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  1. Those who attended Lord Balthazar's chocolate event were blessed, I think. I attended a chocolate and port event in Vancouver several years ago, which I enjoyed, but I understand now what a REAL chocolate soiree is all about. What an amazingly professional job Lord Balthazar. Ling provided a long list of chocolates and photos and many sound absolutely devine. Of the chocolates you enjoyed, which ones can I purchase in Vancouver and where ... essential information with Easter just around the corner. Thanks again for sharing.
  2. Pane from Heaven closed? Oh no, say it ain't so. I regularly would buy chocolate ganache cake there, which was out of this world ... rich and not too sweet. Where shall I go now?
  3. Oyster Guy ... great write up and photos. One day I, too, hope to stuff oysters freshly scooped from the beach into my mouth. A friend of mine goes up to Savory Island near Powell River every summer and talks fondly of the local oysters, which she steams on a BBQ. For those of us who are unable to go on oyster expeditions, there are a few other options — some that have already been discussed in this thread. In the past I frequently bought oysters from Strait Oysters Ltd. (www.straitoysters.com), which sold oysters from False Creek Fisherman's Wharf. However, I just called the company and apparently they aren’t selling oysters due to unfavourable sales dock regulations. They might return next fall if conditions improve. It’s too bad because their oysters and prices are great. Another great option, but only available once a year, is the annual BC Wine and Oyster Festival put on by Liberty Merchant Co. It took place on Jan. 17th at the Hyatt Regency. I didn’t go this year, but went last year. It’s a great deal. Cost is $40 and you can eat oysters till you’re sick. I ate 25 oysters (I like mine with lemon juice) and my friend ate 45. I had an upset stomach after the pig out. Oh, yeah, there’s some decent wine, as well.
  4. An interesting read ... the Times' restaurant critic trades places and swaps perspectives to get a taste of what servers go through and how they survive diners. The website address is: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/25/dining/25note.html
  5. I'd like to mention "The Girls Who Dish" cookbook, which contains a medley of recipes from eight of the West Coast's most recognized female chefs including Karen Barnaby and Margaret Chisholm. I have only tried a few recipes, although there are many more that interest me. I absolutely love the Jerk Chicken with Cucumber Lime Salsa. It's easy to make and popular with dinner guests. I believe 'the girls' put out another cookbook, as well.
  6. I had to laugh when I read tarteausucre's post re: the Transylvanian Bread place. I, too, dropped by last weekend ... Sunday afternoon at about 1:30 pm ... and I had the same experience. The shelves were empty of bread. There was none to be had, although the very friendly fellow working there did give me a slice of rye from a loaf that had already been cut for tastings. I was looking forward to getting the bread as a friend had raved about it. Anyway, the friendly fellow said there would be fresh bread in about an hour. I couldn't wait. I guess I will have to try it some other time.
  7. You can find bottled truffles and truffle oil at one of my favourite Italian shops ... A. Bosa & Co. Ltd., 562 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, 604 253 5578. I bought a bottle of truffle infused olive oil in this little shop several weeks ago for a very reasonable price. I think I paid about $8 for 250 mL. I had previously bought truffle oil at The Gourmet Warehouse and paid $11.95 for only 60 mL. I’m not a connoisseur on truffle oil, but I thought the two oils tasted the same. It’s a lovely addition to scrambled eggs.
  8. I've checked out the Kiwi Pie Company at the Kingsway location. I occasionally drove there on Mondays to buy two small pies for the price of one. It was a fabulous deal. I don't think they offer it anymore, but on Tuesdays you can get a small pie for $4, which isn't bad. I've always enjoyed the pies. It's been a while since I've had one so I forget which flavours I liked best, but I do know that I wasn't crazy about the butter chicken pie ... probably because I prefer my butter chicken the traditional way, not encased in pastry.
