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KK Law

Bold & Bright

By SHERI RADFORD

A bright mural lights up Ian Tan Gallery even on grey days. (Photo: KK Law)

A bright mural lights up Ian Tan Gallery. (Photo: KK Law)

Is the wet winter weather getting you down? For a reprieve, head to Ian Tan Gallery on South Granville. On the outside wall you’ll find a kaleidoscopic mural sure to brighten even the drabbest of grey Vancouver days—and make a blue-sky day even better. The cheerful mural is based on a piece by Ontario artist Kristofir Dean, whose vibrant paintings are displayed inside the gallery. According to Dean, colour “stirs the mind, heart and spirit.” We couldn’t agree more.

Man on a Mission

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Curtis Luk delivers tasty bites at Mission. (Photo by: KK Law)

Chef Curtis Luk delivers tasty bites at Mission. (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Curtis Luk doggedly abides by his sustainable mantra. At Mission, in the heart of Kitsilano, Luk’s forte is four- and six-course tasting menus, offered with a vegetarian option, as well as well-matched wine pairings. The à la carte menu shifts weekly but typical highlights are duck croquettes, roasted cauliflower with pumpkin-seed dressing, Humboldt squid risotto, and braised beef cheek.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Seafood Dynasty

By TIM PAWSEY

The Salmon House is famed for its seafood specialties. (Photo: KK Law)

The Salmon House is famed for its seafood specialties. (Photo: KK Law)

Four decades ago, The Salmon House on the Hill was the first local restaurant to give salmon its rightful due, highlighting the First Nations tradition of cooking on alderwood planks. Today’s wide-ranging menu has evolved into an impressive showcase of regional cuisine matched with the best of BC wine. Perched high above West Vancouver, the glass-wrapped room yields a breathtaking marine and city panorama.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com

Try a Cocktail Within a Cocktail at Prohibition

By TIM PAWSEY

Bartender Brad Stanton pours the innovative Inception Negroni. (Photo: KK Law)

Bartender Brad Stanton pours the innovative Inception Negroni. (Photo: KK Law)

Ante up for the Inception Negroni at Prohibition, and you’ll be wowed. This truly ingenious drink is actually a classic red Negroni sealed in a cleverly crafted ice sphere, within a white Negroni of Broker’s Gin, Martini Bianco and Suze. The extraordinary two-tone blend evolves as red melts into white. The drink that’s lured cocktail aficionados to fly in from as far away as the UK is complex to prepare, so only a score or so are made each day. Go also for the great bites, from chicken wings to truffle fries, and stay for the live jazz Wednesday through Saturday.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com

French Fare at Le Crocodile

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Michel Jacob prepares high-end French specialties. (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Michel Jacob prepares high-end French specialties. (Photo: KK Law)

For the ultimate in all things French, reserve a table at Michel Jacob’s cozy, burgundy-trimmed Le Crocodile. Flavours of Alsace and beyond define this detail-driven cuisine, delivered with impeccable but also discreetly understated service. Standouts include foie gras terrine with ice wine gelée, tarte à l’oignon, pan-seared veal sweetbreads, and sautéed true Dover sole with classic beurre blanc. Wines, expertly paired, roam from Bordeaux to Burgundy to the best of the Okanagan.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com

Four Sporting Spots

By TIM PAWSEY

Earls Yaletown dishes up an assortment of casual favourites. (Photo: KK Law)

Earls Yaletown dishes up an assortment of casual favourites. (Photo: KK Law)

Load up on pre-show or post-game sustenance at these lively haunts close to Rogers Arena and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Earls Yaletown A giant bar rules this always lively, red-bricked, multi-screened lounge with excellent eats ranging from Cajun blackened chicken to Lois Lake steelhead, plus nine-ounce wines by the glass.

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar Italian flavours such as house-made pasta, spaghetti and meatballs, lamb shank, pizza and more are menu mainstays in this laid-back family-friendly setting.

Chambar This dazzling Belgian-influenced heritage room serves polished fare, including lamb shank tagine, moules frites Congolaise and veal tenderloin—always in time for curtain.

Shark Club Newly renovated, this expansive sports bar with a barrage of big screens is a fave with fans, who pack in for burgers, calamari, tacos and a dozen flavours of chicken wings.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com

 

Vancouver’s Best Happy Hours

By LUCAS AYKROYD

Enjoy happy hour specials around the city, including cool cocktails at Juniper. (Photo: KK Law)

Enjoy happy hour specials around the city, including cool cocktails at Juniper. (Photo: KK Law)

Happy hour is a sexy newcomer to Vancouver. Only since 2014 have local restaurants and bars been licensed to offer it. Today, the trend’s running hot all over the city. Here are five of our faves:

Belgard Kitchen
M-Th 3-6 pm
An inventive and refreshing happy hour menu—including yummy margherita pizzettes and green chickpea and avocado hummus—marks this high-ceilinged room with its laid-back, industrial vibe. A glass of BC wine or pint of Postmark Brewing beer is just $5, and selections rotate daily.

