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KK Law

West End Italian

By TIM PAWSEY

(Front) Antipasto salami and cheese platter. (Back) Tonnarelli cacio a pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper). (Photo: KK Law)

(Front) Antipasto salami and cheese platter. (Back) Tonnarelli cacio a pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper). (Photo: KK Law)

Locals know Tavola, a friendly haunt just west of Robson at Denman, for its flavour-packed fare and smartly picked Italian and Pacific Northwest wines. Perch at the bar for walnut pesto or chicken-liver crostini with a glass of grappa. Or settle in for house-made pastas, made fresh daily, such as seafood linguine with anchovies, garlic, chillies and lemon, or brown-sage gnocchi with pine nuts. Mains run from seasonal seafood to brick-roasted chicken and more.

4 Beachside Forays

By TIM PAWSEY

Salmon burger, at the Galley Patio & Grill. (Photo: KK Law)

Salmon burger, at the Galley Patio & Grill. (Photo: KK Law)

Good bites and shoreside views go hand in hand in this vista-kissed city.

1. The Galley Patio & Grill Hop a cab or a #4 bus to discover this absolute gem of a patio, with sweeping downtown and North Shore views and salmon burgers to go along.

2. Cactus Club Cafe This popular West End haunt, right on English Bay Beach, sports creative regional cuisine plus inventive cocktails and well-chosen wines to match.

3. The Boathouse on Kits Beach Floor-to-ceiling windows roll away to open the expansive room. Enjoy informal table and bar service upstairs or quick eats from the kiosk below.

4. Local Public Eatery Go early to grab a spot for yam fries, tuna pokes and good local pints on this popular, sun-drenched patio right across from Kits Beach.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Gone Fishin’

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Sure, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. And luckily for eager anglers, the Pacific Ocean just happens to be Vancouver’s backyard

There'll be no stories about the one that got away: Jason Tonelli of Pacific Angler with a fish on his hook. (Photo: KK Law)

There’ll be no stories about the one that got away: Jason Tonelli of Pacific Angler with a fish on his hook. (Photo: KK Law)

Hook, Line & Sinker

Top-notch spots to catch coho, chinook and sockeye salmon—not to mention delectable Dungeness crabs—are just minutes from the city’s bustling downtown core. Jason Tonelli of Pacific Angler, who’s reeled in catches from as far away as Argentina and Chile, says that Vancouver’s proximity to great fishing sets it apart. “Nowhere else in the world can you fish this close to a metro area,” he says, gesturing to the skyline behind the boat.

(more…)

Relax at Dude Chilling Park

By KRISTEN MORAN

New sign has been dubbed a public art piece. (Photo: KK Law)

New sign has been dubbed a public art piece. (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouverites are known for being laid-back and having a good sense of humour, but the loss of a beloved sign was no laughing matter.

When the Dude Chilling Park sign appeared two years ago at Guelph Park, it instantly captured the hearts of locals. As a prank, artist Viktor Briestensky designed and created this replica of a Vancouver Park Board sign, because he thought the park’s original name didn’t reflect its true essence. The new name also captured the vibe of Michael Dennis’s wooden sculpture “Reclining Figure,” which has been relaxing in the green space since 1991. (more…)

Yaletown’s Tuscan Terrace

By TIM PAWSEY

Authentic Italian dining experience at La Terrazza. (Photo: KK Law)

Authentic Italian dining experience at La Terrazza. (Photo: KK Law)

Unabashedly romantic, Yaletown’s La Terrazza offers superb classic and contemporary Italian fare in a sumptuous setting. Regulars return for the strozzapreti beef ragout and scaloppini di vitello (tenderized veal medallions with crispy prosciutto sage butter), as well as pan-seared diver scallops and oven-roasted sablefish, with superlative wines from a prodigious cellar. Best-kept secrets: the tucked-away private wine room and the namesake well-concealed terrace for early evening cocktails and snacks.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Sweet Souvenirs From Starbucks

By SHERI RADFORD

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver's skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver’s skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Java junkies who are jonesing for both a cuppa joe and a Vancouver souvenir head straight to Starbucks. Hot and cold caffeinated drinks fill the menu, while the city mugs are sure to invoke recollections of a Vancouver vacation over morning coffee back at home.

