Written By Guest Writer Folks / Interesting Locals May 6, 2013 The 2013 Exceptional Eats! Award Winners SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestThe 2013 Exceptional Eats! Award Winners as chosen by EAT Magazine readersRestaurant of the YearThis restaurant always delivers-in service, selection, atmosphere, and execution. It’s the best restaurant in the city-in every way, every time. (VICTORIA)Gold: Brasserie L’ecoleSilver: UllaBronze: Café Brio (VANCOUVER)Gold: HawksworthSilver: FableBronze: Vij’s (OKANAGAN)Gold: RauDZ Regional TableSilver: Waterfront Restaurant + Wine BarBronze: Local Lounge & Grill Restaurant Cooking LocalBest Restaurant Cooking Local: Local = Fresh + Delicious. Who does barn-to-table best and supports our local farms? What restaurant is it? (VICTORIA)Gold: Camille’sSilver: Sooke Harbour HouseBronze: Ulla (VANCOUVER)Gold: Bishop’sSilver: Edible Canada at the MarketBronze: Tie: Fable, The Parker (OKANAGAN)Gold: Ricardos Mediterranean KitchenSilver: Waterfront Restaurant + Wine BarBronze: Hillside Winery Bistro Best Dish of the YearYou really must try the _____at _____! What dish was so fantastic that you will remember it forever-or at least until next year? Crispy smoked chicken with roasted cauliflower, rice, pickles and South East Asian vinaigrette – Relish Food & Coffee(VICTORIA)Gold: Crispy smoked chicken with roasted cauliflower, rice, pickles and South East Asian vinaigrette – Relish Food & CoffeeSilver: Steak Frites at Brasserie L’ecoleBronze: Gnocchi at Zambri’s (VANCOUVER)Gold: Qualicum Bay Scallops with caramelized Belgian endives, wild rice griddle cake, candied ginger and citrus sauce – Blue Water CafeSilver: Birch Syrup Sablefish – Edible Canada at the MarketBronze: Humboldt Squid with Persian Tamarind Glaze – Diva at the Met (OKANAGAN)Gold: Bengali Fish with tangy kasundi mustard sauce with raw mango, chili, onion and coconut milk – PoppadomsSilver: Prime Rib – Ricardos Mediterranean Kitchen Bronze: Confit Duck Leg “Grilled Cheese” Sandwich – Hillside Winery Bistro Best Place for LunchLunch as a Delicious Event: Lunch is not only about re-energizing you at midday; it has really come into its own as a dining out experience. (VICTORIA)Gold: Relish Food & CoffeeSilver: DevourBronze: Foo Asian Street Food (VANCOUVER)Gold: Meat & BreadSilver: Medina CafeBronze: Au Petit Chavignol (now closed) (OKANAGAN)Gold: Walla Artisan Bakery & CafeSilver: Good Omens Coffee HouseBronze: Okanagan Street Food Dish Under $10Best Place to Spend Your Last $10: You’re hungry. You have a ten-dollar bill in your pocket. Where do you go to eat? (VICTORIA)Gold: Hernande’z CocinaSilver: Red Fish Blue FishBronze: Pig BBQ Joint (VANCOUVER)Gold: Go FishSilver: Vijs RangoliBronze: La Taqueria (OKANAGAN)Gold: Okanagan Street FoodSilver: The Bench MarketBronze: Cinnamon Cafe Remotest with the MostestLet’s head out of the city. I know this amazing little place in the middle of nowhere… Name a great restaurant not in a city that’s worth a special trip (keep it close to home, though, no planes). (VICTORIA)Gold: Amusé on the VineyardSilver: Stone Soup InnBronze: Point-no-Point (VANCOUVER)Gold: Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek VineyardsSilver: Araxi Restaurant & BarBronze: The Pear Tree (OKANAGAN)Gold: Hillside Winery & BistroSilver: Benja Thai in KeremeosBronze: Joy Road Catering at God’s Mountain Place For Appys & CocktailsIt’s been a long day; fancy an appy and a drink? Or three? Best after-work or late-night place to go for a bite and a drink. Name your favourite establishment. (VICTORIA)Gold: Veneto Tapa LoungeSilver: Clive’s Classic LoungeBronze: Stage Wine Bar (VANCOUVER)Gold: ChambarSilver: HawksworthBronze: Cactus Club Burrard St (OKANAGAN)Gold: Local Lounge & GrilleSilver: RauDZ Regional TableBronze: Bufflehead Pasta & Tapas Room Neighbourhood GemEveryone’s neighborhood should have