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This weekend - some friends came up and it gave me the excuse to drive down all of the way to Oliver.

The Okanagan Valley is really gorgeous - even during this quiet time of year.

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It must be insane in the summer.

Had lunch at Quail's Gate - the menu was focused on comfortable easy food. And all of the elements were perfectly executed. I had a clubhouse sandwich that came with dressed greens. It was abosolutely delicous - and you forget how good this kind of food can be. The turkey was perfectly moist and the sandwhich was dressed with a warmly spicey salsa - delicous. The really impressive thing was the salad - where do these guys source their goods? Each leaf was a perfect - and I mean perfectly fresh, unblemished, and dressed in with a spritely dressing. The last time I had such a perfect salad was at Bishop's.

The view from Quail's Gate dining room is pretty perfect also:

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One of the things that I have become absolutely addicted to in Kelowna are the palmiers at La Boulagerie. They are the most perfectly flakey, buttery, melt in your mouth pastries. They sandwich fruity raspberry jam between two of these things and the result is heavenly. You tell yourself that you need to buy 6 so that you can have some later - and that you will only eat one now - but then somehow the box is empty before you get out of the parking lot. (Also La Boulangerie has a selection of raw milk cheeses and pates)

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Jamie should have not posted about this place while I was still in town.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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Palmiers @ La Bouge = High 5's. Especially on the way home from the P & Q. Don't miss the tarte Tatin! And the quiche!

Glad to see you're dropping into our 'hood, Lee, or at least its ornament. And terrific Valley shots. I personally challenge Mr. Morrison to get his Van-a-gone over the Coke and into the place where men are men and the quiche never takes a back seat.

Keep the reports coming.

J.

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"

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I wouldn't think of driving the Coke, let alone the Connector, at this time of the year. 

Oh, man, don't be a wimp. Just drive, dammit.

True - the Connector is the best luge run in Canada, with those shadow walls, reverse cambers and nifty downhillls into the chicanes. But driving is just way too expensive. Plus WestJet saves me one day every week.

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"

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am back in Kelowna to finish the project that I have been working on.

Just north of the airport is the Jammery. It is one of those classic roadside tourist attraction restaurants. I drove by suspiciously until I saw the sign "All You Can Eat Waffles"

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For about $8 - you get all the fluffy crispy waffles you can stuff down your craw. You have your choice of plain waffles with various fruit toppings or blueberry waffles. Very good! The waitress said they are made from scratch (vs. a dry mix) and the record for consumption for one person was 7 orders. This is a very nice family oriented place and the atmosphere is distinctly 'Anne of Green Gables' - so no lounging around with a double latte while purusing the weekend Globe. The crowd seems to be a mixture of the after Sunday Service crowd and tables of big hockey players taking advantage of the all you can eat waffles.

They also have a big selection of jams made on site - including alot of sugar free products. I know that these places are aimed at tourists - but I am an easy mark - I love these places!

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This is a great thread, thanks in no small part to Lee's work. Tough duty, Lee, to have to eat your way slowly through the Okanagan!

We're thinking of coming up for 10 days or so in mid-August, because it's my birthday then. I'm sure that's the worst possible time, from the touristical stampede standpoint, but there you have it, that's when I was born.

From the crowd-avoidance perspective, but still wanting to hit the many high points pointed out here, any recommendations?

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My last two meals have been at Waterfront restaurant which is located in the new condo developments at the edge of downtown Kelowna.

I must say that this place is my favorite so far... Chef Mark Filatow's food is simple but sophisticated. Home style cooking with deep flavors balanced with freshness and brightness. It's the kind of food that most appeals to me.

Small Plates

Crispy Prawns (excellent!), Frites

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West Coast Chowder - creamy, fresh seafood, tarragon flecked - not a trace of flouriness, Pancetta Rissotto - goooood

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Main Plate

Braised Short Ribs (sorry about the bad picture) - came with onion rings and was served on the bone - which I like the best. Rich and delicous, a nice bite of horseradish (I think) - I coudn't finish it one go.

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Really great food, nice cozy room, and super friendly service. You can spend as much or as little as you want - a nice place to relax after a day of counting apples. Also - the restaurant is attached to a wine shop - so there is a great selection of wines (unfortunately - my wine knowledge is nil).

This place is definitely worth checking out.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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Further upthread - someone recommended Wildfire Bakery on 87 - I checked it out for lunch.  I don't know what is about Kelowna  - but there are all these German style deli's and lunch counters - and I love 'em...  They have toasted sandwhiches - including a Chicken Cordon Bleu version - that will be bear trying.

I went back to have the Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich - it was insanely good! The juicy chicken breast (you get two big pieces) is roasted in house. The chicken is served on crusty french bread - topped with cheese and mayo - the whole thing is toasted with thin slices of ham. Fresh Fresh Fresh They make Quizno's look like amateurs.

It is a huge thing - could feed two people nicely.

