8 Great Eats from Taste of Yaletown 2013

Please your palate and your pocketbook at the 9th annual Taste of Yaletown

The 9th Annual Taste of Yaletown arrives with plenty of tasty fare on offer

Forgo the brown bag-lunch and office cube farm and take your appetite to the 9th annual Taste of Yaletown from October 16 to 27. Lunchtime menus are the new offering this year flanking the conventional dinner options. Thirty participating eateries are serving up set-price menu combinations to please your palate and your pocketbook: $25, $35, and $45 price points — with some menus including drinks.

The Yaletown Business Improvement Association wants to ensure an efficient lunch break by providing a free, return trolley ride from scheduled downtown locations within an hour — plenty of time to savour TOY’s culinary creations.

For a taste of the finest locally-sourced gastropub grub and adventurous, exquisite menus around town, we asked eight chefs about their TOY dishes — and here’s what you can expect from some of Yaletown’s most dynamic restaurants.

Spicy Tomato Gnocchi and Seared Albacore Tuna at Glowbal Grill

Executive Chef Kris Kabush has been at the helm of Glowbal Grill’s culinary operations for the past year and is committed to culinary excellence, laying the table for memorable dining experiences.

Dish details: Spicy tomato gnocchi and seared albacore tuna with Szechuan green beans and ginger soy.

Inspiration behind the dish: With local albacore tuna fished sustainably just off the Pacific Coast, and our local heirloom tomato season coming to a quick end, this is a great time to showcase these ingredients in a cooked form.

Local ingredients: A light yet savoury dish for two to share that highlights the heirloom tomatoes and Ocean Wise albacore tuna.

Unique and memorable merits: This dish satisfies with its deep savoury and umami qualities.

Menu staple or menu special: There is a strong possibility that a version of this will become a regular dish on Glowbal’s menu.

Steelhead Pastrami at Good Wolfe Kitchen & Bar

Chef Josh Wolfe is an avid outdoorsman who integrates that passion into the menu items he creates. The fresh, local, wild philosophy he developed for his food truck also applies at Good Wolfe Kitchen & Bar.

Dish details: Steelhead pastrami with house maple mustard, chervil, and caraway.

Inspiration behind the dish: Chef Wolfe is an ardent fisherman, and this is an opportunity to highlight the steelhead trout in a unique manner, matching the Good Wolfe philosophy about food.

Local ingredients: Local steelhead trout from the clean waters of Lois Lake, BC, and house made mustard and bread.

Unique and memorable merits: Steelhead trout done as pastrami.

Menu staple or menu special: It will be a regular dish on the menu.

Veal Marsala at Hurricane Grill

Executive chef Lino Vargas has been with the Hurricane Grill since the 2003 opening of the original Hurricane in North Vancouver, and is constantly working to create new and exciting ideas inspired by all areas of the world.

Dish details: Pan-fried veal cutlets with wild mushroom and Marcela demi-glaze with roasted garlic mash and vegetables.

Inspiration behind the dish: The entire menu is inspired by the changing of BC’s seasons. From the Autumn Squash Soup with oven-roasted butternut squash and taro, to the Veal Marsala, Vargas has tried to capture fall at its best.

Local ingredients: Hurricane Grill is part of the Ocean Wise program, and is a big believer in using sustainable, local and fresh products as much as possible.

Unique and memorable merits: Every year Hurricane Grill creates new dishes for the Taste of Yaletown and prides itself on the quality of food it delivers for $25.

Menu staple or menu special: Hurricane Grill use this opportunity to gain customer feedback on certain items it may be considering putting on the menu permanently.

Credit: La Pentola

Veal Tonnato at La Pentola della Quercia

Chef Lucais Syme delivers rustic Northern Italian inspired cuisine at La Pentola della Quercia inside OPUS Hotel. Simple, handmade pasta and traditional nose-to-tail meat and fish dishes served family style are the focus of this award-winning Vancouver restaurant.

Dish details: Veal Tonnato is a fresh, light antipasti reflecting traditional Northern Italian cuisine.

Inspiration behind the dish: A classic Italian (piedmontese) dish that speaks for the restaurant and style of cuisine.

Local ingredients: Chef Lucais uses the freshest of the fresh ingredients, with seasonal produce arriving at the kitchen daily, from locally grown veggies to the finest imported Italian cheese and prosciutto.

