Nothing says romance like a glass of wine by candlelight, and you can discover new favourites at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival
Whether it's hot chocolate, international wines or craft cocktails, there's plenty to wet your whistle on the Vancouver food scene this month, as well as cooking classes, specialty dinners and rustic Neapolitan pizza
It's February. Love is in the air and romance, of course, is on the plate – and Vancouver has a variety of events to connect with the object of your affection over a cooking class, wine tasting, craft cocktail or decadent meal.
January 14 to February 14 – 2nd Annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival
The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is celebrating its second year with more participating venues and more flavours. Fifteen chocolate wizards from across the city – including Bel Cafe, Bella Gelateria (featuring It's to Die For Banana Bread), CocoaNymph, Mink, Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Café and Thomas Haas – will offer over 50 hot chocolate flavours throughout the festival. You can search for your perfect hot chocolate match by venue, flavour or date on CityFood Magazine. Partial proceeds from the festival will benefit the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre’s food program.
February 6 to 27 – Cooking Classes at Wild Rice
Continuing on the success of December’s cooking classes at Wild Rice in New Westminster, classes will continue to be held every Monday night at 6 p.m. throughout February, March and April. Executive chef Todd Bright and his sous chef Caroline Levy will show participants how to prepare healthy Chinese food from scratch. Each month has a theme: February’s is “Chicken Chop Chop”, March is “Focus on Fish” and April is “Shell Fish Chinese-style”. Classes are $45 each and include one cocktail, while a package of three (one class each for February, March and April) is $115. Call 778-397-0028 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
February 10 to 18 – Valentine's "Diva/Divo" menus at Diva at the Met
Diva at the Met and executive chef Hamid Salimian introduce four-course "Diva/Divo" menus, at $70 per person, in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The Diva menu features lighter fare like the butter-poached Atlantic lobster with Yukon golden gnocchi and roasted onion, whereas the Divo menu features richer dishes like the leek ash-crusted beef tenderloin with short rib, turnip, pearl onion, horseradish and thyme jus. "These two menus are very different from each other, but both showcase Diva at the Met's contemporary flavours, local ingredients and unique culinary style," says chef Salimian. Call 604-602-7788 to make a reservation or book online.
February 12 to 15 – Tales of the Cocktail on Tour Vancouver
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, Tales of the Cocktail is an annual festival celebrating the world of cocktails held each summer in New Orleans. This is the second year Tales of the Cocktail on Tour has rolled into Vancouver, and the four-day event, held at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, includes seminars, tasting rooms, special events (like the Hollywood North Official Opening Party) and the Spirited Dinner Series. All-inclusive festival passes are $195 (but do not include access to the Spirited Dinner Series) and can be purchased online at Tales of the Cocktail on Tour Vancouver.
February 27 to March 4 – Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival
The theme region at the 34th Annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is Chile, the land of crisp Sauvignon Blancs and robust Cabernet Sauvignons, with 35 participating wineries. Come out to one of the International Festival Tastings and meet not only a number of Chilean winemakers, but enthusiasts and producers from around the world, including some of BC’s own celebrated wineries. Peruse the festival brochure to choose from a wide variety of wine tastings, wine seminars and winery dinners and brunches at a number of fabulous restaurants around town.
February 1 to 29 – NOVO Pizzeria & Wine Bar’s Dinner and a Date Nights
Every Monday night starting February 20, NOVO Pizzeria & Wine Bar will be offering dinner and a movie for two at 5th Avenue Cinemas for $49. Dinner includes one appetizer (like the sambucca garlic butter prawns), one pizza or pasta (like the prosciutto and arugula pizza cooked in their apple wood-fired oven), and one dessert (like the tiramisu) to share. For more information, call 604-736-2220 or visit their website.