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Where to Eat Vancouver

French Fare at Tableau Bar Bistro

By TIM PAWSEY

Niçoise salad (front left) and steak frites at Tableau Bar Bistro. (Photo: KK Law)

Niçoise salad (front left) and steak frites at Tableau Bar Bistro. (Photo: KK Law)

Tucked away beside the Loden Hotel, Tableau Bar Bistro delivers French cuisine in a relaxed but polished setting. The menu shifts seasonally, but some stalwarts always prevail, such as grilled flat iron steak frites, free-range chicken supreme, moules frites and albacore tuna niçoise, as well as irresistible mushrooms on toast. For dessert: coconut crème brûlée, chocolate mousse and other surprises. Wines are smartly chosen, cocktails are classic, and brews range from local on tap to specialty French and Belgian.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Terrific Thai

By TIM PAWSEY

Chu-chee salmon at U & I Thai. (Photo: KK Law)

Chu-chee salmon at U & I Thai. (Photo: KK Law)

Cleverly monikered U & I Thai stands for Ui Ratsomjit, who calls on her upbringing and experience running a food cart in Bangkok to offer authentic dishes using fresh local ingredients. Friendly servers in traditional costumes bring mainstays ranging from green papaya salad to stuffed chicken wings to pad thai with prawns and satays, plus coconut with crème brûlée for dessert.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Green Grocer: Be Fresh Local Market

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Produce at Be Fresh Local Market

Produce at Be Fresh Local Market

Picking up provisions can feel like a chore, especially when on the quest for healthy, convenient cuisine. That’s why Be Fresh Local Market’s diminutive cafes and grocery store really pack a punch. Local products—think Nice Vice ice cream and Erin Ireland’s To Die For banana bread—a juice bar, bakery and to-go meals line the carefully curated shelves, for a fresh take on refuelling. Plus, the Kitsilano location boasts a grocery shop on-site, with plenty of farm-fresh produce and artisan fare. Added bonus: the focus on sustainability. Over-ripe produce gets slated for the juicer, and grocery delivery by bike through partner SPUD is on offer. Easy as (organic) pie.

4 Oyster Emporiums

By TIM PAWSEY

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar has something for every bivalve enthusiast. (Photo: KK Law)

The city celebrates the first of the “R” months in style.

1. Fanny Bay Oyster Bar This just-launched tide-to-table room brings in several kinds of fresh oysters and more from pristine local waters. Go for the salmon burger, hangtown fry or battered lingcod, but don’t miss the daily buck-a-shuck: 12 for $12, from 3 to 6 p.m. (more…)

Contemporary Cuisine in Chinatown

By TIM PAWSEY

The charcuterie board at Juniper is brimming with bison peppercorn salami, chicken liver parfait, pickles and more. (Photo: KK Law)

The charcuterie board at Juniper brims with bison peppercorn salami, chicken liver parfait, pickles and more. (Photo: KK Law)

One of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, Chinatown is home to a clutch of edgy restos. Juniper celebrates all things Cascadian, such as Salish Sea mussels, seared black cod with sungolds, Fraser Valley pork chops with cheesy polenta and bean succotash, and a BC cheese board with local honey. Cocktails, too, are inventive, from variations on classics made with BC gins to the lemon-and-ginger-toned Wing Sang whisky sour. Wander by Sai Woo for casual contemporary Asian bites matched with smart sips in a dramatically refurbished 1930s chop suey house. Or, head to bustling Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie for crossover Sichuan and Shanghai small plates, and more good cocktails.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

The Must List: September

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Take in spectacular views of the city on a flightseeing tour. (Photo: KK Law)

Take in spectacular views of the city on a flightseeing tour. (Photo: KK Law)

Give two thumbs up to top-notch performances at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (Sep. 8 to 18, 2016) and the Vancouver International Film Festival (Sep. 29 to Oct. 14, 2016).

Fill your camera with photos of landmarks such as the Gastown Steam Clock, Olympic Cauldron, Inukshuk, Digital Orca, Canada Place and A-maze-ing Laughter.

