Tag Archives: Weekly Picks

What’s Good This Week March 21

Vancouver Events March 21-26, 2016

There’s brilliant sunshine blasting in through our windows today in Vancouver and plenty of distractions that could keep us from our many tasks! Here’s what’s Good This Week March 21.

Locals Only Wines, Meads, Spirits and Ciders at Edible Canada

Tuesday March 22 Trade: 12:30 – 2:00 | Public: 2:00 – 4:00 An afternoon exploring the diversity & creativity of our coastal producers. Meet the farmers, fermenters and distillers that define our cool climate coastal appellation. Info

Ugly Duckling Dinner at Royal Dinette

Cast-offs, offcuts and scraps considered the “Ugly Ducklings” of the culinary world get their moment once again on Tuesday, March 22 when Head Chef Jack Chen teams with visiting Galiano Island chefJesse McCleery. Tickets 

checkmate artisanal winery blue water cafe dinner, mar 23

CheckMate Winery at Blue Water Cafe

Wednesday, March 23 – CheckMate Artisanal Winery dinner at Blue Water Cafe. Five remarkable Chardonnays handcrafted by winemaker Philip McGahan with Frank Pabst’s masterfully prepared cuisine 1095 Hamilton Street, Yaletown 6:00 p Tickets $165.00 https://shop.checkmatewinery.com/event-tickets


Sharpen Your Knives at Uncommon Cafe

Wednesday, March 23rd – Kitchen Skills Series cooking class: “Don’t Fear the Fish”, at the Uncommon Cafe. In this class, you will learn how to cook fish and seafood, and you get to eat all, with wine! To book, click here.


Chambar to Stay Open 24hrs for #SweetRelief

From 4pm on Saturday, March 26 to 4pm on Sunday March 27, 100% of ALL sales at Chambar will benefit Universal Outreach in support of its Advanced Beekeeper’s Training Program and the Liberia Pure Honey social enterprise in Africa. 100% of ALL sales at Chambar will benefit Universal Outreach’s anti-poverty honey and beekeeping initiatives within Liberia. Interested donors can also pledge their support online at https://chimp.net/campaigns/sweet-relief.*

BC Distilled

xfour gift packs bright 0726

Saturday March 26 – Canada’s premier craft and micro-distillery festival, raises a glass to BC’s burgeoning distillery industry. The third annual festival, happening on will feature 27 BC-based artisan distilleries, offering attendees the opportunity to sample locally-made gin, whisky, liqueurs, vodka and more.

Fraser Valley Food & Gluten-Free Living Show – April 1-3, 2016
Tradex Exhibition Centre, Abbotsford, BC Website

A celebration of the abundace of local foods prduced in the Fraser Valley and beyond – with a focus on hard to find artisan gluten-free products sampled and sold by over 125 merchants in an environment encompassing under one roof celebrity cooking presentations, edible garden demonstrations, artisan outdoor living market, gluten-free cooking presentations, sausage competition, wine. beer, spirits tasting and food pairing seminars, cheese tasting seminars, local restaurant showcase and butcher ing technique demonstrations. Click here for a lists of the vendors.

Featuring on our Celebrity Cooking Stage:
Bob Blumer, Gastronaut, Food Network’s Surreal Gourmet
Hidekazu Tojo, Chef/owner, Tojo’s Japanese Restaurant
and many more chefs, authors, click here for full lineup and schedule

Avenue Q

avenue-q-327-500Playing at the Arts Club Theatre Company from November 20, 2014 to January 3, 2015, Avenue Q is the far wittier adult version of Sesame Street.

What seems initially as a rather childish musical will make you glad you left the children at home.  Avenue Q is a hilarious romp around serious adult issues as the musical follows she journey of Princeton, a recent college grad headed to New York searching for his purpose in life. Arriving on the scene he can only afford the multi-cultural Avenue Q where puppets/monsters and humans live side by side.  Humorously tackling politically incorrect racial stereotypes, gay shame, one night stands, alcoholism and the F word all at once, this display of master puppetry is well worth your attention.

Thankfully the show is held over once again as this is a must see.

