt together. Keep cold until needed.

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Chef Robertson preps beets

Apple cider marinated beet salad. Herb goat cheese, toasted brioche

Golden Beet Salad

3 Medium Beets
1 head Frisee Lettuce
½ bunch Watercress
½ head Radicchio
1 Whole Apple (thin slices)
60 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
30 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Place beet in a large saucepot and cover the beets with water by at least 2 inches.  Bring to a boil; reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until a small knife inserted into the beet comes out with little resistance (about 40 minutes).

Drain and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Trim both ends of the beets and rub off the skins with your fingers.  Dice the beets into 1/2 inch dice size.  Toss the beets in a bowl with sliced apple, watercress, radicchio frisee lettuce, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.

Rainbow

Spectacular View from the private residence where this class was held

Sumac roasted lamb loin, celeriac purée, red wine braised shallots

Sumac Roasted Lamb Loin on Celeriac Puree with Red Wine Sauce

2 X 4 oz Lamb Loin
1 clove Garlic
30 ml Olive Oil
1 Lemon (zest)
1 tsp Sumac
1 tsp Cumin (grinded)
1 tsp Coriander seed (grinded)

Preheat oven to 400°F
Coat the lamb with the marinade and marinate until needed. Before cooking, season with salt and pepper.
Sear in a pan over high heat until the meat is browned on all sides then place the pan into the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes to achieve a rare to medium-rare doneness. Allow the lamb to rest before serving.

Celeriac Puree

300 g Celeriac (peeled & chopped)
2 Tbsp Butter
300 ml Milk
1 small Bay Leaf
2 sprigs Thyme
Salt
White Pepper
300g

Place the celeriac into a sauce pan and sauté with the butter.  Do not brown the celeriac.  Add the milk and herbs to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Gently simmer for about 25 minutes until the celeriac is very tender.
Drain the celeriac and discard the herbs, reserving the milk.  Put the celeriac into a blender or food processor.  Blend until very smooth, adding enough of the reserved milk to give a creamy consistency.  Once the puree is nice and smooth then season with salt and white pepper.
Keep hot until needed.

Red Wine Sauce

1 Shallot (finely diced)
1 clove Garlic (minced)
80 ml Red Wine
80 ml Beef Stock
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (cold)
Salt
Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil

In a small saucepot sauté the shallots and garlic in vegetable oil until soft without browning, approx. 2 minutes. Add the red wine and beef stock and reduce to mixture to 1/3. Add the chilled butter, whisking in a little bit at a time and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and keep warm until needed.

Hazelnut orange chocolate pâté

Hazelnut orange chocolate pâté

Chocolate Pate

500 g Dark Chocolate
½ cup Unsalted Butter
330 ml Heavy Cream
Fresh Raspberries (for garnish)
Roasted Hazelnuts (for garnish)

Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler.  Add the ½ cup butter to the dark chocolate.  Stir the chocolate until smooth and take the bowl off of the heat to let cool to room temperature.
In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Using a spatula, fold the cream into the dark chocolate.
Put a layer of saran wrap in the bottom and sides of the pan.  Spoon the dark chocolate mixture into the loaf pan.  Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove from fridge before serving and carefully remove the pate from the loaf pan.  Then slice the pate with a hot knife and put onto dessert plate.  Serve with Raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and toasted hazelnuts.

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Martha Perkins

Diners Enjoying the night 

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​​Chicha Restaurant Peruvian Nikkei Collaboration Dinner Menu

Chicha Restaurant Celebrates with a Peruvian Nikkei Collaboration

As part of Vancouver international tequila expo, Chicha Restaurant hosted an exceptional dinner collaboration with Chef Benjamin Berwick of  Stage Wine Bar and Chicha Restaurant’s Chef Shelome Bouvette.

Chicha Restaurant

Chicha Restaurant

Empanadas and Fully Loaded Mussels!

Chicha Restaurant

Spot Prawn ceviche (spot prawns, sea asparagus, avocado,dashi, agua chile) with  Azunia Platinum Blanco Tequila

Chicha Restaurant

Snapper Tiradito (snapper, leche de tigre, aji amarillo Peruvian chili, cancha corn) with Nuestra Soledad Zoquitlan Mezcal

Chicha Restaurant

Eric Lorenzo from the Tequila Festival was on hand.

