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Paul B

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Everything posted by Paul B

  1. Brilliant! Many thanks to everyone.
  2. I'll be attending a conference in Boston in a few weeks, staying downtown at the Westin Copley Hotel. I won't have a car. Can anyone recommend some good dinner and lunch places within walking distance? They don't all have to be 5 star -- a cheap 'n' cheerful place that serves local specialties would be fine too. Many thanks in advance. Looking forward to my first visit to the city.
  3. 'm in Tallinn Estonia right now and had great pancakes at Kompressor in Old Town. Off to Tartu tomorrow, then to Riga and then Lithuania. Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.
  4. I'll be in Tartu, Estonia for several days. I was wondering if anyone could recommend reasonable places to eat. I'm from an Eastern European background myself so I have no problem with pickled herring, sour cream, and potatoes. What I don't want is the super over-priced bad Italian and Japanese food that you find in so many tourist-heavy European cities Thanks in advance!
  5. Hi. I'm on a committee interviewing job candidates this coming week. We'll be in the Gastown area and have booked the Water Street Cafe for one night, but not sure what to do the others. We need a place that can seat 6, is not too loud, and will impress our guests with Vancouver's dining scene. That last time I ate in Gastown (the Taqueria aside) was at Al Porto and I was disappointed. Any ideas?? Thanks in advance.
  6. We've been going to the Dundarave Fish Market for years now, on special occasions (like my 50th birthday) and when good friends are in town. The menu is interesting, with some great appies (the riptide squid is a must) and entrees that let your choose the fish and the sauce that goes with it. But tonight was a bit off. I asked, as I usually do, the server for her recommendation and she said the halibut. Fine, I order it as does my mother-in-law, with a ginger sauce. Very very disappointing. The fish on both of our plates a was cooked to death: dry and mealy. No amount of sauce could help it. That's the first time this has happened to me at this restaurant. Usually the fish is cooked perfectly. Not tonight: horribly overcooked fish and slightly undercooked vegetables. New chef? i don't know, but I need a new local seafood place.
  7. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful suggestions! You Chicago types are just as food mad as we are in Vancouver. Cheers.
  8. Hi. At a conference in beautiful Chicago, staying at the Hyatt on Wacker, right downtown on the canal. Any good places within walking distance for reasonably priced dinners? Many thanks in advance.
  9. Ginger and Soy is now open and is really quite good, certainly the best Chinese Food in West Van this side of the Red Door. And they deliver quickly and efficiently.
  10. I just saw this the other day and it looked close to opening. I can't wait. When I lived in Tokyo in the '80s gyundon was a life saver: cheap, tasty, and filling.
  11. Does anyone know where I can get fresh foie gras in Vancouver? It's easy enough to find the canned stuff, which is extended with other stuff, but I would like to get a real goose liver. Thanks.
  12. I just took mine to House of Knives in Park Royal. I know it's a chain, but they did an excellent job.
  13. Vip's restaurant in West Van, on Marine near 15th, has been replaced by a new store called Ginger and Soy and bearing the subtitle "Chinese cuisine." So far I haven't seen anyone in it, probably they haven't put a menu in the window so no one knows if it's expensive, regional, or what. Kind of a major mistake. Had lunch at the new Red Door location in Park Royal Village. Excellent, especially the ginger beef. The service was a bit too friendly and over the top for my taste, but I'd still go back for the food.
  14. Yes! And the people who run the place will treat you as a regular if you go back a few times.
  15. Parking is a nightmare, so try to go on off days. Mr. Haas also happens to be rock-star handsome and charming to boot. I love taking out-of-towners to his odd little shop and blowing them away with his pastries and chocolates.
  16. I'm on Salt Spring right now, and have eaten twice at the Raven Street Market Cafe because it is within walking distance of my B&B. This ain't Rock Salt or the STUPIDLY OVERPRICED Hastings House, but chef Richard does pretty good pub food. His pizzas are very nice and his salads are terrific, largely because he grows a lot of his own greens next door. So worth a visit. The sheep cheese place in the south of the island is worth a visit -- you can cobble together a nice picnic from the stuff the they have. Finally, the Salt Spring winery has a couple of killer whites right now. Worth the drive. Avoid the Mexican place in the mall in Ganges. The place there that does curries and noodles in boxes is okay, but stick to the curries. The oriental stuff is over salted. The little sushi stand next door is also quite good. Both of these places are in the little part of the mall just up from "The Local" pub and wine store.
  17. Us too! There's a Lithuanian baker in Toronto who specializes in these cakes. Almost all of them are used at weddings. It really freaked up my non-Lithuanian friends and new in-laws.