Link Love: Oyama Sausage Company

By TIM PAWSEY

Find a wide selection of meat at Oyama Sausage Company. (Photo: KK Law)

Find a wide selection of meat at Oyama Sausage Company. (Photo: KK Law)

Look for the busiest store in the Granville Island Market, and chances are you’ll find yourself at Oyama Sausage Company, lured by the seductive aromas of this fifth-generation smokehouse and modern charcuterie. Pick up some cheese smokies, paper-thin speck (German prosciutto), Toulouse pork sausage, elk pepperoni, or silky smooth, rich, “creamy” porcini pâté, all made in house. A plentiful local and imported cheese selection adds up to the perfect picnic or barbecue shopping stop.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Himalayan Tastes at Yak & Yeti

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef displays dishes served up at Yak & Yeti. (Photo: KK Law)

Himalayan and Nepalese flavours rule at Yak & Yeti. (Photo: KK Law)

Popular Kitsilano haunt Yak & Yeti serves delicious Nepalese and Himalayan tastes in a laid-back bistro setting. Spicing is cautiously understated, with a wide range of meat and vegetarian options. House faves roam from Himalayan-style yak momo dumplings to tender char-grilled lamb kebabs to sizzled chicken with crunchy vegetables on a piping-hot cast-iron skillet. For dessert, don’t miss the poached spiced pears with ice cream and caramel. To complete the picture: good local brews, such as Driftwood Fat Tug and Russell Blood Alley Bitter, and smartly chosen BC wines.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

ARC: Fairmont Waterfront’s Curvy New Addition

By TIM PAWSEY

Fairmont Waterfront's newest arrival boasts gorgeous views and an two-tier, open-plan design. (Photo: KK Law)

Fairmont Waterfront’s newest arrival boasts gorgeous views and an two-tier, open-plan design. (Photo: KK Law)

The Fairmont Waterfront’s newly unveiled ARC mirrors its curvaceous surroundings with acres of soaring glass in a spherical, expansive space that takes full advantage of its two-tier, open-plan design. Just across from Canada Place, a perch overlooking the bar grants harbour and mountain glimpses, along with a good buzz in the room and smart cocktails. Drop by for seasonal bites on executive chef Dana Hauser’s fresh sheet, such as Dungeness crab gazpacho or poached salmon with fava bean and citrus salad. Or grab a spot at the convivial chef’s bench for some communal dining from one of the city’s most eco-friendly kitchens.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

The Liberty Distillery: From Grain to Glass

By TIM PAWSEY

Handmade cocktails from The Liberty Distillery. (Photo: KK Law)

Handmade cocktails from The Liberty Distillery. (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouver is in the midst of its biggest spirits resurgence since BC’s prohibition ended in 1921, with craft distilleries popping up all over. Granville Island’s The Liberty Distillery makes premium spirits only from BC-grown and organic grains. Drop by for regular tours and tastes, with an educational theme, of gin, vodka and a white (unaged) whisky, all sampled at their suitably well-worn 110-year-old Saloon Bar, which was salvaged from an old hotel.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

5 Waterside Bites

By TIM PAWSEY

Watch floatplanes take off and land at the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill (Photo: KK Law)

Watch floatplanes take off and land at the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill. (Photo: KK Law)

Myriad haunts around town offer a chance for spectacular waterfront dining, each with a twist.

1. Flying Beaver Bar & Grill Close to Airport South, locals, travellers and off-duty pilots rub shoulders at this tasty, pubby spot that doubles as a floatplane terminus.

2. Bridges The grand dame of Granville Island patios delivers a close-up of busy False Creek, with West Coast tastes such as grilled wild sockeye salmon and steamed local mussels.

3. Wild Rice  Overlooking heritage vessels moored on the working Fraser River at New Westminster’s River Market, this contemporary bistro serves updated takes on classic Chinese dishes.

4. The Beach House Cross the Lions Gate Bridge and head west along Marine Drive to take in a dazzling sunset dinner at this West Van landmark.

5. Lift Bar-Grill-View A stylish rooftop deck, complete with fire pit, yields breathtaking harbour and mountain views and creative, locally inspired plates to match.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

The Roof Redux

By TIM PAWSEY

Enjoy stunning views and delectable dishes at The Roof Restaurant + Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Enjoy stunning views and delectable dishes at The Roof Restaurant + Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

In its heyday, The Roof Restaurant + Bar—which recently reopened at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver—was the place to see and be seen, and the sunken martini bar still boasts one of the best sunset-watching seats in town. Go for the grilled lamb chops, prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, wild salmon and vegetarian options. The bar list sports timeless classics, from The Roof Negroni and Hanky Panky to Sazerac and Moscow Mule, plus BC wines by the glass, mocktails and more. Don’t miss afternoon tea with all the trimmings, including cucumber sandwiches, of course.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com