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Tim Pawsey

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.

Main Street Eats

By TIM PAWSEY
Nov. 2018

Dishes change seasonally at Campagnolo, but the agnolotti with caramelized zucchini and ricotta filling is a favourite (Photo by KK Law)

Just across from Science World, discover a trio of worthy stalwarts. Campagnolo celebrates the best of Northern Italy. Book in downstairs for arancini, strozzapreti bolognese, or risotto with prosciutto that’s been butchered and cured in-house. But don’t miss the tucked-away bar upstairs. A few steps north, settle in at Bodega on Main, a true Spanish outpost, for tapas such as garlic prawns, grilled chorizo, fried calamari and much more, with a glass of Tempranillo. A few more steps lead to Torafuku, which translates to “lucky tiger” in Japanese. This buzz-worthy haunt epitomizes the city’s vibrant Asian fusion with tongue-in-cheek plates such as The Donald, a char-grilled duck breast with shaved foie gras, and Finding Dory, a sake kasu–marinated halibut. And don’t miss the tasting menu.

Delightful Dining in Gastown

By TIM PAWSEY
Oct. 2018

Soupe à l’oignon (front) and duck confit (back) at Jules Bistro (Photo by KK Law)

Gassy Jack’s statue presides over myriad cuisines, including faithfully French Jules Bistro. Here, tried-and-true Gallic treats range from lobster bisque, escargots Bourguig-nonne and soupe à l’oignon to moules frites, duck confit and pan-seared salmon Provençal. While happy hour bites and wine specials are a big draw, locals favour the prix fixe menus, enjoyed in a cozy, dark-panelled setting. Foodies head to Coquille, deluxe purveyor of marine cuisine; Bauhaus, which wins accolades for elevated contemporary German fare; and long-running Sitar, for Indian specialties such as tandoori chicken, prawn masala, alu gobi and mutter paneer.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com 

Tasteful Flight at Nightingale

By TIM PAWSEY
Oct. 2018

Nightingale’s high ceilings and aviary-themed decor are a convivial setting for tapas with a West Coast twist

Close to the Vancouver Convention Centre, Nightingale calls from the towering surrounds of the former University Club. This lively but laid-back spot brims with pan-Canadian flair. Top tastes roam from seared albacore tuna with artichoke salsa verde to bourbon-glazed pork belly with roasted peaches and pistachios. A host of share plates includes a creative pizza list—try the smoked prosciutto, gorgonzola, walnut, arugula and aged balsamic—while smart cocktails, craft brews and the best of BC wines are the order of the day.

Quintessentially Canadian Cuisine

By TIM PAWSEY
Sep. 2018

Enjoy dishes such as house-smoked salmon with beets, crème fraîche and fingerling chips at Edible Canada (Photo by KK Law)

Right across from the Granville Island Public Market, Edible Canada celebrates all things comestible and Canadian. The patriotic bistro beckons with local and pan-continental tastes, from Dungeness crab risotto to Northern Alberta elk tartare to wild BC salmon with miso-apple butter. Ingredients are always sustainably sourced and seafood dishes certified Ocean Wise, while smaller, hard-to-find Okanagan and Vancouver Island producers head the wine list. No time to eat or drink? No worries. An adjoining store yields a trove of easy-to-pack gourmet souvenirs.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Oceanside Eats: Earls Ambleside

By TIM PAWSEY

Settle in at scenic Earls on Ambleside Beach to enjoy a West Coast ahi tuna salad (front) or spicy tuna roll (back)

A quick trip across the Lions Gate Bridge leads to Earls on Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. The shoreside spot sports a different personality from other Earls locations, with more of a California vibe. Right on the promenade, the patio offers views of the bridge and Stanley Park. The menu features classics such as crispy calamari, West Coast ahi tuna salad and Cajun chicken, but also offers vegan-friendly, plant-based options. Topping it off, a beverage list with no shortage of BC purveyors. Tip: hop on the 257 express bus from downtown to bypass traffic.

Tapas Time

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2018

At España, specialties include (L-R) crispy pork belly and morcilla, roasted beets with goat’s cheese and apples, and marinated anchovies on toast (Photo by KK Law)

Small plates come in all shapes and sizes. However, purists in search of classic styles head to España in the West End, where the focus is very much Spanish. Menu offerings wander from crispy anchovy-stuffed olives, chicken-liver pâté on toast and patatas bravas to grilled chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage), a daily paella and top-tier jamón ibérico de bellota. An excellent sherry selection straddles the entire range of styles, while savvy flights complement the array of specialty charcuterie and Spanish cheeses. For other authentic pintxos purveyors, head to Gastown’s The Sardine Can, Main Street’s Bodega or Cabrito, a bustling haunt on Commercial Drive.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Oceanside Eats

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2018

Mussels, Dungeness crab, Atlantic lobster and more, at Beach Bay Café (Photo by KK Law)

Water views bring an added dimension to truly diverse marine cuisine. English Bay—summer central—is home to Beach Bay Café and Patio, where seasonal plates celebrate regional, Ocean Wise ingredients. The catch includes West Coast chowder, seafood linguine, mussels and clams in white wine and shallot broth, and Nova Scotia lobster. Drop by for happy hour, book a sunset dinner or just grab some fish ’n’ chips to go. A few minutes away, just over the Burrard Bridge, The Boathouse presides over Kits Beach, with its wrap-around deck and roll-away glass walls that bring the view inside. Further west, at Jericho Beach, The Galley Patio & Grill is a local favourite for burgers and beers served overlooking the water, with views of Howe Sound and downtown. It’s a very popular spot, so lunch is your best bet.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.