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March 18, 2015
News for March 18, 2015

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



RESTAURANT NEWS



RESTAURANT: ANNALENA opened its doors for business last week in the Kitsilano space formerly occupied by Kitsilano Daily Kitchen. With a mandate to focus on Canadian cuisine, this is the first restaurant from Chef Mike Robbins (Oakwood Canadian Bistro) and his front-of-house partner, Jeff Parr (Chambar). The chosen name is a tribute to Robbins' two grandmothers, Anna and Lena. So can we expect homey kitchen cuisine? Robbins says the concept for the 65-seat space will be casual "French Bistro", but in a Canadian way. Open for dinner Tues - Sat.




After closing for a re-vamp, PROVENCE MARINASIDE owners, Chefs Jean-Francis and Alessandra Quaglia, are hosting two special preview cocktail parties on April 2. The first, from 3 to 4 p.m. will be for media and concierges only. The second, 4 to 6 p.m., will be open to the public. If you wish to stay for dinner and the live concert by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros you will need to purchase tickets through Eventbrite. Keep a lookout for the new 'Wine Wall" reaching almost the full length and height of the west wall.





CHEFS GOING PLACES



This summer Chef Hidekazu Tojo will set sail with Adventure Canada for their "Heart of the Arctic" expedition (July 17 - July 29). While the passenger cruise ship probes the icy passages at the top of the world, Tojo-san will be on board leading a series of cooking workshops to demonstrate his skills with Japanese cuisine. He even plans to design a unique culinary creation based on the ingredients and customs of the local Inuit population the tour will be visiting.




Chef Dana Reinhardt of Sol Kitchen Consulting has been setting up intimate cooking classes in the Tuscan countryside. Her venue, Casa Caponetti, is a 130-acre olive farm complete with biodynamic gardens and woodlands for wild foraging. The property has guest suites and a restaurant/cooking school where Chef Dana will be conducting the classes with in-house Chef Mark Medina-Rios. Costs are $2,300 US, for classes, food and wine, accommodations, transportation and entrance to all activities. For more info click here or call 604-219-6550.


 
This September, Chef James Walt of Whistler's Araxi Restaurant will be leading a culinary journey to Peru. The 11-day tour will focus on Peru’s exciting modern fusion of flavour and culture in the three major centres of Lima, Arequipa and Cusco. Guests will visit local markets with Peruvian chefs and participate in hands-on cooking sessions. They will also visit local restaurants and make a journey to the Machu Picchu - the Lost City of the Incas. The tour is being arranged by Bestway Tours & Safaris and details may be viewed by clicking here.




DRINK NEWS


Sammy Piccolo has opened his second PRADO CAFE at the corner of Abbott and Hastings Street. Just two blocks further into Gastown from the International Village and Tinseltown it make a great place to stop before or after taking in a movie or shopping at the nearby T&T grocers. The new location retains much the same vibe as the Prado's original store on Commercial with its 49th Parallel coffee and Lambretta scooter blue-green china, only with more seating room.




Another java shop that has just opened its doors is the OLD CROWE COFFEE CO in New Westminster. Located in a former photographer's studio in a heritage building within the Front Street development, it looks to become a comfort hub for the neighbourhood with some unique enticements on the food menu. Today for example, they are serving hot wild game meatloaf sandwiches. Most of the baked goods are supplied by Faubourg. The coffee beans are from Victoria's Box X Arrows.




WHY WORRY? BE HAPPY.



Starting Friday, March 27th, BOULEVARD KITCHEN & OYSTER BAR will launch a new Happy Hour program with drinks and small-plate specials available daily from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. A good option for anyone looking for an extra late lunch or who fancies a post-work bite, the menus will be available in the restaurant's dining room, seated oyster bar, and outdoor patio. Look for drinks selected by bar manager Justin Taylor and priced $4 - $7, and accompanying small plates* by Chef Alex Chen for $6-10. (*Includes the popular crispy chicken wings.)



THE PARKER Vegetarian restaurant has a new happy hour menu featuring a selection of Chef Felix Zhou's most popular plates. Diners get to choose 3 items from the weekly fresh sheet for $29 if they order any day of the week between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The regular five-course tasting menu is available for $35 as well. They are both good options to keep in mind if you are catching a meal before a game or show. Look for $5 specials on the drinks menus too.




At the RED WAGON, guests are encouraged to come early for the thirst-quenching "Off the Wagon Hour" Wednesday through Friday between 4 and 6 p.m.  Wed: $4 Parallel 49 Brewing Co. Bottles ($4), Thurs: $4 R&B Brewing Co. Bottles ($4), Fri: Select Red Wagon Cocktails ($5). As this diner is family-friendly, there are plenty of options for kids too: house made lemonade and ice tea, an assortment of Boylan's Sodas and delicious ice cream floats. 




SHOP


That most highly anticipated annual event, HALIBUT SEASON, has finally arrived and local restaurants will be quick to start designing their menus around it. Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge at the Wedgewood Hotel for example, has already initiated lunch and dinner sheet featuring a different halibut special each day. For those who prefer to cook at home, Chef Robert Clark's The Fish Counter on Main Street is an excellent place to fish for a good one.




More buns ...An Easter tradition, Beaucoup Bakery & Café will be baking BRIOCHE HOT CROSS BUNS for a limited time beginning March 23. Made with Beaucoup's buttery brioche recipe, combined with candied lemon and orange peel sourced from France, currants and a pinch of spice, these buns are intended to be enjoyed hot and fresh. Sold individually, the buns are priced at $2.75 each and will be stocked daily until April 6. Call ahead to 604-732-4222 to place larger orders.





NEW IN THE CULINARY CALENDAR
(To see the full calendar click here.)


March 20, 2015
Food Events - International Macaron Day
Arguably the sweetest day of the year.




May 29, 2015
Beer Events - Vancouver Craft Beer Week
May 29 - June 7, 2015. Vancouver's 10 day salute to the pleasures of craft beer.





June 04, 2015
Wine Events - Wines of Portugal Grand Tasting
Wines of Portugal brings its Grand Tasting Tour to Vancouver.









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