This is your indispensable companion to all that is hot, fresh and freaking delicious in Vancouver right now 

Sorry. Can’t speak. Desperately soaking up as much sunshine as possible 'cause after the ‘spring that never was’ and the ‘most brutal Vancouver winter evah,’ I am never leaving the patio.

But, finally, fresh things are here! Life is wonderful! The sunset never stops!

As always, grab napkins, 'cause it's going to get messy...

 

1. Behold change!

CoastCoast has a new happy hour menu offered daily from 3 to 6 p.m. with lashings of cool new things. I really dug the fish-and-chip cones, which come with super-spicy or plain wraps; the lobster roll is heaven—in a sweet brioche bun, with creamy mayo and piled-high juicy lobster; and the in-house made smoked-meat poutine is comfort in a bowl (and likely the perfect hangover cure). Wine is on for $5 a glass and the Bombay Sapphire Martini is a great deal for $8.

Hats off to Central City Brewers + Distillers whose Queensborough Gin scored the only Canadian double gold award at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition this year ranking amongst spirits such as Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray.

Welcome to exec chef Wesley Dennis, who’s new over at Steel Toad Brewing Co. Ex of Lumiere and Cactus Club, Wesley has put tasty new items such as short ribs au poivre, shrimp spaghettini and a kimchi rice bowl on the menu. Check it out and say hi!

 

2. Call off the search for your summer brunch spot

Market cauliflower croque-madameWell-played, Market by JG. Well-played, indeed. Bow down and pay homage to this season’s most Instagrammable brunch moment with #RoséAllDay at #MarketBrunch and their miraculous rosé popsicle cocktail topped with sparkling Ruffino Rosé. Eat on the patio, be entertained with smooth sounds from Omar Khan, and feast on delights such as their smoked cauliflower croque-madame (pictured), tasty smoked salmon and avo Benedict (pictured at top of article) on crunchy ciabatta. Order up rosé from the bar cart, snap a shot, then sit back and wait for those ‘likes’ to roll in.

 

3. Say hello To Tempranillo

TempranilloTempranillo, Bill Robitaille’s new spot in the old Notturno spot is serving up a Spanish menu of ración-sized portions with front-of-house Papa Bear extraordinare Ben de Champlain at the helm. The marinated Manchego is terrific, the house-made sobrasada (basically a spreadable chorizo sausage to slather on bread) is wonderful, and I adored the seared albacore tuna in fino sherry sauce. They have a good sherry list, so go see ‘em, bag that sweet window table, and eat all the things!

 

4. Go to all the cool events

Champagne bucketBrandon Artis PhotographyThere are few things I like more than drinking for a cause and what better cause than to support our friends over at the Dr. Peter Centre? So far 45 bars and restaurants have signed on to whip up Pride-themed cocktails with partial proceeds going to benefit compassionate care for HIV treatment and prevention. Start planning your Pride Cocktail Crawl Fundraiser here.

Put ‘em up for an Aprons for Gloves fundraiser at The Cascade Room on July 6th. Miles “The Cascade Kid” Thompson will be competing on behalf of the Cascade Room at the Restaurant Rumble (Aprons For Gloves' annual boxing fundraiser that will take place at the Commodore Ballroom on July 27). On the 6th, there’ll be live music from Bonfire Ballerina, games, prizes, food and drinks. To support Miles in his efforts to raise money, donations will be made for every Main Street Beer, Jack Daniels Whiskey, and Cascade Food Special purchased throughout the evening at the Cascade Room. Cover charges by donation will also go to the charity. 4 p.m. to close

The Deighton Cup is galloping into view on July 22nd, the social event of the season and your best chance to get dressed up in a fancy outfit and drink champagne all day long! This year, the Cocktail Jockey contest will take place the day before at Reflections at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Sponsored by Piper Heidsieck champagne, it’s the ideal way to rev up for the next day’s revelry. Tickets will be available to the public shortly here as an additional upgrade to your Deighton Cup ticket.

YEW Seafood + Bar is celebrating Canada’s 150 with special Sunday dinners highlighting some of the best ingredients from Canada’s oceans. July and August will dive into the delights of Dungeness crab and lobster, in a communal family-style dinner priced at $150 for two. All dinners include a complimentary glass of Cedar Creek Estate Winery Chardonnay to start. 

