This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now
Thanks to a cold spring, the growing season is a little delayed this year—so look out for seasonal treats such as strawberries, peas and maybe even some rhubarb popping up on menus across the city this month.
Plus, events are back! Patios are back! So you know what that means? Be considerate, do a rapid test before you head off to a big event. Don’t be that person who made everyone else sick. Aside from that, the usual rules apply—bring napkins, ’cause it’s gonna get messy!
1. Feast of Fields is back
Facebook/FarmFolk CityFolkI love this event! Head outdoors, meet the makers, and eat and drink delicious things as you cruise around this: “wandering gourmet harvest festival that highlights the connections between farmers and chefs, field and table, and farm folks and city folks," explains Feast of Fields.
Special pricing is available until July 15th for the events on Vancouver Island on Sunday, August 28 at Heritage Acres in Saanichton; at UBC Farm on Sunday, September 11; and in the Okanagan on Sunday, September 18 at Wiseacre Farm Distillery in Kelowna. "Proceeds raised from the events go directly towards allowing [Feast of Fields] to develop and operate [their] programs to strengthen B.C.'s sustainable food systems.”
2. Serve it tall: Gran Bassano Bianco Vermouth
Nikki BayleyMy latest crush that’s feeding my vermouth obsession? Gran Bassano. This delicious vermouth comes from the Veneto region of Italy, and its bianco vermouth is based on Vespaiolo grapes and infused with 39 aromatic botanicals. Try it tall over ice with soda—it’s like summer in a glass, all grapefruit pith and white flowers. Get it at Bacaro in the Fairmont Pacific Rim, or hunt it down at a local independent liquor store. So, so good.
3. Take a field trip
Going to the Island this summer? Head on over to the Lakehouse at Shawnigan to dive into some of the best and brightest of the season. I can’t wait to try this Strawberry Meringue Pie cocktail, featuring rum, cachaca, strawberries, lemon and Amaretto foam created by their new bartender, Raven Dales (the super-talented ex-bartender of Victoria’s Wind Cries Mary restaurant, Veneto lounge and Pagliacci’s). Chef Ryan Bissel (who you may remember from his Bearfoot Bistro or Araxi days in Whistler) has a killer sockeye burger on the menu too. Seasonal double!
4. Make red lentil pancakes
Nikki BayleyI posted a recipe for red lentil pancakes on my social a couple of weeks ago and so many friends have tried making them and are now equally obsessed. So, give ‘em a whirl! They're super easy to make, gluten-free, no spikes in blood sugar and so filling.
- Red lentils
- Water (one cup of lentils to 1/3 cup water)
- Spices of choice (I use a 1/2 tsp of garam masala, turmeric and cumin, plus salt and pepper)
- Rinse and soak the lentils for a couple of hours until they lighten in colour and run clean.
- Add to a blender with water and spices (you can always add a little more water if needed, but it should be a thick batter.)
- Use a little olive oil spray in a hot pan, then treat them like crêpes—pour, then smooth out into a circle with the back of a spoon. Wait until the pancake changes colour, then flip and cook until golden brown.
- Serve with absolutely everything, but they are especially good with just butter.
5. Birria Taco PSA
Instagram/birriayvrMy love of the quesabirria taco (a cross between a taco and a quesadilla, served with a cup of consommé to dip) is well-documented, but I discovered this week that the Top Rope Birria truck in Vancouver, purveyors of some of the finest quesabirria tacos, always have their ‘longboi’ tacos (that’s a hefty one-and-a-half tacos rolled into one perfect $12 longboi) on their secret menu. Check their Insta for details of where they’ll be each week and hit ‘em up for that badass longboi.
6. Save the bees by drinking cocktails
Wayward DistilleryRaspberries are my absolute favourite, so of course I adore this cute cocktail kit from Vancouver Island’s Wayward Distillery, which features their gloriously fragrant Raspberry Gin Liqueur. But, these kits don’t just taste good—they also do good—$13 from each kit will be donated directly to Pollinator Partnership Canada which helps protect bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
The packs contain all the ingredients to make two different cocktails: Float Like a Butterfly, which riffs on the classic Clover Club (but uses a vegan foamer instead of egg white (yay—cocktails for all!), and Sting Like A Bee, which is a little more tart and features lime, grapefruit bitters and a honey and orange blossom syrup. The limited-edition cocktail kit makes a total of eight cocktails (four of each type) and is available through The Bar Cart’s website.
7. ZOMYGOD! Araxi’s Longtable Dinner is back too
Facebook/Araxi Restaurant & Oyster BarI interviewed Araxi’s chef James Walt last year, who longingly talked about his beloved and now-iconic Longtable Dinner event at North Arm Farm in Pemberton. It had, of course, been cancelled due to COVID, and we talked about how meaningful it can be for diners to be right there on the farm and see first-hand where their food comes from (the joy of pointing and saying—yup, those peas came from here). Well, it’s back on Sunday, August 28th and I couldn’t be happier. Tickets will undoubtedly sell out fast, and include a cocktail reception, canapés, live music, and a four-course, family-style dinner from the teams at Araxi, Il Caminetto and Bar Oso with wines from B.C., so bag yours now.
8. All aboard the sushi train
Facebook/Sushi AboardSo apparently this place has been open for ages, but I only just heard about it, so I wanted to share it with you. Fair warning: I haven’t been yet—but c’mon, how could this be anything but completely fabulous?! (And even if not, it's gotta be worth it for the Insta!) Sushi Aboard on Denman is a conveyor-belt sushi spot where you order on a screen, then your sushi arrives on a little bullet train! I am dying. This is amazing. I’ll let you know next month what I thought.
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