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KK Law

Thai Redux

By TIM PAWSEY

Yum nua (beef salad). (Photo: KK Law)

Yum nua (beef salad). (Photo: KK Law)

After a seven-year absence, Montri Rattanaraj has returned to Vancouver to open Thai Cuisine by Montri, in Kitsilano. The celebrated chef shops daily for fresh, local ingredients and flies in Thai specialties as needed. Dishes are deeply heated rather than overtly spiced, prepared according to taste, and very detail driven. Montri’s pad thai remains a standard bearer, as do the chicken satay, stuffed chicken wings and delicious pak boong (wok-cooked crunchy greens). Sommelier Jonathan Lai offers a smartly picked selection of Thai-worthy wines, including Germanic and BC aromatics and plenty more.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Bean There, Done That

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

This fall, the folks at Bean Around the World are raising a glass—better yet, a mug—to 25 years of top-notch coffee with West Coast roots

Bean Around the World roasts their beans daily. (Photo: KK Law)

Bean Around the World roasts their beans daily. (Photo: KK Law)

Some leave their heart in San Francisco, but founder Pete Boëda found his when he spotted his first coffee roaster while visiting the Golden City in 1978. Though it took over a decade, Boëda’s newfound love came to fruition when he opened a small cafe complete with in-house roaster—not a common sight at the time. Now, 22 independently owned cafes, each with their own unique style and flavour, bear the Bean Around the World name. (more…)

Notable Newbie: Boulevard Kitchen

By TIM PAWSEY

Boulevard’s seafood tower is sure to satisfy. (Photo: KK Law)

Boulevard’s seafood tower is sure to satisfy. (Photo: KK Law)

With reams of Italian marble, white oak floors and sparkling chandeliers, the newly unwrapped Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar at the Sutton Place Hotel is as stylish and polished as anticipated. On the seafood-inclined menu: marine specialties with contemporary flair, such as a cornucopian seafood tower, caramelized jumbo scallops and roasted sablefish, as well as grilled rib-eye, a premium burger and more. Expect meticulous but friendly service from one of the city’s most well-honed crews.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

50 Things We Love About Yaletown

By KRISTEN MORAN

Nestled between False Creek and the bustling downtown core, in what used to be the warehouse district, trendy Yaletown is filled with upscale restaurants, high-end stores, fashionistas—and tiny purse dogs

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

1. Strolling the seawall and checking out the gorgeous boats in the marina.

2. Getting pampered from head to toe at Blo, Noir Lash Lounge, Pure Nail Bar and Bombay Brow Bar.

3. Shooting pool at Soho Cafe & Billiards.

4. Divine Italian cuisine at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, La Terrazza and La Pentola della Quercia.

5. Taking a ride to or from Yaletown on the Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

6. Finding the perfect headgear from Goorin Bros., which carries everything from baseball caps to fedoras to fascinators.

7. Locally brewed beer at Yaletown Brewing Co. and Prohibition Tasting Room.

8. Checking out the newest exhibits at Contemporary Art Gallery.

9. Public art pieces along the water: Coopers Mews, Lookout, Brush with Illumination, Street Light and A False Creek.

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

10. Buying our four-legged friends a new toy or spa treatment at Barking Babies.

11. Unleashing our inner artist and enjoying a meal under the same roof at Raw Canvas.

12. Getting in the holiday spirit at CandyTown, a free outdoor Christmas festival on Nov. 22.

13. Vintage treasures at Joyce Williams Antique Prints & Maps.

14. Finding accent pieces for our homes at Chintz & Company.

15. Popping in to The Flying Pig for some delicious eats during appy hour.

16. Gorgeous First Nations artwork at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery.

17. Elegant desserts and pastries at Footo Croissant and Ganache Patisserie.

18. Brunch served with a side of sass at The Elbow Room Cafe.

19. Browsing through everything from clothing to knick-knacks at Fine Finds.

20. Fine French cuisine at Provence Marinaside.

21. Stretching out tired muscles at YYoga or Westcoast Hot Yoga.

22. Indulging in Italian foods and a whole range of fancy cocktails crafted from locally made spirits at The Distillery Bar  + Kitchen.

