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Where to Eat Vancouver

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

Talk Like a Pirate Day

By SHERI RADFORD

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

No need to walk the plank: landlubbers and salty dogs alike take part in International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which happens every year on Sep. 19. And there’s a treasure trove of pirate-themed fun in Vancouver.

Brush up on your facts with I Wonder Why Pirates Wore Earrings by Pat Jacobs and Wow! Surprising Facts About Pirates by Philip Steele (at local bookstores). Put your new knowledge to use composing a sonnet or haiku with a Pirate Magnetic Poetry Kit—though perhaps a ribald sea shanty would be more apropos. Discover all sorts of nautical lore at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and if swashbuckling swordplay is more your thing, visit Academie Duello to learn how to use a rapier, longsword and more.

Look the part in a skull t-shirt by Strellson (at The Bay), an anchor ring handmade by Vancouver company Lacar (at Cavalier) and an anchor pendant from Thomas Sabo. Deck out your abode with an anchor doormat from Kikkerland and a Jolly Roger from The Flag Shop. Carry your buccaneer booty home in a tote bag from Make.

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress a pint-sized pirate in an adorable shirt made from ultra-soft bamboo/cotton by local company Pineapple Pete Kids and a Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates watch by Flik Flak (at Swatch The Store). Then keep the rapscallions and scallywags busy with Pirate Adventure Dice (at www.amazon.ca), a sailing trip around False Creek with Pirate Adventures or a visit to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which on Sep. 19 features a pirate-themed scavenger hunt with the grand prize of a chocolate treasure chest. Also popular with the 10-and-under crowd is a Pirate Pak meal from White Spot, served in a cardboard boat.

Pillaging and plundering are hard work, so bring your appetite to the Burrard Bridge Marine Bar & Grill. Known as Vancouver’s pirate pub, this charming eatery goes overboard for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, with themed contests, drink specials, swag, trivia and a photo booth, plus a prize for the best-dressed pirate.

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! If no grog is handy to wash down your rations, try some Crystal Head Vodka. Manufactured in Canada, this additive-free spirit was created by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, who designed the distinctive skull bottle (at local liquor stores).

Shiver me timbers, if only this day came around more than once a year!

Decked-Out Decor

By KRISTEN MORAN

Dine amongst beautiful decor, and all for a good cause

Dine amongst beautiful decor, and all for a good cause

September 21 and 22

Dining at lavish, whimsical tablescapes and sipping elegant cocktails while supporting a good cause? Monogram Dinner by Design really sets the bar high for an unforgettable culinary experience. The event sees 15 interior designers transform small spaces into inventive dining rooms, in themes ranging from ultra-chic to fanciful, creating a feast for the eyes. Come to the Cocktail Art evening (Sep. 21) for mingling, drinks and live entertainment, or opt for the Gala Dinner (Sep. 22) to enjoy a delectable meal at one of the extraordinary tables, with proceeds going to the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.

Pleasantly Pubby

By TIM PAWSEY

Pork pie accompanied by  a pint of Guinness. (Photo: KK Law)

Pork pie accompanied by a pint of Guinness. (Photo: KK Law)

Pop by the West End’s Fat Badger and you’ll find more than a hint of what’s helped to put the UK back on the dining map. Chef and co-owner Neil Taylor hails from Berkshire, which bestows full licence for “serious” pub food with a local twist in a conversation-friendly, TV-free setting. Recent favourites include whisky-cured salmon, pork belly and terrine. But don’t miss the Scotch eggs; the trio of Yorkshire puddings with roast beef, gravy and horseradish; the sinfully good sticky toffee pudding—or the parade of appropriate taps, from Smithwick’s to Guinness to Kilkenny and more.

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

Beachy Brunch at Calabash Bistro

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

French toast with a tropical twist, at Calabash Bistro

French toast with a tropical twist, at Calabash Bistro

Islands-inspired French toast, pastries and eggs—all served with a side of Bob Marley and a Dark & Stormy. That’s what you’ll find at Calabash Bistro’s weekend brunch. Tropical temptations range from brunch bowls complete with coconut rundown hollandaise—a custard-like coconut reduction—and fried plantains, to French toast (pictured) served with delectable banana cream and spiced mango syrup on fresh-baked Guyanese coconut bread. Plus, beachy bevvies such as sorrel rum punch may take brunch into lunch and beyond. Paradise, found.

Why We Love Farmers’ Markets

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

There is a lot to love at Vancouver's farmers' markets

There is a lot to love at Vancouver’s farmers’ markets

Local Eating Though most meals travel 2,400 km (1,491 mi) from producer to plate, market produce usually travels less than 300 km (186 mi), which is great for the planet—and tastes better, too.

Fresh Produce In-season fruits and veggies make for picnic perfection, and September boasts a bounty of local fare:
Apples
Carrots
Grapes
Lettuce
Melons
Pears
Plums
Peppers
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Zucchini

Sweet Services Need a massage? Or fresh-cut flowers? How about knife sharpening? Many booths go far beyond fresh fruits and veggies.

Spirited Sips Find craft beer at R&B, or spirits produced from local ingredients at Odd Society and Long Table Distillery. Or for something truly unique, try the fortified walnut wine at Vista D’oro.

Cool Crafts A local handicraft makes a great souvenir. Chat with artisans over jewellery, pottery, beeswax products (delectable local honey included), chocolates, artworks, aromatherapy, woodwork and more.

Local markets are open rain or shine, and dogs are welcome