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Tim Pawsey

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

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

5 Fishy Finds

By TIM PAWSEY

Fish 'n' Chips with a view at Go Fish. (Photo: KK Law)

Fish ‘n’ Chips with a view, at Go Fish. (Photo: KK Law)

The city boasts no shortage of pescetarian options, often in sparkling shoreside settings.

1. Go Fish Line up for fish tacos, seared tuna burgers and more, served dock-side with a dash of creativity, just a few steps west of Granville Island.

2. Pajo’s These bare-bones waterside fish ’n’ chipperies in Steveston, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam serve some of the best halibut, cod and salmon you’ll taste anywhere.

3. Troll’s Restaurant This family-friendly spot opened in 1946, predating the nearby Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. Find more seafood than you can shake a prawn at, plus buckets of nostalgia.

4. Mr. Pickwick’s Fish & Chips Landlocked but still worthy, this Marpole fave wins rave reviews for its British-style F&C, plus deep-fried Mars bars—and gluten-free batter on request.

5. Raincity Grill This quintessential West Coast room dispenses excellent fish ’n’ chips from its handy Denman Street take-out window right across from English Bay.

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

Tapping In at Craft Beer Market

By TIM PAWSEY

No doubt about it: there's a brew to suit every palate at Craft Beer Market. (Photo: KK Law)

No doubt about it: there’s a brew to suit every palate at Craft Beer Market. (Photo: KK Law)

An expansive, restored 1930s warehouse in the heart of Olympic Village now plays host to Craft Beer Market, a true brew emporium. Walk in and be amazed by the parade of 138 taps, served by over 4 km (2.5 mi) of beer lines, featuring the best of local, craft and imported ales. On the menu: casual American pub fare with a West Coast personality, from flatbreads to sliders to pasta—plus plenty of happening sports on an array of flat-screen TVs.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Downtown’s Dining Delights

By TIM PAWSEY

Clams with corned veal tongue, fregola and saffron, at Cinara. (Photo: KK Law)

Clams with corned veal tongue, fregola and saffron, at Cinara. (Photo: KK Law)

Superlative tastes in a beautifully restored heritage setting are what you’ll find at Cinara, the just-opened, detail-driven room at the corner of Pender and Homer. Already garnering rave reviews, the modern European tastes have ranged from Mediterranean-style grilled squid to chicken liver parfait to braised rabbit to duck breast with quince and turnip. Portions come as small plates as well as mains, with smart wine pairings and cocktails, all served in a relaxing but sophisticated setting. For classic French with a West Coast nod, drop by gently retro Burgundy Restaurant on edgy Hastings near Abbott. Or, for well-made casual Italian, with handmade pasta and gluten-free options, head to popular Ask for Luigi in Railtown, just east of Gastown.

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

Just Grazin’

By TIM PAWSEY

Antipasti board at Graze Food & Drink. (Photo: KK Law)

Antipasti board at Graze Food & Drink. (Photo: KK Law)

Uber-sustainable and cozy, Graze Food & Drink (pictured) delivers outside-the-box, detail-driven vegetarian plates. For more leafy (and other) bites, head to The Acorn, which placed 9th in enRoute’s 2013 list of the best new restaurants across Canada, or to the venerable The Naam, which dates from Kitsilano’s hippy heyday.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

A Toast to PICA’s Julian Bond

By TIM PAWSEY

Julian Bond loves teaching at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. (Photo: KK Law)

Julian Bond loves teaching at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. (Photo: KK Law)

Julian Bond started teaching almost by accident. The executive chef of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) says he was invited to do a guest lecture, which was supposed to last 30 minutes. “But I wound up talking for 90,” he says with a laugh. “It was all about braising lamb neck. I still think it’s the best cut!” (more…)