Edible Canada at The Market commands a prime spot on Granville Island close to the Public Market where over 12 million visitors peruse the food hall on a yearly basis. They started with a small shop in that very food hall (Edible British Columbia), selling many items now found in their current onsite shop. The busy restaurant has a comfortable, casual vibe, with families, businessmen, and groups coming and going.
The restaurant was packed during my recent lunch visit. Sitting by the window offers a glimpse into the daily life of Granville Island. The open kitchen is the first thing you see upon entry, opposite a series of square windows letting in a good amount of natural daylight.
Edible Canada enjoys relationships with many local suppliers, including South Surrey’s Hazelmere Farms, providing the Granville Island restaurant with beautiful sunchokes for their soup. Sea to Sky bacon-salted butter is offered with crusty bread or rolls. Victoria’s Silk Road Teas and Granville Island Tea selections are on the beverage menu, as well as local beer, wine, and spirits.
You can see where this is going: Edible Canada at the Market is a proudly local restaurant and retail space that’s passionate about things sustainable. They are dedicated to sourcing the highest quality products across Canada. Read the rest of the post »
Last night, I was invited to the opening of Vancouver’s newest lounge space, Grain Tasting Bar. Drawing its name from the reclaimed wood doors and accents located throughout, this new downtown player offers smoked wood-fired pizzas, salads, crafted sandwiches, charcuterie and cheese, and shared plates, all created with local ingredients.
[Pear and ginger margarita]
Grain is located inside the Hyatt Regency Vancouver’s lobby, its entrance chic and urban. It’s the perfect spot to grab a light meal or drinks before heading upstairs to dine at Chef Thomas Heinrich’s other venue, Mosaic Bar and Grille.
The salads on the menu are under the Lettuce section; a couple of salad choices that stand out are the Gelderman Farms pulled roasted pork and crispy kale salad, with Klippers organic butternut squash, apple, pea greens with apple vinaigrette, as well as the seared Vancouver Island Albacore tuna salad with farm tomatoes, arugula, and cucumber vinaigrette.
On the charcuterie side, house-made duck proscuitto, Toscano proscuitto, and Okanagan salted and dried Sezmu beef are delicious choices to pair with Little Qualicum Cheesework’s Brie, Olde Farmer raw cow’s milk cheese, and Salt Spring Island Cheese’s Romelia. Softly-scented truffle honey, candied walnuts, pickles and other lovely accompaniments make the cheese and charcuterie experience complete here.
The space captures a lot of natural daylight and looks equally imposing at night, offering city street views with lush trees outside the window.
[Photo provided by Grain Tasting Bar]
In summer, the windows slide open to integrate the outdoors into the lounge, a creative, cutting-edge window design by Sunflex.
[Photo provided by Grain Tasting Bar]
I especially like the bar’s colouring and design. The shimmery ceiling reflects the lighting and bar stools below, almost adding a water-like quality. Everything from inventive cocktails, BC wines, and craft beer begin their journey here, in a beautiful space designed by California firm EDG Architecture.
The cocktail list is equally fun and inventive: Cherry and Basil Margaritas, Bangkok Mules, Ginger Pear Martinis (my favourite–so far), Poet’s Reach, and Ruby Tuesday are just a few on offer. Hand-made, small batch Victoria gin, including concoctions from Long Table Distillery, the city’s first micro distillery, find their home here as well.
Beers are available on tap and in bottles (both domestic and imported). You’ll feel at home with the BC red and wine listings, including Burrowing Owl Merlot, Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir, Mission Hill’s ‘Five Vineyards’ Cabernet/Merlot, Sumac Ridge’s unoaked Chardonnay, Prospect Winery’s Pinot Blanc, Haywire’s Gamay Noir-Rose and others. All wines are available either by the glass or bottle and range from $9 to $16/glass.
Judging from the last night’s scene, this will become the spot to hang your hat (or laptop bag) for some serious unwinding. Kudos to Chef Heinrich and his team for putting together yet another spot to celebrate simply delicious food and drink.
Grain Tasting Bar is located at 655 Burrard Street and is open daily from 11 am to 1 am.
Living and working in small spaces can present a challenge when it comes time to making room for an indoor garden. I thought it would be fun to see how vertical growing could change things up. Enter Boskke, a Wellington, New Zealand-based company specializing in gardening design for urban living.
Boskke comes from an old English term meaning ‘bosky’, loosely translating to ‘small forest’, perfectly appropriate for what plant lovers can achieve with their products in a small space. Boskke’s simple design and easy to use planters are made of recycled plastic, helping to minimize the company’s environmental footprint.
I visited By Nature Design, a Canadian distributor of Boskke’s new Sky Planter as well as the very popular WallFlower Frame, launched at last year’s EpiC Vancouver. Both the SkyPlanter and the WallFlower are modern ways to bring nature inside people’s homes and offices.
A ceiling hook and two different lengths of wire are included in the box, along with a locking disc, Slo-Flo reservoir, and instructions. Watering is done through the top holes; when the green stick on top sticks up, all is golden. When it’s low, it’s time to feed your green friend. The smart reservoir system feeds water gradually to the plant’s roots. There’s no excess water to drain away, so none will evaporate.
I found this an ingenious way to add some nature to your space while not giving up any at the same time: the ceiling is one of the least used areas of a home or office.
Together with Fred Collay, Director of Sales and Communication, we planted (or rather, Fred demonstrated) how quickly a Sky Planter can be set up, using standard plant soil.
His biggest tip is to make sure that the planter has enough soil from the start, adding the potted plant’s soil as well.
His studio is filled with rows of planted canvas squares, ready for being assembled into their frames, and shipped to various florists and customers around Canada. Mother’s Day is just around the corner; Fred is currently scrambling to meet order demand.
The planters are sold in three sizes (sans plant), priced at $24.90 (small), $29.90 (medium), and $39.90 (large). Currently, the Sky Planter is available at The Walrus, Coal Harbour Florist, and Bird on A Wire Creations. Florists that sell the planter will let customers select a plant. The florist will then assemble the planter on site and charge accordingly.
There’s a variety of colours as well as a transparent model suitable for orchids. The Sky Planter is also the winner of a 2011 Red Dot Design Award. We found just the spot to enjoy this planter in our home.
You can keep up with how fans around the world are using their Sky Planters via Pinterest.
I was given a small Sky Planter for the purposes of both testing the planter’s functionality at home and writing this article.
UniverCity at Burnaby Mountain is a self-sustaining community with an elementary school, childcare facilities, an urban park, weekly pocket farmers’ market, shops, cafés, restaurants, a supermarket, hiking and biking trails, all a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver.
I took a midweek afternoon to tour the area, starting off at Club Ilia Eatery and Lounge, located on University High Street, in the heart of the community. Fresh soups, salads, homemade pasta dishes, burgers, appetizers, and all-around comfort food fill the menu.
A Saturday brunch runs from 11 am to 3 pm. I walked by the bar, where several rows of wines were stacked as well as Granville Island Lager and Honey Lager, Sapporo, Okanagan Spring Pale Ale, Phillips Blue Buck, and Fat Tug IPA all on tap. Bottles are also on offer, as well as red wine sangria, cocktails, and an international wine selection. Read the rest of the post »
Walking along Commercial Drive, your first sign of Siddhartha’s Kitchen is a large, colourful mural on the restaurant’s south wall. Siddhartha translates to “an essence well proven”. A modern Indian restaurant infused with traditional values, this one year-old, family-friendly restaurant serves up hearty and healthy Indian fare, with all the usual favourites on the menu.
Imagine the serendipity of being able to tweet about craft beer taps while lunching at a popular Whitehorse restaurant and not an hour later, being approached at Yukon Brewing with a “that was YOUR tweet?”. I arrived just in time for the 2 pm tour, a 45-minute look behind the scenes of Yukon’s most celebrated (and only) brewery. 65% of all beer sold in the Yukon is produced by Yukon Brewing, with Yukon Gold the particular favourite of the bunch. The newest in the collection is Bonanza Brown (currently only available in mixed packs).
Yukon Brewery opened its doors in 1997, at the time calling itself Chilkoot Brewing Company. The company was conceived on a canoe trip, when owners Alan and Bob brainstormed at the campfire. Read the rest of the post »
Ever the community-minded restaurant, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Pizza Company is holding a series of Earth Day workshops this month at both their Kitsilano and Main Street locations. Lighten your footprint on Mother Earth while learning about urban farming techniques, creating your own bubble bath and scrubs, and preparing organic ravioli and fettucini.
[Chef Wout Schipper demonstrates the fine art of ravioli making]
I had the pleasure of attending a ravioli-making event at Rocky Mountain Flatbread during Dine Out Vancouver this year. The restaurant is friendly, casual, and provides a good atmosphere for a varied pizza and pasta menu plus local beers on tap, domestic bottled beers, sangria, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.
April 15, 6 pm, 1876 West 1st Avenue, Kitsilano
Learn from Chef Wout Schipper how to make your very own organic ravioli and fettucini.
April 10, 6 pm, 1486 Main Street
Suz will demonstrate how to make your own bubble bath, scrubs, and creams using all-natural products.
Companion Plant Container Gardening
April 17, 6 pm, 1486 Main Street
Learn how to grow your own food by creating a companion plant container with Munisha, an urban farmer.
April 27, 10 am, 1486 Main Street
Join Sarah and Suz as they read the award-winning book Uno’s Garden and plant pea shoots.
Register for the above complimentary workshops by phoning 604.730.0321 (Kitsilano) or 604.566.9779 (Main Street).
