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Vancouver Restaurant Recs


jschyun
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Let me come down in favour of West. Every time I have been it's been brilliant. I've never tried Lumiere but I have been to Feenie's three times and it makes me wonder about spending the kind of money they charge at Lumiere. West is brilliant and so is Chef Hawksworth, who has been in the kitchen all three times we have been there.

A small step down from West is Parkside on Haro. I actually find it a little more comfortable then West, and the food is nearly as good. The prices are about half what West charges. Nearly as good is Cru and Bin 941.

As for the various suspension bridges I have alway's chosen to just say no! A walk around the sea wall then dinner on the patio at Parkside would be more my style. Start at the Sylvia and go all the way around to the Vancouver Rowing Club, cut under the highway head for Haro and have dinner at Parkside. Total walk about 10 kilometers.

Btw I think the best view of the city is from in between RVYC and the rowing club.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Although not as "impressive" the bridge at Lynn Canyon has better hiking, and is FREE.

Gastropimp: See, my knowledge is not just limitted to addiction :rolleyes:

I agree, Lynn Canyon is the better spot to visit, and definitley a better spot to picnic (can you even bring food into CSB?)

Coop: Duplo is like Lego on steroids ... big stuff for little folk. Not sure what this has to do about a weekend in Vancouver tho'

DA

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
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I'll be in Vancouver in early July, for my b-day and I get to pick our itinerary.  Since I can't think of anything better than eating, my list naturally is mostly comprised of eating places, hehe. 

I have been reading recs for hours now and my eyes are starting to sink inwards.  Would someone mind weeding out the bad ones from the list below?  Last time I just looked at random recs and ended up at Vij's and Joe Fortes.  Gah.  Also, if I can rearrange some places for less driving time, I'll be glad to hear it.

Oh yeah, and I am mostly interested in whatever is good, which from what I hear is dim sum, fine dining, gelato, bakeries, and seafood. 

Okay, here is what I have so far:

Thurs (get into town in afternoon):

Gelato tour: Amato Gelato, mondo Gelato, la casa gelato

Dinner at Tojo's(omakase) Is it worth the hype or should I go to Bluewater Cafe for seafood? I read mixed things about both here. At Tojo's can I get away with just the $50 tasting menu, or do I need to do the $100+ one? 

Friday:

Lunch at Kirin on Cambie, dim sum(or how about neptune's seafood?)

Look at Granville Market stuff

Shakespeare festival at granville

Go look at the beach. Eat more amato and mondo gelato

Dinner at Da Rae korean restaurant in Burnaby (heard about a Korean strip mall here, gotta check it out)

Sat:

Lunch at Pink Pearl or President Chinese Seafood for dim sum (or something better?)

Go look at that Dr. Yat Sen park?

Go hiking in the mountains, go find that one big rope bridge.

light dinner at Bis moreno (or Cru?)

Jazz

Sun:

Breakfast/brunch at Senses bakery or maybe Legendary Noodle (Chinese)?

More jazz? Stanley park? Go kayaking?

Dinner at Lumiere , tasting menus

Mon:

Breakfast at Patisserie Lebeau and grab lots raw milk cheese from les amis du fromages.

Go home (sad)

--Why yes, I am somewhat Type A

Being from Florida - Vancouver is high on our list of places to go to get out of the heat in the summer. Regarding your ideas - I have the following comments.

Don't choose between Tojo's and Blue Water. Do both (we did both on our last trip and were quite happy). At Tojo's - we ate at the bar. Didn't do a fixed omakase. Just let the chef prepare dishes until we were full. Came to about $75 a head without liquor. Note that we are not huge eaters. Your mileage may vary.

We went to C last trip as well. Excellent. If I had to choose between Blue Water and C - I'd choose C - but I wouldn't want to have to choose.

Eat at Granville market (who can look without eating!).

The beach itself isn't wonderful - but walking/biking/roller blading/etc. on the "boardwalk/seawall" is great. Do as many miles as you need to burn off your excess caloric intake :wink: .

