The #PopUpPatio at The Westin Grand is Back for Another Summer

Westin Grand Pop Up Patio 3

Above the bustling intersection of Homer and Robson is the sun-drenched poolside terrace of The Westin Grand, Vancouver. Once again this space has been transformed into the #PopUpPatio, a bustling rooftop patio lounge open Thursday and Friday evenings. Guests can unwind and refresh after a hard day of work in this relaxed atmosphere with soft seating, green gardens and live DJ music. Continue reading “The #PopUpPatio at The Westin Grand is Back for Another Summer”

Lift Bar and Grill Happy Hour Menu Preview

Lift Bar and Grill Happy Hour Menu Preview

lift bar happy hour
lift bar happy hour menu preview

For you lucky slackers not chained to their desk from 9-5, you get to take full advantage of happy hour specials.  Lift Bar and Grill recently launched their Happy Hour Menu. The entire food bar menu is half priced, every day, between 3 – 6PM. For more, check out my list of happy hour specials.

Don’t forget to take advantage of their buck – a – shucks during happy hour. I absolutely recommend pairing oysters with a brew or wine. It’s the perfect palette marriage, one without the other is just not the same. I also have a list of current buck a shucks promotions.

The bar menu could be compared to an English Language School, a mish mash of different cultures. The menu went from Japanese to west coast to Italian.

My night started with a glass of prosecco and Japanese inspired bites. Vegetable and prawn tempura and dynamite and tuna rolls.

I have an aversion to ordering sushi rolls at posh western restaurants. They are ridiculously overpriced and, you are paying a premium for their fancy plates and cutlery. That being said, the dynamite roll was damn good. Would I pay $6 for it during happy hour? Yes.  Regular price at $12? No.

As the night rolled on I got to sample their crab cakes, which was drizzled with almond lemon mayonnaise and crispy capers. Delicious. Serrano and burrata flat bread with artichoke puree, baby arugula and aged balsamic. It’s very hard to go wrong when burrata and serrano are put together.

If you want the best bang for your buck I recommend the truffle fries $4 and the charcuterie plate $6. It’s scrumptious and one of the best deals in Vancouver.

 

 

 

Author: Caroline Lau

Tableau Bistro Loden Hotel – Old School Comfort

Tableau Bistro, located inside the Loden Hotel serves a locally inspired French menu.

I’m sorry, I haven’t been blogging for a while, I was dying of exhaustion. It took me 12 hours of sleep on Sunday to fully recover from a week-long binge of drinking, eating and debauchery. Vegas is not a relaxing vacation spot. ;I’ve been thinking of going on a cleanse but, seriously who was I kidding, how could a restaurant blogger go on a cleanse and still be able to blog??

Now, I’m back!

I’ve been going to Tableau a lot these past couple of weeks. I always, love coming here, if I ever wanted to relax in a comfortable and nice environment, Tableau is the first place to come to mind and, admittedly it’s one of the closest restaurants to where I live. To my friends outside of downtown…I’m sorry I made you trek all the way downtown but, aren’t you glad you did?

This is a good first date spot. If your date turns out to be a bore you would also have other first dates around you for entertainment.

The service was attentive and the food for the most part was delicious. There were a few dishes that were off but, generally they rated 4/5. Tableau makes one of the best TWENTIETH CENTURY cocktails in Vancouver gin, white chocolate syrup, lillet, lemon and, egg white.

Absolutely DELISH!

I recently went to Bottleneck on Granville, review to come, I ordered the same cocktail and they came back with some disgusting licorice mouthwash concoction. Arghhh gag I can still taste it.

So on to the food….

Lamb chops – we all loved this dish. Unfortunately, this is a seasonal dish and is no longer available on their summer menu. The meat was so packed with flavor and the smokiness really came through. 4/5.

Lamb chops
Lamb chops

Mushrooms on toast, I know, I was skeptical at first, it’s mushrooms on toast, how phenomenal could this be? Our server told us this was one of their popular appetizers so we decided to give it a try. ;I was pleasantly surprised, this was good! ; Expensive for what it is but, I’m a big fan of mushrooms and this is now one of my favourite dishes on the menu 4.5/5

Mushrooms on toast
Mushrooms on toast

French onion soup, crouton-less, the fragrant was amazing. This rich soup was so flavourful, after I finished the bowl, I was pretty much full.

French onion soup, crouton-less
French onion soup, crouton-less

Burger and fries – Gruyère cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato. I rate burgers by the quality of the patty and the condiments. The patty was juicy and the bun was toasted. Other than the Gruyère there wasn’t much that set this burger apart from every other burger. 3/5

Burger and fries
Burger and fries

Rabbit Dijionaise pan-fried, although it tasted like it was braised. The meat was a sopping mess. 2/5

Rabbit Dijionaise pan fried
Rabbit Dijionaise pan-fried

Beef tartare, the quality of the meat was superb. 4/5

Beef Tartare  with quail egg
Beef Tartare with quail egg

Gnocchi pan-fried was nice and buoyant, often gnocchi’s are doughy, this was perfect. 4/5

Gnocchi pan fried
Gnocchi pan-fried

Garganelli pasta with meatballs was simple and delicious. 4/5.

