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Get ready to experience the finest dining Vancouver has to offer
Dine Out Vancouver 2012 features over 230 participating restaurants
Dine Out Vancouver runs from January 20 to February 5 and includes a number of events:
2012 Dine Out Vancouver Festival from Barbershop Films on Vimeo.
Dine Out Vancouver festival coordinator Lucas Pavan says, “This year’s festival is shaping up to be the best Dine Out ever! We have an entire roster of new and exciting experiences. Some, like Street Food City and Dine Academy tours and classes, will showcase the latest trends and successes in Vancouver’s culinary culture. The entire Salt & Pepper series is a testament to the creativity and resourcefulness of local restaurateurs. And of course, we’re bringing back old favourites like Kronenbourg’s Brasserie Mystère and the Secret Supper Soirée. As always, Dine Out Vancouver Festival is going to offer platefuls of food-related fun, suspense, education and, of course, the city’s tastiest food and drinks.”
I attended the Dine Out Vancouver media preview last week during which we were split into small groups and whisked away to two secret Dine Out locations. Our group hit the jackpot with an incredibly unique bistro and an internationally acclaimed hot spot.
A selection of dishes from Salmon ‘n’ Bannock’s Dine Out menu, $28 (Image: Catherine Roscoe Barr)
As we pulled up to Salmon ‘n’ Bannock Bistro, the excitement was palpable. Many of us had heard about this restaurant – one of only a handful of First Nations restaurants in Canada – but had yet to try it.
All of the staff at the restaurant are of aboriginal descent, and co-owner Inez Cook told us that they work with local suppliers to source their organic meats and wild fish. Even the wine is local, from one of Canada’s only First Nations wineries, Nk’Mip Cellars in the Okanagan.
During our meal we sipped from a wide selection of delicious Nk’Mip wines, including the Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Blanc.
The Salmon ‘n’ Bannock menu is “traditional with a modern twist” and we were treated to an incredible spread of every dish on the $28 Dine Out menu, including my favourites: halibut consommé with West Coast toasted seaweed; spicy mixed game chorizo skewer with peppers, red onions and double smoked cheddar cheese; elk roast in red wine and mushroom gravy with carrot and rutabaga puree, seasonal vegetables and bannock (the bannock is sensational); and cinnamon bannock bites with hot caramel sauce (all pictured above, clockwise from top left).
A selection of dishes from Hawksworth’s Dine Out menu, $38 (Image: Catherine Roscoe Barr)
Next we were shuttled to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, and we knew that meant one thing: dinner at the buzzed-about and glamorous Hawksworth. We were seated in the dazzling Pearl Room, one of four unique dining rooms, directly below an enormous crystal chandelier and with a view into the glass-encased wine cellar to one side and Georgia Street to the other.
We sampled everything on the Dine Out menu, $38, along with an incredible selection of light BC VQA whites chosen by sommelier and wine director Terry Threlfall, including Road 13’s Sparkling Chenin Blanc, Sperling’s Old Vines Riesling and Haywire’s Pinot Gris. Highlights of the meal were the sunchoke veloute with crunchy sweetbread and hazelnut oil; the pickled beets with burrata, amaranth and crystallized wasabi; the chestnut and truffle casconcelli with kale, brown butter and pecorino; and the Fraser Valley pork press with celeriac, de puy lentil and pickled apple ribbon (all pictured above, clockwise from top left).
There are number of hotels offering Dine Out packages, but two of note are the Wedgewood Hotel and Spa and Shangri La Hotel, Vancouver.
Cozy up to the crackling fireplace while you’re serenaded by live music from the restaurant’s grand piano (Image: Wedgewood Hotel and Spa)
The Wedgewood Hotel and Spa is a family-run boutique hotel. Many of the sumptuous furnishings in the hotel’s romantic Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge were imported from Venice, Italy, by owner Eleni Skalbania.
The Wedgewood’s Dine Out package starts at $236 and includes a one-night stay, dinner for two from Bacchus’ Dine Out menu, a European continental breakfast for two at Bacchus, complimentary valet parking and Belgian chocolate truffles upon arrival.
As you climb the stairs up to Market By Jean-Georges from Alberni Street, you’re led into the restaurant’s chic bar and opulent dining room (Image: Market By Jean-Georges)
The Shangri La Hotel, Vancouver is the first Shangri La Hotel in North America (Shangri La Hotel, Toronto is set to open this summer). The luxury hotel—the tallest building in the city at 61 stories—has 119 rooms and suites that occupy the first 19 floors (above that are luxury residences).
Shangri La’s Dine Out package starts from $329 and includes a one night stay, dinner for two from Market By Jean-Georges’ Dine Out menu, a deluxe breakfast for two at Market By Jean-Georges, complimentary valet parking, and a gourmet welcome amenity.
During the Dine Out Vancouver festival, join Edible Canada and the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts for tours of the Granville Island Public Market (Image: Tourism Vancouver)
Over 70 events mark this year’s festival, and you can experience everything from an after-hours food and wine tasting at the Granville Island Public Market, to culinary classes and demos, food tours and even long-table dinners paired with theatrical performances.
One of the events I’m really looking forward to is Street Food City. On January 24 through 26, a number of Vancouver’s food carts will converge at the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery, with some offering special menu items and discounts (like Soho Road, who will be offering free chai, and The Juice Truck, who will be discounting all juices by $1).
Festival events fill up quickly, so don’t wait to make your restaurant reservations or register for culinary events. Visit the Dine Out Vancouver website for more details on participating restaurants and hotels, and culinary events.