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Where to Eat Vancouver

4 Asian Adventures

By TIM PAWSEY

Ocean Wise kaisen tomato ramen at Gyoza Bar + Ramen (Photo: KK Law)

Ocean Wise kaisen tomato ramen at Gyoza Bar + Ramen. (Photo: KK Law)

In this cosmopolitan town, myriad Pacific Rim flavours tempt at every turn.

1 Gyoza Bar + Ramen Find an edgy but cozy updated take on traditional ramen and gyoza in a warmly refurbished heritage setting. Go for the teppan gyoza served in a sizzling cast-iron pan, but don’t miss the kaisen tomato ramen brimming with fresh Ocean Wise seafood (pictured).

2 Banana Leaf This friendly, brightly decorated, casual chain celebrates all things Malaysian with wide-ranging cuisine from the heart of the Spice Route, such as rendang beef and Singapore chilli crab.

3 Kingyo Always hopping, this West End izakaya caters to a loyal following with polished small plates ranging from tantan noodles to miso-marinated black cod to pork tenderloin tempura.

4 Pink Elephant Thai Boldly fuchsia-toned, this Alberni Street haunt lures a lively crowd for smart cocktails, fusion dishes, and classic Thai tastes such as chicken satay, hot and sour soup, spring rolls, and spicy lettuce wraps with a choice of meats and tofu.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

‘Tis the Season

By SHERI RADFORD

Festive treats from Thomas Haas

Festive treats from Thomas Haas

Everyone knows that calories consumed during the holidays don’t count, right? Follow your festive sweet tooth to Bel Café, then sip an eggnog latte while choosing between the spiced whipped shortbread, butter tarts, raspberry linzer cookies, Christmas cakes, chocolate Santas and macaron trees. For even more seasonal sweets, visit Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie for confections such as chocolate trees (pictured), Christmas stollen, vanilla kipferl, Yule logs, chocolate sparkle cookies and holiday marshmallows. Here’s to a flavourful festive season (diets can wait until the new year).

Bella Gelateria’s Sweet Treats

By TIM PAWSEY

Award winning James Coleridge

Award winning James Coleridge (Photo: KK Law)

The first full-service room from gelato maestro James Coleridge, Bella Gelateria in Yaletown offers his celebrated gelato with other Italian treats such as Neapolitan pizza. Coleridge’s latest invention is the Gelatini: think affogato but with gelato instead of ice cream and a martini in lieu of coffee. Tiddly temptations abound, from Saffron Persia to Matcha Smasha to Wild Evita (salted caramel with scotch).

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Mahony & Sons: Irish Escape

By TIM PAWSEY

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons (Photo: KK Law)

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons. (Photo: KK Law)

Hop aboard the Aquabus (directly from the foot of Davie Street in Yaletown) to reach this newly unveiled, lavish Mahony & Sons, right on the False Creek waterfront at Stamp’s Landing. Drop by for casual bites such as fresh oysters on the half shell, thin-crust pizzas and burgers. Or tuck into classics such as Irish stew, Guinness-battered fish ’n’ chips, (Irish) bangers and mash, and plentiful West Coast chowder. Best-kept secret: the upstairs private room.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Spanish Modern

By TIM PAWSEY

Small bites at Salida 7 please all palates (Photo: KK Law)

Small bites at Salida 7 please all palates. (Photo: KK Law)

A block from Gastown’s Maple Tree Square, newly landed Salida 7 heralds a Spanish resurgence. The two-tier room and bar revels in its Catalan roots, with contemporary-styled tapas as well as classically grounded, sophisticated entrées. Early faves include steamed mussels, escalivada with sardines and extra virgin olive oil confit, Catalonian seafood soup with saffron aioli, and traditional fideuà: baked garlic vermicelli and Dungeness crab served paella style. Wines include no shortage of good cava and many unique labels from across Spain.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Chambar: Belgian Deluxe

By TIM PAWSEY

Chevreuil et chutney at Chambar (Photo: KK Law)

Chevreuil et chutney at Chambar. (Photo: KK Law)

A few steps from Rogers Arena and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Belgian-influenced Chambar cossets with its red-brick heritage interior, long bar and bustling lounge. Chef Nico Schuermans and his wife Karri have created a sustainable, ethically raised, all–Ocean Wise menu that’s also highly inventive. Favourites roam from pan-seared scallops (with mint pea purée and tandoori papadum) and moules frites congolaise to lamb shank tajine and venison short loin. Wines are well chosen, often unique and always thoughtfully paired, and cocktails are smartly conceived, at this carbon-neutral, stylish emporium.