Garganelli pasta with meatballs
Garganelli pasta with meatballs

Steelhead trout with quinoa 3.5/5

Steelhead trout with
Steelhead trout with

Banana cake and peanut brittle and carmalized and chocolate ice-cream. They ran out of peanut brittle, and cake itself was hard and too dense. 2/5 I was looking forward to the peanut brittle too.

Banana cake with peanut brittle
Banana cake with peanut brittle

Coffee cheesecake, light in texture and also in flavor. 2.5/5

Tableau Bar Bistro on Urbanspoon

Reflections – Chic Rooftop Patio Lounge

Reflections is a chic rooftop patio at Hotel Georgia, it is definitely one of the nicer rooftop patios in Vancouver.

Reflection rooftop lounge, patio

The time I went it was packed with the work crowd sneaking off early to start their weekend binge. I went around 3PM on Friday and, by 4PM it was packed.

Don’t let the picture fool you, I snapped it when I arrived and this is only half of the patio, the other half is uncovered.

Didn’t get to try the food but, the drinks were good. Standard sky-high hotel cocktail prices $12. This particular drink is the Hotel Georgia, Plymouth Gin, Lemon Juice, Orgeat Syrup, Orange Blossom Water, Egg White, Nutmeg. I just came from the gym and one drink was all I could enjoy otherwise I’d fall out of my seat.

Hotel Georgia Wine Lounge

Atmosphere is relaxing, almost like I’m on a Vegas vacation sipping cocktails under the sun. Also like Vegas, it is a meat market. The girls are hot and there are plenty of men.

Reflections on Urbanspoon

Cibo Trattoria – Best Ravioli

Italian Fine Dining in the heart of Vancouver downtown. Serving traditional tasty Italian dishes.

The room makes me think of Whistler, gleaming wood and fireplace lighting with glamorous chandeliers hanging from their tall ceilings.

My weekend dinners are late in the evening and, by the time I’m about to eat I am lightheaded from starvation. I attacked the cheese bread like the first day after a no-carb diet.

Cheese bread @ Cibo

Chicken Liver Toscana, it was tasty but, the slabs of pickles made it too sour. I would have preferred if it was served on something more inspiring than two pieces of toast. 3/5

Chicken liver toscana @ Cibo

One of my favourite ingredients is pumpkin. That being said, I’ve tried so many pumpkin dishes that I know when a dish fails to meet my crazy expectations. This Pumpkin Ravioli passed my test. The pumpkin really came through and it was so creamy 4/5

Pumpkin ravioli @ Cibo

Roast suckling pig, Very moist and tender I love the mint. The rosemary however was overpowering. 3/5

Roast suckling pig @ Cibo

Roast ling cod, well prepared but the dish fell flat. It was too simple and lacked the layers of flavor found in our other dishes. 2.5/5

Roast ling cod @ Cibo

Cibo Trattoria & Uva Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Eight 1/2 – Casual Hipster Restaurant

We decided to get out of downtown for a change and explore Mount Pleasant. Eight ½ is quite hidden but, they were bustling for a weeknight almost every table was taken. The atmosphere was casual almost hipster and the food reflected that.

Bacon sliders, the corn gave it a nice sweet flavor all in all it was decent. The patty was a little on the dry side but the sauce was rich. 3/5

eight 1/2 bacon burger sliders

Perogies, are supposed to be a little cirspy and seared on the outside and soft on the inside. This was just soggy and bland
perogies

Seafood Bouillabaisse Soup, the soup was flavorful and chalk full of seafood. This could definitely fill you up and more 3.5/5

boullbaise

eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge on Urbanspoon

Hawksworth at Georgia Hotel – Not Exuberantly Expensive As Expected

One of the most buzzed about restaurant this winter would have to be Hawksworth at The Georgia Hotel. Previous executive chef at West, David Hawksworth had exceptionally high expectations to meet. Most of us have been anticipating Hawksworth opening since 2008!!! That’s when the first hint was leaked.

We thought to indulge ourselves during lunch. The décor is opulent with the huge hanging chandeliers and a pristine dining room.  Get ready for some spectacular people watching spot too.  I was a bit hesitant to go at first,  thought it would cost me an arm and a leg but, the prices are just a tad more than Cactus’s, at least during lunch.

Now the food…

Bartlett pear salad speck, burrata, roasted shallot $16. The salad was light and on the bland side.  It was however, a good choice to clean your palette. Burrata, a type of creamy Italian cheese made from mozza and cream gave the dish a buttery texture. 2/5
Bartlett pear salad

48 hr beef shortrib black pepper jam, honeydew, green papaya, peanut, Thai basil $16. This was our favourite dish. I can’t believe the shortribs were still intact after 48 hours of braising.

HOW?!?!

Even when you slice through it, was very tender but still held its shape. The combination of the short ribs with the peanuts and honeydew were delicious. 4/5

48hr shortrib black

Hawksworth beef burger applewood smoked bacon, aged cheddar, frites $18. It’s a regular burger, the patty wasn’t juicy. Now the burger at Mahoney and Son’s, located at the Convention Center is a BURGER. 3/5

Hawksworth Burger

Hawksworth Burger. 2jpg

Hawksworth on Urbanspoon