Also on offer is an Earth Day Pizza Making and Beer Tasting event on Monday evening, April 22 from 5 pm onwards, featuring both Stanley Park and R&B Brewing craft beer samples.
Learn to make an artisan pizza with five of your favourite ingredients, kicking things off by enjoying a salad and fresh bread.
Register by phoning 604.730.0321 (Kitsilano) or 604.566.9779 (Main Street). Tickets are $25 with 10% of all evening sales being donated to Earthbites, an local organization that teaches kids to grow their own food.
I’ve a pair of tickets to give away to a lucky reader and their guest to attend the Monday pizza making and beer tasting event at either location.
Follow both @arianecdesign and @flatbreadCo for a chance to win and enter by tweeting the following:
RT to win a pizza & beer tasting evening from @flatbreadCo and @arianecdesign on April 22 http://ow.ly/jXaYn
For an additional entry, leave a comment on this post mentioning your most memorable and delicious pizza-eating experience to date, anywhere in the world.
I’ll select a winner at random on Friday, April 19 at noon.
Congrats to Jessica Adamson, winner of the pair of tickets. Happy Earth Day
It had been awhile since my last visit to forage, so my husband and I headed over to Robson Street last weekend to celebrate spring with a locally-sourced brunch.
This was also my first time seeing the interior bathed in natural daylight. The bar and inviting seating areas are well-lit and tastefully decorated with striped wallpaper in green and blue tones, nicely offsetting the wooden accents and black leather banquettes and chairs.
As with dinner, many dishes are brought out in iron skillets atop a wooden board branded with the forage logo. Brunch items range from eggs benny to pumpkin brioche French toast with caramelized bacon. We watched that French toast dish pass us by and noted it for a future visit.
[Dungeness crab cake]
The Dungeness crab cake ($14) is filler-free, moist, and so delicate, we’d wished the the order had arrived with two on the plate. My husband and I slowly devoured the beautifully-presented crab cake, served alongside a portion of Fresh Roots Urban Farm salad greens. forage uses Ocean Wise-sanctioned seafood in its dishes, as well as locally-sourced and foraged ingredients, many prepared in-house.
My husband ordered the Two Rivers turkey sausage hash, served with roasted vegetables, free-range poached eggs, mustard hollandaise and toast ($14). The poached egg, hollandaise, and toast combo was the best he’s had in ages. The soft egg complemented both the veggies and roasted potatoes in taste and texture.
[Alpine juniper duck confit frittata]
As for me, all eyes were on the Alpine juniper duck confit frittata ($12). This hearty menu ‘iron’ cleans up nicely with delicious multigrain bread and an assortment of homemade jams (my fave being the strawberry-ginger, slightly sweet with a tiny tang from the ginger). The dish’s flavour is further heightened by roasted garlic cloves appearing here and there throughout the frittata.
The duck confit is cooked in juniper, then the frittata receives a topping of fresh greens and Neufchâtel. Overall this was rich without being too salty, and not greasy, the perfect marriage of flavour and texture, especially when put on top of that lovely multigrain toast.
[Housemade strawberry-ginger jam]
It’s the small touches that make forage a worthwhile stop for healthy brunching: freshly ground salt and pepper in white dishes, little jars of condiments, and loose-leaf tea in place of tea bags. I enjoyed a pot of Sencha green tea with my meal (later with the addition of rooibos for added sweetness). The staff are very accommodating and helpful in describing/recommending dishes.
[Sencha loose green tea]
forage takes pride in being a sustainable, zero-waste establishment, the same as its next-door neighbour, the Listel Hotel.
[Buttermilk pancake, Valley blueberries, honey butter]
The house-made honey butter on our fluffy buttermilk pancakes ($11, stack of four) are heavenly, especially when maple syrup and locally-sourced Valley blueberries arrive with the order. A sprinkling of powdered sugar added to the dish’s festiveness.
Assistant restaurant manager Matthew frequently checked up on us to make sure everything was to our satisfaction, from the first bites right through to extra water for my tea or topping up my husband’s coffee.
On the morning of our visit, a steady stream of customers came and went, from older couples and a few groups of ladies brunching together, to parents with young children. The restaurant receives a mix of hotel clients and locals, though on weekends, the traffic is definitely focused on Lower Mainland food lovers, according to Matthew.
forage is located at 1300 Robson Street next to the artfully-designed Listel Hotel. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch.
Well done, Chef Chris Whittaker and team!
Disclosure: Our meals were compliments of forage, for the purpose of experiencing their brunch and writing this article.
I hadn’t visited the Telus World of Science since the recent renovations, so with a 3D printer village and a curious exhibit entitled Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys, this was a great opportunity for a weekend discovery.
Gerberich was raised on an Iowa farm and didn’t have to look far when looking for an abundance of old machine parts, pieces of furniture and cookware, toys, carnival figures and everything in between. His grandparents had amassed enough to start him on his way.
