Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Van Mag Restaurant Awards


Recommended Posts

Best New Informal: Gold - Diner; Silver - Habit Lounge; Bronze - Lolita's South of the Border Cantina

Dang. Why have I not walked the 15 steps to this place. Why??

Congrats to Jeff! That's quite a shakeup this year!

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kurtis also won a premier crew award.  Well deserved. 

That cranky SOB? You're kidding right? :wink:

Agree 110% - Well deserved!

The question is ... will we still be able to get a table?

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kurtis also won a premier crew award.  Well deserved. 

That cranky SOB? You're kidding right? :wink:

Agree 110% - Well deserved!

The question is ... will we still be able to get a table?

A.

We accept bribes only in smoked meat currency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I look forward to seeing the whole list of winners - Congratulations to them all.

Jeff and Kurtis, you are leading a Main Street revolution and you deserve the kudos.

Cheers,

Anne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But one last thought: Although some like to dwell on the Restaurant of the Year category, where indeed two restaurants have vied for this award the past few years, there are 36 other categories, plus the Playhouse Wine List Awards.

...the Playhouse Wine List Awards seem to have fallen off the radar with the change in format this year. Results anyone? (not posted anywhere I can find yet)

thanks in advance...

Damian du Plessis

Bravo Restaurant & Lounge

Chilliwack, BC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My abbreviated list was not meant to detract from the breadth of awards that were given out yesterday - merely a sign of typing fatigue on my part.

Also, check out the 2006 Wine List Awards here:

http://www.playhousewinefest.com/index.php/articles/docs/16

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

~ Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Tara Lee

Literary and Culinary Rambles

http://literaryculinaryrambles.blogspot.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best of Vancouver Island

G – Sooke Harbour House

S – Brasserie L’Ecole

B – The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn

HM – Café Brio, Zambri’s

[

Jamie,

I am so confused. The magazine shows Brasserie as Bronze and the Wick and Aerie Tied??

OOPS!! I guess I should look at the date on these messages as they are from last year. LOL. I need some more coffee this morning.

Edited by James Kendal (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best acceptance speech was by chef Rob Belcham of C, who thanked the fish.

That's wonderful! And who shouldn't thank their fish and cows and lambs? They worked hard to be tasty. They just did't know it.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the comment about the chairs at Nu - love the food but I'm scared of the chairs. Actually - correct that to say love the food and love the drinks. And depending on how much of the latter - I'm terrified of the chairs.  :biggrin:

I have a solution Karole ... sit on the patio! J and I were there last night (as were 3 other table of people we knew :cool: ) and really enjoyed their updated menu. I'll post details elsewhere, but suffice to say, the patio chairs are quite comfy, and the heaters & wind-screen on the patio allowed us to enjoy everything until late in the evening.

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm surprised the accusations haven't been made before, but in her latest contribution to the Globe & Mail, Alexandra Gill suggests that an attempt was made to "influence" her opinion with regards to an unnamed Vancouver eatery.

A few months ago, I received a $100 gift certificate from a new restaurant. "I hope you'll remember us when voting for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards," read the attached note.

Thoughts? Is anyone surprised? Shocked?

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As with most awards, they provide fodder for some wonderful debate and discussion (not to mention great publicity for all of the winners), but they shouldn't be taken as a serious reflection of the relative quality of the individual restaurants. While it's hard to argue against obvious selections like West, Lumiere, and C for best overall restaurant, it's though to swallow some of the more debatable selections. Blue Water silver plate award for Best Japanese fine dining? Seriously? Hun's Wun-Tun gold plate award for Best Casual Chinese dining? For real? Next year, I'd be more than happy to draw up a list of restaurants for the judges to check out. It would necessitate their traveling outside of the downtown core, but hopefully they'll be up to the challenge.

Speaking of which - it's unfortunate that the judges couldn't be bothered to check out the multitude of Chinese fine-dining establishments in Richmond. There are a few that could, dare I say it, even give the antiquated Pink Pearl a run for its bronze plate next go-around.

Also, as someone who works in the television and film industry and has been to countless dinners at Cioppino' and CinCin's (they are, after all, the industury's "in" restaurants), I can honestly say my experience with both has ranged from "usually pretty good" to "occasionally middling" as opposed to the more consistently great meals I've enjoyed at the likes of Don Francesco, Villa del Lupo, and Caffe de Medici.

It all makes for entertaining (sometimes unintentionally hilarious) reading but, ultimately, it all comes down to individual opinion. Congratulations to William Tell for winning the gold plate for Best Other European, but I'll be opting for Ouzerie or Budapest instead. Hurray for Gotham and Morton's for winning the gold plate for Best Steakhouse/Chop, but if I want the most flavorful prime rib in the city, I'll be swinging by The Keg. And good on both CinCin and Blue Water for receiving an honorable mention in the Best Last Course category, although if I had a hankering for dessert there are roughly two dozen alternate establishments I'd check out first.

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Transparency is always best then we don't have to guess and hypothesize. I have a suggestion! How about Mr. Maw, who is an active contributor to this site, actually tells us how the voting works!

I "hear" that he comes up with a short list pretty well on his own, and then hands that short list over to the judges so they are really told who to look at each year. I also "hear" that they only vote for the ones they have been into so that if, for example, if they have all eaten at the very Caucasian friendly Hon's but have not been into the other Chinese restaurants, then the other doesn't get the points and Hon's does. That in turn leaves wide open those restaurants with promotions budgets and PR people to get the media into their restaurants therefore getting more points. Do these people ever actually pay to eat at West, Lumiere, and Blue Water? And would they?

But then I "hear" judges apparently vote for places they haven't eaten at in over 2 years? How many of them actually ate at Banana Leaf? The William Tell? Villa du Luppa?

