Annual Taste of Yaletown 2013 , Oct 16 – 27

The Yaletown Business Improvement Association today announced that the 9th annual Taste of Yaletown (TOY) will run from October 16 – 27th, 2013, with a record number of 30 participating restaurants. This year, the popular dining event will move away from limited 3-course menus to offer creativity and flexibility to chefs, who can now offer any menu combination at set prices of $25, $35 and $45. Organizers expect to see a diverse and exciting offering, with specific emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients as a result of this change. Additionally, TOY 2013 will also include lunchtime menu offerings alongside the traditional dinner. The addition of lunch will be supported and promoted through a unique, free trolley service to Yaletown for the public.

“Taste of Yaletown has remained one of the most popular dining events in the city for the past 9 years, and we are dedicated to continuing to push the envelope on delivering a unique experience for diners. This year we have introduced a few exciting changes that we are confident will make it even easier and more exciting than ever to attend Taste of Yaletown,” states Annette O’Shea, Executive Director of the Yaletown Business Improvement Association. “The fact that we have a record 30 restaurants on board this year is a testament to TOY’s continual growth and strength.”

Changes to the menus for Taste of Yaletown will see the event move away from the traditional 3-course dinner offering set at $25, $35 and $45 price points. This year, chefs and restaurateurs will have the freedom to serve up any combination of items or courses under the same price points, meaning that the public will receive something truly unique and carefully selected at each restaurant. Menus will not be limited by number of courses and can include beverages pairings inside of the set prices as well.

“Yaletown is home to some of the cities best chefs, many of whom view Taste of Yaletown as a time to showcase their creativity. Removing the limitations of number of courses has opened things up further so that they are free to decide how best to deliver their very best to customers. I suspect we will see a huge range in exciting menus this year – everything from a 7-course tasting to a menu that includes drinks as well as food. The public will have so many new options to discover,” explains O’Shea.

Taste of Yaletown will also expand to offer set-price lunch menus in addition to dinner this year. Restaurants are being encouraged to demonstrate creativity for lunch as well and the YaletownBusiness Improvement Association has taken a direct approach in promoting the emphasis on lunch by arranging for a public trolley to take customers from other areas of the downtown core, intoYaletown for lunch and then delivering them back to work within the hour. The trolley will run for free throughout TOY and schedules and locations can be found through the TOY website and social media channels.

List of participating restaurants and menus

 

CC: press release, image:http://yaletowninfo.com

Les Dames d’Escoffier Chefs’ Table Dine Around – Aug 24

Les Dames d'Escoffier Chefs' Table Dine Around

It’s one of the most fun and best value culinary fundraisers of the year. The Les Dames d’Escoffier Dine Around.  Over twenty restaurants, vineyards, gardens and cooking schools from Vancouver to Whistler, Victoria to Kelowna, North Vancouver to White Rock each donating one “table” for a concurrent dinner party. Same night. Same time. Same price. Just $69 per person including wine.  You choose the restaurant. We choose the menu and the wine.

Each restaurant is priced exactly the same, with each restaurant donating the food menu and table and a winery donating the wine. Gratuity is not included. Restaurants have designed their menu to highlight their own cuisine, so please note this is a night to celebrate food and although health related allergies will be taken into consideration, the menus are set so no special requests can be accommodated.

Your table may be in the dining room or it may be in a very special location like the kitchen or wine room. For those locations offering an outdoor dining experience, particularly in the form of a “picnic” dinner, guests will be informed so as to dress appropriately.

Choose a new restaurant or one of your favourites. Buy a couple of seats at the table, or take the entire table. Some venues have donated 4 seats, some 6, some 8. Each restaurant is priced exactly the same. Les dames members Sea Cider and Spierhead Winery are just some of the wineries joining us this year.

Both restaurant and winery are donating 100% of the food, service and wine, so all proceeds from the dinners will be donated to Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, for scholarship and outreach funding. We kindly ask therefore that you do tip your server.