For more from Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Winter Warm-Up at The Charles Bar

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Beer-Battered pickle spears at The Charles Bar

Beer-Battered pickle spears at The Charles Bar

The Charles Bar, a lively sports and suds spot in the trendy Woodward’s building, welcomes the arrival of sweater weather with seasonal menu additions. Elevated pub-food offerings include pistachio-crusted chicken parmesan and the chef’s famed bourbon BBQ ribs. Or sip from ample beer and cocktail offerings while noshing on tangy beer-battered pickle spears. Wait out winter from a cozy booth? Don’t mind if we do.

Brunch Bliss at Café Medina

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Decadent Liège waffles are a signature item at Café Medina

Decadent Liège waffles are a signature item at Café Medina

Just a hop, skip and jump from its original location, Café Medina’s new digs channel Parisian charm with a side of heavenly Liège waffles. The cafe is one of the most adored brunch spots in the city, so despite the newly expanded space, line-ups are still de rigueur—but well worth the wait. Treat taste buds to the luscious lavender latte, a perennial favourite, before tucking into tagine, fricassée or saumon fumé. On the run? Grab a waffle to go, topped with irresistible peach-bourbon butterscotch or blueberry-juniper preserve. It’s a guaranteed morning-maker.

Football Fever: Grey Cup 2014

The Grey Cup makes its way to Vancouver, bringing fast-paced football and four days of celebrations that go way beyond the usual end-zone dance

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

    The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

From the stands at BC Place Stadium to the streets of Vancouver, the 102nd Grey Cup promises to have fans on their feet for a weekend of football and festivities. The Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game will see the sports arena packed to capacity with 52,000 cheering fans on game day. But the celebrations don’t start—or end—there. Street festivals, a parade and concerts featuring Trooper, Tim Hicks, Hey Ocean! and 54-40 mean there’s just as much excitement outside the stadium as inside. (more…)

Football Fever: Grey Cup 2014

The Grey Cup makes its way to Vancouver, bringing fast-paced football and four days of celebrations that go way beyond the usual end-zone dance

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

    The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

From the stands at BC Place Stadium to the streets of Vancouver, the 102nd Grey Cup promises to have fans on their feet for a weekend of football and festivities. The Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game will see the sports arena packed to capacity with 52,000 cheering fans on game day. But the celebrations don’t start—or end—there. Street festivals, a parade and concerts featuring Trooper, Tim Hicks, Hey Ocean! and 54-40 mean there’s just as much excitement outside the stadium as inside. (more…)

Serious Steak

By TIM PAWSEY

Gotham serves mouth-watering steaks and cool cocktails. (Photo: KK Law)

Gotham serves mouth-watering steaks and cool cocktails. (Photo: KK Law)

A downtown destination that celebrates with unabashed flair and opulence, Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar lives up to its reputation for superb, 28-day dry-aged, prime Alberta beef, paired with vintages from one of the city’s most extensive cellars, displayed on an interactive iPad list. Start out at the art deco–inspired cocktail bar, perhaps with a classic Manhattan, before settling into the plush, wood-panelled main room. Highlights range from an impeccable porterhouse to bone-in New York strip to two sizes of filet mignon, plus seafood selections and steak-and-marine combos. The well-executed lunches lean towards lighter fare, such as lobster bisque, tuna Niçoise, a hand-peeled shrimp sandwich and Dungeness crab cakes with lemon-dill mayonnaise.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Get Cooking!

By SHERI RADFORD

Learn tips and tricks from the experts at The Dirty Apron, either with classes or a cookbook

Learn tips and tricks from the experts at The Dirty Apron, either with a class or a cookbook

If you can’t tell your mandoline from your mortar and pestle, The Dirty Apron Cooking School can help, with offerings ranging from Ocean Potion: The Seafood Class (Oct. 4, Nov. 13) to Meat Eaters Unite: The Meat Class (Nov. 20). Even if you’re already a budding Nigella or Emeril in the kitchen, the school’s chef instructors can help you improve your technique. For those who prefer to learn at home, The Dirty Apron Cookbook by David Robertson ($34.95) features more than 80 of the school’s tried-and-true dishes along with insider tips and tricks. Find it at local bookstores. Bon appétit!