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Everything posted by barolo

  1. I think their Gewurtraminer's are worth trying. I haven't tried any other varietals myself. Lotusland is a rebranding of a winery located in Abbotsford, can't remember the original name.
  2. I assume, like you, that the market didn't work for them here. I wouldn't read anything more than that into it. I'm sure they'd cover any city and find something "vibrant" about the restaurant scene, if it was a money maker.
  3. My take is similar to Daddy-A's - it's a marketing world out there in the restaurant business.
  4. barolo

    The Naam?!

    I'm not a fan of the Naam's food by any stretch of the imagination but if you check out the Vancouver Richmond Health Board website you'll find much worse kitchens in terms of hygiene, some in much more upscale looking spots. That being said, I would never recommend the Naam to anyone. Bad food, bad wine, line ups - it just doesn't add up.
  5. barolo

    City Food Paper

    A new edition of EAT is out too. I saw a big pile at Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie Street.
  6. I'll second Barb's Buns. Wow lots of good advice on this thread for my future visits.
  7. barolo

    Penticton & Naramata

    In Naramata area try La Frenz, Poplar Grove, Red Rooster and Kettle Vallley. Actually try them all there's about 8 or 10 on the bench. Can't help with Penticton restaraunts but someone else will chime in.
  8. barolo

    corking off

    Ontario just made BYO legal - see the link: Ontario BYO Alberta also has gone this route, I believe. When this is proposed there is usually a big uproar from the restaurant lobby that does not wish to lose a big revenue source. In Australia BYO is common and many US states allow BYO. Corkage rates vary. Somehow in BC we continue to have relatively puritan laws around alcohol.
  9. barolo

    City Food Paper

    Merlin: I'm not Maxmillian but I can tell you the both City Food and Eat have websites, but you can't get content from them. City Food has a daily column on its site: www.cityfood.com and Eat has a table of contents of its latest edition: eatmagazine.ca . Barolo
  10. I was at Hart House about a year ago and had a very good meal with excellent service. Sorry I can't remember the details and it was a work-related dinner so the focus was not supposed to be on the food. It's not exactly casual but on the west coast nothing is really very formal either, especially in tourist season.
  11. Yes, I was at Parkside at few weeks ago and very underwhelmed. Since it has got so many raves, I decided they must be having an off night. Both the service and the food were mediocre. I'm planning to return since Parkside has lots of fans, but if I hadn't read so many recommendations for it, I would have crossed it off my list.
  12. I don't think the fish place on the docks at Granville Island is there anymore but I hear that Gord Martin of the Bins 941/2 is opening a fish place by the GI fisherman's wharf in June. Steveston is a great suggestion as an alternative. I think Moderne works or try the Templeton or even Vera's. Unfortunately White Spot is probably a more authentic Canadian experience, as suggested above.
  13. I overheard two staffers at Ripe on 4th Avenue (reportedly the only Vancouver restaurant with a 100% organic kitchen besides Bishop's) discussing this very issue. Their conclusion was that best prices were found in the shops on south Commercial Drive (I didn't pick up specific shops unfortunately), but you have to shop around town to get good prices consistently.
  14. barolo

    City Food

    Well it seems to me that you started the comparison, but I agree - no value in getting into a discussion and we obviously have different perceptions and probably different expectations. I think both have something to offer, and I hope both are able to thrive.
  15. barolo

    City Food

    I disagree. I think EAT does a good job in a much smaller market. They have much more local content and more in depth writing that City Food and don't waste space on New York wannabe stuff that tends to fluff up City Food.
  16. barolo

    City Food

    I'd definitely be willing to pay for a quality, reliable product that focussed on local (i.e., BC) food and wine. I think it would be pretty tough to compete with all the free distribution newspapers with food and wine columnists though. Most people are just not interested enough to go beyond what is available for free. The market is small, advertisers are few and costs are high - a tough place to be.
  17. barolo

