restaurant

Excellent as the food is in the regular dining rooms on the Princess cruise ships, I like to enjoy at least one meal in the alternate dining venues. I was curious about the concept of shared dining as advertised in the SHARE restaurant on the Ruby Princess, but as it turned out the sharing bit seems to have gone by the wayside. The tables were separate and we were seated at a table for two. The alternate form of dining in this case is a 6 course menu created by Chef Curtis Stone  - with a choice of 2 or 3 dishes per course, one of which is a vegetarian option.

I have never been partial to deep crust pizzas or pizzas with a thick doughy crust but thin crust pizza or flatbreads with interesting topping combinations make for a light, quick and easy-to-share meal.

Wine and chocolate is an irresistible combination and I couldn't resist the temptation to go back for another salted caramel chocolate at the Apothic Wines event. The event was held at one of Vancouver 's newest nightclubs, Twelve West on Granville Street which bills itself as an elite night life venue. I've often noticed the line ups to get in, while I am walking home from dance classes in the evening but have until now not had the occasion to go into the venue.

For one who likes going to combine seeing plays and eating out, Granville Island is very convenient, as it has at least six indoor theatre spaces alone, that I can think of, as well as a variety of restaurants appealing to different palates and pockets; and all within a few minutes walk of each other.  The Sandbar Restaurant and the small sushi section down below are two places I often visit. I have found that in the summer it is often advisable to call for a reservation,  but this time, on a rainy Thursday night at 6 pm,  we decided to just walk in and take our chances.

It has been ages since I visited Vij's so when my friend suggested we go there for a pre-show meal I agreed eagerly. The restaurant opens at 5:30 and most of the tables are occupied before six pm, leaving the option of waiting in the bar  area or eating next door at Vij's Rangoli diner. While I visited the box office to pick up the tickets, my friend made straight for the restaurant and got one of the last three tables.

As we were going to see a new play at the Firehall Arts Centre on East Cordova, I decided this time, that I would chose a restaurant closer to home for pre-show dining, and we would then drive over to the theatre.

Last night I had tickets to see Mourning Dove, the opening play in the season for Pacific Theatre, on 12th just east of Granville. So in continuing my exploration of restaurants close to that venue and to  the Stanley Industral Alliance Stage, I used the convenient Open Table reservation system to learn about CHOW, on Granville near 15th.

At the corner of  Richards and Helmcken stands a small Japanese restaurant with an unusual name, + Alpha.  As they point out, the term means "something extra" in terms of food and service and certainly whenever I walk in there for a bite, the place is  buzzing with activity, the food consistently good and the service is always efficient and friendly.

Living in downtown Vancouver, within walking distance of so many excellent restaurants, I tend to venture further out to eat in other neighbourhoods mainly in conjunction with other activities such as a play, film, exhibition or lecture. For my latest pre-theatre dining experience I decided to try Fuel Restaurant on West 4th between Cypress and Maple. Great choice.

On Sundays after cycling around Vancouver,  members of  our cycle group often supplemented by a few non-cyclists, get together around 1 pm for a light lunch. On this occasion we decided to check out The Hurricane Grill that had opened a couple of months ago in a space previously occupied by at least three other restaurants. But this particular place is apparently a sibling restaurant of the Hurricane Grill on the North Shore, so presumably  the owners should have figured out all the kinks in the system already.