Arts Club Theatre Company’s Avenue Q at the Granville Island Stage (1585 Johnston Street) from June 20 to August 31, 2013. Monday & Tuesday at 7:30 PM, Wednesday–Saturday at 8 PM, and Wednesday & Saturday at 2 PM. Tickets are $29 to $54, inclusive of taxes and fees. Call the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644 or visit www.artsclub.com

Playing at the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Avenue Q at the Granville Island Stage (1585 Johnston Street) from November 20, 2014 to January 3, 2015). Monday & Tuesday at 7:30 pm, Wednesday–Saturday at 8 pm, and Wednesday & Saturday at 2 pm (please note special performance times for the week of December 22 on our website). Tickets start at $29, inclusive of taxes and fees. Call the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644 or visit www.artsclub.com.

Canapes and the Magic of Grant Sceney-Cambie and 39th

Raspberry_Tea_CocktailCocktail Hour November 19th, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

The holidays are upon us! Join Chef Lawren Moneta as she demonstrates delicious canapé recipes that are sure to be a hit at your own holiday celebrations. The recipes will be paired with four exclusive cocktails prepared by TASTE Bar Star and Diageo World Class Canadian Bartender of the Year, Grant Sceney of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Lounge. Tickets are $35 and are available for purchase at the 39th & Cambie Customer Service desk.

Autumn Truffle & Wine Dinners At CinCin Ristorante

trufflesTwo of Piedmont’s Top Producers Make Vancouver Debut

Vancouver’s definitive modern Italian eatery, CinCin Ristorante, has just announced two unique truffle and wine dinners to be held on November 6 and November 27. Shane Taylor, CinCin Wine Director, along with restaurant director Richard Luxton, are delighted to orchestrate these exclusive events, featuring two of Piedmont’s top wineries.

“Piedmont is sometimes overlooked,” says Taylor, “however the wine cognoscenti realize its tremendous importance, and we’re thrilled to have two such brilliant producers make their debut here at CinCin.”

The Damilano Winery is over a century old. Managed by the founder’s great grandchildren, their estates produce mainly Nebbiolo de Barolo and Barbera. G.D. Vajra is located in Vergne, the highest commune in Barolo, where the late-ripening Nebbiolo grapes impart a distinctive flavour profile. Both wineries will present their finest bottles, which are consistently rated at 90 points and higher by major wine periodicals.

Executive chef Andrew Richardson will prepare a luxurious five-course tasting menu rich in the flavours of Autumn and featuring both black Piedmont and white Alba truffles, with several courses prepared on CinCin’s new Grillworks ‘Infierno’ rottiserie-grill.

The Damilano Wine + Truffle Dinner November 6th

Reception – passed canapés
Bottega Vina dei Poeti Prosecco
Black truffle poached lobster from Nova Scotia
Damilano Langhe Arneis DOCG 2011
Ravioli of ricotta and parmesan with black truffle
Damilano ‘Lecinqevigne’ Barolo DOCG 2009
Slow cooked rabbit with porcini mushrooms and white truffle
Damilano ‘Brunate’ Barolo DOCG 2007
Brassato di Barolo, short rib of beef braised in Barolo
with black truffle from Piedmont
Damilano ‘Liste’ Barolo DOCG 2006
Glazed Dulcey chocolate mousse with toasted hazelnuts,
apricot, wine preserve and dried fruit
Damilano Moscato D’Asti 2013

The G.D. Vajra Wine and Truffle Dinner November 27th

Reception – passed canapés
NV – Vajra N.S. della Neve Sparkling Rosé
Black truffle and foie gras parfait
2012 Vajra Bianco di Serralunga “Dragon”
Ravioli of ricotta and parmesan with black truffle
2011 Vajra Barbera d’Alba
Slow cooked rabbit with porcini mushrooms and white truffle from Alba
2010 Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole
Brassato di Barolo, short rib of beef braised in Barolo with black Piedmont truffle
2005 Vajra Barolo Baudana Baudana
Glazed Dulcey chocolate mousse with toasted hazelnuts,
apricot, wine preserve and dried fruit
2013 Vajra Moscato d’Asti

The dinners both commence with a reception at 6:30 pm followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $185 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and can be purchased by calling 604 688 7338 or emailing info@cincin.net.

One of Canada’s leading hospitality groups, Toptable Group has four elegant, yet approachable, restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler: Araxi, CinCin, Blue Water Cafe and West, as well as the chocolaterie, patisserie and café, Thierry. More information can be found online at www.toptable.ca.

