Written By Guest Writer Awards / Folks Mar 8, 2012 2012 Exceptional Eats Results SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestCamille's: Best Restaurant Cooking Local (Victoria). Left to right: Francois Boule—sous, David Mincey—owner, Stephen Drolet —chef, Lindsay Walker—Diningroom manager, Paige Robinson—owner,, Katelyn Schoen, Tracy Nesom, Chris Stephens (missing: Carling Battistuzzi). Photos by Rebecca WellmanWhat was on your food and wine radar last year? Did you spot a trend? Did a new restaurant, wine or beer catch your attention? Who was your food hero this year? Was there a website, tweeter or blogger that helped give you a deeper insight into the food world? In other words, what were your Exceptional Eats! of 2011? To get the skinny on the gist EAT staff worked long into the night to come up with 42 questions designed to reflect the year that was. Then, on January 1st the virtual voting booth opened for a month. When the voting ended we tallied the results and organized them into four groups: eating in, eating out, drinking and, lastly, giving credit to those who inspired us. Turns out we are a loyal and competitive bunch and many results were close–and in some instances a tie had to be declared. We think readers chose a glorious group and I, for one, will be very busy in 2012 using this list as a guide to many new and wonderful eating and drinking experiences. In our opinion there were no losers only winners as we all win by shining the spotlight on a vibrant local food community.* Sponsors and the winners of the prize draw follow the awards results. See below. “The Results * denotes the winner LET’S EAT OUT Restaurant of the Year:It’s the best restaurant in the city. Bar none. In every way, every time – the best food, service, and ambience. End of discussion.Which restaurant is it? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Brasserie L’écoleUllaZambrisCafé BrioVANCOUVER*HawksworthL’AbattoirVij’sChambarOKANAGAN*Local Lounge & GrilleRauDZWaterfront Restaurant Best Dish of the Year:You are still dreaming of it, pining for it, talking about it. What restaurant dish made that lasting impression?Name the dish, and the restaurant, please. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND *Steak Frites, red wine & shallot sauce, Roquefort butter at Brasserie L’écoleCrispy Pork Shoulder on greens with radish, potatoes, grapes and chili mayonnaise at Zambri’sFunghi Pizza at Prima StradaVANCOUVER*Wine marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes at Vij’sWest Coast Sablefish miso sake glaze, baby bok choy, edamame quinoa and shiitake mushrooms, kombu dashi with soy and yuzu at Blue Water CaféKasu & Birch Syrup Sablefish, shaved cauliflower, brussels sprouts, Swiss chard at Edible Canada SPECIAL MENTION: Rigatoni with Trippa alla Romana at Campagnolo Roma OKANAGAN*Tie: Okanagan Cherry Spare Ribs (Local Lounge) | Blackened Prime Rib (Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen)Confit Duck Leg “Grilled Cheese” Sandwich at Hillside Bistro Best Place for Lunch:Lunch is not really about replenishing energy to get on with the workday. It is an event and an excellent one at that.Which restaurant gets the nod for best midday meal? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND *DevourHernande’z CocinaFooVANCOUVER*Meat & BreadCactus ClubOKANAGAN*The Bench MarketOkanagan Street FoodHillside Bistro Best Restaurant Cooking Local:If it’s in season and local, it’s on the menu. This eatery celebrates local ingredients on a grand scale.What restaurant is it? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND *Camille’s RestaurantUllaDevourSooke Harbour HouseCafé BrioVANCOUVER*Edible CanadaC RestaurantRaincity GrillOKANAGAN*RauDZ Regional TableLocal LoungeWaterfront Restaurant Not Downtown:If you live in a big city, pick an eatery outside of your city center that’s worth a special trip. Or tell us the name of a great restaurant in your town, village or burg that is the best of the bunch. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Bistro at Merridale CiderSooke Harbour HouseVANCOUVER*Pear TreeLes Faux BourgeoisOKANAGAN*Ricardo’s Mediterranean KitchenLocal Lounge Cheap and Cheerful – Best Under $10Max $10and delicious and well made not too much to ask, is it? Where and what? