Doing Dine Out Right

VANCOUVER, BC. This year’s Dine Out Vancouver festival runs from January 17 to February 2, and with over 264 restaurants offering up lunch and dinner menus, the options can be overwhelming. That’s not reason, however, to skip out on all the fun. A little careful planning and consideration of what your palate craves will help guide you to outstanding experiences. To help you get started, here are my top picks to help you do Dine Out right. All menus can be viewed and reservations made through the Dine Out site at


For those to whom “upscale casual” are just dirty words.

C Restaurant

One of the founding fathers of sustainable seafood in Vancouver, C has long been a destination for locals and visitors alike. The restaurant has extended their Dine Out menu until February 9 to allow more people the chance to try out their $38 menu. Menu options include sunchoke velouté, octopus bacon-wrapped scallops, 12-hour braised beef cheek with New York striploin, and In addition to the optional B.C. VQA pairings that are on offer, half-pours at half price are also available for those who are designated drivers or just don’t want to over-imbibe.

Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge

Nestled inside The Wedgewood Hotel, Vancouver’s only Relais and Chateaux property, Bacchus has long been the secret home to some fine French haute cuisine. With items like chicken liver and cognac parfait, crispy confit duck leg and chocolate crème brulee, this is a $38 menu that is bound to impress.

Cibo Trattoria

Not quite as formal as the preview two listings, but the beautiful atmosphere, stellar service and solid cookery make it a shoe-in. For $28, indulge in hearty leek and potato soup, beef carpaccio, fresh tagliatelle, roasted steelhead trout and vanilla panna cotta with roman brandy and amaretti.


For those to whom “fine dining” are just dirty words.

Bistro 101

This teaching restaurant at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts at the entrance to Granville Island is one of the city’s best kept secrets, and their $18 Dine Out menu is always outstanding. Available for both lunch and dinner, it includes winter squash tortellini in smoked tomato broth, Dungeness crab salad, lamb navarin with grilled polenta, roast Fraser pork loin with crispy belly and shoulder sausage, and pear and chocolate pave. Go back a few time so that you can try everything or take friends who don’t mind sharing.

Bella Gelateria

The city’s (indeed, the world’s—best gelato maker, James Coleridge, is offering up a three-course tasting of his artisan creations. $18 covers two people, so for those with a major sweet tooth, think of this as your après dessert. Choose from salted caramel semifreddo, gewürtz sorbetto, gelato cookie sandwich, and more.

Dunn’s Famous

Because sometimes we all need Jewish soul food. Potato latkes, matzoh ball soup, smoked meat platters and apple crumble, all for $18. The main comes with your choice of fries or soup, so go with the latkes to start and have the matzoh ball soup with your Reuben. Oy vey.


For those who just can’t decide.


Start with poached prawns and grilled chorizo, then move on to spice-rubbed duck breast before finishing with the cheese plate. $38 and there are gluten-free options for the Paleos in your life.

The Parker

Not only is the entire menu vegetarian (mainly vegan), but the cocktails and wines are as well. And, with legendary bar man (and owner) Steve da Cruz in charge of the libations, you know it’s going to be good. Roasted yam chaat, cauliflower with roasted parsnips, mizuna and confit garlic-cashew cream, housemade tofu quenelles, almond panne cotta and more top the $28 menu.


For $38, enjoy lamb tartare, butter-roasted veal sweetbreads, hangar steak…you get the picture. It’s all sustainable and there is even some lingcod, and cured and confit trout salad. Do not miss the beet salad with mascarpone sorbet…it’s a game changer.



C Restaurant – photo by Anya Levykh



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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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