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Restaurants Vancouver

Delicious Deeds

By CHLOË LAI

Mouth-watering salmon at Joe Fortes. (Photo: Dining Out For Life)

Mouth-watering salmon at Joe Fortes. (Photo: Dining Out For Life)

At Dining Out For Life, you can have your cake and let someone else eat it, too—in a manner of speaking. On Mar. 30, restaurants throughout the Lower Mainland donate 25% of each food bill to local not-for-profit A Loving Spoonful, which provides free, healthy meals and nutritional counselling for Vancouverites living with HIV/AIDS. The more you indulge, the more you help. So go ahead and order that chocolate molten cake (Dockside), praline mousse (Forage) or traditional tiramisu (Joe Fortes) after dinner. It’ll feel as good as it tastes.

Top Teas

By SHERI RADFORD

It's tea, tea and more tea at TWG.

It’s tea, tea and more tea at TWG.

Floor-to-ceiling windows that let in an abundance of natural light, wall after wall of premium teas stored in bright yellow tins, tea-infused cocktails and mocktails—this is definitely not your grandmother’s tea salon. The flagship North American store for TWG Tea opened downtown last month, and it features more than 500 teas, along with a food menu sure to get gastronomes atwitter. Tea is infused into sauces, vinaigrettes, desserts, maracons and more, all with delicious results. Whether you’re a fan of black, green, white, oolong or all of the above, you’re sure to find exactly your cup of tea.

Happy Hour Heaven

By LUCAS AYKROYD

Cheers! Raise a glass to happy hour at Ancora. (Photo: Allison Kuhl)

Cheers! Raise a glass to happy hour at Ancora. (Photo: Allison Kuhl)

Ah, afternoons. You could take a nap, catch up on email—or party like the sky’s the limit at Vancouver’s thriving happy hours. Here are five of the best:

Ancora
M-F 3:30-5 pm
Fusing Peruvian and Japanese flavours with West Coast ingredients, airy Ancora also delights with its location, facing Granville Island across False Creek. Get comfy at the bar with an $8 barrel-aged cocktail (the Angel’s Share or the Diavolo in Manette) and fresh oysters, spicy albacore tuna rolls or sablefish croquettes with cilantro pumpkin sauce. (more…)

Beyond Sushi

By TIM PAWSEY

Indulge at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. (Photo: KK Law)

Indulge at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. (Photo: KK Law)

Long-running Kobe Japanese Steak and Seafood House preceded the sushi craze by a few decades. Ingredients are freshly prepared, presented tableside and cooked teppanyaki style with tremendous flair. Go for the impossibly tender Wagyu beef, teriyaki chicken, and seafood combo. For more casual fare, head to pub-style Zakkushi on Denman to find an abundance of charcoal-grilled meat, seafood and vegetable skewers. Hunker down at local faves Gyoza King or Guu, both on Robson, for good Japanese home-style dishes in a cheerful and friendly setting.

For more by Tim Pawsey www.hiredbelly.com

A Sweet Story

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Jackie Kai Ellis creates tasty treats at Beaucoup Bakery. (Photo: KK Law)

Jackie Kai Ellis creates tasty treats at Beaucoup Bakery. (Photo: KK Law)

Biting into a perfectly crisp, flaky pastry can certainly feel like a life-changing experience, but in the case of Jackie Kai Ellis, that indulgence actually helped the Beaucoup Bakery owner whip up a new life. When Ellis flew to Paris to study pastry making at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, she left behind her life as a graphic designer with her own firm. The catalyst? A cookie. (more…)

Downtown Delight

By TIM PAWSEY

Roasted semi-boneless half chicken. (Photo: KK Law)

Roasted semi-boneless half chicken. (Photo: KK Law)

Tucked away in the Moda Hotel, Cibo Trattoria is a gem of a bistro in a sensitively restored heritage setting. The classic Italian dishes have a bit of a modern twist and use organic ingredients. House favourites include chitarra con vongole of saffron pasta with Salt Spring Island clams, an excellent charcuterie and salumi platter, short ribs braised with tomatoes and red wine, and pan-seared Mediterranean sea bass. The cellar yields a wealth of serious Italian drops, as well as regional and global offerings.