Chicha Restaurant

Trio of causa (cold, chilled whipped potato topped with variety of toppings; dungeness crab, vegetable, and chicken) with T1 Excepcional Reposado Tequila

Chicha Restaurant

Lomo saltado (Med rare Pemberton beef, wild onion, sea cucumber, fried new potato) with Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca Tlacuache Mezcal

Food Gays

Food Gays enjoyed dinner too and were on hand to assist me with some photo tips. Love them!

Dessert was Picarones (sweet potato and pumpkin donuts with local strawberries) with Alma de Agave Anejo Tequila

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Chicha has been marvelous every time I’ve been, but this night they really shone! Next on my list is getting there for brunch.

Exploring Abbotsford Tulips and Craft Beer

What’s up in Abbotsford these days? Blossoms and beer!

Abbotsford is growing rapidly of late and the city is attracting all sorts of new and very cool businesses and festivals! We recently ventured out for the Abbotsford Tulip Festival (on until May 1, 2016), and on the way back stopped in for some craft beer and a locally sourced dinner.

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The area is known for it’s farmland and while the Tulip Festival is seasonal, many farms and attractions are open year round; check the Circle Farm Tour website for touring suggestions here.

Be sure to mark your calendar for August 19, 2016 when the Applebarn at Taves Family Farm opens for the season and plan a day in the country.

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The newest brewery is Field House Brewing and they’ve got a variety of seasonal beers and a gorgeous tasting room.

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Bonnie Friesan and her efficient crew Faspa and Co Catering and the brewery and chef worked together to produce a well-paired dinner at the brewery using local and seasonal ingredients

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The long table was beautifully set using local foliage.

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Beets, spinach and ricotta.

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Local duck and fiddleheads!

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Delicious rhubarb!

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Ladies!

For more on Abbotsford, check out our last stay in Abbotsford at Brookside Inn. 

Eat, Grow, Love Long Table Events at Rocky Mountain Flatbread

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Showcases Local Artisans 

One of my favourite places to lunch at is Rocky Mountain Flatbread as I am massively addicted to their shrimp sandwich; juicy Ocean Wise shrimp, sunflower sprouts, and tomatoes on their house made bread. I also love the frozen pizzas for a quick meal at home, and the pasta and pizza is excellent. Everything is made from scratch with local and well thought out ingredients, and they are super concerned about being green and looking after their diners as well as the environment.

This spring they’ve partnered up with local artisan food providers to bring you not only a nourishing and delightful meal, but also some very cool information about what’s going on food-wise in our community.

First up they presented “All about Mushrooms”, a chance to watch a cooking demo with their chef, Chef Oliver, learn all about the health benefits of eating mushrooms with Brendan Young, Holistic Registered Nutritionist, and taste their new seasonal menu items featuring mushrooms and we were lucky to attend! We left with some dried mushrooms and I’ve got plans for way more mushrooms in my meals now. I had no idea just how good they are for you.

rocky mountain flatbread

Wild Mushroom Bruschetta

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Wild Mushroom Artisan Pizza
Garlic Oil Base l Spinach l Mixed Local Mushroom Ragout l Goat Cheese l Fresh Herbs

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Rotini & Creamy Mushroom Ragout
Organic Rotini l Local Mushrooms – Portabello . Oyster . Crimini . Enoki . Mixed BC Wild Mushrooms l Shaved Parmesan l Parsley

There’s more dine and learn sessions ahead and they’re only $65 with all proceeds going to Earthbites, a dedicated team of urban growers, nutritionists & entrepreneurs passionate about engaging children directly with the food they eat, their communities & the environment. You’ll see us at a few, no doubt!

eat grow love wild greens

Wild Spring Greens: April 13th, 7 –8:30 Rocky Mountain Flatbread Kits 

Join  West  Coast  Wild  Foods  &  the  EarthBites  team   to  learn  about  the  wonders  of  wild  &  farmed   greens.    Leave  with  top  tips  &  organic  seeds  to  grow   your  own  greens.    This  will  be  followed  by  a  four   course  menu  featuring  the  best  of  wild  &  farmed  spring   greens  with  craft  beer  tastings  from  a  local  brewery. Tickets at SocialShopper.Com $65

eat grow craft bee moms and tots

Victory Gardens For Bees: May 3rd, 7 –8:30 pm, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Main Street