Additionally, a gourmet raffle will be held featuring select Les Dames d’Escoffier member products such as a $100 Shaughnessy Restaurant at Van Dusen dining gift certificate, gourmet baskets, cookbooks, cooking classes from the Dirty Apron Cooking School and tickets to the Vancouver Island Feast of Fields with tickets drawn that night both online and live at an after party at the Hamilton Street Grill in Yaletown. All dames, chefs, restaurateurs and guests are invited!

Buy your tickets here Eventbrite

 

Source:  Les Dames d’Escoffier British Columbia

Wednesday Happy Hour Specials

Wednesday Happy Hour

Celebrate Humpday with a these happy hour and drink specials

Also check out these Daily Happy Hour Specials

Notturno Paninoteca-$5 wine, $5 bruschetta’s all night (closed for renovations)

El Camino’s  – The Cubano & Pint of Main st Pilsner $10, Double Cuba Libres $5 – All night

Kibo Izakaya Restaurant & Lounge – Sake Sake $13 hot, $10 cold

Hooker’s Green – Pub Trivia Wednesdays 7PM, $5 wings, $5 Carlsberg, $4.25 craft beer sleeve

The Wine Bar – All wine on tap $8, All bottles are 25% off

Cibo Trattoria & Uva – whiskey! $5 singles & $9 doubles

Denman Tap House – $1.00 & $1.50 tacos. $2.50 soft tacos. Ceviche, quesadillas & more. Buckets of SOL

Glowbal Grill – All bottled wines 50% off

Brioche Urban Eatery – 4 Courses $19

Kaya Malay – wine $6

Academic Public House – Wings $4

The Butcher & Bullock: Cocktails $8.50

Cinema – 1lb wings $5, Phillips beer $4.25, cocktails $6.50

East of Main – select glasses of wine $6

Grain tasting Bar – spring creek meatballs and grilled bread $6, Bangkok mule $6, lighthouse brewing co $5

Gramercy Grill – Mussels and frites $10

Versace Pizza – No corkage fees

Milestones – Two 3 Course Dinners $50, 1 shared appie, 2 entrees, shared dessert. View menu via Milestones link

Coast – 50% off appetizer 3-6PM, buck a shuck 3-5PM

Milestones Summer Menu – Not Your Typical Chain

Milestones Yaletown
source: Eurolite.com

I was invited with several other passionate foodies to preview Milestones Summer Chef Tasting Menu. 6 dishes paired with 6 wines from Constellation Wines.

Milestones have really stepped up their game. Within the past 8 months, Chef Russo and his Culinary Team have created and launched around 15 new menu items with another 10 rolling out in the coming months.
Their efforts to be more food driven has really revitalized their menu and speaks volume to the creativity and quality of the dishes on their menu. Now don’t scoff, I realize being a chain with over 50 restaurants across the country usually does not go hand in hand with culinary creativity. I used to be one of those people, chain restaurants would be the last place I think about going to. In fact, I might have used the term “fah-’actus” once or twice on Food Persuasion.

**Personal note** I’ve f’g accidentally deleted the folder containing pictures from my Milestone dinner from my drive and it’s disappeared. Ack! I’m still sore about this. I was going batty, the pictures were awesome. Enough bitching…getting over it, back to Milestones.

I sat beside Chris Meeds, Milestones Regional Manager, past Milestone’s Chef and, he said something that really peaked my foodie interest. Generally, the menu is the same throughout the chain but, each Chef is encouraged to give their own personal spin to it. They are local, they know their patron’s palette, know what they like, fostering culinary creativity and experimentation. “You are a chef, so be a chef” was the advice Chef Russo gave to Chris when he was a Milestone’s Chef.

Their drinks menu will be the next to roll out. Keep an eye for some delicious craft beers and, local wine on tap.

About Milestone’s private dining room in Yaletown, it is gorgeous. I don’t know why I never think to throw dinner parties here. F’g, NO PICTURE

6 Dishes from Milestones Summer Chef Tasting Menu

Wine pairing review to come…

Crispy quinoa shrimp with chimichurri aioli and vegetable slaw. The quinoa is raw, washed with egg and then quickly deep-fried. So instead of the crispy, greasy texture you get with battered almost anything, this is crunchy. A creative use of quinoa, the chimichurri aioli, was delicious. I would have loved it more if the quinoa battered didn’t fall apart once you cut into it.

