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July 01, 2015
News for July 1, 2015

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


After a 2-year closure, Umberto Menghi’s opened GIARDINO RESTAURANT yesterday at 1328 Hornby St., just steps away from his original Il Giardino. Says Menghi, "I have put together my dream team ...” With vaulted ceilings, wooden beams, Tuscan tiles, and hand-painted artwork, the space recalls ancient Italian granaries. The dining area leads into a lounge and then an open kitchen with seating for 160, with an additional 80 on the garden patio. Open from Mon to Sat for dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Lunch service will follow in a few weeks.

BIG TROUBLE is now open and serving dinner five nights a week in Chinatown. The restaurant, located at 237 Union Street, features Chef Felix Zhou’s summer fare of BC ingredients from biodynamic producers and sustainable sources. Look for such dishes such as Peking quail over golden beet purée with puffed wild rice, or slow-cooked lamb breast served with fresh zucchini and grilled leeks. At the bar, Steve Da Cruz keeps a well-stocked arsenal to deliver almost any classic or custom request. Dinner from 5:30 p.m., Tues - Sat.

In partnership with the Donnelly Group, Chef David Gunawan will launch ROYAL DINETTE — a casual and playful new 80-seat restaurant honouring Gunawan’s local, sustainable and seasonal approach to dining. Watch for it this July at 905 Dunsmuir St., just below the Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar. It will be open for weekday lunch as well as happy hour, dinner and late-night libations Mon to Sat. Chefs Gunawan and Jack Chen will head the kitchen, Chen-Wei Lee and Jonathan Therrien the front-of-house team, and Wendy McGuinness the bar.

For the month of July, PROVINCE MARINASIDE offers you the opportunity to enjoy Atlantic lobster prepared in a number of ways with its annual Lobster Fest Menu value-priced at $56 for three courses with optional wine pairing for an additional $25. Mains offer a dazzling choice including traditional Lobster Thermidor or Lois Lake steelhead trout and lobster, or, for those who prefer to dig into a whole lobster, Provence offers a choice of three preparations: grilled, steamed or Provençal-style. All come accompanied by rice, grilled asparagus and peppers.

The designer outlet McArthurGlen at Vancouver Airport has joined forces with social food hub Hawkers Market to create a new pop-up initiative, HAWKERS MERCADO. Launching on July 9, the Mercado will include combine an Artisan Food Hall with food trucks such as Roaming Dragon, Vij’s Railway Express, Culver City Salads, C’est Si bon, Meet 2 Eat, Disco Cheetah and the Reef Runner with restaurants Bibo, Caffé Artigiano, the Noodle House, and Ryu Izakaya. Don't delay. The Mercado will be open all summer long but comes to an end on Sept 7 (Labour Day).

BOULEVARD KITCHEN & OYSTER BAR will celebrate its 1st anniversary by hosting a Sunday Seafood Boil Series on its outdoor patio overlooking Burrard Street every Sunday at 6 p.m., from July 19 to August 30. Limited to just 24 seats per event, the menu will feature fresh-caught selections of crawfish, jumbo prawns, clams, mussels and Dungeness crab, served in a traditional East Coast-style seafood boil piled high on butcher’s paper. Cost: $49 per person, 2-guest minimum. Beverages, tax and gratuity additional.



LAUREN MOTE, of Bittered Sling Bitters and UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar has been named the '2015 Canadian Bartender of the Year' in Canada's most celebrated bartending competition, Diageo World Class Canada. This makes Mote the first woman to win the title, and only the second woman to compete at the national level. As the 2015 Canadian champion, Mote will travel to Cape Town, South Africa this August for the World Class Global Finals where she will represent Canada against the world’s best bartenders from 57 countries. Go Lauren!

Long-time industry stalwart PEKKA TAVELA has been named Executive Chef of Vancouver's Wildebeest. Chef Pekka (heritage is Finnish) got his start as a pastry chef, working in many of Vancouver’s top kitchens, including Chambar, Boneta, and Pourhouse. With a precision that comes from his years of training in pastry, and a modernist French style honed behind the stove under the city’s best chefs, Pekka had held the position of Chef de Cuisine at Wildebeest for a year. Over the next few months, watch for him to put his own stamp on the menu.


