Supping in Vancouver

trio of scallop/sea urchin mousse, salad and cucumber vichyssoise foam.Blue Water Cafe

1095 Hamilton Street,

Vancouver, BC.

Ph: 604-688-8078 or Reserve Online



False CreekWhen the sun shines in Vancouver, there is little that can beat a leisurely lunch on a patio, looking out over sparkling water. This past week I took the opportunity to lunch with friends on two restaurant patios in Yaletown, on the north side of False Creek.

Provence Marinaside
1177 Marinaside Crescent Vancouver.
Ph: 604-681-4144

sablefishThe first lunch was at Provence Marinaside, on Marinaside Crescent opposite - strangely enough- a marina.  It has been a while since I last dined at this restaurant, and all previous occasions, lunch or dinner have somehow been inside. But here I was, shaded from direct sunlight but feeling its warmth in the air, sipping on a glass of rosé, while I waited for my friend to join me.

There were many items on the menu that appealed, but I decided to try the seared sablefish, served with grapefruit vinaigrette, warm vegetable salad, fresh basil and fingerling potatoes. It was quite delicious. My companion's lunch was equally pleasing. I  have found the food at Provence Marinaside to be consistently good and the prices reasonable. 

sdThe Smoking Dog Bistro
1889 West 1st Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Ph: 604-732-8811

The Bard-on-the-Beach 2009 season has officially begun and we were off to Vanier Park to see Othello. Surfing around for restaurants close by I thought that this Bistro at 1st and Cypress would be a pleasant walk away from the Bard location. Although Kitsilano's neighbourhood Smoking Dog French bistro has been here "forever" as I learned while my dining companion regaled me with its history,  this was my first time trying it out.

Our reservation was for 5:30 - early for dinner in Vancouver, as we approached the restaurant, I noticed that many of the outside tables along 1st Street were already occupied. A good sign. We were shown to the patio on the Cypress side of the Bistro and were able to get a table that was shaded from direct sunlight. Amazingly the air was still balmy. I remember the Bard opening of Twelfth Night on the same date in June last year - it was freezing cold and even with a thick jacket and a blanket I was chilled to the bone. But I thought that maybe tonight we would not even need a jacket.

Within minutes of being seated, we were chatting to our friendly waiter, whose accent declared his origin to be in France; and I was sipping a glass of a delicious white wine blend perfect for a warm spring evening.

Sushi platterHonjin Sushi
138 DavieStreet,
Vancouver, BC
Ph: 604-688-8808

When I first moved into my Yaletown apartment, our neighborhood Yaletown Honjin became our favorite place for take-out sushi.  It is a pleasant 5 minute stroll along the sea wall and then through the park, to the restaurant. We would phone in our order, enjoy the salt sea air on the way to fetch the food, and then hurry home with the myriad aromas of freshi sushi tantalizing us.  A little dash of wasabi in the soy sauce... and sea food heaven!  And now when my family comes to visit, inevitably within the first day or two someone will ask "so when are we calling in the sushi order?"

It has been a while since we have had a family sushi get -together so the other evening, after an energetic Samba class when my friend suggested we go to Honjin for a bite of supper,  I enthusiastically agreed. 

He ordered the sushi  dinner and we shared a small order of vegetable tempura. I had a small portion of local tuna sashimi  (in the photo to the left) and a dynamite roll. The tuna just melted in my mouth - fantastic.  The tempura was hot, fresh and crisply delicious.

Ahi tuna towerLux at Caprice
965 Granville Street,
Vancouver, BC.
Ph:  604-685-3189 or Reserve Online

On Saturday evening I was meeting a friend to see  "Top Girls" at the Vancouver Playhouse. I decided to extend my search range for pre-show restaurants  beyond the three block radius from the Queen Elizabeth/Playhouse complex, and came up with Lux at the Caprice, on Granville between Nelson and Smythe. There is major construction still going on along Granville and they have ripped up the sidewalks so by the time I walked along Granville from Georgia to the restaurant my shoes were coated with dust.  The entrance to Lux was also not well marked and I nearly walked right by it.This construction is really tough on the businesses on the streets affected.  Anyway to avoid the mess on the way back down to the theatre we crossed Granville and walked down Smythe thus avoiding two blocks of dust.

Sushi buffetKentizen
2029 88 W. Pender St.,
Vancouver
Ph: 778-863-8281

We were planning to see Antigone Unbound later  at the Leaky Heaven Circus Studio above the Russion Hall, so finding ourselves in the general vicinity of Chinatown we decided to wander around and find somewhere for a casual supper. I remembered that there was a place inside the Tinseltown complex that I had wanted to check out so we took the escalator to the second floor and wandered into Kentizen. It was still early,  around 5:30 and so we took a window table and studied the menu. As we were debating the merits of Japanese food versus Chinese food, the manager suggested we check out the buffet.

One look at the sushi portion of the buffet and I was sold. So we each took an attractive oblong transparent blue glass plate and helped ourselves to some of the sushi, edemame and other items.

DessertWest Restaurant
2881 Granville St.
Vancouver, BC
Ph:  604 738 8938 or Reserve Online

r.tl Regional Tasting Lounge
1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC
Ph: 604-638-1550 or  Online Reservations

wineflight12This is the second time I have eaten at r.tl but as the previous occasion was a spontaneous visit I did not have my camera with me, and I felt the attractive presentation of the dishes warranted visual rather than verbal images. My first visit was a few weeks ago: while walking back from the theatre. My friend and I wanted to continue our discussion of the performance over a light meal, and on the spur of the moment, dropped into r.tl. It was a little late in the evening for eating, by my standards anyway; from years of arriving home from work famished I am usually ready for dinner before 6 pm! But we were warmly welcomed by Alain Canuel, operations director and Sommelier, who explained the concept behind the menu. I enjoyed the couple of dishes we had so much that I vowed to return with my camera, and learn more about the regional tasting concept.

charcuterie platedb  Bistro Moderne
2551 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
Ph: 604-739-7115 or Reserve Online

DB Bistro Moderne on Urbanspoon

In the past I have enjoyed several great dinners at Lumiere and also enjoyed eating at the bistro a couple of times. However that was ages ago before the new incarrnation as db Bistro Moderne. So even before setting foot in the Bistro my mouth was watering in anticipation of an excellent meal.  Billing itself as a blend of " traditional French cuisine, New York Haute Cuisine and the bright flavours of the Pacific North West"  - the place has a lot to live up to.  The remodelled space is much larger and lighter than before.

HHamilton Street Grill
1009 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, BC
Ph: 604-331-1511 or Reserve Online

Since this is my "hood" I felt it was time to re-explore more of Yaletown's fine restaurants. We were going  to the Arts Club at Granville Island to see The Real Thing but instead of re-visiting one of the places I have already reviewed and walking to the show, I decided to try  the "dine and dash". No, in my lingo that does not mean leave without paying - but eating more than a short walking distance away and then zipping over the Granville Street bridge to the theatre.

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