Panko Blue Crab Cakes, the batter was too overwhelming, the filling itself was decent but a very typical dish. I guess the menu has to include the staples to satisfy the non adventurous palettes.
Spicy Thai Basil Stirfry, rice noodles, shrimp and coconut milk. Alright, show me a chain restaurant that does Asian cuisine well? One of their more popular dishes, I didn’t expect it to be authentic. Overall this was good, the sauce was a little too gluttony for my liking but the flavours were great. It’s a western take on a classic Thai dish.

Grilled Japanese Tuna Tataki, with asparagus and fennel slaw, topped with mandarin dressing. Bravo Milestones for stepping above and beyond to ensure the quality of the tuna is superb. It is cured in-house, which makes a big difference in flavor, then lightly seared for a nice carmalization. It was perfectly cooked, a second over, it would have been over cooked. It was prepared so well it looked like it was sous-vide, with very fine charred rim. The Tuna tataki was my favourite dish of the night.

Surf and Turf, a duo grilled flat-iron and lobster fricassee. Mmmm lobster fricassee was amazingly decadent, served with a tempura battered onion ring. People tend to forget about the quality of the flat-iron steak, very flavourful. You could also upgrade to the striploin or sirloin.

WTH! Not on the menu yet but, they definitely should add it. Never a huge fan of tarts, Milestones, Avocado and lime tart sitting on a bed of bourbon pecan chutney and topped with Tequilla Chantilly cream. Holy shit! Yea, that’s all I have to say. Paired with Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine.

BAM! Awesome end to the night.
Wine reviews to come….it’ll be epic

preview:

Constellation Wine Piarings Review
Constellation Wine Piarings Review

The Les Dames d’Escoffier Dine Around – Aug 14

It’s one of the most fun and best value culinary fundraisers of the year. The Les Dames d’Escoffier Dine Around.  Over twenty restaurants, vineyards, gardens and cooking schools from Vancouver to Whistler, Victoria to Kelowna, North Vancouver to White Rock each donating one “table” for a concurrent dinner party. Same night. Same time. Same price. Just $69 per person including wine.  You choose the restaurant. We choose the menu and the wine.

Each restaurant is priced exactly the same, with each restaurant donating the food menu and table and a winery donating the wine. Gratuity is not included. Restaurants have designed their menu to highlight their own cuisine, so please note this is a night to celebrate food and although health related allergies will be taken into consideration, the menus are set so no special requests can be accommodated.

Your table may be in the dining room or it may be in a very special location like the kitchen or wine room. For those locations offering an outdoor dining experience, particularly in the form of a “picnic” dinner, guests will be informed so as to dress appropriately.

Choose a new restaurant or one of your favourites. Buy a couple of seats at the table, or take the entire table. Some venues have donated 4 seats, some 6, some 8. Each restaurant is priced exactly the same. Les dames members Sea Cider and Spierhead Winery are just some of the wineries joining us this year.

 

Dame Dinner of a Lifetime

Both restaurant and winery are donating 100% of the food, service and wine, so all proceeds from the dinners will be donated to Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, for scholarship and outreach funding. We kindly ask therefore that you do tip your server.

Additionally, a gourmet raffle will be held featuring select Les Dames d’Escoffier member products such as a $100 Shaughnessy Restaurant at Van Dusen dining gift certificate, gourmet baskets, cookbooks and cooking classes from the Dirty Apron Cooking School with tickets drawn that night both online and live at an after party at the Hamilton Street Grill in Yaletown. All dames, chefs, restaurateurs and guests are invited!

 Come back and visit this page for raffle ticket sales and additional restaurants.