More Halloween-Themed Boos

skull wine

I went in search of a few more Halloween worthy booze buys. First up a Shiraz from Fullglass Wines out of Australia where it’s all about the spooky skull label. “A deeply coloured, monster of a wine packed with bold red and black fruit aromas with a touch of licorice and vanilla. The palate is dense with floral, smoky oak, vanilla and spice with firm tannins.” $20

110329 BrambleBubbly-may2014

Next I encourage you to take a ride on a witches broom with Sea Cider’s Witch’s Broom Cider, a semi-sweet cider full of fall spices. A portion of the proceeds goes to combat invasive plants in the area. Great with roast meats.


Finally some skull vodka tastings. Friday, October 31, 2014 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Get into the spirit of Halloween with Crystal Head Vodka. Celebrate Halloween with a twist on modern cocktails and tales of the 13 skulls. 39th & Cambie Signature Tasting Room/free of charge.

Boos for Halloween – Besieged Wine from Ravenswood

Besieged_750-2013 (TIFF) [CA-ECM2156094 Revision-2]

Winemaker Joel Peterson worked solo to collect the grapes for this spooky wine. As he picked, the story goes, ravens circled above, but instead of bringing doom, these birds brought good luck and became the totem for the winery. Now in Western Canada for the first time in limited release, Besieged will arrive on shelves just in time for Halloween night. I just saw it tonight at West Broadway and Arbutus. In the bottle there is a blend of Petite Sirah, Carignane, Zinfandel, Syrah, Barbera, Alicante Bouschet and Mourvèdre, all from Sonoma, California’s North Coast, Central Coast and Lodi winegrowing regions.

The wine is deep red and has aromas of blackberry, black cherry, dried plum, spice, tobacco and vanilla. It’s richly flavoured and full of black cherry, chocolate, and has a length finish. Enjoy in the company of witches and goblins perhaps with some blood sausage!

CONTEST CLOSED Happy Planet Soup for a Month #Giveaway

3-0-29939-Organic_Chicken_Landing_PageContest Closed. Congrats Emily!

It’s chilly out there folks and thankfully there’s soup for those cold days. Happy Planet has just launched two new soup flavours and would like to share their soup with you. In fact you can win THIRTY gift certificates for soup and you could have soup for an entire month, or space it out a bit as the certs don’t expire until October 2015! Thai Chicken high-res JPEG Horizontal

New for fall? Thai Chicken and Kwartha Chicken made with organic chicken and all good for you ingredients! We’ve sampled and love them! In order to win comment below on your favourite fall soup, whether it is one from Happy Planet, or homemade or perhaps from somewhere else! Random winner picked November 3, 2014.

Wild Game and Mushroom Festival at The Abbey

abbey_interiors-15‘Tis the season for all things wild and forest-like and that definitely includes mushrooms and game meats. Several restaurants around town are celebrating the bounty with ingredient-forward menus . At La Buca, Pied a Terre, The Sardine Can and The Abbey, the Wild Game and Mushroom Festival takes place October 16 to November 2 with three or four course prix fixe menus at the first two mentions and chalkboard specials at the latter two.

We checked out The Abbey ‘s offerings last week and had an excellent and memorable meal, perfect for a chilly night. The Abbey is a fairly new spot on West Pender in Crosstown, taking over the space that previously housed Wild Rice. Owned by Andrey Durbarch, Michel Durocher and Chris Stewart, The Abbey bills itself as strong on British pub food, and although it’s been a while since I’ve gastropubed in Britain, there is certainly a lot more here than I think you’d see at even the best of British pubs.

The room is welcoming, with dim lights and cozy nooks for privacy; there’s actually two private rooms for smaller groups that would be perfect for your next birthday party or a smaller office gathering. Lots of wood accents and well chosen artwork give the space a warm feel, one the beckons you to stay a while.

Abbey Menu

For the span of the game festival the chalkboard menu will vary, and the night that we were in the above was featured. For your sake I certainly hope that at least some of these dishes will be featured throughout the festival’s duration and beyond.