  18. Lithuanians all know that the best breakfast is a warmed up (fried) piece of kugelis with sour cream on the side. For those of you who don't know what kugelis is, imagine a three inch think potato pancake with bits of bacon in it. Heat stopping amounts of cholesterol, but worth every bite.
  19. Ah, ethnic food in West Van. Used to be an oxymoron. My wife and I often grab a quick meal at Amici, on Marine between 17th and 18th. It's an Italian place, not too fancy, that makes great pasta and salads and has good service. The Indian place right across the street has a good brunch. Vip's Kitchen, on Marine just east of 15th, serves regional (I forget which region) Chinese food that's very authentic. The Persian take-out place on Marine near 14th is a bargain. For pub food, the Red Lion in Dundarave. For great French food, of course, Le Regalade. The best seafood is the Fish Market in Dundarave (I'm going there this weekend for my wife's birthday). Be sure to have their squid appetizer. The best sushi is from the little place in Dundarave on the north side of Marine and the little place in Ambleside on the north side of Marine between 14th and 15th -- it's near Johnnie's Gelato, which is tremendous. For fancy dining with a view, we like the Beach House in Dundarave. The food is actually very good as is the service. So, those are our most commons haunts. Enjoy.
  20. Okay, so I live in West Van (in the smallest, crappiest house in the city, mind you) so I know the limited eating scene pretty durn well. And while we’re got some great restaurants (Le Regalade, the Fish Market) we also have some clip joints that exploit the area’s spectacular views and rich population. So it was with some trepidation that we accepted an invitation to one of W. Van’s newest restaurants, Fraiche. Now the first thing about this place is the location. It is at the very tip top of the west British Properties, in an area called “Canterbury,” part of a new development of monster houses (there’s one that’s so large it looks like it belongs in Disneyland) and super-condos. It is perched on the side of the hill overlooking the harbor, Lion’s Gate, and well, most of Western hemisphere. So the six of us arrived at seven and were delighted by the complimentary valet parking. The entry to the surprisingly small restaurant is dominated by a large First Nation’s sculpture. Appropriately attractive and sycophantic staff took our coats and seated us. We weren’t by the windows, but still had glimpses of the view. Because the room is not staggered, as is, say Salmon House, only those with the very limited number of window tables get the full effect. The rest of the room is very attractive: open kitchen; subdued lights; snazzy high tech features. The clientele? Old, rich, and white. Our friend J noticed that she was the only Asian person in the room. That doesn’t happen often in Vancouver. Anyway, our waiter was wired and intense. We got our menus quickly but had to wait too long before our drink orders were taken. The drinks did come quickly however. Drink in hand, I was able to read the menu without having a heart attack. The entrees were well into the $30 range and the appies went up to $20. You can see the menu here, but you’ll notice there are no prices: http://fraicherestaurant.ca/ I wasn’t ordering the wine, thank goodness, because my brief glimpse at the list suggested that bargains were not to be had. I had a goat cheese asparagus appetizer that was very good. My wife had a nice salad. Nice, not spectacular. We both had the special which was rabbit done two ways – one piece in a cinnamon sauce, the other wrapped in prosciutto. It was very good and the portions were generous. One of my friends demolished his lamb shank while another had the lobster and pasta. Everyone enjoyed their entrees. We did not stay for dessert because it was my wife’s birthday party and we were going back to a friend’s house for cake, so I can’t comment on the sweets. Nor did I get a look at the final bill, but I can assume it was as much as I paid for my first car. So, final analysis: a nice restaurant but, to my mind, not quite worth the prices they charge, especially if you can’t see the view. And the aging clientele added stuffiness to the proceedings. I prefer Le Regalade for the comfort food and the Fish Market for the casual funkiness. Your man in WV.
  21. Second this vote. I go there most Sundays and the head butcher doesn't think twice about putting together special roasts for me. They're always good.
  22. -The lemon buttermilk (w blueberries) pie from Savary Island Pie Co. -Takoyaki from the stand on the third floor of the Aberdeen Centre -The Seven Stones Cabernet Franc (almost impossible to find in town -- I got some from the winery itself, just outside Osooyos) -The cassoulet at Cafe de Paris on Denman -the "riptide" squid at the Fish Market in Dundarave -the rotello di capone available at Maccio's on Hastings -the mussels at Chambar
  23. Last week the sunday New York Times travel section did a spread on the Sunshine Coast. It has some restaurant suggestions. Check it out.
  24. I'll be spending a few days in the south Okanagan at the beginning of August. Any recommendations for fine and/or casual dining around Osoyoos? Thanks in advance.
  25. I'll be visiting St. John's for the first time the second week of August for a conference at Memorial. I'll be staying at the charmingly named "Guv'nor" hotel. Where to eat in the city? I won't have a car, so walking distances are the best. And please remember, as someone from Vancouver, I shall be looking for a least one lobster meal. Thanks in advance
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