Rodney's Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

Rodney’s Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

23. Slurping raw oysters out of the half shell at Rodney’s Oyster House.

24. Treating our skin to some TLC at Spruce Body Lab and Skn Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic.

25. The flavour-rich cuisine at Urban Thai Bistro.

26. Dancing the night away at Bar None.

27. Spotting celebrities while dining in style at West Oak.

28. Shopping for male-specific goods at Contraband, Masc and Revolucion Cigars & Fine Gifts.

29. Pairing Pacific Northwest cuisine with one of 60 wines at Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar.

30. Sampling some of the city’s finest seafood at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar.

31. Viewing Philip Jarmain’s American Beauty (to Oct. 19), and Alex Couwenberg and Matt Devine’s California (Oct. 16 to Nov. 16), at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery.

32. The classic old-world charm of Farzad’s Barbershop.

33. Treating ourselves to a juicy steak at Hamilton Street Grill.

34. Watching pups play in the dog park or sitting by the mosaic-lined stream at Emery Barnes Park.

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

35. The steam engine that pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887, now showcased at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

36. Sipping first-class cocktails while relaxing in a laid-back setting at George Lounge.

37. Handmade Indian treasures at Kaarigar Handicrafts.

38. Washing down delectable Japanese cuisine with a variety of sake at Bistro Sakana.

39. Trying an assortment of restaurants during Taste of Yaletown, Oct. 16 to 30.

40. Practical yet fashionable womenswear at Nygård.

41. Drinking crafted cocktails at upscale Opus Bar.

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

42. Sipping a cotton candy martini or spiked milkshake under the pink chandeliers of Society.

43. Mouth-watering, made-from-scratch gelato at Bella Gelateria.

44. Catching a live show at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

45. Taking the tots trick-or-treating on Halloween (Oct. 31) at Yaletown businesses.

46. Delicious West Coast fare at Good Wolf.

47. Commuting easily thanks to the Canada Line SkyTrain.

48. Creations from Canadian artisans at Art Works Gallery.

49. Stopping at David Lam Park to people- and puppy-watch.

50. The fascinating mix of old and new architecture.

Sealed & Delivered: Postmark Brewing

By TIM PAWSEY

Fill a growler or stop in for a pint at Postmark Brewing, located in the Settlement Building

Fill a growler or stop in for a pint at Postmark Brewing, located in the Settlement Building

The craft beer boom continues unabated, with the arrival of Postmark Brewing (pictured) in Railtown’s already well-populated Settlement Building, home to Vancouver Urban Winery, The Belgard Kitchen and others. Chief brewmaster at this notable newcomer is award-winning filmmaker Craig Noble, whose recent successes include CRAFT, a documentary about the craft brewing scene across North America. Noble, a certified cicerone (beer sommelier), is often on hand to pour tastes of Postmark Pilsner, Stout, Red IPA and others, perfect before—or with—a bite at The Belgard.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

5 Pampering Panoramas

By TIM PAWSEY

Alder-grilled salmon trio  with shrimp and spinach risotto. (Photo: KK Law)

Alder-grilled salmon trio with shrimp and spinach risotto. (Photo: KK Law)

The Salmon House Grab a cab across the Lions Gate Bridge for alder-grilled salmon at this original seafood specialist, perched high above West Vancouver.

The Teahouse Stanley Park’s one-time officer’s mess is now a taste-filled destination, where the spectacular sunsets seem almost as close as Third Beach below.

Five Sails Savour sweeping views of Coal Harbour and Stanley Park, along with classically grounded, exquisite continental dishes, from the glass-wrapped third-floor atrium of the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Globe@YVR This well-kept secret in the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel serves detail-driven Pacific Northwest plates, with a front-row view of all the comings and goings planeside and mountain views beyond.

