1429 West Broadway (cross street Granville)
Phone (604) 734-0697 or reserve online at OpenTable
Wanting a light pre-show supper, protein-based with flavourful fresh salads or vegetables, we chose Portobello Restaurant before going to see Underneath the Lintel at Pacific Theatre. Our needs were perfectly satisfied though we had to conscientously (and sadly) decline their delicious bread.
Supping In Vancouver: Black+ Blue Restaurant
1032 Alberni St.,
Vancouver, V6Z 2V6
Ph: (604) 634-0777 or Reserve online
Among our family dine-outs over the holidays, a dinner at Black+ Blue Restaurant was an unexpected stand-out. Normally appreciating the high quality of the Glowbal Group's local restaurants, we were surprised by a sequence of negative reviews of Black+ Blue Restaurant on a popular bar-and-restaurant guide and decided to check it out for ourselves.
In summary, we enjoyed excellent service, excellent food, and a comfortable warm ambience. The sound and the table spacing was such that we could talk comfortably among ourselves. The background music was fine other than the occasional song that made me want to break into a Jive or East Coast Swing. (And that's good!). Although we were there for an early sitting at 6 PM, and the restaurant was crowded, we were never rushed and had a relaxed and leisurely dinner. So much for negative reviews.
Lolita's South of the Border Cantina
1326 Davie Street
Ph: (604) 696-9996
Until now, despite rave reviews about the food from friends who live in the neighborhood and frequent this cantina, I have foolishly avoided joining them for fear that I would be subjected to dishes flavoured with the dreaded cilantro. But finally others in our group planned a dinner there and I joined them.
Our helpful server checked with the chefs and reassured me that my food choices would be cilantro-free and I ultimately enjoyed a very nice dinner with dishes sans the soapy green herb.
162 Water St., Vancouver
Ph: (604) 568-7022 or Reserve Online
I grew up in a small hotel where from time to time, the chef would prepare "marrow bones on toast" for the dinner menu. This was considered a great delicacy. The bones were sliced horizontally in cross-section so there would be a couple of round sections of bone on the plate with thin slices of toast. I remember digging out the small globules of marrow, smearing them on the toast and enjoying the rich creamy flavour. So when I saw roasted bone marrow with sea salt, radish and grilled bread under the appetizer section of this menu, I had to try it.
Les Faux Bourgeois
663 E.15th Ave.,
Ph: (604) 873-9733
Eating the most tender duck confit at a little cafe in the Mirepoix market while on a food-writing course in France almost 8 years ago remains one of my favorite food memories. I have heard great things about the duck confit at Les Faux Bourgeois and this French restaurant has been on my dining wish list for a while. Until now I have not got there but on the evening we were going to see Wide Awake Hearts at the Little Mountain Gallery theatre just off Main street, I managed to get an early dinner reservation for three of us.
Although we were there at 5:45 the restaurant was already buzzing with conversation and just about all the tables were occupied. I was the designated driver for the evening so I did not have any wine. We were served with a basket of sliced French baguette, crusty on the outside, soft inside. I couldn't resist a piece. Two actually!
Two of us decided on the same meal; La Tarte Flambe Alsacienne to start, and the duck confit to follow. The third guest picked the warm goat cheese salad, with goat cheese on crostinis, and organic greens with beets, walnuts and sherry vinaigrette. The main course choice was the classic dish, beef bourguignon.
Edible Canada at the Market
1596 Johnston Street,
Ph: (604) 682-6681 or Reserve Online
Conveniently located just steps away from the two Granville Island Arts Club Theatre venues, Edible Canada at the Market is a perfect spot for a pre-show meal, specially on a cold rainy Vancouver night. We were seeing Blue Box at the Revue Stage and opted to have supper at Edible Canada before the show..
I have not eaten at Chambar since they moved a short while ago to their new location just up the street from their first spot. This was a good choice for lunch with a friend before we went to a VIFF screening at the Vancouver Playhouse a few blocks away.
The new restaurant had a lighter more open feel. We sat at a table toward the back of the restaurant. It was very busy for lunch time but our service was prompt and efficient..
Earls Vancouver Downtown Test Kitchen
905 Hornby Street
After seeing a film at the Scotiabank Cinemas we exited the complex to find that rain was pelting down with gusts of wind blasting our umbrellas inside out. We speed-walked a few yards to the corner of Smythe and Hornby to have supper at the Earls restaurant round the corner.
We asked to be seated where it was reasonably quiet and the lighting was good. The area in the dining room where we sat was excellent. We were not bothered by any booming loud music as so often happens these days. The light was bright enough so that the menus could be read without the aid of my mini-flashlight, and the food photographs worked well too.
I liked the sound of the dynamite prawn and mango roll - a panko-breaded prawn and mango with avocado, cucumber, unagi maple and sriracha mayonnaise. It was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked.