One of the best kept secrets in Vancouver is a little gem of a restaurant that is located on the south side of Granville Street between Helmcken and Davie Street. It has a warm and welcoming ambience, great service and excellent food at reasonable prices. I have eaten here on two occasions now and both experiences have been great.
We came across Twisted Fork while walking along Granville after seeing a movie, and wanting a light supper, we decided to try it out. We were greeted by partner/bartender/maitre d' Mike Leslie, a delightfully affable host, who invited us to sit wherever we felt comfortable. Although it was later in the evening there were not many empty tables but we found a comfortable booth and settled in.
Bay Moorings Restaurant
6330 Bay Street,
While waiting for our ferry sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo, we stopped off at Bay Moorings Restaurant for a light supper. We left our luggage in the conveniently located rack near the front desk - I guess they do a roaring business with travellers waiting for ferry sailings.
Our table on the patio overlooking the harbour was shaded and pleasant, despite the warm weather. The servers were cheerful and efficient.
We both opted for the cod with fries and a Greek salad. The cod came in a crispy batter which was thin and delicious, and was accompanied by tartare sauce. The fries were also great - it was hard to stick to my resolution to leave a few on the plate.
My impression was that this would be a good restaurant for a family meal and I would definitely consider stopping off for another meal before boarding the ferrry next time
Goldfish Pacific Kitchen
1188 Mainland Street,
Ph: 604-689-8318 or Reserve online
Vancouver is a truly a foodie's paradise. Top quality ingredients daily are sought out by innovative chefs to produce a bounty of fresh taste sensations. So much so that I rarely have a restaurant meal that I don't enjoy. But every now and then along comes a dining experience that stands head and shoulders above even the many excellent meals I have recently enjoyed. Completely unexpectedly, last night I had such an experience, thanks to the "Chef's Table" concept at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen and the magic touch of new Food Development Chef, Ryan Mah.
Goldfish restaurant has been open at least as long as I have lived in Yaletown and I have previously enjoyed both dinners and lunches there. But looking back on the restaurant reviews in my archives on ReviewFromTheHouse.com, I realized that I had not dined there since I introduced the Sipping and Supping section of the website. It was time to review this restaurant, I thought. Planning a relatively early supper, I noted that Goldfish was once again offering a prix fixe meal between 5 pm and 6:30 pm. With a choice of an appetizer, an entree and a dessert for $25.00, it seemed like really good value, so we thought we would check it out.
Not that one should need an excuse for dining out but out-of-town visitors provide a special opportunity to show off our superb Vancouver restaurants, our fresh and varied edibles and our fine BC wines. For my guests from Arizona, I thought seafood was the way to start. A pleasant ten minute walk through Yaletown got us to Blue Water Cafe right on time for our 6:15 reservation. Most of the tables on the outdoor patio were already full. We debated sitting outside but the overhead heaters were on whereas the interior of the restaurant felt pleasantly cool. So we opted for a comfortably spacious booth inside.
When 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.
The 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.
The Smoking Dog Bistro 1889 West 1st Avenue
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.
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.
Lux 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.
2029 88 W. Pender St.,
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.