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Taco Redux

By TIM PAWSEY

Soft and crunchy carnitas (front), lemon grass chicken burritos (left) and tater tots (right). (Photo: KK Law).

Soft and crunchy carnitas (front), lemon grass chicken burritos (left) and tater tots (right). (Photo: KK Law)

A recent arrival in Yaletown, pint-sized Tacofino is an offshoot of its ever-popular Gastown mothership. Pack in for surf-centric bites such as lingcod fish tacos, beef-brisket-barbacoa burritos, white-bean tacos and more. Traditional tequila cocktails include a margarita and a paloma. Think Tofino meets Baja–with sustainably sourced ingredients and Ocean Wise seafood.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Convention Centre Cravings

By TIM PAWSEY

Angus prime rib beef dip, at Lions Pub. (Photo: KK Law).

Angus prime rib beef dip, at Lions Pub. (Photo: KK Law)

A wealth of options around the Vancouver Convention Centre include breakfast bites at De Dutch, pub fare at Mahony & Sons, West Coast cuisine at Cactus Club and well-picked pints at Tap & Barrel. Plus myriad flavours await just a few steps away.

Lions Pub This warm and welcoming British-inspired haunt yields good local taps and suitably pubbish fare to go along, from Scotch eggs to rarebit to mini Yorkshire puddings.

Chewies This bustling emporium adds a southern twist to all things bivalve, “steamed, stewed or nude.”

Giovane Just off the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s lobby, this self-serve Euro-cafe enjoys a well-earned rep for excellent coffee, smart paninis, perfect pasta and tempting baked treats.

Hapa Izakaya Find traditional Japanese tastes with a West Coast small-plates bent, along with the freshest of sushi, serious sake and smartly chosen wines, in a sleek ’n’ sexy setting.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Fabulous Fare at Fable Diner

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Trevor Bird dishes up hearty favourites such as roast duck pancakes (front) and a pulled-pork sandwich (back). (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Trevor Bird dishes up hearty favourites such as roast duck pancakes (front) and a pulled-pork sandwich (back). (Photo: KK Law)

Fable Diner, chef Trevor Bird’s first foray into East Van, is a welcoming diner in the historic Lee building at the corner of Main and Broadway. The Top Chef Canada finalist is carrying on the ever-popular diner tradition with burgers and shakes and creative twists on the down-home theme. Fave plates roam from a trucker’s breakfast to ketchup-less cottage pie to a “West Coast toast” of avocado, smoked steelhead and horseradish, plus fancy sundaes and lemon meringue parfait for dessert.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Gastown Spirit: La Mezcaleria

By TIM PAWSEY

La Mezcaleria serves (clockwise from top left) esquites (toasted corn), pescado frito (fried fish), chicharrón (crispy pork belly) and tostadas. (Photo: KK Law)

La Mezcaleria serves (clockwise from top left) esquites (toasted corn), pescado frito (fried fish), chicharrón (crispy pork belly) and tostadas. (Photo: KK Law)

Mexico’s revered agave gets the royal treatment at La Mezcaleria, which boasts the city’s most extensive array of authentic mezcal and tequila, plus a gamut of traditional dishes. Go for the charred citrus prawns, slow-braised Alberta short rib cazuela, Manhattan strip loin, crunchy chicharrón (whether pork belly or ahi tuna), and other irresistible share plates—not to mention the chill decor, with its cool green tiles and comfy banquettes, plus breakfast cocktails and Friday-night DJs. But, above all, don’t miss the extraordinary mezcal and tequila taster flights.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Totally Thai: Pink Elephant Thai

By TIM PAWSEY

Pink Elephant Thai's modern interior. (Photo: KK Law)

Pink Elephant Thai’s modern interior. (Photo: KK Law)

Close to Robson Street, Pink Elephant Thai is hard to miss. With its broad swaths of vivid fuchsia, this smartly appointed, boldly contemporary spot lures a hip crowd for classic bites such as cashew chicken satay, green curry beef, spicy Pad Kee Mao and more. Drop by midday for good-value lunch combos, during “appy hour” for quick bites or later for a lively cocktail scene with Thai-themed martinis.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com