U.B.C Farm is hosting FarmhouseFest.com on July 8th, featuring a dizzying 180+ beers and ciders from over 60 breweries and cider makers with a beer focus on Farmhouse Ales, Saisons, Wild Ales, and Sours. Tickets here

I’ve always thought that the Westin Bayshore had one of the city’s most underused patio spaces; there’s that killer Coal Harbour/Seawall view with not much chance of seeing it. Until now. All has changed thanks to their new H2 Rotisserie Bar & Grill and one of their monthly B.C. wine-paired long table dinners. On Wednesday, July 5th, they’ll be pairing wines from Sandhill with five courses or delights including shellfish bisque and Haida Gwaii halibut. On Wednesday, August 16, it’s the turn of Okanagan Falls’ Synchromesh wine. Tickets are $150 per person, including taxes and gratuity.

 

5. Eat! Vancouver is back

Andrea CarlsonWelp. Eat! Vancouver is back in November and after I labelled it a ‘total sausage-fest’ last year with its er, zero women included out of 16 possible opportunities in the Dinner Series collaborations, I guess I’d expected something better this year. Imagine my excitement to see women so prominently featured on the website! ‘Here we go!’ I thought, ‘I bet it’s loads better this year!’ And if you count two women chefs collaborating together along with 13 other men (Burdock & Co.'s Andrea Carlson, pictured, hosts New York’s Amanda Cohen), then sure, that’s better, but c’mon guys, start working with women chefs. Stop bogarting the burners, this is getting old. Anyway, tickets are available and yes, there’s some good stuff booked, but please, Eat! Vancouver, you’ve got time to sort it out. Do better than this. Thanks.

 

6. Say cheers to this year’s Okanagan wine campus maker

Jill-SPoorJill Spoor, wine director of the Fairmont’s Pacific Northwest region has launched her White Terroir Blend as part of the Okanagan Wine Campus mentorship program. This is such a cool initiative and it’s now in its seventh year with proceeds from the sales benefitting the B.C. Hospitality Foundation. At the launch, Jill told me that she’d chosen to do a blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc because, “We produce exceptional whites in the Okanagan Valley and this wine is complex, elegant and perfumed.” Dedicating her wine to her 91-year-old mother, women and wine, you can taste Jill’s delicious wine at Botanist.

 

7. Eat all the new-season strawberries

pretty bird BotanistIt’s been a slow start but finally things are growing and that means hello berry season! Dive into those sweet, sweet strawberries wherever you see em but make a special effort to check out...

  • Rod Redford’s Strawberry-sage Collins cocktail at The Diamond
  • Burdock & Co.’s Strawberry Meringue with wild rose honey and milk gelato.
  • The insane Pretty Bird at Botanist (pictured), a terrific not-too-sweet clarified strawberry juice with gin and dill concoction served in a glass bird.
  • The folks at the Farmer’s Apprentice have made strawberry jam which will be served up with buttermilk biscuits on their weekend brunch menu.

 

8. Consider eating sushi in a cup

Sushi in a cupAfter taking a wildly unscientific straw poll on Twitter, I have to say that my followers seem wholly against the idea of sushi-in-a-cup, but hey! I’m a broad-minded gal and if that’s your bag (or indeed cup),have at it and go to Cup Sushi & Burrito on the 900-block of Denman. They’re surfing the deconstructed sushi wave and serving up ‘sushi’ in both cup and burrito form. On another note, when, oh when, will ‘tacos in a bag’ (swear to god, it’s a thing) make it to the West Coast?

 

9. Get two-for-one frozen treats at Lisa Lou’s

ice creamChocolatier Lisa Lou is going all out on her handmade ice cream this summer with a two-for-$9 special from Tuesday till Sunday. Brownie Thursday brings a warm brownie with a scoop and hot fudge sauce, Waffle Wednesday gets you a cone or bowl with a scoop. There will also be ice-cream sandwiches, sundaes and splits on the menu. I recommend the salt caramel on a waffle sandwich. OMG!

 

10. Eat all the tomatoes

tomatoesI’m mentioning Burdock again because really, who does fresh, seasonal and local better than Andrea Carlson? She tells me that she’s "deep into koi-cured everything" at the moment, so new on her menu an heirloom tomato salad with koi-cured scallop. No idea what koi is? Me either, Andrea says, ‘It’s a Japanese-base ferment required for sake/miso/soy, etc... used with food, it’s general umami magic!’ So there.

Newly-opened Lucha Verde is doing such a great job on Davie Street. Check out their delicious smoked eggplant ‘ceviche’ which comes topped with tasty tart pickled new season tomatoes.

Nightingale has fresh new season heirloom salad on the menu.