Join  Lori  Weidenhammer,  author  of  Victory   Gardens  for  Bees.  n  Learn  about  the  wonders  of   bees,how  to  create  a  bee  friendly  garden  and  how   edible  flowers  add  beauty  &  flavour to  sweet  &  savory   recipes.This  will  be  followed  by  a  four  course  dinner   featuring  foods  from  BC  farms,  forests  &  oceans  &   shall  be  paired  with  honey  infused  cocktails  from  a   local  distillery. Tickets at SocialShopper.Com $65

eat grow craft salve

DIY Herbal Salves: June 8th, 7 –8:30 pm, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Main Street

Join  Aboriginal  Herbalist  Lori  Snyder  and  learn   how  plants  can  be  used  to  create  medicinal   salves,  which  heal  &  nourishes. You  will  be  creating  your  own  salves  using  beeswax   &  local  herbs!     This  shall  be  followed  by  a  seasonal  four  course   dinner  with  BC  VQA  wine  tasting.
Tickets at SocialShopper.Com $65

 

Brunch at The Flying Pig

Head to Olympic Village For Brunch at The Flying Pig

Olympic Village is no longer the ghost town it first was, and now there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to eating out. When it brunch comes to mind, however, we’ve recently been sold on the menu at The Flying Pig.

Flying Pig

While the name implies a heavy, meaty menu, and there’s plenty of pork should you wish, there’s also lots of lighter fare such as the trout salad that I enjoyed at brunch. The Flying Pig refers to the restaurant as a “nouveau Canadian Bistro”… offering a simple, seasonally inspired menu with fresh, local ingredients at a great value. They’ve got a great happy hour and now I can confirm the brunch is worth getting up early for, although it goes well into the afternoon.

Flying Pig

You can start with a wholesome smoothie, or perhaps “Gramma’s Bloody Caesar” with Sriracha, and the coffee’s good and strong. There’s “Tree Huggers Granola”, a Croque Monsieur, smoked salmon benny, French Toast and more among the breakfast listings, and lots of sides too. I ordered from the lunch selections and choose the Blackened Steelhead Trout with couscous and avocado salsa.

Around the table there was everything from eggs to braised short rib macaroni and many saved room for dessert.

Great service and a central location near the sky train station or within walking distance for us on a sunny day make this a location we’ll be back to try.

Flying Pig Maple Sugar Pie

Check out their Easter weekend specials.

On Sunday, March 27 and Monday, March 28 all of The Flying Pig locations will feature an Easter Dinner special:
Maple and mustard glazed ham leg,  Scalloped potatoes, Roasted organic carrots with buttered spring peas, All for $24.95 per person. AND Margaret’s (the owners mother) Maple Sugar Pie for an additional $7 per person.

Bin 941 Tapas

Vancouver Icon Bin 941 Shines On

I was a devotee to the Bins back in the day, both 941 and 942, and had many a first, and a few last, dates there. These were the first real tapas-style dining opportunities outside a few of the Spanish and Greek options that existed at the time. Owner and Chef Gord Martin took home many a restaurant award and chefs as amazing as Tina Fineza assisted on menu design and made the place legendary.

Bin 941

Recently we revisited Bin 941 (Bin 942 closed a while ago) and I was a little shocked to find out Martin is no longer involved, especially after perusing the menu online as it still flush with those creative Gord-style items, many old favourites included. However, after our first bites, it was obvious he left the restaurant in some very capable hands.

The new chef and owner, Vishwa Mohan, has spruced the place up a bit, and made some operational changes, but the restaurant is not vastly changed, and the menu has moved forward, while still honouring Bin’s traditions. Chef Mohan trained in some of the top kitchens in the world, beginning with his native Indian cuisine, but was soon inspired to branch into western methods, traveling to the Maldives and Dubai and eventually landing in Vancouver at the Fairmont Airport, before he bought Bin 941 on Davie Street.

Bin 941

Bin 941

Thankfully there’s still that dangerously addictive Navajo Fry Bread which must be had with the Trio of Mezze, scoops of Chickpea and Kalamata Olive Hummus; Oven Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Salsa & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. After that, you can’t go far wrong no matter what you order, but we can guarantee the Harissa Grilled Octopus, Beef Wellington and Pan Seared Pesto-accented Gnocchi are divine.