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Hernande’z CocinaPigRed Fish Blue FishVANCOUVER*La TaqueriaSave On MeatProntoOKANAGAN*Mad Mango CaféIl Vecchio DelicatessenBurger 55 Best Burger:From the bar to the bistro and now top billing at a few new hot haunts: the ubiquitous burger.Who does it best? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Pink BicycleBin 4Big WheelVANCOUVER*Vera’s Burger ShackModern BurgerRefuelOKANAGAN*Burger 55Local LoungeGorgeous George’s Gourmet Burgers Best Place for Eats and Cocktails:Work is done for the day. Now for your reward? drink (or two) and nibbles. Cinq a sept becomes the happiest hours.Best place for after work eats and drinks? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*VenetoClivesStageVANCOUVER*Joey RestaurantsThe DiamondYEW BarOKANAGAN*RauDZ Regional TableCabanaRotten Grape Wine List Smackdown (Best Restaurant Wine List):Do you like it comprehensive, educational, big, or just beautiful? Which restaurant?s wine menu dominates? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLANDStage*Brasserie L’EcoleIl TerrazzoVANCOUVER*HawksworthBlue Water CaféWestOKANAGAN*Local Lounge & GrilleWaterfront Restaurant Keep Your Fork… (Best Restaurant Dessert):Many diners just say no when it comes to dessert. But we have plenty of talented pastry chefs working to rise above the tried and true creme brule or molten chocolate cake.Tell us who’s cultivating a more sophisticated sweet tooth? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Brasserie L’ecoleUllaVANCOUVER*Cactus ClubChambarThierry Chocolaterie Patisserie CafeOKANAGAN*Local Lounge & GrilleTie: RauDz & Waterfront Restaurant Something healthy but fantastic. (Best Place for a Healthy Meal):Rich foods abound these days. Where do you go to give your body a break, somewhere the food is both healthy and delicious? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*RebarRed Fish Blue FishVANCOUVER*The NaamOrganic LivesNubaOKANAGAN*PoppadomsThe Wild ScallionThe Chopped Leaf Feeding Cart Frenzy (Best Food Truck):Great street food has never been easier to find. At what food truck did you have a really amazing feed? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Red Fish Blue FishVANCOUVER*JapadogRoaming DragonLa Brasserie StreetOKANAGAN*Jeffer’s Fryzz Under The Radar:Give up the name of that eatery that you adore and yet no one seems to know about. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*DaidocoBistro28Café CeylonVANCOUVER*Campagnolo RomaCRU RestaurantThe Pear TreeOKANAGAN*The Real Things PizzaBenja ThaiPoppadoms Top Chef:The dining scene is shining brighter than ever and this chef is a large part of the reason.Name your favourite local chef. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Dan Hayes (London Chef)Peter Zambri (Zambri’s)Sean BrennanVANCOUVER*David HawksworthRob FeenieDale MacKayOKANAGAN*Tie: Robert Cordonier (Hillside Bistro), Paul Cecconi (Local Lounge)Rod ButtersMark FilatowDarren Mitchell Best Place To Eat Sustainable Seafood:Great restaurants that also serve a sustainable catch deserve an EAT award. At stake is the future of our oceans.Who deserves to be the catch of the year? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Red Fish Blue FishVANCOUVER*C RestaurantBlue Water CafeOKANAGAN*Local Lounge & GrilleHillside BistroBest Place to Feed a Kid:Praise be to the eateries and restaurants that have high chairs and servers who get that kids are people who should go out to eat, too. Who makes you welcome when you have sprogs in tow? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Pizzeria Prima Strada Crumsby’s Cupcake CafeVANCOUVER*White SpotLittle NestOKANAGANBoston Pizza LET’S EAT IN Best Locally-Owned (Food-Related) Store:Need a fridge, chef?s knife, tablecloth, bag of beets or coffee? You’re not a fan of big-box shopping. Where do you go to buy it? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Cook CultureThe Root CellarNiagara GroceryVANCOUVER*Gourmet WarehouseMing WoCookworksOKANAGAN*The Bench Artisan Food MarketValoroso FoodsChef’s Edge Best Grocery Store:Which grocery store has the selection, the quality, the people and the good vibes that says, We are the best? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Thrifty FoodsMarket on YatesFairwaysVANCOUVER*Whole FoodsStongsThifty FoodsOKANAGAN*Quality GreensChoicesWhole FoodsNature’s Fare Markets Best Selection of Specialty Foods:Bread: one of life’s basic pleasures. And you need flour to make bread, right? Whether it’s whole wheat, organic, rye, rice, potato, or buckwheat so many varieties, so many options.Who has the best flour selection in the city? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Market on YatesLifestyle MarketVANCOUVER*Whole FoodsUrban FareFamous FoodsOKANAGAN*Whole FoodsValoroso FoodsChoices Best Farm:They just have the freshest produce! What local farm keeps you coming back for more? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Tie: Madrona & Mitchel BrosSunwingSaanich OrganicsVANCOUVER*Kin’s Farm Public MarketWestham Island Herb FarmUBC FarmOKANAGAN*Harker’s OrganicsQuality GreensBlossoms Best Place to Buy Local: The Root CellarBest Place to Buy Local Food:It could be a farm stand, outdoor market or a store. Where do you go to buy your local, fresh and in-season food? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*The Root CellarRed BarnMoss Street marketVANCOUVER*Granville Island MarketTrout Lake Farmers MarketKits Farmers MarketOKANAGAN *Kelowna & Penticton Farmers’ Markets Best Local Food Product or Ingredient:What local food, product or ingredient do you take great pride in introducing your visiting out-of-town friends and family to? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Cold Comfort Ice Cream | *Spot PrawnsVancouver Island Salt Co./ BerriesVANCOUVER*Terra Breads | *Sockeye SalmonSpot PrawnsOKANAGAN*Carmelis Goat Cheese | *PeachesLittle Creek Original Salad Dressing | CherriesSummerland Sweets | Apples Best Place to Buy Pie:Pies. Meat pies. Glorious fruit pies. My, oh my savoury and sweet. When you aren’t in the mood to bake your own, where do you go to buy a pie fix? (and don’t say you go to your Mom’s) VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Oldfield OrchardBubby RoseCascadia BakeryVANCOUVER*Savary Island Pie CompanyAphrodite’s Organic Café and Pie ShopThierry Chocolaterie Patisserie CafeOKANAGAN*Tie: Britannia Pies, Robert’s Fruit Market & OrchardDavison OrchardsJust Pies Best Cookbook:When you want a recipe for dinner with family, or to make for friends, what book do you turn to? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Rebar Modern FoodVij’s at HomeWhitewater CooksVANCOUVER*Rebar Modern FoodVij’s at HomeWhitewater CooksOKANAGAN*‘That’s Amore’ From Ricardo Scebba’s Mediterranean KitchenWhitewater Cooks LET’S DRINKGround Control:We want to know who’s bag of coffee beans you grind at home for your cuppa joe. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Caffe FantasticoFernwoodDiscoveryVANCOUVER*Forty Ninth Parallel Coffee RoastersJJ BeanSalt Spring CoffeeOKANAGAN*Cherry Hill CoffeeBackyard BeansKicking Horse Best Barista:You bow to the bean and are always on the prowl for the best macchiato, French press or Ethiopian heirloom bean. Name your favourite barista (or coffee shop) that keeps you from going cold turkey. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Street Level EspressoHabit DiscoveryVANCOUVER*Caffé ArtigianoJJ BeanElysian CoffeeOKANAGAN*Good OmensGio Bean ExpressoBeanery Coffee Company What’s Old is New Again:Welcome back, gin & tonic; ciao, negroni; bonjours,Sazerac. Old school drinks are one of the hot new things on the cocktail scene.Which bar, lounge, or restaurant is doing them right? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Clive’sVenetoVANCOUVER*Tie: Pourhouse Vancouver | The Diamond900 West, The Fairmont Hotel VancouverOKANAGAN*RauDZ Regional TableLocal LoungeWaterfront Restaurant The New Alchemists:Bartisans (bartender artisans) are coming up with modern, edgy kinds of drinking utopias and putting astonishing ingredients in a glass in new ways.Name your hero/heroine and the bar. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Shawn Soole (Clive’s)Simon Ogden (Veneto)Katie McDonald (Veneto)VANCOUVER*Jay Jones (MARKET at Shangri-La Hotel )Simon Kaulback, (Boneta Restaurant)Jonathan Smolensky (Hawksworth Restaurant)OKANAGAN*Gerry Jobe (RaudDZ)Ben Hefford (Local Lounge) Best Mocktail:Don’t mock this no-alcohol cocktail has come into its own. Who has made staying sober a beautiful thing? Name your favourite mocktail and the bar where you get it. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Cranberry Cassablanca – Ulla – Rhubarb Shrub – Canoe Virgin Mojitos – Cactus ClubVANCOUVER*Virgin Vanilla Pear Ricky at RefuelBoneta “Subtly Sweet”OKANAGAN*Virgin Peach Bellini (Local Lounge)No Jito (Waterfront Restaurant)Raspberry Blush (Milestones) Spirited Moment:Who gets you to raise your glass for making the best local spirit? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Victoria GinFrizz Vodka (Merridale)VANCOUVER*Victoria GinSchramm VodkaOKANAGAN*Okanagan SpiritsUrban Distilleries Best Store for Craft Beer:IPA, wit, stout, Belgian, porter. Where do you buy the best quality selection? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Cascadia LiquorSpinnakersBC Liquor GuysVANCOUVER*Firefly Fine Wines and AlesBrewery Creek Liquor StoreLegacy Liquor StoreOKANAGAN*Tie: Cannery Brewing, Metro LiquorTree Bewery Heads Ups:Impress your out-of-town host with a bottle of local beer. Name the local brew that has real beer wonks foaming over?What would you bring? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Driftwood Fat Tug IPAPhillips Chocolate PorterSaltspring Winter AleVANCOUVER*Granville Island English Bay Pale AleCentral City IPAHurricane IPA Storm BrewingOKANAGAN*Cannery Brewing Naramata Nut BrownCrannóg Ales Backhand of GodCannery Brewing Anarchist Amber Best Place to Buy Wine:Wine. You want an excellent selection, a range of prices, and a personable, knowledgeable staff.What’s your recommendation? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*BCL Fort & FoulEverything WineCascadia LiquorVANCOUVER*Liberty Wine MerchantsMarquis Wine CellarsOKANAGAN*Tie: BC VQA Wine Info Centre, Discover WinesMetro Liquor Best Local Wine:Impress your out-of-town host with a bottle of local wine. What would you bring? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*ZanattaAverill CreekAlderleaVANCOUVER*Burrowing OwlBlue MountainPainted RockOKANAGAN*Sumac Ridge Estate WineryLa FrenzTantalus Vineyards Fruit of Their Labours:Apples, pears, blackberries – whose cider or fruit wine do you groove to? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Merridale (apple)Sea Cider (apple)Rocky Creek Blackberry Dessert WineVANCOUVER*Elephant Island Orchard WinesForbidden FruitOKANAGAN*Elephant Island Orchard WinesRustic Roots Fruit WineryForbidden Fruit Winery Best Local Beverage:This local beverage was, in a word, remarkable. Be it wine, beer, cider, tea, coffee you name it. What really impressed you this year?Tell us what it was and which company made it. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Driftwood Fat Tug IPASilk Road TeaVANCOUVER*Driftwood Fat Tug IPAOKANAGAN*Poplar Grove Cab FrancBurrowing Owl Cab FrancTantalus RieslingPainted Rock Syrah PEOPLE Food/Drink Experience of the Year:Events, festivals, and seminars on food and drink were everywhere the past year which one really did it for you? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Feast of FieldsCulinaireGreat Canadian Beer FestivalVANCOUVER*Playhouse Wine FestivalFeast of FieldsVancouver Craft Beer WeekOKANAGAN*Feast of FieldsSimilkameen BBQ King Best Cooking Class or School:Knife skills 101? Advanced pasta making? Bread basics? What cooking school or class really sparked your culinary education? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*The London ChefCook CultureHeidi FinkVANCOUVER*Dirty ApronBooks to CooksPacific Institute of Culinary Arts OKANAGAN*Mission Hill Culinary WorkshopsSandrine Pastry ClassesWSET-Rhys Pender Behind the Counter:Who impressed you with their amazing customer service this year? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*OttavioCook CultureCharellisVANCOUVER*Revolver CoffeeVillage Wines / KitsilanoOKANAGAN*Local Lounge & GrilleTerrafina at Hester Creek WineryCodfathers Seafood Market The Next Big Thing (Best Trend of 2011):Food fashions come and go. Remember blackened fish? Cupcakes? Hibiscus flowers? Is it time for pork to stop hogging the spotlight? Say hello to the next big thing.What is it? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Was there ever any doubt? Burgers of course.Gluten FreeRaw FoodVANCOUVER*MacaronsPorkGluten-freeOKANAGAN*Eating localRaw foods Worst Trend of 2011:New, but simply awful, trend. Help us weed it out!What is it? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*CupcakesPulled PorkBurgersVANCOUVER*Foam SaucesCup CakesMacaronsOKANAGAN*Foam SaucesCake PopsGluten-free The Foodie’s Foodie Award:Who do you turn to learn from, keep you in the know or ask advice? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*EAT Magazine (blush)Tie: Dan Hayes (The London Chef) and Heldi FinkElizabeth SmythMary CarmackVANCOUVER*ScoutFollow Me FoodieOKANAGAN*Jennifer Schell-PigottRobert CordonierPaul Cecconi I Eat, Therefore I Tweet:Which food or drink tweeter, hyper-local blog, online magazine, app or website is your best friend. VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Double blush…EAT Magazine OnlineGuilty KitchenUrbanspoonVANCOUVER*ScoutEAT Magazine OnlineOKANAGAN*Vinevie.comAll She WroteEAT Magazine Online (thanks!) Leave No Footprint:What business, association or non-profit best promotes a sustainable food system? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Red Fish Blue FishDowntown Market SocietyIsland Chefs CollaborativeVANCOUVERTie: Vancouver Farmers Markets, Ocean WiseEat LocalFarm Folk City FolkOKANAGAN*RauDZ Regional TablePenticton Farmers’ MarketUrban Harvest Organic Delivery The 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award:Give recognition to the person who has spent their lifetime committed to exemplary, sincere, and passionate culinary excellence. The ripple effect of this person cannot be easily measured. Grazie.(Note: past winners David Mincey and Greg Hays are ineligible) VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*Peter Zambri (Zambri’s)VANCOUVER*John Bishop (Bishop’s)OKANAGAN*Bernard Casavant (Wild Apple) BEST NEWBest new addition to the food and drink scene in 2011It could be a new restaurant, shop, café or product. Your pick? VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND*The London Chef Bin 4Black HatVis a VisVANCOUVER*HawksworthNicli Antica PizzeriaThierryOKANAGAN*Okanagan Street FoodSaint-Germain Café and GalleryTerrafina at Hester CreekMiradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery THE EE SPONSORS & DRAW WINNERS Congratulations to our 40 prize winners.And a big thank-you to all the sponsors who donated such wonderful prizes. VICTORIAAura Waterfront Restaurant & Patio (2 x $25*) laurelpoint.com/dining/auraSandi Heal Black Hat (Wagyu Tasting Dinner for Four $250*) theblackhat.caIan Yeung Cafe Brio ($75*) cafe-brio.comBridget Minishka Canoe Brewpub ($75*) canoebrewpub.comSarah Thornton Cascadia Liquor ($100*) cascadialiquor.comLori McKenzie Chateau Victoria (Dinner at Vista 18 and One Night in a Suite) chateauvictoria.comElissa Frankham Cook Culture ($200*) cookculture.comMackenzie Wheeler Flavour Restaurant (3-course dinner for two – $250*) 590-7787Barbara Kahlo Hotel Grand Pacific (One night stay and dinner for two in the Mark)hotelgrandpacific.comKaren Symmes Lifestyle Market ($50*) lifestylemarkets.comTony Cheong London Chef (2 Interactive Classes*) thelondonchef.comStephen Lee Lure at the Delta Victoria ($100*) lurevictoria.comRobin Gary Hicks Matticks Farm VQA ($30*) matticksfarm.comLynne Carlson Niagara/Fairfield Grocery ($50* & Gift Basket) getfreshwithalocal.comDiane Maclachlan Ooh La La Cupcakes (3 x$30*) oohlalacupcakes.caJayne Embree Root Cellar Village Green Grocer ($75*) www.therootcellar.caJess Howard Silk Road (Tea Cocktails & Mocktails Workshop – $250*) silkroadtea.comGlen Campbell Slaters Meats ($25*) 250-592-0823Lisbet Rygnestad Village Butcher ($25*) thevillagebutcher.caTanya Kirkland Wannawafel (2 x $25) wannawafel.comE. B. Klassen VANCOUVER131 Water ($50*) www.131water.comLandon Young BC Wine School Voucher for the WSET level 1 Course* bcwineschool.comMelanie Stitt Browns Restaurant Group ($100*) brownsrestaurantgroup.comT Pipes Diner No.1 ($50*) www.dinerone.comAlan Rae Edible at the Market ($100*) ediblecanada.com/bistro.phpBarbara Borchardt eight 1/2 restaurant lounge ($50*) eightandahalf.caWing Hui Joey Restaurants ($100*) joeyrestaurants.comEddy Tan Simply West Coast Sauces (10 sauces, t-short, ball cap) simplywestcoast.comLonnie Temereski Teahouse and Seasons in the Park ($100*) vancouverdine.comMarjorie Stevens OKANAGANBench Market ($25*) thebenchmarket.comValencia Curken Hotel El Dorado (Romance Package) hoteleldoradokelowna.comJ Hopper Joie Farm (Magnum of Rose) joie.caTanis Sergeew Medici’s Gelateria ($20*) medicisgelateria.caJessica Stelkia Okanagan Street Food ($50*) okanaganstreetfood.comVal Jenner Pentages (Sauvignon Blanc 08, Gamy 2010, Merlot 2006) pentage.comKara Price Poppadoms ($50*) poppadoms.caHarmonie Basso RauDZ ($25* + 2 martini cars) raudz.com/RAUDZ/home.htmlStewart Glynes Theos Greek Restaurant ($50*) eatsquid.comAlena Zamorano Tree Brewing ($50*) treebeer.comMarilyn Lawton Waterfront Wine Bar & Restaurant ($100*) waterfrontrestaurant.caEve Layman *denotes gift certificate value AwardsDrinksEdiblesFolkspeople SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. 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