We started with an excellently balanced cocktail, The Abbott, named after a nearby street, that contained just the right amount of bitter, sweet and sour its glass. The wine list is excellent, owner Durocher has excellent relationships with Vancouver’s wine agents and has rare bottles. The servers, even in his absence, know exactly what works with each particular dish; don’t go it alone here, please be sure to solicit their expertise.


First up a mushroom consomme. Perfectly clear, with intense earthy flavour.


The frisee salad with the duck egg, rabbit croquettes and mushroom crouton was dressed with a tasty celeriac puree and the egg broke perfectly, smearing the dish in a bright yolk. Rich and decadent.


These delicate scallops where an excellent contrast to the rich wild boar bacon. The pea puree brought colour and flavour into play and some sherry vinaigrette bound the dish with its bright acidity.


Roasted foie gras has found its true home nestled into this grilled quail. The accompanying risotto made with rich stock was densely flavoured and accents of green onion brightened the dish.


This dish was magic. Sweet, tender veal cheeks, seared sweetbreads, hen of wood mushrooms, kale and butternut squash ravioli. The veal cheeks barely required chewing, the sweetbreads near perfect, perhaps just a tad overcooked, but I’d not enough to even think of sending back. I’d never let these out of my site and risk them not returning.

While we were ready to be rolled out of the restaurant there was some insistance from our server that we could not leave without trying the sticky toffee pudding. Thank goodness for her recommendation as it does happen to be one of my favourite sweet delights and this one was a fine example of why I can always make room for it.

This festival runs until November 2 so don’t delay and risk missing out on these amazing fall dishes.

Open daily for dinner from 5 p.m., with Happy Hour daily until 6:30 p.m., The Abbey is at 117 West Pender Street.
604-336-7100 or info@abbeyvan.com


Long Table Distillery Opens Cocktail Laboratory

LTD RoomAt Long Table Distillery they’velways mixed a civilized gin and tonic, but now it’s time to shake things up with a newly designed tasting room and cocktail laboratory. This new space will officially open October 25, 2014 serving hand crafted cocktails from 1-7pm on both Thursdays and Saturdays with more hours to evolve over time. On these days, chemist and bar manager, Cole Benoit, owner of Vancouver’s Apothecary Bitters, will create cocktails from featuring Long Table Distillery’s hand crafted, small batch spirits, fresh locally sourced ingredients, botanicals, hand-made syrups and handcrafted bitters.

At Long Table Distillery, Vancouver’s first micro distillery, being social is big on the menu. The distillery encourages visitors to slow down and stay a while. Their West Coast inspired selection of traditionally crafted gins, Texada Vodka and expanding line of unique handcrafted spirits are all copper pot distilled in small batches to ensure only the freshest aromatics make it into each bottle.

Regular visiting hours are from 1-6pm, when visitors can purchase spirits, have a tasting or attend frequent events. Gin & Tonic Fridays happen every Friday from 5-9 pm and are accompanied each week by one of Vancouver’s top ten local food trucks.  The newly designed space and cocktail program now offer more opportunities for visitors to stay a while or make an evening of it.


Introducing Cole Benoit – Long Table’s Craft Bartender

Long Table Distillery newest member of the team is Cole Benoit, who will oversee the bar program. Cole Benoit is the head bitters maker, co-founder, recipe developer and designer at The Apothecary Bitters Company. He’s also a mixologist and spirits geek, an avid brewer and beer connoisseur and an industry experienced cook and all around culinary nerd.

He grew up with a horticulturist father, giving him an in-depth of knowledge and interest in botany that combined with his lifelong interest in cooking, his experience with brewing sciences, his creative nature and his technical background, all work together to make the bitters at The Apothecary Bitters Company.

About Long Table Distillery

Long Table Distillery brings together organic and natural ingredients, proprietary West Coast inspired recipes, and plenty of traditional distilling experience, to hand craft a critically acclaimed selection of unique gins, vodkas, and seasonal spirits.

Find Long Table Distillery’s spirits at the distillery, BCLCB Signature stores and many regular BCLDB outlets, private liquor stores throughout BC, Alberta and soon, Ontario.  Ask for Long Table Distillery’s products at restaurants and bars throughout Vancouver, on Vancouver Island and throughout the Province.

Long Table Distillery Ltd.
1451 Hornby St.
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1W8
T: 604.266.0177


**Long Table Distillery is a client of our sister company Haute Consulting.