You’ve Gotta Try This in June

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

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

Yay! It’s officially the last days of spring, rolling into an endless summer. On the menu and at the market, the start of all those wonderful new season flavours: strawberries, asparagus, peas, rhubarb! Go enjoy the best of the season and pair with fun events, delicious wines, and, since it’s June, which means that it’s Negroni Week, make sure there’s a negroni or two (or three) in your plans too.

As ever, bring napkins, it’s gonna get messy…


1. Check out all the cool events

Don’t miss out on this! June 4th to 10th is Negroni Week, a chance to drink for a cause in bars and restaurants across the city. Find participating venues here and see how many different takes on the classic three-ingredient cocktail you can taste this week.

The Chefs’ Table Society of BC is back with their Chef Meets Truck event in Yaletown on Tuesday, June 12th from 6 to 9 p.m. at the intersection of Hamilton and Nelson. Tickets include food from the participating trucks—which team up with chefs from across the city (last year participating restaurants included Mak N Ming, Au Comptoir and Salvio Volpe) as well as wine samples from Cedar Creek, beer samples from Parallel 49, and cocktail tasters. A portion of the ticket sales will be going to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

YEW Seafood + Bar at the Four Seasons welcomes Edgar Kano as their new exec chef and will be hosting a ‘pre-launch’ dinner on June 19th for Veuve Clicquot’s annual Yelloweek celebration with a champagne-fuelled four-course tasting dinner with four different varieties, including a rare vintage and ending with a Veuve Rich cocktail.

This sounds super-cool. On June 20th, a workshop from the True Nosh Company Ltd. offers the chance to learn a little Mandarin, Cantonese and Pinyin (for texting) while you make wonton noodle soup from scratch, including bone broth, hand-made noodles and juicy shrimp filling for the wontons.


2. Say cheese at the Melt Shop

One of my favourite chefs in the city, Alex Tung of La Grotta Del Formaggiowho’s a tireless supporter of the Chefs’ Table Society and many other excellent charitieshas launched a cheese-based food truck, the Melt Shop, which will be offering awesome melts at the BC Ferries Tsawassen Terminal at the Quay Market. You’ll find it right next to the playground on a dedicated and exclusive food truck pad and he promises that you can’t miss them. Next time you are travelling to Victoria, Nanaimo or the Southern Gulf Islands, check ’em out and order up something tasty so you don’t have to eat on board.


3. Celebrate all the new happy hours

Head to Granville Island to take advantage of Dockside’s all-new daily happy hour on their award-winning patio from 3 to 5 p.m. The menu offers highballs for $6, house-brewed beers for $4 a sleeve, plus funky snacks for $8, including cheese burger spring rolls and cauliflower fritters.

The Copper Chimney on Hornby Street is launching a new Indian Happy Hour on Monday to Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. On the menu, Indian-inspired dishes such as handmade samosas, “Indian pizza,” Bombay short rib sliders and poutine topped with butter chicken. They also have a new gin-focussed bar offering 18 local and international gins, a selection of six flavoured tonics (using complementary Indian spices), along with condiments and natural flavours. 

Gotham’s Social Hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday in their hideaway garden patio downtown. On the menu are treats including prime beef sliders, jumbo shrimp cocktail and black & blue ahi tuna, plus feature wines, cocktails, craft beers and 40 percent off all bubbles.


4. Drink wines of South Africa

Unfamiliar with South African wines? June is a great opportunity to get to know them better as the BC Liquor Distribution Branch is running specials on the Wines of South Africa from June 3rd until the 30th. Check out a wine and food event at the Park Royal BCLS, featuring South African-inspired bites from Oyama Sausage Co. and 13 different wines.

I got a sneak peek and am completely in love with the Bellingham Bernard Series Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2016 ($26.49). I drank it with a girlfriend on her patio and we kept exclaiming with delight at each sip. It has such a beautiful golden colour with a lush, creamy mouth feel and glorious fresh green apples on the palate.

On the red side, try The Grinder, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend from Blue Moose. It’s silky, crushable, bursting with stewed fruit. Just decant this baby to let it shine! Or give the hilariously named ‘Goats Do Roam’ (geddit? Côte du Rhone!) a twist on the classic French blend that’s plush, delicious and super easy-drinking.


5. Brunch news

I’m always stoked for brunch, but it can be hard to find a good spot to bag a big table to get all the crew together for a long catch up over eggs and endless mimosas. Thanks then to Parq Vancouver’s The Victor, which has just launched a Sunday-only brunch special from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a menu that looks like it will keep everyone happy, featuring lobster frittata, Oscar eggs Benedict, steak & eggs, foie gras French toast, Wagyu breakfast burger, a sushi and seafood bar and even dim sum. The shining star though has to be a bloody bar to build your own Caesar and a table side mule cart. Yes, please. DJ in residence, awesome city views… I think we all know where you’ll be next Sunday, right?


6. Disco dumplings

A friend recently ate at Burdock & Co for the first time and was blown away by how superb everything is there (her precise words: ‘so, so, SO delicious’). Chef Andrea Carlson has been quietly creating magic in Mount Pleasant for a few years now with her hyper-seasonal menus which tick perfectly in time with the calendar. Kicking things up a notch on sleepy Mondays, Burdock & Co has recently launched a weekly Disco Dumplings night with a savoury dumplings menu, and DJ Chris Allen playing vinyl under a disco ball from 8 p.m. onwards. On the menu are dumpling treats such as nettle and ricotta with wild greens, and pork and burdock with charred chili sauce. The restaurant’s famous fried chicken will also be on offer, along with a selection of beer and wine at happy hour prices. No reservations.


7. Eat all the carnitas at Chancho

I’d heard about this little hole in the wall carnitas spot on Seymour at Davie, but only made it down there recently. If you’ve not been yet, you have to go there stat! The tortillas are made fresh and are easily the best I’ve tasted outside Mexico; they make the perfect base for the slow-cooked pork, which comes hand-chopped to order, spangled with crispy skin. Order by the quarter, half or full pound and don’t mess around: get the campecho, a mix of belly, leg and shoulder. Each order comes with pickled red cabbage, pinto beans, salsas and those superb tortillas. Order a pound by phone at lunchtime to pick up for dinner for the happiest porkiest picnic in the world.


8. Drink rosé all day

Exciting things are happening at Provence Marinaside and TWB thanks to an all-new program of 41 different rosés from B.C., California, Germany, Spain, France and England. This brings their wine-by-the-glass program up to 240the largest in North America. Every Sunday beginning June 3rd will be #DrinkPink day with 25 percent off all rosésperfect for brunch! Check out cool Provençal rosés, such as Clos Cibonne’s ‘Cuvee Prestige Caroline’ Tibouren, which is barrel-aged and slightly oxidized; or try a sparkling rosé from the south of England’s Coates & Seely; or a Californian Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut. With so many varieties, see if you can find your new favourite! Check out an interview from Le Vieux Pin and La Stella’s Severine Pinte explaining exactly what rosé is and how it’s made (spoiler, it’s not by mixing red and white wine together!).