    City Food

    City Food has definitely gone downhill over over the years, IMHO, but I still keep a look out for it. Too much recycled material and general foodie stuff you could read anywhere is included, but this past edition was a welcome change despite some errors. Unfortunately it seems that City Food often over-promises and under-delivers which will not keep advertisers happy, and they after all are paying for it, even though we are not. Nonetheless I applaud the proprietor for her perserverance and hope City Food will be restored to its former glory one day soon. I see EAT magazine from Victoria is becoming more widely available in Vancouver so perhaps they see an opportunity here.
  18. Thanks Dee, I've taken a note of those.
  19. barolo

    City Food

    Paul: I've seen them at Granville Island and Marquis Wine Cellars. Try quality food and wine related stores in your area.
  20. barolo

    BC Wine

    Still jere Paul and sipping on a glass of Geringer Brothers reisling that is very tasty. Are you going to the Naramata Bench release on April 20th at the Roundhouse Community Centre? It will feature wines form 10 wineries from the Naramata Bench and food by some pretty good restaurants from Vancouver and Naramata. More information can be found on Tony Gismondi's website: www.gismondionwine.com at the left side of the home page near the bottom. Cheers, Barolo
  21. Jerry: the Cookshop in Market Square at 12th and Cambie seem to have a large selection of cake decorating supplies and they offer courses too. It's not my area of expertise but the store (or at least their website: http://www.cookshop.ca/store/) is probably worth checking out.
  22. barolo

    Umami on Davie

    I went recently. Very different place than Hapa Izakaya - ambiance is quiet and low key. Food is not particularly Asian - rack of lamb, duck breast, daube of oxtail, arugula salad with proscuitto and pear, sausage etc. Somewhat meat oriented which was fine for me, but a challenge for my vegetarian companion. There's definitely some Asian twists - a few edamame, shiso leaves, Asian saucing green tea tiramasu for dessert, etc. Trying more for a Bin 941 type of dish than Hapa. Short but good by the glass wine list. I didn't look at the full wine list, but I'm betting it is good too. I think they need to do some work on the menu and the execution - it is a little hit and miss. My prawns on risotto cake with edamame did not sing - the prawns were pretty good but a little over-cooked, the risotto did nothing to highlight the prawns, and was too heavy on the cheese. The arugula and prosciutto salad tasted good but the pears were sliced way too thick and it was piled in a rather unattractive and difficult to tackle mound. Service was pleasant, but a little too hovering. I've heard some raves about other dishes so maybe they are still finding their feet. I'd go back because I see lots of potential. If you want a Hapa Izakaya experience Umami is not trying to go there. If you want to go to a quiet spot with a little jazz playing, have a dinner of small plates along with a glass or bottle of wine, Umami is your spot.
  23. barolo

    BC Wine

    I think BC whites are pretty good and there are some good values out there. Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are good bets - I liked Wild Goose, Blasted Church and Tinhord Creek Pinot Gris lately. Actually the whole line up of whites at Blasted Church was pretty good this year. The Mission Hill Pinot Grigio isn't my style, but it is well made and has its fans. Hester Creek Pinot Blanc at about $11.00 is a good sipper. I don't drink a lot of chardonnay but I agree with Merlin that what is coming out of BC is much better than the industrial stuff coming from California and Australia and prices are much better. Reislings are coming along and again, at the sipper level, there are some good value choices like Geringer Brothers. I liked the Wild Goose Stony Slope too, didn'tget a chance to try their regular bottling. I'm less enthused about the reds, even though there are some good ones emerging, more because of the relatively prices than anything else. However I don't believe BC wineries are highly subsidized and I would guess there is far more government subsidy going into California and Australian wineries than there is in BC. And certainly agricultural subsidies in France are commonplace. While there are lots of great wines produced in those areas, there's lots of crap too. There's tanker loads of industrial reds from California and especially Australia being sold at some pretty prices. But the hot climate jammy reds are in fashion with a lot of the market, so they are doing well despite their manufactured origins. In BC I liked Note Bene, but not enought to buy more than one bottle, and found the Fairview Cellars reds to be good value. It is hard to find BC wines made by smaller producers unless you go to the winery or are on a mailing list, but hey there's a ton of good wine out there so why sweat it. I enjoy an annual trip to the Okanagan and buy some wine, ask my favourite product consultant at the liquor store for recommendations, go to tastings at the VQA store once in a while, see what's recommended at the private wine stores, and seem to end up with way more wine than I can drink once the rest of the wine world is factored in. So if I miss out on some Poplar Grove, Burrowing Owl or Blue Mountain big deal, there's lots of other good choices? I think the wine industry in BC is getting its act together and whether it has taken "too" long or not doesn't really matter to me, I'm looking at what's here now. I don't go out of my way to buy BC wines, but I don't ignore them either. I'm always trying new wines, BC or otherwise, and mostly you have to rely on recommendations from people you trust. The Village VQA stores at Dunbar and Edgemont have free tastings every weekend, you can try BC wines for free and decide for yourself whether or not to buy them,
  24. barolo

