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April 29, 2015
News for April 29, 2015

Are there lilac trees in the heart of town? Can you hear a lark in any other part of town? Enchantment is pouring out of each of these doors, and not just on the street that you live.

All entries in the news sections and calendar below have been selected by the Editor and are not paid listings.


OPENING SOON: Did you hear this one?  On May 7th, a new restaurant will open in Kitsilano that will be entirely staffed by the deaf. Inspired by the 'blind-dining' trend that swept the world a few years ago, at the new deaf-dining concept restaurant DEAFINED, deaf and hard of hearing waitstaff will be serving the guests in sign language, aided by ASL charts on the tables, as well as interpreters on the floor. According to management, the full service dining room's goal will be to offer eastern Mediterranean fare in a warm, welcoming environment, while also promoting American Sign Language and offering much needed employment opportunities for the hearing impaired. With the help of the Job Readiness Program at Vancouver Community College, the YWCA Metro Vancouver 'Work BC' and the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Deafined has been busy recruiting staff for the location at 2340 West 4th Ave (the old Rowan's restaurant space). The last we heard - ooof, sorry - they were signing a need for a bartender.

After a delay of many months, is Farmer's Apprentice restaurant finally ready to open their adjacent 25-seat bar, Grapes & Soda? Or are they in soft opening stage already? The internet has been quiet so far, and FA is not responding to inquires by phone, although Scout Magazine has been in for a visit and posted their photos. The space looks promising. Especially attractive is the long, long redwood bar crafted by Milltown Contracting. [Added: Restaurant is now open with website here.]

Grocery stores are offering banking services, so why shouldn't a hotel management chain get into the airline business. FOUR SEASONS HOTELS has done just that with a rigged out Boeing 757, customized to look exactly like a luxury hotel. At $130,000 for a round-the-world trip, the price may be steep, but what airline loyalty points program can compete with 52 flatbed seats finished in Italian leather, handwoven carpets, fancy tray tables and Mongolian cashmere blankets. Not to mention an onboard doctor, concierge and photographer .. and oh yes, Chef Kerry Sear to personally oversee your food and beverage experience.

Craving a juicy burger and fries or maybe a chew of house-smoked beef jerky? A good place to start would be the new Yaletown gastrolounge, MALT AND MARROW. Newly opened last Friday at 1269 Hamilton St, the menu offers "high-end, quality versions of traditional pub food in a welcoming atmosphere". They're talking British/German style but we spotted a paella pan in there too. Check out the nine brews on tap. This looks like a convivial place to catch the game on a rainy night or sip specialty cocktails on the patio this summer. Open for lunch and dinner.

One of the newer eating places on Main Street is KITCHEN ON MAIN, A new project for businessman Herschel Miedzygorski (Harry's Deli) and Chef Uli Schnur (Settebello and Umberto restaurants in Whistler). Every restaurant needs a focus and for Kitchen on Main it's meatballs. The roly poly-ies show up in 5 skillet dinners, as well as in sliders, tossed in pasta, even tucked under Eggs Benny. Otherwise it's an eclectic menu at a casual venue encouraging brunch, happy hour and comedy nights. 3941 Main Street at 23rd.

Be kind to your fine feathered friends. Barbara Houston's thegoodfarm in the Cowichan Valley is the first farm in BC to provide duck eggs with Animal Welfare Approved certification. The new label lets consumers know that "the animals were raised in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in North America, using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm." At thegoodfarm that translates to "ponds with fresh water, shelter with fresh bedding, pasture, food and safety from predators. It's about 'letting ducks be ducks".


SNEAK PEEK: So what is Patrick Corsi (QUATTRO/Q4) up to? Two days ago he posted a teaser photo on his Facebook page showing himself standing with two partners in a space undergoing construction, and labeled with the caption "Coming June 2015." Jumping the gun on the press release, is he? Guess we will have to wait and see. At any rate it will be good to see Patrick's smile of greeting at any front door. And obviously 115 thumbs up 'like' that idea too.

Congratulations to Chef Christophe Bonzon of CHEZ CHOCOLATERIE PATISSERIE. After two days of competition at the 2015 World Chocolate Masters Canadian Final in Montréal, Bonzon captured four awards: 'Best Moulded Praline', 'Best Chocolate to Go', 'Best Cake of the Day', and the ‘Coup de Coeur’, placing 2nd overall. The moulded praline is now available at the Burnaby Heights store. Designed to the theme "Inspiration from Nature, "The BC", a deep green-coloured creation, was made with BC birch syrup ganache and BC cranberry jelly.

