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KK Law

Ancora Brings Nikkei Cuisine to West Van

By TIM PAWSEY
Mar. 2019

Ancora photo by KK Law

Hop a cab across the Lions Gate Bridge to Ancora at Ambleside, in the heart of West Van, with sweeping views of Stanley Park and Burrard Inlet. Nikkei cuisine is a flavourful hybrid of Peruvian and Japanese cultures. Specialties roam from artfully assembled Dungeness crab causa with Huancaína sauce and olive “soil” to classic arroz con pato (rice and duck) with pickled shallots. Sablefish glazed with ají panca (mild Peruvian red pepper) and served with smoked potato and dashi-braised daikon is even more delicious when paired with junmai sake. Wines are well chosen and cocktails include a tasty—and sinus-clearing—wasabi margarita.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com

Picture Perfect: Vancouver’s Best Springtime Photo Ops

By SHERI RADFORD
Mar. 2019

Cherry blossoms in False Creek (Photo by KK Law)

Every spring, Mother Nature decks out the city in glorious pink and white petals. The best places to spot cherry blossoms include the West End, Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, VanDusen Botanical Garden, and False Creek near Granville Island (pictured). (more…)

Public Art: Acoustic Anvil in Olympic Village

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Mar. 2019

“Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea” by Maskull Lasserre (Photo by KK Law)

Normally the tool of metalworkers or vengeful cartoon characters, anvils don’t often turn up in day-to-day life. Unless you happen to pass Leg-In-Boot Square, where Maskull Lasserre’s colossal installation “Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea” arrived last fall. It’s part of the Vancouver Biennale, a public art exhibit that brings large-scale sculptures to the city’s streets. And although its landing place may seem haphazard, the aptly named square was actually once a place of industry, home to boat builders and stevedores. (It was also where a boot with a leg still in it was displayed in 1886, in hopes that the owner might return to claim it—hence the name.) The prodigious art piece isn’t just a nod to the past—it’s a tool-turned-instrument, thanks to the delicate violin f-hole that slices through the anvil’s centre. Put your ear to it and tune in to the sounds of the ocean, just as you would a conch shell. Hear that? It’s the sound of the area’s sea-bound past and future.

High Steaks Heritage at Elisa

By TIM PAWSEY
Mar. 2019

A 32-oz portherhouse, at Elisa (Photo by KK Law)

Premium beef is the focus of recently unveiled Elisa, housed in a former warehouse space in the heart of Yaletown. Open and welcoming, this top-drawer destination features cuts cooked to perfection on the wood-fired Grillworks Infierno. Try the grass-fed strip loin and rib-eye from Cache Creek; the Angus Reserve tenderloin, strip loin and rib-eye from Alberta; and the trio of exceptional Wagyu offerings from Alberta, Kagoshima and Idaho. There’s also no problem finding a hearty Napa, Bordeaux or premium BC blend to go along, from a cellar of over 5,000 bottles.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Dine Out Vancouver Festival is a Foodie’s Dream Come True

By CHLOË LAI

Fine fare at Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge (Photo by KK Law)

Jan. 18 to Feb. 3, 2019 Oyster-shucking workshops. Behind-the-scenes sips at craft breweries, wineries and distilleries. Dim sum tours of Chinatown. Welcome to the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, Canada’s largest celebration of food and drink. Sample sustainable seafood at the Ocean Wise Pop-Up Restaurant inside the Vancouver Aquarium, or head to Bauhaus for a five-course meal by a Michelin-starred guest chef. The most appetizing offer of all? Superb prix-fixe menus at some 300 restaurants give guests a rare chance to sample top-notch local cuisine at bargain prices. Bon appétit!

The Sweetest Resolution: Chocolates in Vancouver

This year, we resolve to eat better…chocolate

By CHLOË LAI
Jan. 2018

Photo by KK Law

The science is in: eating chocolate lowers cholesterol and reduces age-related memory loss—hey, we’re not getting any younger. Plus, it releases endorphins that make us feel like we’re falling in love. West Coasters are big on wellness (and love!), so we take these sweets seriously. Vancouver’s cacao connoisseurs craft the finest melt-in-your-mouth magic this side of Willy Wonka’s factory. Ask your chocolatier if these chocolates are right for you. Clockwise from top left: Crave-worthy cocktail chocolates from Beta5. Gourmet ganache-filled chocolate bars from Mink. Mini milk chocolate hedgehogs with creamy hazelnut filling from Purdys. Chic chocolates and truffles from Thomas Haas. Solid dark chocolate medallions with Haida designs, from Chocolate Arts. Beautifully bite-sized chocolate bonbons from Thierry.