 

**some restaurants area already beginning to sell out.

Hamilton Street Grill, Vancouver
Provence Mediterranean Grill, Vancouver **sold out**
ZEST Japanese, Vancouver
Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria
“Picnic in the Vineyard” RauDZ & Spierhead Winery   more info
Chambar, Vancouver
Hart House, Burnaby
Picnic Dinner by Truffles in Van Dusen Gardens, Vancouver   more info
Nicli Antica Pizzeria, Vancouver
Camille’s, Victoria
Chill Winston’s, Vancouver
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver
Canyon, North Vancouver **sold out**
The Superior, Victoria
Uli’s, White Rock
Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver

http://lesdames.eventbrite.ca/

 

Inspiring Awesomeness with Food

Inspiring Awesomeness with Food
I visited my blog today and realized my most recent post was on BC Family Day, well over a month ago. I’ve been guest posting on so many other blogs that I have neglected my own. Truth, I am tired of writing restaurant reviews. There are hundreds of Vancouver food blogs writing on the same damn restaurants and the same dishes, with similar opinions and pictures. It gets boring! I’ve been doing this since 2010, something has to change.

Those danm obnoxious food bloggers…who think they are Anthony Bourdain

Food bloggers as a group have been known to be greedy, petty and generally obnoxious. I’ve seen an example, when a blogger sat down and before he ordered said “I am (blog). Personally, I wouldn’t give a shit if you are a food blogger, why would I treat you any differently than other patrons here?  “Fine, I have 3000 twitter followers, so don’t fuck up my meal, or I will send one tweet out and that would end your business” I haven’t actually heard anyone say that but, I can read between the lines. You are no Anthony Bourdain, you are just a prick.

Dining = Food + People

What my blog has given me is a platform to build connections, a network of people who are passionate about what they do, they want to inspire, change and create. They are passionate about cooking and continually test boundaries, create and inspire environmental changes by creating a program to reduce food waste.  This is why I’m still writing, so that I can inspire, change and hopefully create a little awesomeness on the way.

I haven’t moved away from food, I love staying informed, not just about the newest restaurant openings instead, about the people and their stories behind the food they have created.

When I went to Yaletown L’Antipasto, my friend “slipped” that I was reviewing their restaurant. Side note, I really hate when that happens, I feel like I’m being stalked and scrutinized throughout my meal. Instead of just talking about what’s in the dishes, we talked about Matti, Chef and Co-Owner of L’Antipasto. His dreams to one day have his own farm where he could grow his own food, and have a small rustic restaurant at the farm.

He loves local ingredients because he knows how it was grown, packaged and delivered, ensuring that when his produce arrives it’s still at its peak. He understands, not every dish has to be complicated, sometimes it’s better to be simple.

So when my friend mentioned that her dish was a little bland, it was just tomatoes, olive oil and a few other herbs.  I understood, that it was meant to be this way. The quality of the ingredients itself was amazing. Educating her on what a great fresh tomatoes and quality olive oil was supposed to taste like. The olive oil was from a Co-op farm in Italy, who still manually presses. (My explanation went a little deeper than that, I even called Matti over).  With her deeper understanding, she was able to appreciate her food.

Inspiring Social Changes With Food

Another person that I was able to meet because of my blog was Jonathan Chovancek, of Kale & Nori Catering and Bittered Slings Extract. He is very inspiring, his enthusiasm and passion for social and eco change through food.  He has taken upon himself to ensure his clients and their guests consume ingredients that support the sustainable food movement, doing extra due-diligence to track the movement of his food. “Most food is sold from origin to distributor to sub distributor. Getting to the source, knowing where the food originated and what was fed, how it was grown is important. How long has it been dead, picked, preserved. Understanding that the quality is at its peak for only a few hours and from that point on it is diminishing”, Jonathan said.

Our meeting was an eye opener. I am a firm believer that food can create social and economic change. The rise of popularity in quinoa has created an economic and social shift for farmers and consumers in Chile, it also has driven up the price for local consumers. It is a staple, similar to white rice to Chinese but, with the high demand in the western nations, they much rather have it exported then sold locally, driving up the local prices.

So what does this mean for Food Persuasion?

I will continue to blog with a purpose, to inspire people, hopefully to do something awesome. Even something as little as making you pause and think for a few seconds about the food you are about to consume is enough, at least for now.