CharityFeaturedFood & Drink

Taste BC 2009

…”a celebration of local food and drink” with 40+ wineries, 10+ restaurants and 600+ attendees gathering at the Hyatt Regency in support of a charitable cause.

READ MORE →
Events & Lifestyle

Main Street >> Overview

By Guest-writer Joanna Lee

.
Main Street has evolved. Having lived in Southeast Vancouver almost my entire life, I have certainly noticed the changes and rapid developments to Main Street. It has transformed from a majority of antiques-stores-thrift-shops neighbourhood to a bustling upscale locale with trendy restaurants and hip bars, independent coffeehouses and local designers/retailers.
.

Take, for example, The Cascade Room, located just off Broadway. I celebrated my 22nd birthday there and what appealed to me about this resto-bar/lounge was its comfortable booth seatings, long spacious bar, and most importantly, the drinks menu. Bar-managed by Nick Devine, the cocktails list is truly impressive in its extensiveness and creativity (egg whites in a drink?!). And with its standing-out neon blue signage, The Cascade Room radiates an unpretentious glow and is almost always filled with a young and urban crowd.

.

Adjacent to it is sister restaurant, Habit Lounge, serving small plates and tapas dishes to the electic Main Street crowd. Just down the block is the recently-opened Caffe Barney (of South Granville) and Bean Around the World coffeehouse. (Click here to read a Modern Mix Monday perspective on Bean Around the World.) North of Broadway is Soma Restaurant (formerly Soma Cafe), a small yet classy restaurant with interesting food and an extensive wine list that even wine connoisseurs can appreciate. And even further north is an even smaller bar called Narrow Lounge. Narrow is “dark and moody” and is indeed narrow, with only a few handful of tables. While the menu is unoriginal, Narrow is unique in that it is also an art gallery upstairs

.

What I like about many of these gathering places is that they open onto the street or include patio areas perfect for people-watching on a sunny day. From the aforementioned Cascade, Caffe Barney, and Soma, to the very recently-opened Burgoo, The Five Point, The Reef Restaurant, Public Lounge and Crave, which even has a heated patio. Even the coffeehouses including J.J. Bean and Salt Spring Coffee Co. stand out from Starbucks.

.

See what I mean? And these are only a few places I’m talking about. If you haven’t been to Main Street lately, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

READ MORE →
Events & Lifestyle

Opus Bar – Van Gogh Live Art Series

Last night was the monthly Van Gogh Live Art Series held at Opus Bar in Yaletown. The unique event concept featured local artist, Michael Solomon, creating art on the spot. On a nearby table was an auction form on which potential buyers could put a bid on the piece of artwork by the end of the night. Guests were also treated to an in-house DJ and complimentary tastings of Van Gogh vodka mixed with hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.
.
The Van Gogh Live Art Series takes place the first Wednesday of every month at Opus Bar and Hotel in Yaletown.

READ MORE →
FeaturedFood & Drink

R.TL Restaurant >> Opening Soon in Yaletown

…featuring a taste of B.C. dishes while two other regions will rotate on the menu every other month, beginning with Spain and Iran.

READ MORE →
Food & Drink

Gastown >> Overview

By guest-writer Joanna Lee
.
gastown

I’m constantly amazed at how different Gastown is and how much it has changed over the years. While this touristy locale is still well-known for the Steam Clock and cobblestone sidewalks, more and more businesses are choosing to set up shop with new and trendy lounges/bars, restaurants and eateries, and gastropubs. If you’re as much of a foodie and bar/lounge-hopper as I am, I highly suggest checking out Chill Winston and the Irish Heather. I’ve been to both several times and have yet to be disappointed by either. Chill Winston is my ideal lounge – clean, comfortable and classy (in both drink offerings and ambience). Its situated right next to The Modern, a recently-opened nightclub owned by the Donnelly Hospitality Management Group (who also owns nearby Lamplighter Pub).
.
Meanwhile, the Irish Heather is a smaller, easy-to-miss but very trendy Euro-style gastropub that’s been around for more than a decade. Located diagonally across from Chill, It’s great for socializing and meeting up and one of the only pubs in Gastown with no cover (!!). You don’t make up for that with drink prices either! If you’re interested in checking out both places on a weekend, my suggestion is to get on the waiting list for a table at Chill, then head a few hundred metres over to the Irish Heather while you’re waiting.
.
Other notables in Gastown include the recently-renovated Lamplighter Pub in the Dominion Hotel, the Blarney Stone, and The Cambie, another personal favourite. If you’re looking for eateries, check out Salt Tasting Room, Salty Tongue Urban Deli, also owned by Irish Heather group. I’ve also enjoyed eating and drinking at So.Cial at Le Magasin further up Water Street. There’s a custom butchershop and deli downstairs and a full service restaurant and oyster bar upstairs. It’s great for lunch or dinner and always seems to be busy.
.
What I’ve yet to visit is The Greedy Pig, an oh-so-small restaurant with a simple food and drink menu. I’ve passed by it a couple times, but it is really easy-to-miss. It’s practically hidden in between a nook and a cranny. I’ve looked at the cocktail menu on the website and I’m eager to try some (or all of them) because they’re all designed by Nick Devine (of the Cascade Room – which is where I will be celebrating my upcoming birthday).
.
Aside from the eating and drinking places, more and more boutiques and one-of-a-kind stores are opening up also. Take a look at Gastown’s own website: www.gastown.org. Check it out and support your local businesses.

READ MORE →