Unique and memorable merits: The dish is sweet, rich, and beautifully presented. It is a guest favourite, regularly requested on the family style menus.

Menu staple or menu special: Veal Tonnato is frequently on La Pentola’s Famiglia Supper Series menu, a multi-course event on the last Sunday of each month.

Minami Zen at Minami Restaurant

Executive Chef Kazuya Matsuoka oversees the kitchen at Minami, an Ocean Wise restaurant with a focus on local ingredients. Minami is the destination for classic and modern takes on Japanese dishes, such as the popular Aburi (flame-seared) sushi.

Dish details: The dish includes Aburi bincho (wasabi masatake sauce), chicken tofu salad (baby greens, sous-vide chicken breast, miso marinated tofu, umami soy vinaigrette), ebi fritter (Asian slaw, sweet chili mayo, soy-balsamic reduction) and sterling silver karubi pork rib (apple-ginger haccho miso sauce, spiced apple-raisin chutney).

Inspiration behind the dish: Inspired by the popular Japanese bento boxes, the Minami Zen offers guests a taste of Minami’s popular dishes.

Local ingredients: Fraser Valley chicken, albacore tuna (bincho) from BC and all local produce.

Unique and memorable merits: The Minami Zen gives guests delectable bites of some of Minami’s most popular items, like the ebi fritter and pork rib. It is accompanied with a selection of Minami’s famous sushi and a dessert, making it a well-rounded and affordable lunch option at $25.

Menu staple or menu special: There is a variation of the Minami Zen on the regular menu.

The Burrata Hot Bun at The Parlour

Co-owner/chef Sean W. Holland showcases an inventive menu featuring handcrafted pizza and a modern twist on classic comfort cuisine at The Parlour.

Dish details: From the crispy crust of the fresh bun, the softness and creaminess of the burrata, the saltiness of prosciutto, the touch of spice (chili oil), and lastly, a hint of sweetness (honey), this sandwich is a stunner.

Inspiration behind the dish: There’s no fancy inspiration story, just a love of burrata cheese and a constant drive to find different dishes to play off the unique texture and creaminess of the cheese.

Local ingredients: There are so many dishes on the menu made with local ingredients and The Parlour bakes their buns fresh, “baked-to-order” for each guest. This gives a nice crispiness to the crunch, and a warm soft, fluffy, interior.

Unique and memorable merits: It’s addictive.

Menu staple or menu special: It’s on the menu.

Osso Bucco and Spinach Ravilo at Paulies Kitchen at the Yaletown Distilling Company

Chef Antonio opened Paulies Kitchen at Yaletown Distilling in the spring of 2013 with a passion for local ingredients and over 15 years of experience in the industry, including working under critically acclaimed Chef Eric Ripert in New York City.

Dish details: The osso bucco is slow braised, the ravioli requires time to be handmade and gently filled and we hope that the guest takes the time to enjoy the comforting end result.

Inspiration behind the dish: Slowing down our busy lives to thoroughly enjoy the beginning of fall.

Local ingredients: Osso bucco comes from the Fraser Valley, BC. Paulies Kitchen strongly believes fresh ingredients and produce create a unique flavour.

Unique and memorable merits: Handmade in the kitchen just the way Nonna used to do it. Osso bucco is braised for six hours until tender, tossed with spinach and ricotta and placed in a pocket of freshly made pasta.

Menu staple or menu special: It might eventually make its way into the regular menu, but for now, guests can only enjoy it during the 9th annual Taste of Yaletown.

Lois Lake Steelhead at Provence Marinaside

Chef/owner Jean-Francis Quaglia from Provence Marinaside comes naturally to the culinary world, as his mother is acclaimed Chef Suzanne Quaglia of Marseilles’ famed Le Patalain.

Dish details: Lois Lake Steelhead, fennel pollen dusted, bamboo rice, sautéed spinach, and anise sauce.

Inspiration behind the dish: The flavour of the fennel pollen is very reminiscent of the end of summer in the south of France. Chef Quaglia wanted to combine his memories with the wonderful local fish of BC.

Local ingredients: Lois Lake Steelhead

Unique and memorable merits: The use of fennel pollen, which has a delicate flavour and is not often used due to the difficulty in harvesting it.

Menu staple or menu special: The dish is planned to be on the upcoming fall menu.