May 2010

rack of lamb chops with a spicy cabernet and sambal sauce Goldfish Pacific Kitchen
1188 Mainland Street,
Vancouver, BC
Ph: 604-689-8318 or Reserve online

Last summer we dropped into Goldfish Pacific Kitchen for an early dinner in their courtyard patio. Our waiter introduced us to their experimental Chef's table dinner concept and we were intrigued enough at the time to try it out.

The idea was that rather than ordering from the regular menu, we would chat with the chef to inform him of any food allergies or violent antipathies to any foods, and then he would prepare a special surprise menu from whatever was freshly available. Chef  Ryan Mah was cooking that evening and he prepared a memorable 5 course tasting menu which looked as beautiful as it tasted and garnered Goldfish Pacific Kitchen a rave review from me.

Chef Romy Prasad explains a technical pointFederico's Supper Club
1728 Commercial Drive,
Vancouver
Ph: 604-251-3473 or Reserve Online

I have been on the hunt for places to "dine and dance" in Vancouver but this seems to be a rare entity these days. Federico's Supper Club is one of those few places that has a dance floor, albeit not large.

The evening when a group of us decided to check out this restaurant turned out to be the second special event night that featured Executive Chef  Romy Prasad giving a cooking demonstration of a 5 course, wine-paired "Taste of Italy" menu. 

On inquiry, we learned that startinging promptly at 6 pm, Chef Prasad would show us how to cook each course, then the dish would be served together with a 3 oz pouring of a matched wine. Joe Borean, the maitre d' and sommelier would describe the characteristics of the wine. The cooking demonstration and dining was scheduled to be completed by around 9 pm and would be followed by music for dancing, featuring Federico. All very cool!

Bouillabaisse at FishworksFishworks
91 Lonsdale Avenue,
North Vancouver
Ph: (778) 340-3449

Having enjoyed the experience of traveling by Canada Line and Seabus over to Lonsdale Quay to dine at Lolo on 2nd Avenue, I decided to repeat the adventure on the evening we were going to see Plan B at Presentation House on Chesterfield and W. 3rd Street in North Vancouver.

So we made a reservation for an early dinner at Fishworks, a restaurant that opened in November last year in a heritage building on Lonsdale. When we got there around 5:45 it was still almost empty but by the time we left many of the tables were full.

Chef's selection platterLoLo North Vancouver
100 East 2nd Street,
North Vancouver, BC.
Ph: (778) 340-6655

It has been a long time since I visited the area around Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, and I had heard there were some excellent new restaurants in that area. 

I was meeting a friend from West Vancouver for a long over-due, catch-up-on-our-news supper, and we decided to try LoLo Wine bar and Restaurant. LoLo stands for Lower Lonsdale,  and when I checked  the location on the map I realized it was only a couple of blocks up from the Seabus terminal.

I think the last time I took the Seabus was probably over 30 years ago when I lived on the North Shore. The present catamaran passenger ferries were introduced around 1977 and at that time we took our kids on a ride for an adventure. 

This time I thought I would do the whole trip from Yaletown to the restaurant and back using public transit just to compare times with my usual system of driving across to theatre and dances on the North Shore.

At Arrowleaf in Lake CountryOver the remaining five days of our jam-packed visit to the Okanagan we were able to get to almost everything on our list of to-dos except one. And it wasn't wine tasting!

Happy post-tasting smileWith the Spring Wine Festival in full swing, obviously wine tasting and fine food were top priorities. Although, as my regular readers might point out with some justification, when has "Sipping and Supping" not been a top priority in my life?

But as well I was eager to find out about the cultural  and dance scene in and around Kelowna - and then, as we planned to be utterly exhausted from our intense labours, what better excuse could we have for relaxing and being pampered at a Spa?

Alas, although our research indicated a number of local spas that looked enticing, pampering was the one activity for which we just could not find time. So no Spas for us. Oh, the tough life of travelblogue writers!

Congratulations to Jenn and Kent who each won a pair of tickets to the Vancouver Playhouse production of Dangerous Corner.

Thanks for a great response. 

Zachary Stevenson and Elena Juatco. Photo by David CooperBuddy: The Buddy Holly Story by Alan Janes and Rob Bettinson
Directed by Bill Millerd
Choreographer Valerie Easton
Musical Director  Sasha Niechoda

Vancouver, BC: When your entire audience is on their feet ready to break loose for a rock and roll party you know you have yet another hit on your hands. Bill Millerd and the Arts Club gang must be rockin' and rollin' themselves because that's what happened last night at the opening night of Buddy at the Stanley Theatre.

This Vancouver production of Buddy - a musical that enjoyed a 13 year run after its original 1989 opening in London's West end and has delighted audiences  round the world, rocked the joint to the rafters and  is a must see for anyone  who loves to rock and roll.

Buddy is set in the US, between January 1956, when Buddy Holly was a young singer trying to find his own musical voice in the dominant country music scene, and February 1959 when he died at 22 in a plane crash. The show charts his meteoric rise to the top of the billboards with the release of 3 original albums in that short span of time.

To enter to win two tickets to Dangerous Corner at the Vancouver Playhouse. See Guest Review.

send an email to gillian@reviewfromthe house

with subject line  Win Tickets

and answer the following question:

Dangerous Corner is one of the "Time Plays" by  J.B Priestley.  Name another Time Play by Priestley.

Add your name and a contact phone number.

The first person to send the correct answer will win the tickets

I will email the winner

There are only 5 performances left so hurry.

 Anna Galvin and Jennifer Clement. Photo by Emily CooperGuest reviewer: Amanda LockitchGuest reviewer Amanda Lockitch

Dangerous Corner by J.B. Priestley
Directed by  Bill Dow
Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company
Vancouver Playhouse
May 1- 22, 2010

Vancouver, BC: Talking with a friend after seeing Dangerous Corner I realized just how quickly time can obscure fame. While we both liked the production, my friend admitted, much to her chagrin, that she did not realize we were going to see a play by the British writer J.B.Priestly. Rather, she thought the play was starring Canadian actor Jason Priestley.

Adam Henderson and Jacques Lalonde working on PlanBPlan B by Michael Healey
Directed by Bill Devine
Sea Theatre
Presentation House
May 14-29, 2010

Vancouver, BC:  I seem to remember that consistently in  public opinion polls on prestige or trustworthiness of various occupations, regardless of poll location, politicians score near the bottom. So it was not surprising that a collective chuckle of acknowledgement rippled through the audience at the idea that everyone feels that they are being "f-cked" over by government.

Canadian playwright Healey sets his political farce in a time when Quebec has  voted 53% to separate from the rest of Canada.  Anglophone federal politicians, Colin (Howard Siegel) and Michael (Adam Henderson), meet with Francophones, Quebec Premier,  Mathieu (Jacques Lalonde) and Intergovernmental Affairs minister, Lise  Frechette (France Perras) in a hotel in Hull, ostensibly to hammer out the terms on which Quebec's separation will occur.

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