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Also - did you notice that I quoted myself in this post? How sad is that!?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since I have been here for a few weeks - I've returned to Illichman's a number of times. I really like the place. They cure and smoke alot of their own product and the team behind the counter really know their stuff. That sense of solid compentency gives you confidence to shop there. Their customers appreciate and understand the quality they are getting. Plus - I love all the German being spoken.

It seems to me that there used to be more places like this in Vancouver. Where there was an knowledgable interplay between the customer and shopkeeper that kept quality high. These days - the focus seems to be on the gourmet and the novel - rather than solid well crafted products. Of course - there are places like Oyama in Vancouver that are excellent - I don't want to come off like a cranky old man all ready to retire to the Okanagan.

House-made pork sausages with scanadavian Remoulade that came in these really cool metal tubes. House smoked bacon - we got them thick cut. Reeally good - a lighter cure than other stuff I've had. You could really taste the sweetness of the pork. They also had something called 'Gypsy Bacon' that was triple smoked and was black on the outside - we were told that people thinly slice and eat it raw. Wow - I don't think I could go there.

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A really fantastic porterhouse steak from Illichman's. They dry age their meat to a certain degree. I got 1/2 kilo and I ate it in one go on my own - delicous!

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People upthread recommended Bouchon and I've been back a couple of times - and I can echo their praise. Great traditional French bistro fare - I had the Table D'Hotel tonight. Crazy deal of 3 courses for $35! Not even a CFD joint could match those prices.

Veal Sweetbreads w/ Puff Pastry. Look at all those black trumpet mushrooms. Tremendous

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Veal T-Bone w/Chanterelles and Frites. The veal was very good - though the sides were kind of tired. The frites were everything freedom fries should be.

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Alscatian Pear Tart - good - escpecially the creme anglais. But again - the garnish seemed a little wilted. Nothing terrible - just an odd mistep.

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Still - it was a fantastic deal. Great meal at an insane price. I didn't have a drink - so I had some fizzy water. Left there for less than $50 - including a pretty decent tip - if I may say so myself.

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People upthread recommended Bouchon and I've been back a couple of times - and I can echo their praise.  Great traditional French bistro fare - I had the Table D'Hotel tonight.  Crazy deal of 3 courses for $35! 

Veal T-Bone w/Chanterelles and Frites.  The veal was very good - though the sides were kind of tired.  The frites were everything freedom fries should be.

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Wildfire. Yes. Illichman's, ditto. The Waterfront, a bargain and fun, too. Mark Filatow is a focussed chef and flavour-forward. Pamela runs a cheerful room.

At Bouchons, more bargains. I really only have one quasi-bitch: the vestigial presentation, with strews of parsley and paprika around the rims of the plates, and a lot of competing flavours, usually including a little vegetable timbale or miniature souffle. Extraordinary value though.

We had a standout dinner at Fresco the other night for some hard-to-please travellers. Rod Butters' cool hand was assured through little teasers and small soups; equally so with his signatures of Dungeness cappucino, halibut, short ribs and more. His wife Audrey audited the crowd expertly and adjusted the pace of the room very well--a tip top evening and sound value for this level of dining. For a Tuesday night, still in the shoulder season, it was reassuring to see the room three-quarters full as well.

Few people have reliazed the impact of the new UBC campus yet. We spotted an associate dean and several other university executives amongst the crowd. The revival of downtown Kelowna seems to strengthen each month and soon the wine, wakeboard and golf tourists will swamp the lake.

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"

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Jamie - I fully agree with you on Bouchon. The main event is very good - but I don't understand what's with the wilted sides and garnishes - it's distracting and seems careless. But they don't do it with every dish - I saw someone at another table enjoying the rabbit stew. It came in a gleaming copper pot - and no odd sides dishes - it looked delicous.

Interesting hearing about the efforts to revive downtown - with competing priorities of development vs. homelessness and drug addiction. Downtown Kelwona is so much more pleasant than the eastern stretches of Harvey - I hope things move forward successfully.

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Thanks for all the pictures and the write-ups! Bouchon and Fresno both sound like great places. I can't imagine how Bouchon can do sweetbreads, veal, and a rather nice tart for $35.  That's an incredible bargain.

Maybe the rent is that much lower - I wonder if rents in places like Kelowna and Whistler go up and down based upon seasonality?

The sweet bread and veal were good - but as noted above the sides were rather poor and the tart was okay (saved by some very nice creme anglais).

Looks like you've been doing some travelling - you should consider coming up and checking out some of the wineries and restaurants up here. The gorgeous weather is making it hard for me concentrate on my project...

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  • 1 year later...

Yeah, I heard that. I'll see if I have time to check 'em out when I'm in the 'hood in early Oct on my way to Mission Hill. Speaking of which, does anyone know if it's really crazy to be in the OK during the wine festival, i.e., lack of lodging, etc? Been to the Okanagan many times but never during the fest, so just wondering.

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Just wanted to through it out there again - I was in the OK this weekend watching the Iron Man in Penticton (pretty amazing) - and stopped by the Indian restuarant in Oliver. Tremendous home style cooking - cholle bhature - chickpeas and puffy fried bread, saag rich with fresh mehti, and house made paneer. Seriously - just about the best Indian food I've had in BC.

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Chef Ray Henry will be running the kitchens at Burrowing Owl for the month of September for Bernard Casavant (Not sure If I spelled that right). Bernard is away to Italy for 3 weeks for holiday/birthday celebrations.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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Chef Bernard Casavant

Chef Ray Henry will be running the kitchens at Burrowing Owl for the month of September for Bernard Casavant (Not sure If I spelled that right). Bernard is away to Italy for 3 weeks for holiday/birthday celebrations.
Hey when did chef Bernard leave Whistler and did he sell his restaurant there?

How long has he been at the Burrowing Owl?

A note- there seems to be a mass convergence of chefs in the Okanogan- it is like a nebula- they disappear then reappear in the Okanogan. :cool:

Another note- the next nebula will be Cowhichan Valley

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I don't know when he went out there but I sent an email to Chef Ray to ask, so when I get the info I'll post it. Thanks for the spelling correction.

I also know of another name chef who will making his home in the Okanagan next spring. Can't say who...yet. I think it has alot to do with quality of life.

Edited by Junior (log)

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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  • 4 months later...

.....I work in the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl in FOH - Chef B. has been there since last March and Chef Henry came for a bit of a stint as the "eyes and ears" of Chef B. morsoe than "running the kitchen" - our Restaurant Chef Chris Van Hooydonk has that honour alongside Rob Cordonier (Pastry Chef) and a brigade of very talented up and coming cooks.

We're closed for the next month but re-opening on Valentines. Shameless plug, but the deal they have going from the 15th of Feb thru March 19th is amazing - I actually thought of sub letting my OK Falls condo and moving in for the month - $125pp for room, breakfast and a 3 course dinner (actually five with amuse and mignardise) or $145pp for same with a lift ticket each to Mt. Baldy. Check out the Guesthouse online at www.bovine.ca

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  • 1 month later...

Hi!

We're heading to the Okanagan for Easter weekend, and hoping to check out some good restaurants. We'll be staying at the Naramata Heritage Inn for 3 nights. We'd like to do 2 fine-dining dinners, and one "bargain" dinner. Lunch/breakfast will probably be on-the-fly, depending on our plans for the day. I've had a peek at the recommendations upthread -- Fresco and Bouchon look promising. It's been years since I've been to the area, I'm sure lots has changed. Anyone have any suggestions on what we should eat, see or do? Thanks!

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Southern Okanagan

* Borrowing Owl - the best food in the area hands down

* Passetempo - great breakfasts and a great place to stay (Spirit Ridge)

* Home Hardware in Osoyoos (Cooking Classes and Kitchen Supplies) - I am not kidding!

Dolci Deli - across the street from HH, with great food by a husband and a wife who are both master pastry chefs

* Hester Creek Villas - the best accommodation in the Valley (but just behind Burrowing Owl)

* Taste of India - awesome Indian food and would be a great fit for your budget night. Plus the food pairs amazingly well with BC wines.

Central Okanagan

* Fresco - amazing food from one of BC's best chefs

* Waterfront Wine Bar - my home away from home in Kelowna and a great value

* Mahdina's Patio at Lakebreeze Winery - may not be open quite yet...

* Terrace at Cedar Creek - summer only

* Terrace and Private Dining at Mission Hill - opens in May I believe

* Vanilla Pod in Summerland - very good food in a quaint location

* Sumac Ridge Bistro - Chef Roger Planiden has just left the Fairmont YVR to head up this restaurant (as well as all of the other Vincor properties), so it is worth checking out. I am not sure if he will have started by the time you get there, I seem to recall a May start as well.

Similkameen Valley

* I can't stress enough - if you are driving, go the long way and go through the Similkameen Valley and stop at Orofino, Herder and Forbidden Fruit Wineries. You could also stay in a great self-catered house at Forbidden Fruit with Kim and Steve who would make sure your entire trip is incredible!

Wineries

* These are some of my favorites...

Black Hills (Oliver)

Black Widow (Naramata Bench)

Burrowing Owl (Oliver)

Cedar Creek (Kelowna)

Fairview Cellars (Oliver)

Forbidden Fruit (Similkameen Valley)

Foxtrot Vineyards (Naramata Bench)

Golden Mile (Oliver)

Hainle Vineyards (Summerland) - amazing ice wines dating back to the early 80's!

Joie (Naramata Bench)

Laughing Stock (Naramata Bench)

Lake Breeze (Naramata Bench) - the best Ehrenfelser for summer sipping

La Frenz (Naramata Bench)

Mission Hill (Kelowna)

Nk'Mip Cellars (Osoyoos)

Okanagan Spirits (Vernon)

Orofino (Similkameen Valley)

Poplar Grove (Naramata Bench)

Quail's Gate (Kelowna)

Tantalus Vineyards (Kelowna)

Therapy (Naramata Bench)

Wild Goose (Okanagan Falls)

Other Fun Culinary Places Worth Checking Out...

Carmelis Goat Cheese (Kelowna)

Poplar Grove Cheese (Naramata)

Tickleberry's (Oliver)

I hope this helps!

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