The Pink Pearl is a sentimental favorite of ours. Perhaps there is better dim sum in Vancouver these days - but any good dim sum is a treat for us - so we keep returning to the Pink Pearl.

If you want mountains - forget about the rope bridge. Take a day trip to Whistler. It's a breathtaking trip (the village is ok too - last time we were there - we saw a great street juggler).

I like walking in Stanley Park (I do have to walk a lot to burn off the calories :smile: ). I also like walking in the contemporary furniture stores (happens to be a love of my life - exploring contemporary furnishings all over the world). Since you'll be in town over the weekend - go down to the docks while the cruise ships are in port. They are really quite a sight (huge! -- like floating cities).

Note that the trolley is a great deal - and a great way to get around the city if you've never been there before. It hits all the major attractions around town - and you can get on and off as much as you like. Don't have to worry about driving and parking.

The Museum of Anthropology is a bit off the beaten track - but it is a world class museum. Worth at least a couple of hours.

For other people reading this thread (don't think you'll have time) - it's a thrill taking the jet helicopter to Victoria for the day (there are discount rates if you travel at times other than business rush hour). I've only been on a helicopter twice in my life - so I'm like a kid when I get in one.

Most of all - remember that apart from making major restaurant reservations in advance - Vancouver is a wonderful little city where it's a lot of fun to unwind and poke around (I'm type A too - but Vancouver is more fun if you practice some type B :wink: ). Too bad you won't be in town for the PNE. Anyway - I love Vancouver. Hope you do too! Robyn

P.S. I have probably given you much too much to consider for a long weekend. My husband and I have been to Vancouver 3 times in the last 10 years - each time for about 5 days. I suspect you'll return as well. So what you don't see this time - you can see next time.

Edited by robyn (log)
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Hate to bang on, but the Capilano Suspension Bridge has got me baffled. Here is a list of the most spectacular tourist sites that I've seen, lets play the old Sesame Street game of figuring which one doesn't belong.

Eiffel Tower Top:  10,40 €

Empire State Building (18-61) $12.00 (USD)

Capilano Suspension Bridge $21.95

The Colosseum Rome (With the Forum next door being free) :  5 €

Forbidden City Beijing :  60 Yuan ($10 CDN)

The Pyramids cost about $5. Robyn

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Question:  will customs take away my raw milk cheese at the border?  I intend on declaring them.  I had no problems bringing cheese back from France, but I hear the Canada-USA border is particularly problematic.

I wouldn't mess around trying to bring any contraband into the country these days - no matter how innocuous. Stressed out border agents aren't apt to be amused by a cheese smuggler. Robyn

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For dim sum, I'd definitely recommend Kirin and President. Note that there's also a Kirin in downtown Vancouver, on Alberni Street. In addition to dim sum, they also have some northern Chinese (? I think...I don't remember which area of China) dishes. The "dam-dam" noodles are superb - crisp (not crispy!) noodles with ground pork in a spicy peanut broth, sprinkled with green onions. If you like shrimp dumplings, both President & Kirin make great ones - slightly chewy clear outer layer, & large morsels of crisp shrimp inside. And as for Pink Pearl...to me, their food is circa 1980s, but they do have loyal customers...

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A small step down from West is Parkside on Haro. I actually find it a little more comfortable then West, and the food is nearly as good. The prices are about half what West charges. Nearly as good is Cru and Bin 941.

Coop i have to ask you to work/own for Parkside... if not you should be their personal PR man. You rave about it every forum, which I am not knocking. just inquiring. It is good you enjoy it so much. I think they should start having a dish named after you, as you have probably sent so many there.. :wink:

Cheers

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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Coop i have to ask you to work/own for Parkside... if not you should be their personal PR man. You rave about it every forum

Actually I was suspicious he might be a partner in Kim Phung inc. :raz:

Myself, I own shares of Prata Man, and am heavily invested in laksa futures. :laugh:

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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I thought so... all these egulletters are pretty sneaky and all have shares in restaurants in town.. he he

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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From one Yank to another. I noticed that some gulleteers were reccomending West Restaurant. I was there less than 2 weeks ago and posted a review in the Vancouver forum that you may find interesting. The place is great.