one: warm and friendly atmosphere, decent food and drinks, and wallet-friendly prices. Which neighbourhood restaurant, bistro, pub, or café is your “go-to” for a “walking-to” date night? Name the place and the neighbourhood. (VICTORIA)Gold: Stage Wine Bar – FernwoodSilver: Fernwood Inn – FernwoodBronze: Bubby’s Kitchen – Fairfield (VANCOUVER)Gold: The Parker – StrathconaSilver: Bishop’s (Kitsilano)Bronze: Irish Heather (Gastown) (OKANAGAN)Gold: Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar – Cultural District KelownaSilver: Hillside Winery Bistro – NaramataBronze: Minstrel Cafe – Lower Mission Kelowna Guilty PleasureIs it a sticky cinnamon bun, a dark pain au chocolat, or a silken crème brûlée? Where do you go to soothe the sweet cravings that call? Please name the item and the restaurant/bakery/café/shop. (VICTORIA)Gold: Fol Epi – Pain au ChocolatSilver: Bubby’s Kitchen – Cinnamon BunBronze: Cold Comfort – any ice cream (VANCOUVER)Gold: Thomas Haas – Double Baked Almond CroissantSilver: Thierry – MacaronsBronze: Chocolate Arts – Cinnamon Bun (OKANAGAN)Gold: Sandrine French Pastry – MacaronSilver: Okanagan Grocery – Chocolate CroissantBronze: True Grain – Ginger Cookie Cat-Out-of-the-BagThere’s this little place you go to that no one seems to know about but you-and you love it. Name your undiscovered treasure? (VICTORIA)Gold: Uchida eatery/shokudoSilver: Clay PigeonBronze: Nourish (VANCOUVER)Gold: Musette CaféSilver: Judas GoatBronze: Tableau Bar Bistro (OKANAGAN)Gold: Saint Germain Cafe GallerySilver: Cinnamon CaféBronze: Mad Mango Cafe Great Pizza PieThe thin-crusted, wood-fired pizza parlour invasion continues and we love it. Where do you go to get your slice of heaven? (VICTORIA)Gold: Pizzeria Prima StradaSilver: Zambri’sBronze: Fiamo (VANCOUVER)Gold: Nicli Antica PizzeriaSilver: CampagnoloBronze: Pizzeria Farina (OKANAGAN)Gold: Bordello’s Italian PizzeriaSilver: de Bakker’s KitchenBronze: DunnEnzies Pizza Co. Best Front of House CrewWe’ve all been there. Left at the front without being greeted. Ignored when we want that glass of wine when the main course comes. Which restaurant give you the best service and cheers you up no matter how in the weeds the kitchen is? (VICTORIA)Gold: Brasserie L’ecoleSilver: UllaBronze: Zambri’s (VANCOUVER)Gold: Tie: Hawksworth / Bishop’sSilver: The Pear TreeBronze: Provence (OKANAGAN)Gold: Ricardo’s Mediterranean KitchenSilver: RauDZ Regional TableBronze: Miradoro Restaurant Place For Healthy EatingDelicious and Nutritious… Feed me! A meal out can be both delicious-and healthy. Tell us where you go when you want to treat both your palate and your body? (VICTORIA)Gold: Rebar Modern FoodSilver: NourishBronze: Mo:Lé (VANCOUVER)Gold: The AcornSilver: The ParkerBronze: Capers (OKANAGAN)Gold: Wild ScallionSilver: Nature’s FareBronze: The Chopped Leaf Best Street FoodThe street food scene continues to heat up. Whose stall, cart, pot or truck is worth braving the elements to chow down? (VICTORIA)Gold: Red Fish Blue FishSilver: Taco JusticeBronze: The Refiner Diner (VANCOUVER)Gold: TacofinoSilver: La Brasserie StreetBronze: Vij’s Railway Express (OKANAGAN)Gold: Jeffer’s FryzzSilver: Okanagan Street FoodBronze: Gregors Gourmet Place to Feed a KidPraise be to the restaurants and cafés that know how to cater to families with kids. Who makes you welcome when you have children in tow? (VICTORIA)Gold: Pizzeria Prima StradaSilver: Crumsby’s Cupcake CafeBronze: Red Robin (VANCOUVER)Gold: Little NestSilver: Rocky Mountain FlatbreadBronze: Whole Foods (OKANAGAN)Gold: Wild Apple RestaurantSilver: Red RobinBronze: Poppadoms EATING INBest Place to Buy Local FoodIt could be a farm stand, outdoor market or a store. Where do you go to buy your local, fresh and in-season food? (VICTORIA)Gold: The Root CellarSilver: Red Barn MarketBronze: Niagara Grocery (VANCOUVER)Gold: Trout Lake Farmers MarketSilver: Granville Island Public MarketBronze: Whole Foods (OKANAGAN)Gold: Kelowna & Penticton Farmers MarketSilver: Harker’s OrganicsBronze: Quality Greens Best Take-OutToday’s Takeout (not your mom’s takeaway): It’s the afternoon and you’re thinking about dinner-but you don’t feel like cooking tonight. What do you grab on the way home? Think restaurants, delis and food shops -who’s got the best gourmet to go? (VICTORIA)Gold: The Noodle BoxSilver: Foo Asian Street FoodBronze: Baan Thai (VANCOUVER)Gold: RangoliSilver: Whole FoodsBronze: Urban Fare (OKANAGAN)Gold: The Bench Artisan Food MarketSilver: Urban FareBronze: Bluetail Sushi Bistro Best Place to Shop for Healthy FoodI’m Health Conscious: They say that you are what you eat. Where do you shop for food that is healthy or based on dietary restrictions? (VICTORIA)Gold: Lifestyle MarketsSilver: Planet OrganicBronze: Mother Nature’s Market (VANCOUVER)Gold: Whole FoodsSilver: Famous FoodsBronze: Choices (OKANAGAN)Gold: Nature’s Fare MarketsSilver: ChoicesBronze: Whole Foods Favourite (Locally Owned) Kitchen StoreNeed a chef’s knife, tablecloth, pot, candles or coffee grinder? And you’re not a fan of big-box shopping. Where do you go to buy it? (VICTORIA)Gold: Cook CultureSilver: Penna and Co.Bronze: Haute Cuisine (VANCOUVER)Gold: Gourmet WarehouseSilver: CookworksBronze: Ming Wo (OKANAGAN)Gold: Chef’s EdgeSilver: LakehouseBronze: Terwilligers Best Place to Buy CheeseThe Cheesier the Better: Best selection and service of artisanal and farmstead cheese. Where do you go? (VICTORIA)Gold: Tie: Hilary’s Cheese / Ottavio Italian Bakery & DeliSilver: Charelli’s Cheese ShopBronze: Thrifty Foods (VANCOUVER)Gold: Les Amis du FromageSilver: Benton Brothers Fine CheeseBronze: The Cheese Man (OKANAGAN)Gold: Valoroso FoodsSilver: Carmelis Goat Cheese ArtisanBronze: Upper Bench Creamery Best Local Food or IngredientYou’ve got friends and family visiting, and you take pride in BC’s food diversity. Okay, maybe you’ve been known to brag about the largess of this province. What local food, product or ingredient are you sure to introduce them to? (VICTORIA)Vancouver Island Salt | Spot Prawns (VANCOUVER)Kurobuta Pork | Sockeye Salmon (OKANAGAN)Okanagan Wine! Place to Buy MeatMeat your Maker: Many shops, delis and restaurants are offering house made meats – charcuterie, cold cuts, salami and sausages. Where do you go to fill your sandwich? (VICTORIA)Gold: The Whole BeastSilver: Choux Choux CharcuterieBronze: Red Barn Market (VANCOUVER)Gold: Oyama SausageSilver: Woodland Smokehouse and CommissaryBronze: Sebastian & Co. (OKANAGAN)Gold: Mediterranean MarketSilver: Il VecchioBronze: Valoroso Foods Best Specialty Food StoreYou’re having a dinner party and you’re cooking something special (maybe you’ve never made it before!) Where do you go to get that “something” that makes the dish special? (VICTORIA)Gold: Ottavio Italian Bakery & DeliSilver: Market on YatesBronze: Charelli’s Cheese Shop (VANCOUVER)Gold: Whole FoodsSilver: Urban FareBronze: Gourmet Warehouse (OKANAGAN)Gold: Urban FareSilver: Valoroso FoodsBronze: The Bench Artisan Market DRINKSBest Beer StoreBeer Boom IPA, wit, stout, Belgian, porter… Which store has the best craft-beer selection in town? (VICTORIA)Gold: Cook St Village LiquorSilver: Spinnakers Liquor StoreBronze: Cascadia Liquor (Quadra Village) (VANCOUVER)Gold: Legacy Liquor StoreSilver: The Brewery Creek Liquor StoreBronze: BC Liquor Store (39th & Cambie) (OKANAGAN)Gold: Cannery Brewing CompanySilver: Metro LiquorBronze: BCLDB (gov’t liquor stores) Best Bar(This) Bar (is) Fly: You belly up to your favourite bar. Slap your credit card down and call out – “Fix me a…” What cocktail sends you into a swoon and where are you? (VICTORIA)Gold: Barrel-aged Negroni at Clive’s Classic LoungeSilver: Rosemary’s Baby at Veneto Tapa LoungeBronze: French 75 at Stage Wine Bar (VANCOUVER)Gold: French 75 at