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KK Law

A Tour for Every Taste

Hesitant to explore Vancouver solo? Let a guide lead the way on 10 of our favourite city tours. Make sure to wear your comfiest walking shoes—and stretchy pants for the foodie outings.

By SHERI RADFORD

Sep. 2019

Gastown is full of historic landmarks, such as the flatiron-style Hotel Europe in Maple Tree Square (Photo by KK Law)

Walk This Way (or Run)

Forbidden Vancouver peeks below Vancouver’s glittering surface to expose the seedy (and captivating) underbelly. Learn about crime, revenge, fire and disease on the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour. Discover hidden cemeteries, notorious crime scenes and the ghost stories of Deadman’s Island on the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour. Or hear about murder, scandal, financial strife and bootlegging—while sampling sinfully good treats—on the Art Deco and Chocolate Tasting Tour. The guides are so entertaining, it’s almost criminal.

(more…)

A Taste of Greece at Hydra Estiatorio

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2019

Forno flatbread, grilled octopus and tomato salad, at Hydra (Photo: KK Law)

Wander into the luxurious EXchange Hotel to discover newly unveiled Hydra Estiatorio, under a soaring atrium with sunny decor that transports you to the Greek islands. Check in at the long bar for mezzes and creative cocktails. Or linger over specialties that include forno-roasted leg of lamb, pan-roasted salmon and catch of the day either grilled or baked. Globally sourced vintages include a rare and respectable nod to the home country, including Moschofilero, Assyrtiko and Xinomavro. The cafe downstairs serves light bites and espressos until mid-afternoon, when the wine bar takes over for botanical cocktails, canapés and vino by the glass.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Alto Alfresco: Perfect Outdoor Dining

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2019

Lift’s picture-perfect patio (Photo: KK Law)

Looking for that perfect table outdoors? Some of the best are out of sight, even upstairs. On the Coal Harbour seawall, Lift Bar-Grill-View  dazzles with panoramic views and all creature comforts. Drop by for lunch of fish ‘n‘ chips or red crab salad sandwich. Linger over dinner of prawns tempura, smoked duck breast or ahi tuna with deep-fried avocado and apple chutney. Well-matched wines play a strong BC suit. Find more uplifting tastes at Joe Fortes , Black + Blue and the Earls on Robson Street. Or, for the ultimate in “elevated” dining, head to Altitudes Bistro atop Grouse Mountain.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Vancouver’s Plant-Based Eateries

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2019

(Clockwise from L) Medi Benny with enoki mushrooms, savoury Mezze Tasting plates and the Silk Road, at Aleph Eatery (Photo: KK Law)

Home of the 100-mile diet, Vancouver has always been a culinary trendsetter. No surprise that plant-based fare is on a roll. East Side Aleph Eatery’s  Middle Eastern inspirations sport the freshest of regional ingredients, perked up with traditional spices. Standouts include the Silk Road, an appetizer plate of hummus, baba ganouj, labneh, zaatar and honey; crispy potatoes with tahini, roasted peppers and thyme; turmeric cauliflower; cashew coconut curry; and plenty more. The room is airy, relaxed—and truly welcoming. For more formal West Coast fare, head to Main Street’s acclaimed The Acorn. Longest-running vegetarian haunt? Legendary The Naam —since flower-powered 1968.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Gastown Con Gusto: Italian Fare at Di Beppe

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Margherita pizza with mozzarella di bufala, and spaghetti amatriciana with guanciale, tomato and pecorino, at Di Beppe (Photo by KK Law)

Just a block from Gassy Jack’s statue, Di Beppe celebrates all things Italian. The lively corner cafe, with its bentwood chairs and intricately tiled floor, is busy all day. Locals drop by for good coffee and a bite of delicious sfogliatelle, or perhaps a bowl of gelato. Come evenings, the buzz spreads to the slightly-more-formal adjacent dining room, with its wide selection of classics: bruschetta with artichoke tapenade and pecorino, plates of steaming carbonara or amatriciana, and tempting pizzas. Flavours are rustic and robust, cocktails authentic (including an easy-sipping Aperol Spritz) and the service genuinely friendly. Inside scoop? Ask about their occasional family-style polenta nights.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Hoppy Hangouts: Vancouver’s Craft Beer Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Granville Island Brewing photo by KK Law

Thanks to the craft-beer revolution, a bevy of casual tasting rooms has emerged as neighbourhood anchors. Brewery Creek, near Main and Broadway, was the site of the city’s early industry. Close by, a cluster of modern-day haunts offers plenty of options. (more…)

The French Connection: Interview with Chef Michel Jacob

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

At Le Crocodile, Michel Jacob serves specialties such as filet de boeuf tartare (Photos by KK Law)

In an industry not short of egos, there are few “name” chefs more under-the-radar than Michel Jacob. The unassuming owner of Le Crocodile, arguably the éminence grise of the culinary scene, stays very much in the background—as in, the kitchen. For it’s from here he can ensure that every plate meets or exceeds expectations. (more…)

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!