Looking for something to do? Every Monday morning, we present to you “Modern Mix Monday”, a brief but link-filled one-liner review of our past weekend loaded with suggestions to inspire you for your next!
Dessert and Drinks on Friday night at Chill Winston in Gastown. Got the “Pursuit” cocktail (Absolut pear vodka, apple liqueur, gazela vinho verde, pear and ginger puree and a dash of lemonade) while my friend got fruity sangria. We shared the dessert sampler “The Beast of Both Worlds” with bite sized fruit and choclate desserts. Small and dainty but surprisingly great for sharing because their sweets (fudge, moouse, cheesecake, etc.) are so filling.
UVA Wine Bar (900 Seymour Street) was opened in April, 2008. Despite its modern, refurbished feel, with bold, black double doors at the entrance contrasting the light-colored interior German wallpaper, this venue has managed to keep it heritage roots, subtly incorporating aspects of its history such as the original floors from 1908. UVA Wine Bar is obviously influenced by an European allure, perhaps because of the French roots of the general manager Sebastien Le Goff. In fact, the ambient lounge melodies played in the background of UVA Wine Bar can be traced to the Parisian musical influences of the Hotel Costes in Paris.
By guest-writer Joanna Lee
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.