The PourhouseSilver: The Vancouver at The ParkerBronze: The Beldi, at West (Bombay Sapphire with bitters by Kale & Nori) (OKANAGAN)Gold: Amante Picante at RauDZ Regional TableSilver: Pepper Infused Vodka Caesar at Waterfront RestaurantBronze: Cherry Bomb at Local Lounge & Grill Best Wine StoreYou Say Champagne, I say Cremant: You want an excellent selection, a range of prices, and a personable, knowledgeable staff. Best place to drink or buy wine. What’s your recommendation? (VICTORIA)Gold: Everything WineSilver: Fort & Foul Bay BCLBronze: Cascadia Liquor (VANCOUVER)Gold: Marquis Wine CellarsSilver: Everything WineBronze: Firefly Fine Wine & Ales (OKANAGAN)Gold: Metro LiquorSilver: Discover WinesBronze: The BC VQA Wine Info Centre Best Local WineryYou Brought Wine: Impress your out-of-town host with a bottle from a local winery. What would you bring? (VICTORIA)Gold: Averill Creek VineyardSilver: Alderlea VineyardsBronze: Venturi-Schulze Vineyards (VANCOUVER)Gold: Laughing Stock VineyardsSilver: Joie FarmBronze: Township 7 (OKANAGAN)Gold: 8th Generation VineyardSilver: La FrenzBronze: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Best MocktailThis ain’t no Shirley Temple: Cleanse, diet, abstinence? Don’t mock this no-alcohol cocktail. Phew, fix me a drink! Name your favourite mocktail and the bar or restaurant where you get it. (VICTORIA)Gold: Spinnaker’s Gastropub (Sparkling Ginger O De Vie) Ginger steeped in Spinnaker’s/Lifecycles apple cider vinegar, topped with O De Vie sparkling mineral water & sweetenedSilver: Shirley Temple at Pagliacci’sBronze: Mango Lassi at Ferris’ Upstairs (VANCOUVER)Gold: Hawksworth (Kalamansi Fizz) Pomegranate juice, kalamansi, honey, ginger beerSilver: Fat Dragon (Spiced Mule) Now closed.Bronze: Blue Water Cafe (Misirilou -with coconut water, orange flower water, lime juice, honey syrup cucumber) (OKANAGAN)Gold: Poppadoms (Mango Lassi) Homemade yougurt drink with mango puréeSilver: Virgin fresh fruit margarita from RauDZ Regional TableBronze: Jamaican Fizz at Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen Best Local BeverageLocal Beverage of the Year: This local beverage was, in a word, remarkable. Be it wine, beer, cider, spirits, soda, tea, coffee you name it. What really impressed you this year? Tell us what it was and which company made it. (VICTORIA)Gold: Victoria Spirits Victoria GinSilver: Merridale Estate Cidery TraditionalBronze: Sea Cider Farm Rumrunner (VANCOUVER)Gold: Pemberton Distillery Schramm Organic Potato VodkaSilver: Artisan Sake Maker Osake Junmai Sparkling SakeBronze: Painted Rock Red Icon (OKANAGAN)Gold: Okanagan Spirits WhiskySilver: Cannery Brewing Knucklehead Pumpkin AleBronze: Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio Best Place For CoffeeHigher Grounds: We want to know where do you get your bean-juice fix? Name your favourite coffee shop. (VICTORIA)Gold: Discovery CoffeeSilver: Caffe FantasticoBronze: Habit Coffee (VANCOUVER)Gold: 49th ParallelSilver: Caffe ArtigianoBronze: Revolver Coffee (OKANAGAN)Gold: Tie: Bean Scene / Good OmensSilver: Gio Bean EspressoBronze: The Beanery Coffee Company Beer of the YearThis is My Beer of the Year: Impress your out-of-town host with a bottle of local brewski. Name the local brew that has all the beer nerds in a froth? (VICTORIA)Gold: Driftwood Brewery Fat Tug IPASilver: Phillips Brewing Longboat Chocolate PorterBronze: Gulf Islands Brewery Gruit Ale (VANCOUVER)Gold: R&B Brewing Co. – Sun God Wheat AleSilver: Old Yale Brewery – Sasquatch StoutBronze: Central City – Red Racer Raspberry Wheat Ale (OKANAGAN)Gold: Cannery Brewing Naramata Nut Brown AleSilver: Tree Brewing Winter AleBronze: Crannóg Ale‘s Back Hand of God LET’S GIVE CREDITBest Food or Drink Experience of the Year Gilded Gatherings: Which food or drink event, festival or seminar most excited you this year? (VICTORIA)Gold: CulinaireSilver: The