Eat sushi. (more…)

Feast for the Eyes at MARKET by Jean-Georges

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Strawberry mousse at MARKET by Jean-Georges The Muses Dinner

Strawberry mousse at MARKET by Jean-Georges The Muses Dinner

At MARKET by Jean-Georges, masterpieces on the plate are pleasing palates and palettes alike. Inspired by the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Picasso: The Artist and His Muses (to Oct. 2, 2016), The Muses Dinner series presents pretty-as-a-picture dishes influenced by the women who left an impression on Picasso’s personal life and paintbrush. Throughout September, sample dazzling and delectable four-course menus inspired by the fiercely independent Françoise Gilot and enigmatic Jacqueline Roque. Cubism never tasted so good.

Get the Scoop

Make your summer even sweeter with a creamy, dreamy scoop at one—or all—of these frozen favourites

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Earnest Ice Cream. (Photo: KK Law)

Earnest Ice Cream. (Photo: KK Law)

1. Earnest Ice Cream Small batches and local ingredients give these popular scoops a grown-up feel, but flavours like cinnamon heart, lavender and toasted marshmallow will make you feel like a kid again. (more…)

Hawksworth Redux: Nightingale

By TIM PAWSEY

Heirloom tomato salad with cucumber and eggplant (front) and Pacific octopus (back), at Nightingale

Heirloom tomato salad with cucumber and eggplant (front) and Pacific octopus (back), at Nightingale. (Photo: KK Law)

Nightingale, the much-anticipated room from culinary virtuoso David Hawksworth, has opened in the artfully renovated former premises of the historic University Club. The reincarnated heritage space features a lively lower-level lounge below soaring ceilings, with the expansive dining area upstairs. The mood is casually elegant, and the seasonal menu salutes all things Canadian. Perfect share dishes roam from wild spring salmon ceviche with radish and quinoa to grilled pork belly with nectarine and pistachio. Another highlight is the savoury maitake mushroom, which arrives with pecorino, brown butter and hazelnut, while desserts include a seriously addictive pot de crème. Best foodie seats in the house: a clutch of high-tops right across from the open kitchen—unless you already have an invitation to the chef’s table.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Outdoor Eating

When the weather’s warm, there’s plenty to adore about the great outdoors. Savour the sunshine and dine alfresco with these options

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Mexican-themed fare at Tacofino. (Photo: KK Law)

Mexican-themed fare at Tacofino. (Photo: KK Law)

Creative Carts
Food carts are on a roll, with new four-wheeled eateries taking to the streets all the time. It’s a veritable moveable feast, featuring “à la cart” cuisines that hail from all corners of the globe. At the forefront of the street-food trend is Japadog, known for serving hot dogs trimmed with toppings such as bonito flakes, shredded seaweed or miso mayo to celebrities like Ice Cube, Anthony Bourdain and Mark Zuckerberg. Tacofino’s White Lightning makes waves with Baja-inspired tacos and burritos stuffed with crispy lingcod or pork al pastor, and brightened with salsa fresca, chipotle mayo and avocado. Chef Vikram Vij, famed for his trail-blazing bricks-and-mortar restaurants, makes crave-worthy Indian flavours mobile—try the butter chicken schnitzel, sold through the window of Vij’s Railway Express. (more…)

Sunday Seafood Boil at Boulevard

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Sample seafood at Boulevard's Sunday Seafood Boil

Sample seafood at Boulevard’s Sunday Seafood Boil

Tie one on—a bib, we mean—because things are about to get messy. Boulevard’s popular East Coast–inspired Sunday Seafood Boil Series returns for its second year, after proving to be a smashing success. A bounty of clams, crawfish, Dungeness crab and mussels are piled high on butcher’s paper and served family-style alongside corn on the cob, potatoes, bacon cornbread and blueberry pie. A glass of bubbly beforehand kicks off the nautical-themed feast. Grab a few friends and get crackin’, Aug. 14, 21 and 28.

Brunch Bliss at Jam Cafe

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pulled-pork pancakes at Jam Cafe

Pulled-pork pancakes at Jam Cafe

The name may recall that most basic of breakfast ingredients, but trust us, Jam Cafe is anything but basic. Locals and visitors alike crowd into this all-day breakfast joint for the rustic, laid-back vibe and creative menu of down-home dishes. Hearty options abound, but you can’t go wrong with the blissfully indulgent red velvet pancakes drizzled in cream cheese icing, French toast adorned with crispy fried chicken and pickled cabbage, or pulled pork sandwiched between a pair of fluffy pancakes (pictured). Locally roasted coffee keeps patrons buzzing, but it’s the bacon-garnished Caesars that really have kick. Be sure to save a little room—they also serve lunch.