Perhaps Mr., Maw can clear up the speculations and tell us how it really does work and why some of Vancouver's most recommended, busiest and most consistent restaurants are never mentioned... Sandbar, Cardero's, Teahouse, Seasons. Bishops, Hart House, Delilah's.

Can he also tell us why Earls gets so much attention (suspiciously so...) when there are other "chains" that do a better job? Earls may be a good chain with consistent food, but they have servers that lack dining knowledge, that dress in ridiculous outfits and can't open a bottle of wine, not to mention the chain is notorious for chauvinistic, even misogynistic attitudes, owners that are rude pigs (remember last years awards?) and barely, if any, a single senior female manager.

How about the e-gulleters do an "interview" with Mr Maw, open it up to Q & A's and post it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your beastly beatitudes, Balthazar. :biggrin:

Allow me to address some of your queries and question some of your statements:

Speaking of which - it's unfortunate that the judges couldn't be bothered to check out the multitude of Chinese fine-dining establishments in Richmond.  There are a few that could, dare I say it, even give the antiquated Pink Pearl a run for its bronze plate next go-around. 

I substantially agree with about the exciting emergence of Richmond, however we are Vancouver magazine. As resources have permitted us to expand our reach into other geographic precincts, we have, as noted. But for categories rated by cuisine, we largely limit our range to the city. i'm sure that you have already noted that our Eating & Drinking Guide to BC has pretty good reach into Richmond, though. Next year, we would hope to reinstall Richmond as a geographic category.

Also, as someone who works in the television and film industry and has been to countless dinners at Cioppino' and CinCin's (they are, after all, the industury's "in" restaurants), I can honestly say my experience with both has ranged from "usually pretty good" to "occasionally middling" as opposed to the more consistently great meals I've enjoyed at the likes of Don Francesco, Villa del Lupo, and Caffe de Medici. 

I can only respond as one judge, but can tell you that I have had 16.0+ point meals at each of the restaurants that you mention with the exception of Caffe de Medici, where I have been less successful. And I might add that the jury is still out after Julio Gonzalez-Perini's sale of the Villa.

Hurray for Gotham and Morton's for winning the gold plate for Best Steakhouse/Chop, but if I want the most flavorful prime rib in the city, I'll be swinging by The Keg.

This category does not currently contemplate roast beef, but perhaps that's worthy of consideration.

And good on both CinCin and Blue Water for receiving an honorable mention in the Best Last Course category, although if I had a hankering for dessert there are roughly two dozen alternate establishments I'd check out first.

I'd be intrigued to see your list. Personally, I rate Thierry Busset's desserts and Sebastien le Goff's and chef Andreas's' cheeses highly. And for that matter, Busset's breads are amongst the best in any city restaurant.

Thanks very much for sharing your opinions. I think that a useful adjunct to the RA issue is the investment of $8.95 in The Eating & Drinking Guide to BC, which features 800 restaurants and food service providers. Curiously, it has never been discussed here.

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Transparency is always best then we don't have to guess and hypothesize. I have a suggestion! How about Mr. Maw, who is an active contributor to this site, actually tells us how the voting works!

How about the e-gulleters do an "interview" with Mr Maw, open it up to Q & A's and post it.

I can only add to Arne's link by informing you that the methodology is completely transparent, is published every year, and has been patiently explained and respectfully discussed ad infinitum here and elsewhere. There is further evidence of our review methodology here.

I "hear" that he comes up with a short list pretty well on his own, and then hands that short list over to the judges
. . . etc.

Then you "heard" wrong. But please feel free to review the linked thread.

Perhaps Mr., Maw can clear up the speculations and tell us how it really does work and why some of Vancouver's most recommended, busiest and most consistent restaurants are never mentioned... Sandbar, Cardero's, Teahouse, Seasons. Bishops, Hart House, Delilah's.

Bishop's has won numerous awards, including Best Restaurant, Best Regional etc. John Bishop was a Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Hart House has numerous awards over amny years. As for the four Sequoia Group restaurants that you mention, as one judge I can say that they remain commercially successful, good at event catering, and hosting tourists to the city. But until they lift their food cost barrier, I'm not sure what category they would go forward in. I don't imagine this is keeping Brent up nights though. :biggrin:

Can he also tell us why Earls gets so much attention (suspiciously so...) when there are other "chains" that do a better job? Earls may be a good chain with consistent food, but they have servers that lack dining knowledge, that dress in ridiculous outfits and can't open a bottle of wine, not to mention the chain is notorious for chauvinistic, even misogynistic attitudes, owners that are rude pigs (remember last years awards?) and barely, if any, a single senior female manager. 

Our judges don't share your opinion. Earls' early commitment to organic produce, excellent wine program and attractive newer rooms might be one reason they head the pack. i don't find anything particularly sinister (or suspicious) about this.

And I think Christine at Paramount Place might have sme trouble with your last statement. The same could be said for three of Earls' most senior corporate executives, responsible for planning, marketing and (upon George Piper's retirement), procurement and purchasing.

Finally, I only allow my banker to call me Mr. Maw. To everyone else, Jamie will do just fine. :biggrin:

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FannyBay,

Might I say that I shared many of your suspicions. This was my first year as a judge, and I have nothing but good things to say about the process. There are urban myths aplenty about the VMRA, but I found them all without foundation.

I got a ballot. filled it out, and sent it in for crack and a balthasar of gin.

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that a useful adjunct to the RA issue is the investment of $8.95 in The Eating & Drinking Guide to BC, which features 800 restaurants and food service providers.

Jamie, where would one be able to purchase this guide if one did not live in BC? :smile:

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...