Great Canadian Beer Festival Bronze: Brewery & The Beast – Festival of Meat (VANCOUVER)Gold: Feast of FieldsSilver: Cornucopia WhistlerBronze: Dîner en Blanc – Vancouver (OKANAGAN)Gold: Feast of FieldsSilver: Similkameen BBQ KingBronze: Okanagan Fall Wine Festival Best People SkillsDid you have an amazing experience at a food shop, store or market this year that made you feel special? Maybe it made you want to tell your friends? Tell us your story and the store. (VICTORIA)Gold: Charelli’s Cheese Shop and DelicatessenSilver: The London ChefBronze: Ottavio Italian Bakery (VANCOUVER)Gold: Barbara-Jo’s Books To CooksSilver: Les Amis de FromageBronze: Benton Brothers Fine Cheese (OKANAGAN)Gold: Urban FareSilver: Kelowna Farmers MarketBronze: Discover Wines I Eat, Therefore I Am SocialI Eat, therefore I Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram and Tweet: Which local food writer, blog, or photog would you follow to the ends of the earth? (VICTORIA)Gold: EATmagazine.caSilver: Heidi Fink’s Blog Lip SmackingBronze: Smitten Kitchen (VANCOUVER)Gold: FollowMeFoodie.comSilver: Mia StainsbyBronze: Scout (OKANAGAN)Gold: BettyDish.caSilver: Jennifer SchellBronze: n/a Cooking Class or SchoolCook Like A Pro: Knife skills 101? Advanced pasta making? Pig butchery? What cooking class really sparked your culinary edification? Please tell us which class and where you took it. (VICTORIA)Gold: Spices of North Africa (The London Chef)Silver: Cosmos Means (Cook Culture)Bronze: Thai and Indian (Heidi Fink) (VANCOUVER)Gold: Ocean Fling: The Ultimate Seafood Class (The Dirty Apron)Silver: Whitewater Cooks class at Barbara Jo’s Books to CooksBronze: Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (OKANAGAN)Gold: Hester Creek Estate Winery Cooking ClassesSilver: Indian Cooking Classes at PoppadomsBronze: Mission Hill Cooking Classes The Next Big ThingFood fashions come and go. Remember truffle oil on everything? Foam sauces? Cosmopolitans? Say hello to the next big thing. What is it? (VICTORIA)Pickled everythingForagingKale (VANCOUVER)Nose to tail, farm to tableVegan fine diningLocal, seasonal, organic (OKANAGAN)Local and organicPumpkin is the new baconQuality over quantity Worst Trend of 2012Remember cake pops? Celebrity chef restaurant outposts where the chef isn’t present? Haute hot dogs? Tall food? Help us weed out the most awful trend du jour! What is it? (VICTORIA)Bacon in everythingCupcakesFoam (VANCOUVER)Large bowl plates (cutlery slides into the food)DonutsFoam (OKANAGAN)Deconstructed dishesBacon on everythingFast food Best Sustainable PracticesA Year of Living Sustainably: What business, association or non-profit best promotes a sustainable food system? (VICTORIA)Gold: Lifecycles Project SocietySilver: Island Chefs CollaborativeBronze: Red Fish Blue Fish (VANCOUVER)Gold: Ocean WiseSilver: C RestaurantBronze: Vancouver Farmers Markets (OKANAGAN)Gold: Harker’s OrganicsSilver: Okanagan Chef’s AssociationBronze: Penticton Farmers’ Market Best New Restaurant, Shop, or CaféBest new addition to the food and drink scene in 2012? (VICTORIA)Gold: The Clay PigeonSilver: Chorizo and Co.Bronze: Jam Café (VANCOUVER)Gold: WildebeestSilver: FableBronze: The Parker (OKANAGAN)Gold: True Grain BreadSilver: The Kitchen at Misconduct WineryBronze: The Stuffed Pepper Lifetime Achievement AwardsSean BrennanGive 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. (Note: David Mincey, Greg Hays, Peter Zambri, John Bishop and Bernard Casavant are past recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards ) (VICTORIA)Sean Brennan (Brasserie L’Ecole) (VANCOUVER)Bruno Marti (La Belle Auberge Restaurant) now closed (OKANAGAN)Harry McWatters (McWatters Collection)Exceptional Eats AwardsFolksOkanaganTrue Grain BreadVancouverVictoriawines SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... 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