Happy, Healthy New Year: Vancouver Edition

Making New Year’s resolutions is easy—keeping them is a little harder. Here’s how to make them stick while enjoying the wellness-friendly West Coast

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Jan. 2018

YYoga’s airy Northshore Elements studio is ideal for breaking a sweat or finding your Zen (Photo by KK Law)

EXERCISE

Yoga Ready to get your om on? Mat-toting locals abound in yoga-obsessed Vancouver. At YYoga, say namaste to sleek studios that offer more than a dozen different styles of yoga, 800 classes per week, and (at select studios) infrared sauna. Prefer to mix it up? Spin classes, Pilates, floor barre and more can be found here, too. Semperviva also boasts bright and airy studios around the city, with 10 different styles of yoga on offer. Our advice: salute the sun at the Sea Studio on Granville Island where gorgeous waterfront views can be enjoyed from your mat. (more…)

Casual Chic: Lot185 Café + Wine Bar

By TIM PAWSEY
Dec. 2018

Lot185 Café + Wine Bar (Photo by KK Law)

Across from the Olympic Cauldron, inside the Vancouver Convention Centre’s west building, Lot185 is a West Coast riff on a modern Euro-cafe. Drop by in the morning for excellent coffee and perfect pastries. Or go later for lunch or early dinner. Detail-driven dishes range from tuna poke and smart salads to a plethora of pizzas (we love the funghi bianchi) and decadent desserts. The laid-back setting tempts with cosseting booths or seats at the bar, plus local brews and wines by the glass. And the name? It refers to the land title, purchased in 1862 by three Englishman who were derided for paying too much—for what is now the West End.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com.

True BC Flavours at Bishop’s

By TIM PAWSEY
Dec. 2018

Locavore pioneer John Bishop serves specialties such as fresh Kusshi oysters from nearby Cortes Island

At Bishop’s, a West Side destination for over 30 years, John Bishop’s namesake room remains the pinnacle of gracious dining. The celebrated chef and author who helped forge BC’s unique regional style serves superbly crafted dishes, such as turnip-and-salmon cake with lobster bisque and caviar; miso-marinated cod with smoked-eggplant-and-mushroom broth; and roast lamb loin with fingerling potatoes, leeks, caper berries and jus. Wines are thoughtfully chosen and well paired. Tranquil and understated, the room is highlighted by local art that suits the mood, while the host’s legendary hospitality is personal, discreet and timeless.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com.

Seasonal Sips in Downtown

By TIM PAWSEY
Dec. 2018

At Bacchus, warm up with a Candycane Cosmo, spiked with crème de menthe and raspberry liqueur (Photo by KK Law)

Celebrate the holidays in style in the lounge at Bacchus, tucked away in the gorgeously decorated Wedgewood Hotel, where a blazing hearth (one of the city’s few remaining) lures with comfy wing chairs and festive drinks. Relax over a Moscow Mule or Manhattan before dinner in the romantic adjoining restaurant. Shopping at Pacific Centre? Take a much-needed break at nearby Yew Seafood + Bar, which obliges with a warming fireplace and rain-beating drinks. Or while away the day in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, where clubby Notch8 serves a suitably festive tea—that can easily merge into cocktails.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit HiredBelly.com.

Eastside Italian Cuisine

By TIM PAWSEY
Nov. 2018

Mouthwatering dishes at Savio Volpe include (clockwise from left): broccolini, borlotti beans, chicoria with galiano plum, fettucini integrale, corzetti with tomato pomodoro, and rosemary chicken (Photo by KK Law)

Two popular rooms are testament to Vancouver’s formidable Italian community. A few minutes from downtown, bustling Savio Volpe is a contemporary osteria. Served under its soaring ceiling are vegetable crudo with a hot anchovy-garlic “fondue;” chopped baby kale and romano salad with lemon-pepper dressing; house-made chicken-and-pork agnolotti; and a half chicken from the wood-fired grill. Further east, adjacent to the Italian Cultural Centre, La Piazza Dario is a classic fine dining room with a welcoming Florentine feel. Myriad mainstays roam from linguine di mare to veal scaloppine al marsala to free-range chicken with gorgonzola sauce. The wine list spans the globe but has solid Italian depth.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit HiredBelly.com.

Finny Fare on Granville Island

By TIM PAWSEY
Nov. 2018

Photo by KK Law

Nestled right under the Granville Street Bridge, overlooking False Creek, The Sandbar is a seafood lover’s delight, featuring a wood-fired grill and a sushi bar all under one roof. Favourites include cedar-planked salmon, alder-grilled sablefish and a cornucopian West Coast seafood hotpot, with fish, prawns, scallops, mussels, clams and more. Weekend brunch lures with a variety of eggs Benedict—choose from back bacon, smoked salmon or avocado and pesto—while the popular weekday happy hour yields good deals on share plates and wines by the glass.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com.