Pier 7 Hop the SeaBus to this two-tier room for its expansive ocean vista of the harbour and downtown, with local marine-inclined cuisine to go along.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

50 Things We Love About Vancouver’s Granville Island

By JILL VON SPRECKEN and SHERI RADFORD

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

1. Commuting via Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

2. SeaVillage, a charming collection of floating homes.

3. Browsing for fresh produce, bread and seafood in the Granville Island Public Market.

4. Spotting orcas with Wild Whales Vancouver.

5. Ocean Concrete, the oldest and largest tenant on the island. It’s been there since 1917.

6. Edible Canada at the Market, with its fresh regional fare on the menu, plus foodie tours and a gourmet artisan retail shop.

7. Watching buskers perform: musicians, jugglers, magicians and more.

8. Hand-pressed, hand-bottled sake from Artisan SakeMaker.

9. Splashing around in the Granville Island Waterpark.

10. Watching artisans hard at work in their studios.

(more…)

Shoreside Bites

By TIM PAWSEY

(Front) Sexy Salad: crispy oysters, avocado, root vegetable chips and preserved lemon. (Back) Braised lamb shoulder. (Photo: KK Law)

(Front) Sexy Salad: crispy oysters, avocado, root vegetable chips and preserved lemon. (Back) Braised lamb shoulder. (Photo: KK Law)

Perched right on the promenade, small-plates specialist Ten Ten Tapas turns out a wide variety of tasty plates to share while you gaze at your dream yacht moored close by. Flavours are vibrant and dishes inventive, such as seared albacore tuna tacos with tropical fruit and ponzu ginger emulsion; butter chicken with peas, paneer and naan bread; and generous Dungeness crab cakes with lemon garlic aioli. Inside or out on the patio, all day until late night, the service is laid-back and friendly, with plentiful cocktails and wines that make for perfect lingering.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Blacktail Florist’s Elevated Plates

By TIM PAWSEY

Salad of spring vegetables and mushrooms. (Photo: KK Law)

Salad of spring vegetables and mushrooms. (Photo: KK Law)

Up a few stairs off Gastown’s Water Street, Blacktail Florist, a casual but polished haunt, brims with local taste and creativity. Myriad choices may roam from Humboldt squid with rhubarb and celery slaw, to wild mushroom poutine, to roasted duck breast with sunchoke, onions and watercress. A well-chosen wine list of BC’s top drops makes for perfect—and still very regional—pairings.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Christine Lingerie’s Sizzling Silk

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Christine Lingerie’s luxurious designs evoke that on-holiday feeling—without the travel time

Christine Morton wears one of her own creations while at work in her design studio. (Photo: KK Law)

Christine Morton wears one of her own creations while at work in her design studio. (Photo: KK Law)

From the silky pyjamas that graced the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine to the luxe gown worn by Sofia Vergara on Modern Family, pretty little numbers by Christine Lingerie have been spotted all over Hollywood. And it’s easy to see why. “I like to think that women feel like celebrities in my things,” says Christine Morton, founder and designer of the popular line.

The stunning pieces may have their Tinseltown following, but the company remains firmly rooted in Vancouver. “I can rest here and work it into who I am, what the collection is. Vancouver to me is a very peaceful place. It’s a beautiful city.” Located in East Van, Morton’s boutique/studio has a charming storefront, but the space beyond is where the hard work happens. All the designs and manufacturing are done in Canada, which contributes to the impeccable quality. “I know the name of the person who made that chemise,” she says. “It’s a whole different thing than having a factory somewhere else.”

Original prints and imported fabrics such as French lace adorn the pieces, and it’s these elements that often inspire the garments. “It kind of tells you what it wants to be,” she explains. The designs blend classic and vintage-inspired cuts and styles with a vibrant colour palette, which lends a contemporary feel. More recently, street-worthy loungewear and kimonos have vied for room in the collection. “You put that on with your jeans and t-shirt, and it looks fabulous. It’s a whole look.”