Captain Hongo

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So let me see if I can figure this out....uh people ask for recomendations. I tell you about the places I love (Kim Phung, Parkside, West, Cru etc) and I get accused of being a shill.

Has anyone ever been to these places and not enjoyed them? So from now on if some one asks for a recomendation should I say eat at Milestone's, they always seem to busy?

I think that the places I recomend deserve to be successful because they are independently owned and do a great job in my opinion. I have never mentioned to any one connected to any restaurant that I would say anything about them in this forum. It's pretty well known on this board that others have used their E-gullet connections to pave their way to special treatment in return for pimping on this board (check out the Joe Fortes post), I have always thought that was stupid.

BTW DameD don't ever go to Parkside, Cru West, or Le Pichet, The Harvest Vine or Union in Seattle because they all suck.

Here is a link to where I actually work, it is not connected to anyone in the restaurant business.

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Oh Coop I was only joking, you mustn't take it so seriously. It is great that you enjoy these restaurants. I just noticed that you recommend Parkside alot. You must be regular. Sorry if I offended you, there was no intention for that.

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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Actually I was suspicious he might be a partner in Kim Phung inc. :raz:

Myself, I own shares of Prata Man, and am heavily invested in laksa futures. :laugh:

I do enjoy parkside as well as a lot of the other restuarants recommended, from you and everyone else.. But it was just something I noticed.. and hey it wasn't just me that noticed either.. :laugh:

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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For dim sum, I'd definitely recommend Kirin and President. Note that there's also a Kirin in downtown Vancouver, on Alberni Street.

Thanks so much! I will definitely be goingn to Kirin and President.

What do you think of Victoria (1055 W. Georgia St., 669-8383) for dim sum? Van mag said it was "beyond the ordinary"

Sha Lin over Legendary Noodle for noodles?

Oh man, you guys are drowning in good Chinese. And there's good gelato too. I love Vancouver. I wish I lived here.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Just to add another vote for West - we were there on Saturday to celebrate my birthday and it was fabulous. Service and food exemplary and a very knowledgeable and helpful sommelier. Chris used to be at Diva and before that Araxi. We put ourselves in his hands and sat back and enjoyed his pairings. I had 3 small plates - hamachi tartare, spot prawn with spaghetti (tasted way better than it sounds) and then the short ribs (so I could have some red wine!). My husband had the West bacon with roasted scallop followed by the wagyu beef. The room is lovely and the service attentive without being fussy. Don't forget to let us know how your weekend turns out. And perhaps you can guide us to some interesting places/things to do where you live?

Cheers,

Karole

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Don't forget to let us know how your weekend turns out. And perhaps you can guide us to some interesting places/things to do where you live?

I was thinking of taking pics of all my meals and showing off the best ones. I expect I'll have a lot of pics.

And if you ever find yourself in L.A. or San Fran (I commute to San Fran alot), definitely look me up. I always welcome the chance to meet up with strangers I just met online.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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What do you think of Victoria (1055 W. Georgia St., 669-8383) for dim sum?

We were at Victoria just last weekend and enjoyed pretty much everything, although one of our dining companions almost threw up her dessert on the table (we ordered steamed tapioca tarts, and they were definitely not what she/we expected). Overall though, I would have to vote for Kirin because it just feels a step above what Victoria is doing.

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I've went to Victoria for dim sum a few times last year. The food was good enough, but the service was consistently terrible and it always took much longer than at other dim sum places. Now I usually go to the Kirin at 12th and Cambie, in the City Square mall or the Sun Sui Wah on Cambie.

My Lumiere experience (last week) was very similar to Jerry_A's and a definite contrast to my previous meals there. Had a few very good dishes but overall, it was too expensive for what I got. I would suggest the much more casual and fun Feenie's next door if you want to go the Rob Feenie route. But if you want a really great fine dining experience, book the chef's table at West and leave yourself in the chef's hands but do let them know if there are certain dishes you want to try.

