Top Picks for Dine Out Vancouver

Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver

VANCOUVER

 

The largest restaurant festival in Canada, Dine Out Vancouver launches this week with 17 days of dining and events. If you’re wondering where to make a reservation first, fear not. Here are my top picks for dining at every price category.

 

$18 Menus

 

Dunn’s Famous B.C.

There’s always time for smoked meat, which Dunn’s upholds by offering their menu for both lunch and dinner. Choose between their beer-battered fried pickles and the ultimate bowl of Jewish penicillin—matzoh ball soup—before moving on to the classic smoked meat sandwich or the grilled cheese version.  Cheese cake shots for dessert, anyone?

 

Judas Goat Taberna

Part of the Heather Hospitality Group, this meat-centric little tapas bar has a stellar menu that includes a cured meat platter, smoke pork loin with beans, Lois Lake steelhead trout, and goat cheese cake for dessert.

 

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

Oft-overlooked during Dine Out season, this is probably one of the best meals to be had in this price category. The students at PICA are a passionate and dedicated bunch, and have come up with a menu that makes the buds trippy. Start with Yukon Gold clam chowder with cured bacon or the seafood cake, and follow up with pan-roasted duck breast with rosemary gnocchi or the Pilsner-braised boneless short rib with caramelized root vegetables. Dessert offers three choices, including a chocolate cardamom truffle cake.

 

$28 Menus

 

Forage

A newcomer to Dine Out, this beyond-sustainable restaurant features a menu of elegant comfort food using locally sourced and, of course, foraged, ingredients, sustainable meats and seafood, and a very solid wine and beverages list. Chef Chris Whittaker’s award-winning spot prawn and seafood chowder with soft-poached egg, pork hock and smoked chicharrón is a great choice to start, as is the game terrine. Pork belly with crackling and a the frozen summer berry parfait with Meyer lemon gel, and you have a meal to remember.

 

Laziza

This bright, bustling room offer contemporary Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine. Many of their dishes are vegan or vegetarian, but there are also many animal-based options for veggie Luddites. Start out with the mezze sampler of hummus, baba ghanouj and tabouleh, then follow up with lamb tagine or the seafood Arabia. For dessert, it’s konafa all the way. This shredded pastry is stuffed with ricotta cream and topped with syrup and pistachios.

 

Salmon N’ Bannock

There aren’t many options for First Nations dining in Vancouver. Luckily, places like Salmon n’ Bannock are worth the trip. Start with wild boar sliders or the spicy sweet potato cream soup, then indulge in roast bison, followed by berry crumble for dessert.

 

$38 Menus

 

Diva at the Met

Chef Hamid Salimian is one of this city’s top innovators, and if you’re looking for a meal on the cutting edge (pardon the pun), this is the place to go. Start with Humboldt squid and Moroccan sausage or chicken liver parfait with preserved vegetables, then go pink with the Pacific Provider salmon and pork jowl with pickled cabbage and oyster sauce. And don’t miss out on the caramelized Stilton cheesecake with rhubarb and port reduction.

 

Kitsilano Daily Kitchen

Chef Brian Fowke runs the stove at this cozy bistro in Kitsilano. Start with roasted cauliflower soup with side stripe prawn, white truffle and wild lobster caviar. Main options include Brome Lake duck leg confit and butler steak with onion polenta and buffalo mozzarella. If three courses isn’t enough, the six-course Culinary Adventure menu will also be offered for $65 per person.

 

Wildebeest

The latest hot—and haute—restaurant to launch in Gastown, Wildebeest is all about local, sustainable beasts, both from land and sea. Smoked salmon roulade with black pepper crème fraîche and orange-infused pumpkin is a bold starter, while beef short rib with rutabaga and Brussels sprouts takes you back to childhood dinners—if Mom had been a five-star chef. For dessert, it really is all about cheesecake this year, and Wildebeest has their version, with blackberry sorbet and graham crumble.

 

 

Written By:

Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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