  9. I've bought tickets for Crush on Friday night. I note that it, along with a number of other events, is sold out. I was a bit concerned on the weekend when a friend informed me that we only had an hour to eat and drink. That would be an extreme challenge even for glutton. As it turns out, the VIPs get a chance to clean up the wine and food before the great, unwashed masses are allowed in for 2.5 hours. Phew! Two-and-a-half hours is all I need. Both Araxi and Bearfoot Bistro sound like fun events. However, I can't afford to attend either of these events in addition to Crush. I would love to read some reviews, though. I’ll see what else in on when I’m up there. I actually hope to get some skiing in on Saturday. It could be quiet on the hills if everyone is hung over.
  10. I want to thank you all for your suggestions. I returned from Oliver last night. I was only able to visit one winery ... Tinhorn, one of the few that was open and offering wine tastings. (I called a few wineries before leaving Vancouver and was told that you have to make an appointment before dropping by to purchase wine and there would be no product sampling.) I selected Tinhorn because I wanted to walk along the Golden Mile Trail, in the hills behind the winery. The trail is 10-kilometres, but I only walked a small section of it. Lovely views of the valley. The Tinhorn wine was pleasant. I tried the Oldfield Merlot, but it needed to spend a bit more time in the bottle. I asked about 2003 wines, but they won't be out till the spring. A staff person in the Tinhorn shop said the 2003 wines are fantastic. Burrowing Owl's Sonora Room was closed for the winter so I went to the Toasted Oak Wine Bar and Grill. Lunch was satisfactory, although the chicken I ate could have been a bit more tender. It was soaked in buttermilk, dipped in a batter and fried. I had hoped to try the flight of wines ($12 for three wines, I believe, with a choice of 25 different wines), but ended up having a business luncheon so I had to stay away from the wine. I visited the adjacent BC VQA Wine Store & Gift Shoppe and bought two wines recommended by the store manager ... Hester Creek 2003 Merlot and Arrowleaf 2004 Pinot Gris. Interestingly, although the store has an amazing selection of BC wines, it does not carry any wines by Burrowing Owl.
  11. I'm flying into Oliver for a business meeting next Wednesday. I will be renting a car and have about six hours to kill before the meeting. I'd like to visit a few wineries in the area and perhaps have lunch at one of them. Any recommendations? Thanks.
  12. I recently visited Lolita's at 1326 Davie Street (Bute Street) and enjoyed the experience. (I think it replaced a restaurant called Random.) Three of us arrived at about 8 pm this past Saturday. There was a bit of a line up, but we got in right away because we were willing to sit at the bar. I don't think Lolita's takes reservations. The food was very tasty, although not quite as spicy as I would prefer. I had the halibut tacos with corn tortillas, rice, beans and salad for about $13. The halibut came with a mango salsa and pickled cabbage. I shared a chile rellano stuffed with crab (a special that evening) and enjoyed a drink called Montezuma's Revenge ... dark rum, pineapple juice and ginger beer. I'm not a big cocktail drinker as they are usually too sweet. However, this drink went down very nicely. Lolita's is quite small. I think there were perhaps 40 people squeezed into the place. Not sure how all the waiters manage to weave between the tables and bar. Great atmosphere.
  13. Wojo

    French dinner

    This is my first post. I've been lurking in the background avidly reading opinions, debates and recommendations. I've learned a lot. A couple of times I planned to post information, but someone beat me to the punch. Anyway, I felt I could contribute to this discussion. Ling earlier mentioned Vacherin Mont d'Or cheese. I tried it last year and it's fabulous. I practically ate a whole wheel by myself in one week. This cheese is only available during November to January. Apparently there's a sign up list at Les Amis du Fromage. Last year I bought the cheese at Whole Foods in West Vancouver and it was quite a bit cheaper. Regarding wine and cheese pairings, I went to a wine and cheese tasting last Sunday night and tried a beautiful sauterne wine (Chateau Guiraud 1st Cru, 1988) with a fairly strong blue cheese. It was a match made in heaven.
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