Definitely slot off a few hours for Granville Island, and go on an empty stomach.

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Has anyone ever been to these places and not enjoyed them?

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.

Cheers,

Anne

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  • 1 month later...
Question:  will customs take away my raw milk cheese at the border?  I intend on declaring them.  I had no problems bringing cheese back from France, but I hear the Canada-USA border is particularly problematic.

In my experience, at the airport, no. Via auto is another completely different story. I wouldn't risk bringing any foodstuff across the border into the US in a private vehicle. If you declare it, I guarantee there is a 99.9999% chance you'll have to trash it, if you don't declare it, chances are slim they will find it, and if they do you plead ignorance that it was in the car, not ignorance of the law. ("We were having a picnic, and I thought my wife said she threw the rest out, because we clearly understand the laws regarding the importantion of banned foodstuffs.") But do you really want to ruin your vacation over cheese?

I'd recommend scrapping the cheese if your are driving back into the states.

Guess what? US customs could care less about taking away your raw milk cheeses. US border agents are far more interested in drugs (prescription or otherwise), meats, vegetable and fruit material.

I went through the whole agricultural inspection, including a full inspection of my car, and they didn't even touch my cheese, chocolates or Terra breads. I was there because I had some kiwi skins I wanted to throw away, but had forgotten about until the last minute. Being upstanding citizen that I am, I reported said kiwi skins, affording me the dubious pleasure of getting all my stuff searched.

The guy asked me if I had sausages (eying the bread and cheese rind on the dashboard), then asked if I had Chinese herbal medicines containing bugs, and then asked about fruits, veggies, plant material. He searched my car, found nothing, and I drove off, sans kiwi skins. Those gold kiwis were awesome, almost banana/melon-like in flavor. 3 for $1! I also got some huge, sweet raspberries the size of blackberries at a market right underneath Kirin on Cambie, where I had just feasted on some very good dim sum, but more on that later when I get my pics back.

I took these pics just before the border...just in case. l-r, clockwise:

some plain old brie for my sweetie, 5 year old Quebec cheddar, double cream camembert (a bit over the hill), and Moonstruck's "white moon" cheese which is basically a mild soft cheese, kind of like brie (yum).

i9334.jpg

l-r: le champenois from Langres, got smashed during transit, but appears to be a fairly mild runny cheese; a raw milk goat cheese from France (Soignon) that was the absolute best of the stuff I've had so far, and another very mild, brie-like raw milk cheese for my SO.

i9335.jpg

I also got a chunk of Gourmelin, which is pretty Brie-like, but tastes better than Brie to me. I got a lot of soft cheeses this time.

I opened the Soignon goat cheese to put on some of my crusty, yet stretchy and tender-crumbed Terra multi-grain bread, in what was originally a deserted corner of a coffeeshop, at Oakland airport. after 3 hours in a car, 1.5 hours in a plane, the cheese was practically liquid, and oh geez, the stench! It was as if someone had farted in a dirty sock. Curiously, I didn't get kicked out of that cafe, even though it started getting busy. I tried to look up once ina while, and give apologetic looks to people between bites. After a while, you don't even notice the smell, and the lush, salty, funky ripeness on the tongue, more than made up for it. It was especially good with the moist, nutty multi-grain bread from Terra. Thanks to comments here and les amis manager, I got it at the Terra shop in Kits(?) I think, about 4 or so blocks from les amis du fromages, and right in front of a Safeway.

Thanks for all the awesome recs! I had to go to the Capilano Bridge thingy because I was overruled, but at least I ate some damn good food this time!

Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Guess what? US customs could care less about taking away your raw milk cheeses.  US border agents are far more interested in drugs (prescription or otherwise), meats, vegetable and fruit material...

I don't think that's true universally. When we came back through customs at Orlando airport last month - I think there were more "food-sniffing" dogs than "drug-sniffing" dogs. In Florida - which is a big agricultural state - the general rule at customs is - "when in doubt, throw it out". Robyn

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