(Photo: KK Law)

(Photo: KK Law)

Other signature pieces include the elegant-yet-flirty Button Back chemise and the Glamour Gown: “It looks like something out of the ’40s. It’s very dramatic.” From classic pyjamas to racy teddies, every piece has one thing in common Morton says: once it’s on, the wearer won’t want to take it off. “It’s so beautiful to feel, the silk against your body.”

Christine Lingerie has been around for 40 years, but Morton says that “we think our place here is like a little secret, and we love it when people come in and find us.” But with celebrities and starlets routinely sporting her luxury loungewear, it’s safe to say the secret’s out.

Find Christine Lingerie at La Jolie Madame, Dianes Lingerie, Holt Renfrew and Romantique. Or visit Christine Lingerie’s Boutique and Design Studio, or order online at www.christinelingerie.com

Pyrrha’s Top Talismans

By SHERI RADFORD

Imperfect by design? A Vancouver couple makes unique jewellery, their way

Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin manage to juggle a happy home life (complete with a two-year-old daughter) and a thriving business. (Photo: KK Law)

Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin manage to juggle a happy home life (complete with a two-year-old daughter) and a thriving business. (Photo: KK Law)

Most designers craft their jewellery to look absolutely perfect. Not Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore, the unorthodox duo behind Pyrrha. They have been breaking the rules pretty much from the moment they met, became a couple and started their business, about 20 years ago.

For one thing, neither had a background in jewellery. “We’re totally self-taught,” Papin says. That didn’t stop them from quitting their day jobs and plunging in. “It made it a must to succeed, not having any other means of support. I sold off a lot of my record collection to fund Pyrrha in the early days,” he says. “The rest of it we funded on credit cards. I wouldn’t suggest that to anyone.” In those early years, he explains, “we were doing soldering in our bedroom—very unhealthy stuff.” Now Papin and Wilmore have a separate design studio here in Vancouver, as well as a flagship store in Los Angeles.

Handcrafted using reclaimed sterling silver or bronze, Pyrrha’s talisman rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings are based on 18th- and 19th-century wax seals. Each piece reflects the antique seals’ cracks and imperfections, and each carries a specific meaning. The Fidelity talisman, for example, shows a turtle dove on the tree of life, symbolizing interconnectedness and unity, while the Power and Protection talisman features a crown with a dragon head coming out of it.

(Photo: KK Law)

(Photo: KK Law)

Hollywood has taken note of these eye-catching creations. Pyrrha boasts an enviable roster of celebrity fans, including Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Brad Pitt and Halle Berry. How do the stars stumble upon the brand? Papin explains with a laugh that their company is well situated, “between all the filming that goes on in Vancouver, and the fact that every third person who comes into our LA store is someone famous.” Pyrhha also recently launched a line of talismans in partnership with HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Papin and Wilmore are determined to resist the siren call of the US—or anywhere else, for that matter—and keep producing their jewellery here. “We love Vancouver, and we want to support it. We love to be part of an arts community that’s growing,” Papin says. “It’s always been our mandate, from the very beginning, to keep it local. There aren’t a lot of people doing that anymore.” Once again, breaking the rules. And once again, with great results.

Find Pyrrha jewellery at Barefoot Contessa and BeautyMark, or shop online at www.pyrrha.com

Idyllic Dining Escape

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Michael Genest of Hart House. (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Michael Genest of Hart House. (Photo: KK Law)

Tucked away in Burnaby’s scenic Deer Lake Park, about 15 minutes from downtown, Hart House Restaurant is housed in a gracious, mock-Tudor manor, with lawns stretching down to the water’s edge. After cooking around the world, chef Michael Genest landed here to craft Pacific Northwest–inspired specialities such as Dungeness crab spaghettini, halibut duo, seared lamb loin and Brome Lake duck breast. Or go for the three-course, $36 prix fixe and take time to savour selections from the extensive, award-winning wine cellar.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com