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KK Law

Hy’s Steakhouse is Raising the Bar

By TIM PAWSEY

Wash down a jumbo prawn cocktail and smoked bacon sliders with (from L-R) an Old Fashioned, a Gin Fizz and a (still being mixed) Manhattan. (Photo: KK Law)

Wash down a jumbo prawn cocktail and smoked bacon sliders with (from L-R) an Old Fashioned, a Gin Fizz and a (still being mixed) Manhattan. (Photo: KK Law)

The city’s longest-running steakhouse never sported a true bar—until now. Once reserved for private events only, the second-floor space above the venerable main room of Hy’s has been tastefully refurbished to include a full bar as well as a panelled lounge beyond sliding doors, which can be closed for privacy as needed. On the menu: cocktail classics with modern flair and highlights from the group’s 60-year history, such as prawn cocktails, Dungeness crab cakes and cheese toast.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Coastal Canadiana: Timber

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Chris Whittaker serves up a bison burger with cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions and pickles, at Timber. (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Chris Whittaker serves up a bison burger with cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions and pickles, at Timber. (Photo: KK Law)

With its logging-themed decor—complete with Swedish saws and welcoming stuffed beaver at the door—Timber offers a tongue-in-cheek salute to BC’s lumber industry, with a slice of retro on the plate. Casual choices include mushroom poutine, a substantial bison burger, chilli-and-maple-glazed chicken wings, fish ’n’ chips, and elk tourtière, all perfect for pairing with an array of good local brews and wines.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2016

By TIM PAWSEY

Farmer's Harvest, at Edible Canada at the Market. (Photo: KK Law)

Farmer’s Harvest, at Edible Canada at the Market. (Photo: KK Law)

Running Jan. 15 to 31, the Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2016—the city’s region-wide, annual dining extravaganza, now the largest in Canada—has grown to include some 240 bistros, hotels, cafes and fine dining rooms, which offer a wide variety of special dinner menus at three price points. Several restaurants also do lunch, and many extend their discount deals well beyond Dine Out. Other highlights include a wealth of special events: cocktail, brewery and distillery tours; neighbourhood brunch packages; film and dinner pairings; VQA wine tastings; debates; and much more.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Hit the Ice

Winter in Vancouver may be mild, but skating options abound

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

In wintertime, youngsters, oldsters and everyone in between can't resist the allure of the Robson Square Ice Rink. (Photo: KK Law)

In wintertime, youngsters, oldsters and everyone in between can’t resist the allure of the Robson Square Ice Rink. (Photo: KK Law)

URBAN ESCAPE
Ditch the downtown crowds for some wintry fun at Robson Square Ice Rink. Skating is free and open to the public until the end of February, with rental skates and helmets available. When the mini Zamboni cleans the ice, grab a hot chocolate or snack. The rink is directly below Robson Street’s iconic glass domes, which allow for a unique view of downtown. The result is the best of both worlds—the unmistakable feeling of skating outdoors, but without the risk of Vancouver rain. (more…)

Tapas Redux: Bodega on Main

By TIM PAWSEY

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Sit at the venerable bar or order a selection of tapas at Bodega on Main (Photo: KK Law)

A salute to the city’s original, long-running Spanish room, Bodega on Main yields a veritable romp through an array of classic tapas. Faves range from zesty patatas bravas to gambas al ajillo (seriously garlicky prawns) to spicy grilled chorizo, as well as pork sausage finished in Basque cider. Much of the former interior, including the substantial oak bar, was salvaged, adding a familiar feel to the welcoming heritage surroundings. Wines and sherries complete the authentic picture.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Savoir Faire: The French Table

By TIM PAWSEY

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Cheese fondue at The French Table (Photo: KK Law)

A little slice of Burgundy awaits at Main Street’s The French Table, owned by chef Hervé Martin. The one-time personal chef to the King of Belgium celebrates the cuisine of his homeland with classic dishes such as coq au vin, escargot with garlic butter, and duck confit cassoulet, as well as cheese and Burgundy fondues. The smart bistro setting is laid-back and friendly, with a good selection of wines, including labels from the chef’s family-owned chateau.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Pacific Rim: Seafood at Ancora

By TIM PAWSEY

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An array of fresh seafood from Ancora (Photo: KK Law)