The 25 installations in this exhibition range from a wooden cow wearing high-top sneakers to an orchestra with life-size musicians Rollie, Norman, Frank, Woody, Jimmy and Jason, conducted by Lyman Shuey.
Fusing art and science, Steve is a firm believer that everything looks better in a museum. Think Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Jean Tinguely, mixed with a heavy dose of Robert Rasuchenberg! Read the rest of the post »
The prime downtown location is perfect for unwinding after a long day behind the desk, or indulging in a fantastic package currently being offered by VanEatsca. Entitled Art of Taste, a three course menu (with two options for each course) is available for $22, a steal considering the quality of ingredients and attention to detail in the dishes you’re being presented with to enjoy.
Native Australian Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich has enjoyed a successful career cooking in several Sydney restaurants before heading to New York City to work as sous chef at the former Fifty Seven Fifty Seven at the Four Seasons Hotel. He’s all about locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients that marry in taste and texture.
My friend Kelly and I indulged in the Art of Taste menu this week:
- Local seasonal spring salad, fava beans, house made sheep milk ricotta, citrus/mustard dressing
- Warm à la Minute smoked Skuna Bay salmon, avocado terrine, maple-matured sherry bourbon oak vinegar
- Eight-hour braised Spring Creek short ribs, roasted root vegetables, garlic, tarragon jus
- Grilled long line-caught BC Ling cod, baby bok choy, shiitake mushroom, dashi broth
The spring salad is so pretty, almost too much so to eat. Everything about the salad rang fresh. And that house-made ricotta was just sublime next to the citrus mustard flavour combination. Tiny edible flowers grace the plate as well as that of the Skuna Bay salmon, also very artfully designed on the plate.
A soft avocado and sour cream terrine sits next to the salmon and the maple/oak/sherry bourbon flavour of the fluid gel is enhanced by the ingredients spending time in a maple-bourbon oak barrel. Chef Heinrich uses local/sustainable sturgeon caviar by Northern Divine.
[Smoked Skuna bay salmon, maple matured sherry bourbon oak vinegar, avocado terrine]
As well, the dish is brought out served with a glass dome, as an additional finishing to the Sous-vide process it starts out with. I tried a similar version prepared by the chef and his team at the 2013 Healthy Chef Competition Dinner and Awards.
[Eight-hour braised short rib, foraged spring onions, morel mushrooms, cooked in shallot & garlic]
The braised short ribs are densely flavoured and enhanced by the morels cooked in shallot and garlic. The kitchen uses foraged spring onions from Mikuni Wild Harvest as well as Vidalias from the Southern US, aka the sweetest onion around. The sweetness is derived from the onions being grown in soil containing very little sulfur.
[Ocean Wise Long Line BC Gray Cod, baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms, dashi broth]
Chef Heinrich brought a small pot of hot dashi broth to grace the ling cod, adding immediate aromatic pleasure to a dish already adorned with baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms, tiny purple edible flowers and strands of red chili. Divine and subtle, the dish was immersed with an array of flavour. The line-caught Ocean Wise BC fish is only touched by two sets of hands: that of the fisherman and that of the cook.
[Mosaic signature chocolate cake with fresh fruit and chocolate drizzle]
The desserts were both wonderfully sweet and decadent, though the hands-down winner at our table was the triple-layer chocolate cake. Rich, adorned with fresh fruit and several drizzles of white and dark chocolate, it’s a chocoholics dream.
We also enjoyed two dishes on the regular menu: Grilled Gelderman Farms marinated pork with pickled radish, snow peas, crispy lotus root ($13), and Spring Creek beef carpaccio topped with a 68 degree egg yolk, fried capers, chives, and Castillo de Canena smoked Arbequina Extra Virgin olive oil ($14). The slight saltiness of the beef was perfectly combined with the soft egg and crispy capers and chives. I loved the combination of textures in this dish.
[Spring Creek beef carpaccio, fried capers, chives, 68-degree egg yolk, smoked extra virgin olive oil]
The marinated pork dish is just lovely, with the snappy peas and thin crisp of the beautifully presented lotus root chips. It’s even more delicious than pork belly (and more refined, too).
The Art of Taste package is only available at VANEATS.ca between March 13 and July 13.
VanEats is also running a Twitter contest for a chance to win a pass. Follow @vaneatsca and retweet the following:
“#RT2EAT 1 of 3 #ArtOfTaste at Mosaic dining passes from @VANEATSca @HyattVancouver Chef @thomasheinric10 http://ow.ly/iPtTT”
Mosaic Grille is located at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver on 655 Burrard Street. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a side bar open until 11 pm daily.
My meal was compliments of Van Eats and Mosaic Grille at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver for the purpose of previewing the Art of Taste package.