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    Vancouver, at home, in front of the computer, usually after work, sipping on an alcoholic beverage.
  1. Wow. Sensitive issue. Here's a (mostly) neutral post: One of the most inspiring books I have read about pursuing perfection in the art of serving dinner is "The Fourth Star" by Leslie Brenner. Boulud gave Brenner permission to spend time in his NY flagship, Daniel, 'undercover' dressed as a staff member, with access to most of the secrets and policies of his restaurant. Fascinating. It's been too many years since I've been to NY but I gotta dine at Daniel at least once the next time I go. Am on the verge of excitement that his influence will be felt here.
  2. Been selling wine now at Liberty on Granville a few hours twice a week. One weekday and one weekend day. I've noticed that at about noon the traffic lanes on the weekend days look more like slowly-moving parking stalls. Just for giggles I feel like gathering some island folk and picketing at the intersection under the bridge with signs that read: IF YOU PLAN ON DRIVING ON TO THE ISLAND AND FINDING A SPACE TO PARK YOU ARE ARE DREAMING. Maybe the CMHC should erect such a sign. The simplest and least frustrating thing to do is find a place off-island and stroll in. Although it is prepared
  3. When I worked at Cioppino's the pastry cook would invite any children into the pastry area after dinner to prepare their own sundaes. Pino is as gracious and accomodating to his younger guests as he is to the older ones. Any restaurant owner or employee that have kids should be welcoming to families. At Gotham, although it is not gourmet, we are extremely friendly to little ones. Many of my coworkers are parents and we all try to make the family experience enjoyable. We offer a fairly simple menu for children but many just have a piece of their parent's steak. Any restaurant owner or employ
  4. I'll second that. Went there after an intolerable wait for drinks on Chill Winston's patio. Jules' prix fixe salad was simple but not plain and the menu offers a choice of salmon or a chunkily marbled rib steak with a few sauce choices. Immensely satisfying with charming and effecient service. It felt like we were supporting a good and honest venture. I have and will continue to recommend it to the guests that I serve. Gave the Chill Winston patio a second try in the evening. Joiners at our table were not offered bevvies for twenty minutes. As we were pressed for time we ditched Winston
  5. Connor Butler will be open on the 1st of November. Had a quick tour of the space and it's gonna look pretty good. Felt like I was in the middle of an Opening Soon episode. Am I becoming one of those loathsome people who can only relate real-life experiences through foodtv programs? Yikes. Gotta get out more... His website is www.connorbutler.com Yup, the dinnerware is Versace from sideplates to teapots, but having both worked at C, the 2 principles, Ron and Connor, have a lot of experience with expensive plates. I'm sure that theft and breakage are not gonna put them under. Isn't that what w
  6. Dntn Bay had an abysmal selection of Le Creuset. Just some stew pots in ugly colours. Ming Wo's LC on S. Granville were only 20% off. Selection was the best I've seen. Did not remember to look for grill pans. Sorry. Out of the deepest crevices of my steel-sieve mind memories of an LC Sale are coming back to me... I think that I was wandering the aisles of Whole Foods near the milks... If more comes back you will all be among the first to know...
  7. Le Creuset on sale at the Bay as well. 25% off. Don't know about the selection but if I make it to the dntn store soon, I will report back...
  8. One thing that you gotta realize about Vancouver is that for many of us a clean fleece hoodie, a clean t-shirt, a cleanish pair of jeans along with your good pair of runners is considered 'dressed up.' There are probably more places where you'd feel out of place in a suit than you would in a sweatshirt and jeans. It comes as a shock to many from outside Vancouver that we are so casual when it comes to dressing for dinner. I would like to think that our attitude is more Resort Casual than lazy, but it is what it is. For your dinner in Vancouver on a Friday night, dress as you would for a p
  9. We're hitting the baby-making age at Gotham. As well as many of the servers who(m?) are parents, one of our servers just had a beautiful little girl. Our bar manager and his wife are expecting their first. Most of us have got baby fever and we're all more than happy when little ones bring their parents to the restaurant. When I was at Cioppino's, they were more than accomodating to children. Pino was kind enough to let the kids into the kitchen and make their own sundaes with the pastry chef. The last time we were at Phnom Penh there were many children. Mmmm. Papaya salad.... In Whistl
  10. classic ← SO sorry for going WAY off-topic, but I gotta stand up for the neophyte servers. I think that we should try to remeber that a lot of these CFD servers are Fresh Outta High School and not as refined as we have become over the years of reading/writing/thinking/living food. Give 'em a break. Denouncing a servers' capabilities because he/she doesn't know all the product in the shop is as horrible as a fine dining server laughing at a client's foibles. I've been on the giving and receiving end of both forms of ridicule and the neither gave much pleasure. If we have a little more kno
  11. Chef friends have told me that the two best kitchens to learn in are at Le Croc and Cioppino's. Franck at the Croc is a fantastic chef and a great teacher. Pino at Cioppino's is brilliant and takes time throughout the day to instruct his kitchen staff. He shows them not only how to prepare menu items but also special dishes that he prepares for guests making sure that they get to taste the dish as well. Sometimes the whole kitchen would come to a standstill while he showed his staff how he did something. He's exacting and demanding but he's brilliant and cares for his staff tremendously, i
  12. From the desk of Tyler Dawson at Liberty Wines, Park Royal: Basic Training Foundation Wine Tasting Course Consumers and Trade $265.00 + tax Wednesdays Jan 25th, 2006 Thru Feb 15th, 2006 Total Course 12 hours The Basic Wine Course provides you with the tools to taste and communicate the experience. Your will also learn how wine is made and why it tastes like it does. Sensory-based and experience-rich, this is the essential tasting course for consumers and trade alike. It is only natural to have Tyler as our lead instructor at the Liberty Wine School. Tyler has an infectious enthusiasm for commu
  13. On the Vij's website Vij mentions that the cost of the reservation system is put back into the menu. I think that is also put back into the warmth and spirit of Vij's and Rangoli. In a restaurant of Vij's calibre the cost of a reservation system is not just monetary. When a restaurateur is trying to provide a guest experience of the highest order and guest expectations and demands are even higher, then the person that answers the phone must be very well-acquainted with the restaurant and have a position of some authority. The person must also be at the restaurant during 'reservation-busines
  14. I have to agree. I am by no means a Sommelier, but I did take all the classes to improve my abilities as a server. For the food and wine pairing segment of my final exam we were allowed to pair any alcoholic beverage with the given menus, up to two non-wine choices per menu. We were given a rustic French menu where the second course was onion soup. I paired a great Ale from England called Traquair Jacobite Ale. It's a dark, chocolatey, rich beer with a medium body, light acidity and it is extremely well-balanced. The touch of sweetness on the finish would counter the saltiness of the s
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