During the fourth annual "31 DAYS OF GERMAN RIESLING" promotion (running throught July and August), Canadians will have the opportunity to experience German Riesling as restaurants and retailers across the country pledge to serve German Rieslings in by-the-glass specials, flights, special dinners and/or food and wine pairings. See this link for participating restaurants and enter the contest to win a long weekend for two in Berlin.

CAFE MEDINA has unveiled a new lineup of Moroccan and Spanish-inspired signature cocktails as well as "Golden Hour" features from 2 to 3 p.m., Mon - Fri. As curated by new Bar Manager Trixie Blümel, during Café Medina's new happy hour, guests can enjoy all of Blümel's creative libations for $7, along with local draught beer for $5. Also new to the menu are $4 "Coffee Spikes" — seasonally rotating house-made bottled tinctures designed to complement the Café's popular coffee offerings.

The Okanagan's BURROWING OWL ESTATE WINERY continues to shine at several recent international wine competitions.  Their 2012 Syrah won Gold at the Syrah du Monde 2015 and was the only Canadian Syrah to do so. (The prestigious competition was held in France at the end of May.) The winery has also been awarded numerous medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition and the Decanter World Wine Awards.

She's done it again. Whistler's Samantha Rahn, wine director at Araxi Restaurant and Sommelier of the Year 2013, has released Samantha Chardonnay 2014 ($22.90), the second wine she has made at OKANAGAN CRUSH PAD. Her 2013 Syrah released last fall was so sought-after that Rahn decided to release another, this time a Chardonnay from select lots of the Canyonview Vineyard in Summerland, BC. The wine was created entirely in concrete and wild fermented with no oak, yielding a zippy acidity and freshness with notes of zesty citrus and ripe pears.


Hot off the press! - The OCEAN WISE COOKBOOK - Version 2. Made in partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium, the book is an updated guide to how consumers can make ocean-friendly buying choices and turn them into delicious meals. Pages contain over 100 recipes from some of Canada’s top chefs and restaurants as well as the book’s editor, Jane Mundy. Also included are up-to-date resource tips for which fish to buy and guides to seafood cooking techniques. Look for the book at your favourite local bookstore or in the Vancouver Aquarium gift shop.


(To see the full calendar click here.)

July 04, 2015
Food Events - Tailgate Barbecue at RailTown Cafe
Barbecue champion, RailTown Cafe, adds sizzle to summer with Saturday Tailgate Barbecue Series.

July 10, 2015
Wine Events - Free Tasting of South African Wines
There will be a free consumer tasting of South African Wines at the 39th & Cambie Signature Liquor Store on Friday, July 10 2015.

July 14, 2015
Food Events - Greasy Spoon Dinner with Ned Bell and Sean Murray
Ned Bell and Sean Murray step up to the grill for Greasy Spoon Diner #5.

July 16, 2015
Festivals & Galas - 7th Annual Taste: Victoria's Festival of Food and Wine
July 16 -19, 2015. In its 7th year, Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine, is set to take place at Hotel Grand Pacific.

July 18, 2015
Food Events - Summer Berry Supper Club
This dinner is an collaboration between Swallowtail Secret Supper Club and The Acorn restaurant.

August 08, 2015
Food Events - Tailgate Barbecue at RailTown Cafe
Barbecue champion, RailTown Cafe, adds sizzle to summer with Saturday Tailgate Barbecue Series.

August 09, 2015
Food Events - 3rd Annual Golden Dumpling Cook Off and Derby
New location marks the Golden Dumpling Cook Off and Derby, in support of the Chinese Elders Community Kitchen

August 12, 2015
Food Events - Les Dames D'Escoffier Summerdine Fundraiser
On this evening, restaurants, wineries, gardens and cooking schools donate one table each for a concurrent dinner party.

September 12, 2015
Wine Events - Naramata Bench Wineries Tail Gate Party
Twenty four member wineries of the Naramata Bench Wineries Association are circling their trucks on September 12 for the Okanagan's wine party of the season.

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