Heads up, Hamid Salimian fans! Chef Salimian will be teaching an Iranian cooking class at the Dirty Apron Cooking School on May 7th. The evening promises a number of middle Eastern delicacies including a Fesenjan of Duck and Basmati rice; Ash Reshteh - a soup that represents one of Iran's oldest and original recipes; followed by Koo Koo Sabzi, also a traditional Iranian dish made with buttery sablefish. (That one gets our vote based on the name alone.) Persian ice cream too!


Demon Drink, the fun side: Penticton's Cannery Brewing has released a German-style Maibock (Mai-May, bock-goat), under the name "The Stumbling Goat", and with a devilish label that implies it intends to kick the butt of all other strong flavoured, dry-hopped local ales. The latest in the brewery's Artisan Creation Series, this limited release beer will only be around until summer. Demon Drink, the dark side: In World War II the shortage of soap meant that housemaids scrubbed floors with diluted beer. Watch BBC's The Village (Series 1, Ep. 2) to see the horrifically comic results when a used bucket of suds and scrub brush cross paths with the town alcoholic.

Of the 70 locally crafted products poured at last week's BC Distilled event, the one that earned the most points from attendees was the 82 Ameretto by SONS OF VANCOUVER. Owners of the new distillery (located in North Vancouver) claim that the formula for the liquer is a hybrid of a 16th century love story and one of their grandmother's recipes containing apricot kernels, Bourbon vanilla beans, orange peel, Demerara sugar, and BC blackberry honey. You can see the list of the other BC Distilled people's favourites here:

We know that the VANCOUVER TEQUILA EXPO, on May 30th is coming up fast, but be sure to check their website for some newly posted activities that will be taking place during the week just before the big tasting event. These include an 'East Van Taco Safari', a class with Chef Julian Bond on how to cook and pair food with Agave, a downtown 'Food and Agave Safari' and more. They are all guaranteed to be great fun and sell out fast. Best make your booking now. ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!

Ask any lumberjack, what beverage goes best with a stack of pancakes with a hosing of maple syrup? Why beer, of course. Must be why last night the folks at CENTRAL CITY BREWERY launched their new, Red Racer Maple Bacon Ale. We guess the maple syrup is easy enough to add in during the brewing process, but how did they get a pig in there? The answer remains to be tasted. The seasonal brew will have a limited availability, but let's hope it lasts until Canada Day. It sounds like it would go well with butter tarts too.


Concepts we're buying into now:

Buzzzzzzzzzz...bang, bang, bang....buzzz. Those are the sounds coming from Edible Canada's headquarters at Granville Island Public Market these days. They are getting ready to launch a new-look retail store, but you won't be able to see it until the launch on May 1. Unfortunately due to construction, Edible Canada at the Market will be closed until April 30th, although the Bistro reopens today, April 29th at 11 a.m. In the meantime, you can always check their very good online store.

Mother's Day is coming up fast. What sort of little gift would she like? FRENCH MADE BAKING has put together a brightly striped kit that contains all the recipes and supplies for a DIY macaron kit. Kits bought May 8 - 10 will save 10%. Better yet, why not take her out for tea and let an expert make the macarons. French Made is launching two new menus for: "Goûters Gourmets" (like an afternoon tea with a French twist): the "Café Gourmand" ($15), and "Après-Midi à Paris" ($31.50). See menus here.


(To see the full calendar click here.)

May 01, 2015
Festivals & Galas - Yelloweek in Vancouver and Whistler
May 1 - 7, 2015. The Champagne House of Veuve Clicquot joins several Vancouver top bars and restaurants in a 'Tribute to Creativity'.

May 03, 2015
Food Events - Bakers Market - Spring!
Back by popular demand, The Baker's Market will take place on most Sundays, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

May 06, 2015
Wine Events - Winemakers Dinner with Masi Agricola at Siena
Join Siena restaurant for an evening with one of the best producers of Italy's Amarone.

May 09, 2015
Cooking Classes - Make Your Own Macarons Class with French Made Baking
Here's a Mother's Day gift suggestion: why not give her a macaron-making class with the chefs from French Made Baking?

May 14, 2015
Wine Events - New Zealand Wine Fair
TRADE ONLY - Join 20 premium New Zealand wineries to sample over 90 wines at this exclusive annual tasting.

June 13, 2015
Beer Events - 2nd Annual Horseshoe Bay Craft Beer Festival
Horseshoe Bay, home of the first craft brewery in Canada, is holding their second Horseshoe Bay Craft Beer Festival.

July 26, 2015
Food Events - Brewery and the Beast 2015
This beef and booze event takes place in summer, however tickets go on sale May 1.

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