Bin 941

We sat at the kitchen counter in the back and chatted with Chef Mohan and watched the dishes in finally assembly; I wanted to order each and every one of them and two of many. The wine list has a great BC selection, cocktails suggested are on the classic side, and my partner Michael would find a beer or two he’d be happy with, but this was girls night, so the wine prevailed! Brunch was something we decided we’d return for after glancing over the menu.

Bin 941

The cheesecake was over the top superb, completed with sauteed bananas and the a drizzle of caramel syrup that made the plate lickable, but I held off. My dining companion wasn’t pleased that this was a dessert I wanted at least my half of.

Currently Social Shopper has a deal on for $69 for $100 worth of food and drink, making this an even bigger deal. Grab one and revisit Bin for some new memories!

  • Dinner for two with choice of three tapatisers and one bottle of house red or white wine or four 16-ounce beers
  • A Davie Village landmark for over 17 years, Bin 941 Tapas Parlour is a cornerstone in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood
  • With a great selection of tapatisers, you can choose from: East Coast West Coast Crab Cake, Beef Short Rib, Beef Wellington, Harissa Grilled Octopus, Mushroom Risotto, Roasted & Grilled Cauliflower and more
  • They take pride in working with local farmers, fishermen and retailers to make their dishes with the freshest ingredients

Family Run Hopcott Farms Growing Again

Hopcott Farms Expands Retail Space

Family-run Hopcott Farms opened their retail space in 2006 and has now increased it’s Pitt Meadow facilities to a total of 7,700 meat-filled feet!

Hopcott Farms

Hopcott Farms

We never miss the chance to stock up on grass-fed beef, meat pies, sausages, bone broth and pepperoni if we are passing through, or even near Pitt Meadows, and now we can stop in for lunch as well.

We sampled menu items and toured the facilities in January and wish we lived closer! The Hopcott’s are now providing even more healthy “pick up and go’ dinner options, and there’s a bistro focused on locally-sourced and foraged ingredients.

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They’ve also added cooking and butchery classes and are licensed and serving local artisan craft beers and wine.

Hopcott Farms

Hopcott Premium Meats is located at 18385 Old Dewdney Trunk Road in Pitt Meadows and specializes in non-gmo, no-added hormones, natural beef.

Lunar New Year Tea Service at Urban Tea Merchant

Lunar New Year Tea Service

We’ve been up in Kelowna for Gold Medal Plates and getting around to taste some of the new restaurants up there, but before we left got a preview of the Lunar New Year Tea Service at Urban Tea Merchant and would recommend you get there too.

Lunar New Year Tea Service

Asian-inspired savouries and sweets are decoratively are being served to honour of the Year of the Monkey at Urban Tea Merchant until February 29, 2016. We loved this tasting with TWG Tea’s Jasmine Monkey King Tea, and recommend you sample a few of their fragrant selections. Go with good friends and stay a while. You can even order Champagne if you feel extra festive!

The items on these gorgeous platters all continue one of Urban Tea’s sea flavours; both sweet and savoury items, make this a meal.

Lunar New Year Tea Service

Pork and Chive Wontons, Chicken and Ginger Broth, “1837 Black Tea” Oil “Imperial Lapsang Souchong Tea”

Chicken Salad, Black Sesame Basket, Pea Shoots “Lemon Bush Tea” 

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Yuzu Gel Brome Lake Duck Breast, Amerena Cherry, “White Secret Tea”

Shooter Foie Gras Mousse, Truffle Aioli, “New York Singapore Tea” Cracker, Plum Essence

Alantic Lobster Torchon, Tobiko Aioli

Lunar New Year Tea Service

“Alfonso Tea” infused Mango Panna Cotta,

Honey Milk Caviar “Weekend in Venice” Strawberry Tartlette,

Creme Anglaise White and Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberry “Almond Tea” infused Petit Four, Vanilla Sugar Almonds

TWG Tea Macaron Mélange of Fresh Fruit Freshly Baked Scone, Victorian Créme,“1837 Black Tea” Jel

Now to get baking for Valentine’s Day. Snickerdoodles have been requested by my love!