For more by Tim Pawsey visit www.hiredbelly.com

Due South

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Mamie Taylor's ham grenades

Mamie Taylor’s ham grenades

For the best down-home Southern fare this side of the Bayou, head to Mamie Taylor’s. The walls of this hip Chinatown eatery are adorned with a formidable collection of taxidermy, while the menu is decked out with classic American dishes. You can’t go wrong with the finger-licking-good fried chicken with chilli-honey drizzle, or the blissfully addictive ham grenades. The restaurant is named for a classic cocktail—and a turn-of-the-century opera singer—so don’t miss the namesake tipple or the Talladega Nights Julep. It’s southern hospitality at its best.

Edgy Asian

By TIM PAWSEY

Delicious dishes are served up at the Heritage Asian Eatery. (Photo: Amy Ho)

Delicious dishes are served up at Heritage Asian Eatery. (Photo: Amy Ho)

A new generation of chefs is pushing the boundaries of traditional cuisines. At downtown’s Heritage Asian Eatery, regulars revel in Felix Zhou’s breakfast crepes such as shiitake mushroom or pork jowl, as well as a plethora of bao, rice bowls and salads. On Main Street, Clement Chan’s minimalist but cozy Torafuku uses local ingredients in cheekily names plates such as Rye So messy (chicken wings) and Quack Addict (barbecue-duck spring rolls). In Chinatown, Tannis Ling’s Bao Bei rocks modern small plates with Taiwanese, Sichuan and Shanghainese influences, plus savvy wines and cocktails. Meanwhile, Kissa Tanto, Ling’s Japanese-Italian collab with business partner and chef Joel Watanabe, looks to be the most popular table in town.

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

Elegant Interval

By TIM PAWSEY

Holts Cafe serves dishes such as beetroots with goat cheese cannelloni. (Photo: KK Law)

Holts Café serves dishes such as beetroots with goat cheese cannelloni. (Photo: KK Law)

For the ultimate in-store sustenance, newly landed Holts Café (in Holt Renfrew) obliges with an impressive array of plates, from quick bites to mains and desserts. The smart and elegant room invites lingering over the lobster and Pacific shrimp roll, tuna seared rare on brioche with roasted red pepper relish, or Salt Spring Island mussels, perhaps with a glass of wine. Desserts are equally tempting, as is the extensive selection of teas and organic juices, plus well-chosen wines from BC and around the world.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Glorious Gluttony at Dine Out Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY

Some of Vancouver's top food trucks are part of the Dine Out Festival.

Some of the city’s top food trucks are part of Dine Out

Jan 20-Feb 5 In this city’s dining scene, the start of the new year means one thing: Dine Out! Over the last 15 years, the 17-day Dine Out Vancouver Festival has turned into Canada’s biggest celebration of food and drink, and for good reason. With a wealth of special events, tours, tastings and, above all, dinner deals, this all-things-comestible festival adds up to one enormous celebration of Vancouver’s blossoming dining culture. Every year the number of restaurants offering set menus grows, with three-course dinners offered at $20, $30 and $40, as well as some lunches. Many include optional wine pairings, yielding a chance to discover BC VQA wines.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

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

Of Love and Pasta

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Delicious dining at La Pentola. (Photo: Daniel Burke)

Delicious dining at La Pentola. (Photo: Daniel Burke)

Indulge in rustic Italian dishes just like Nonna used to make—even if it was someone else’s Nonna—at La Pentola. The menu of traditional dishes matches the classic space, making it the ideal place to live la dolce vita over perfectly executed plates of house-made pasta, creamy imported burrata and hearty mains like Fraser Valley lamb. Order à la carte, or for a slice of Italian hospitality, order à la famiglia and share five or seven courses with the ones you love. Perfezione.