Peruvian, Japanese and other influences play with a plethora of West Coast ingredients at newly launched Ancora. This smart, contemporary haunt on the north shore of False Creek, just across from Granville Island, overlooks yachts at anchor. Global culinary licence roams from Pacific lingcod with paella, and Dungeness crab causa with Huancaína sauce, to saffron and parsnip agnolotti with roasted root vegetables, and panca chilli–glazed sablefish.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Culinary Core: Downtown Dining

By TIM PAWSEY

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Dining room at the new Glowbal at Telus Garden (Photo: KK Law)

Glowbal pulls out all the stops at its dynamic new downtown location. Familiar tastes include the signature meatballs on truffled spaghetti, chilli- and garlic-fried sea bass, miso-marinated sablefish, and satays from the custom-built robata grill. Extra touches include a battery of personal heaters that cosset guests on a year-round patio under the giant wooden whalebone sculpture. In a hurry? Grab a bite at neighbouring, much more casual Nosh. Other handy options for shoppers on the go include Bel Café in nearby Rosewood Hotel Georgia; sandwich specialist Meat & Bread, near W. Pender and Burrard; and the Gallery Cafe on the Vancouver Art Gallery mezzanine.

For more from Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

4 Seasonal Splurges

By TIM PAWSEY

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Seafood tower at Boulevard. (Photo: KK Law)

The city sports no end of worthy destinations for celebrating the holidays in style.

1 Fresh-shucked oysters, a cornucopian seafood tower and prime cuts are served in Boulevard (pictured), an impressive, always bustling room.

2 Relax by a blazing fireplace in charmingly decorated Bacchus, which also offers special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus.

3 Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is aglow with a festive air. Dec. 24 yields a Christmas Eve dinner, while Kris Kringle appears on the 25th. Christmas trees adorn the Pacific Ballroom, the setting for the evening buffet offerings. To book, call 604-647-0517.

4 Four Seasons Vancouver gets guests in the mood with more than 50 individually decorated trees, along with a wealth of festive dinners in Yew Seafood + Bar.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Joe Fortes: Seafood Stalwart

By TIM PAWSEY

A view of the horseshoe bar at Joe Fortes. (Photo: KK Law)

A view of the horseshoe bar at Joe Fortes. (Photo: KK Law)

Coming up on three decades, ever-popular Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House lures an upbeat after-work crowd to its dazzling brass-and-wood-trimmed two floors, ruled by a giant horseshoe bar. Seafood choices are extensive, with freshly shucked oysters a mainstay. Happy Hour (4 to 6 p.m.) bites such as mini lobster and shrimp rolls are a big draw, while grilled sockeye filet with artichoke ravioli, fresh West Coast cioppino, and rare-grilled ahi tuna with brandied peppercorn sauce are all long-running dinner favourites.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Neighbourhood Italian at Baccano

By TIM PAWSEY

Braised lamb with  tortellini. (Photo: KK Law)

Braised lamb with tortellini. (Photo: KK Law)

Just across the Burrard Bridge, Baccano Osteria & Bar’s laidback casual style is already a hit with locals. On the menu, plenty of share plates and sottaceti: crostini featuring house-made pickles such as cucumber and saffron, heirloom squash, or cauliflower and sultana. Pasta tempts with spaghetti puttanesca, linguine vongole and tagliatelle salsiccia. The room, with its spacious bar, enjoys a modern, European feel, with marble and mahogany details. Wines are affordable and cocktails traditional, always with an Italian twist.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Super Seafood at Supermarine

By TIM PAWSEY

Charred octopus (front) and tempura  snow crab (back), at Supermarine. (Photo: KK Law)

Charred octopus (front) and tempura snow crab (back), at Supermarine. (Photo: KK Law)

A clamshell’s toss from Kits Beach, funky and fun newbie Supermarine is serious about seafood. This Lilliputian room yields sustainable tastes, from crispy octopus chips with smoky tomato sauce to snow crab tempura-style with honey-black-pepper glaze and pomme purée. Desserts roam from chocolate semifreddo to boldly edgy yuzu lemon curd with shaved celery and black pepper. Cocktails run from classic to contemporary riffs, such as “Take My Word” (with Fernet-Branca, cachaça, Aperol and Scotch), while the wine list is small but globetrotting.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com