    Cru Restaurant

    I went last night with a friend and overall it was a good meal and very good value for the money. Comments: Reservations: Were handled well. The food - we shared the organic greens salad with over dried pear and goat cheese in a gewurtraminer vinagrette which was excellent and well prepared. I had braised lamb on white beans and pancetta, very good. My friend had scallops on risotto with chanterelles that were declared excellent. We also had an order of Terra bread - good as usual but awkward to tear apart gracefully as it wasn't cut through quite enough. We shared an ice wine orange cake with creme fraiche which was good but not special enough for us. Prices - Generally the servings are generous for the prices although bread at $4.00 wasn't exactly a bargain and there was much more than we (or most people, I would wager) wanted. Wine prices are reasonable. Service - ok, friendly and low key, but we didn't get the wine list concept explained to us and it seemed that some tables were getting more attentive service than we were. We were talking a lot though and the server may not have wanted to intrude. They were busy for a Tuesday night but we didn't feel rushed. Room - I found the entrance area awkward (hard in a long narrow room, I know), and the lighting in the foyer is not very appealing or flattering. The chairs are comfortable, white cloths on the table, simple glass candle holders and white plates, overall a minimalist look with light wood that is very appealing. Noise level is relatively low (yay!), lighting was too low to be able to easily discern the colour coded wine list (for my aged eyes anyway) but ok to read the menu. Women's washroom immediately by the bar - not a great location. Parking in the area is tough to find and expensive. Wine: A well thought out and reasonably priced list. It is pretty short though and doesn't really add up to a wine bar by any stretch of the imagination. The colour coded concept seems aimed at wine newbies. No wine flights offered or taster sizes as you might expect. Probably half of the offerings are available by the glass. A minor grumble - only one wine list per table: we don't share the menus, why do we have to share the wine list. This a reasonably priced grown-up restaurant, offering very good food - unfortunately all too rare in Vancouver. I would definitely go again and will recommend it to others. Make reservations unless you are coming early.
  25. I'd start with a coffee from JJ Beans or tea from Granville Island tea and then choose breakfast. Some of my breakfast favourites are apple foccacia or grape bread from Terra, a donut from Lee's Donuts, or hot cereal from the Stock Market. Then I'd do a quick tour of the market to see what day vendors are in that day. Before I shop in the market, I usually take a tour through Circle Craft, Crafthouse, the Wood Co-op and the Potter's Guild to see their gallery shows and check out the latest offerings. Then I amble around the rest of the artisan studios scattered around the Island and back to the market to do my shopping. If you are not familiar with the Island pick up a map at the information centre just past Kid's Only Market on Cartwright Street. Many of the Island shops also have Island maps. Aside from lots of crafts and artisans, there's a bunch of boat stuff to look at on the Island, a brewery, the aforementioned Kid's Only Market, an Art College, Opus Frames, theatres, restaurtants and various other shops that may be of greater or lesser interest to you. At the Public Market, as many have noted, Oyama sausage has an incredible array of cured meat and sausages, as well as some cheese, that must be checked out and sampled if possible. Terra Breads is great and check out the day vendors for seasonal offerings. I'd take a walk or drive down to 2nd and Burrard and check out les amis du fromage if you are really into cheese. For lunch the Stock Market is my pick, they always have 3 soups available. Usually though I take my groceries home and make lunch from my market finds. There are restaurtants on the Island but nothing to really get excited about. The restaurant at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, just off the entrance of the Island might be worth checking out. I'm not sure if it is open for lunch or just for dinner. Cheers, Barolo