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March 11, 2015
News for March 11, 2015





RESTAURANT NEWS



Japanese “fast-steak” chain PEPPER LUNCH is set to open its first Canadian location in Richmond, B.C. this Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 11 a.m. Located at 150-5951 No. 3 Road, the day will begin with a performance of Taiko drums, ribbon cutting, speeches, plus a lucky Lion Dance. At Pepper Lunch, diners cook their own meal - searing their choice of certified Angus beef or seafood on special, patented hot plates that use electromagnetic cooking technology to raise temperatures to a sizzling 500 degrees F. Prices range from $8.95 to $29.95.



For the next six months John Blakeley's two restaurants, LEFT BANK and BISTRO PASTIS, will present different interpretations of the same theme ingredient.  Focusing on the selected theme, both restaurants will feature 4-course price fixe menus and fresh sheets for a 10 day period each month. First up for March 12 to 22 is "Bivalves and Shellfish". Future months will revolve around the themes of "Forage" (April), "Spot Prawns" (May), "Halibut" (June), "Stone Fruits" (July) and "Tomatoes" (August).



Victoria's Ulla restaurant has reopened with the new name of OLO -- a word that translates to "hungry" in the local Chinook jargon. Both on the new menu and at the bar, chefs and co-owners Brad Holmes and Kris Barnholden will focus on farm-to-table meals created from Vancouver island ingredients. Even the renovated decor has been designed, in a playful, modern way, to reflect the agricultural history of the region and its various ethnic farming communities. Now open for dinner. Weekend brunch begins March 21. 509 Fisgard St. 



Weather willing, JOE FORTES SEAFOOD & CHOP HOUSE will open its popular roof top patio on March 30th. Until then, look for the five different Springtime-fresh, seafood features currently being offered during lunch and brunch: Albacore tuna (pictured), pink salmon, Pacific cod, sole, and rockfish. All served with seasonal vegetables.





WILDEBEEST  will be taking its show on the road this Spring by participating in a trio of collaborative dinners with top restaurants located across North America. On April 28th, the Gastown restaurant will cook with a visiting team from Toronto's The Black Hoof restaurant, then do the travelling themselves to Tofino's Shelter resturant on May 9th, and then Portland's Ava Gene’s on June 9th. In return, Ava Gene's will visit Wildebeest in Vancouver on June 16th. For more info call 604-687 6880.




Glowbal Restaurant Group (GRG) will open their TRATTORIA BURNABY this Thursday, March 12, in the Sovereign building (Burnaby’s tallest high-rise tower), at the corner of Kingsway and Willingdon. Staying true to its roots, guests can look forward to traditional Italian comfort food, seasonally inspired forno baked pizzas and regional wine selections. The new space, which follows the same concept as the original Trattoria Kitsilano (2008) and Trattoria Park Royal (2014), marks GRG’s tenth restaurant.



CHEFS


EARLS KITCHEN + BAR are welcoming two new chefs to their Chef Collective team. Chef Ryan Stone (formerly of The Pear Tree) along with consulting vegetarian chef Brian Skinner (Acorn) will join Chefs David Wong, Hamid Salimian, Jeff McInnis and Beverage Director Cameron Brogue to bring new inspiration into Earls kitchens.




Gastown’s PiDGiN restaurant has announced a new executive chef in Shin Suzuki. Born and raised in Toronto to a family with Japanese roots, Chef Suzuki looks to traditional flavours from his childhood and combines them with classic techniques aquired from his years in France working for such restaurants as Taillevant and Alan Ducasse at Plaza Athenee. His plates are highly composed and influenced by bold spices and humble ingredients from East and West. Look for Chef Suzuki's new menu to debut this month.




DRINK NEWS


COFFEE - The temporary closing of the nearby Starbucks (due to a flood) was a silver lining opportunity for ROCANINI COFFEE ROASTERS when they debuted their third venue just across the street at 869 Beatty St this Wednesday. In a neighbourhood riddled with chain outlets catering to sports crowds with "undemanding" palates, the new cafe and its indie vibe was a welcome sight - a coffee house for people who care about coffee, and the community. Rocanini roasts its own beans and supports the work of local artists in their spaces.



BEER - On March 8th,  THE MOON UNDER WATER BREWPUB released a new beer titled Hip As Funk - a farmhouse IPA with tropical hops. Choosing International Womens' Day for the launch was appropriate for the Victoria-based brewery. The company is 50% female owned and managed, and its new label designs feature women. We mean women exhibiting serious beer attitude - no babes in bikinis here.





OPUS BAR in the Opus Hotel is now a part-time coffee hangout. Between 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each day, the zebra marble bar becomes a pour-over coffee bar offering hot drinks made with single-origin beans from local roasters Matchstick Coffee. Other small local businesses will be contributing to the pastry tray: Cadeaux Bakery (croissants), Cartem's Donuterie (doughnuts), and To Die For's banana and lemon loaves. The Juice Truck will provide fresh juices.





SHOP


Great hippity hop. The start of spring signals the return of Bel Café’s Easter HOT CROSS BUNS. Starting this week, the buns will be available individually for $2.80 (or by the half dozen ($16.80), or dozen ($33.60). Pre-order online at www.belcafe.com for pick up. Other new creations from Chef Wayne Kozinko include the nun-like Religieuse pastries (chocolate and orange ganache or calamansi creme) for $6.20 each as well as packs of pastel-coloured marshmallows ($8).






NEW IN THE CULINARY EVENTS CALENDAR

(To see the full calendar click here.)

March 16, 2015
Food Events - Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen
To celebrate their 75th Anniversary, Dairy Queen will be giving out free soft serve cones.
March 17, 2015
Food Events - St. Patricks Day at the Irish Heather
No cover, no green beer, and no plastic clovers! Just authentic Irish fare at The Irish Heather's 18th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration.
March 19, 2015
Food Events - The Love of Game Dinner at Blacktail.
Four of Canada’s best chefs join Chef Geoff Rogers to create a multi-course feast of game at Blacktail.
March 25, 2015
Food Events - Bourbon Sow Dinner 'Upstairs' at Campagnolo
'Upstairs' at Campagnolo, is partnering with Charton Hobbs to present "Bourbon Sow", a bourbon paired pig dinner.
March 25, 2015
Food Events - Waffle Share Day at Cafe Medina
On International Waffle Day Cafe Medina will feed one person in Vancouver through Mealshare for every waffle ordered.
March 26, 2015
Food Events - Dining Out For Life
Dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner at a Dining Out For Life participating restaurant and help support people living with HIV/AIDS.






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