Restaurant Re-boots and Sweet Openings

clockwise from left: the Lyon breakfast at Cafe Regalade, macarons, pate de fruits and the interior at Thierry. credit: Anya Levykh

When Steeve Raye’s pastry shop on West 4 Avenue closed down, there was much sighing and moaning among locals. But think of this as a restaurant makeover. The pastry shop closed, and in its place opened up a cheerful little bistro serving up hearty French fare from the same owner. Café Regalade, as the new incarnation is called, is a successful and tasty chip off the more-established parental block in West Vancouver.

Open for breakfast, brunch and dinner, don’t miss their Lyon breakfast ($12.75), which gives you a hot skillet full of poached eggs, mushroom, bacon, pearl onions, spinach, potatoes and salad, all drizzled in a red wine reduction and accompanied by a bowl of warm potatoes fried in duck fat, as well as several hearty slices of fresh baguette. The Basque ($13.25) was another breakfast winner, with two eggs sunny side up over chorizo, piperade, and toasted baguette spread with mustard-y aioli, plus more of those duck fat potatoes. Healthier options are available, but really, why would you turn down anything fried in duck fat?

Bonus: Raye is still making all of his magnificent desserts, including an extraordinary soft meringue drizzled in sticky caramel and hazelnuts.

Thierry Arrives on Alberni

This has probably been the most anticipated patisserie opening of all time for Vancouver. I remember waiting with bated breath last September for the chance to try one of maître chocolatier and pâtissier Thierry Busset’s famous macarons. Like everyone else, I had to wait an extra year, but methinks it was worth it. A quick trip the other morning had me trying everything from the brandy snap tuiles and the aforementioned macarons (yes, they more than lived up to the hype, especially the lemon) to the pain au chocolat and a stunning apricot Danish.

All of the croissants and pain are made with 40% butter, as opposed to the paltry 20% normally used in North America. (Yeah, I know, my arteries were solidifying as I was typing.) But you could always balance things out by having one of the salads, sandwiches or soups for lunch, right? The café is also fully licensed, and they can spike everything from coffee and espresso to hot chocolate and tea. They also have a good selection of vodka, gin, tequila and other spirits, plus a wine lists that focuses on B.C. It’s open from early morning to midnight each night, so there’s really no excuse not to go and pick up some macarons, is there?

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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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