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Tim Pawsey

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.

Panoramic Pints in North Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2018

Views are on the menu at Tap & Barrel, alongside tuna tataki (front), the Tap Burger (centre) and pesto chicken linguine (back). (Photo by KK Law)

BC wine and beer on tap are at the heart of Tap & Barrel’s Shipyards location, situated at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. Hop on the SeaBus to discover a different city perspective from the giant patio, with its sweeping harbour and downtown views. On the menu: creative pub fare that roams from burgers and sandwiches to pizza, fish ’n’ chips and more, as well as plenty of kid-friendly options. The popular (and very cooling) water feature right next door is an added bonus. Discover additional locations at the Vancouver Convention Centre and in Olympic Village.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

BC Bites at West Restaurant + Bar

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2018

Perfect plates at West include roasted Haida Gwaii halibut with local corn (Photo by KK Law)

One of the original flagship regional rooms, South Granville’s West Restaurant + Bar revels in seasonal, local ingredients, detail-driven presentation and impeccable service. Popular plates roam from soy-and-sake-glazed Haida Gwaii sablefish, to a lamb duo with roasted sunchokes and madeira jus, to ricotta tortellini with braised artichokes, roasted fennel, kalamata olives and tomato fondue. Wines both local and global are expertly paired and served from an impressive “wall of wine,” while original cocktails keep pace with the creativity on the menu.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Beyond Pho: Vietnamese Cuisine at Chi Modern

By TIM PAWSEY
July 2018

Chi Modern serves specialties such as bo luc lac, or shaking beef

Grab a quick cab to Kitsilano to savour Vietnamese cuisine with a difference at Chi Modern. Airy and bright, the room reflects the personality of its owner, former MasterChef Vietnam competitor Chi Le. She celebrates her homeland with kicked-up variations on family recipes that inform a clean, sophisticated style. Go for the char-grilled eggplant, coconut-milk-braised pork belly, tamarind-caramelized prawns, or five-spice curried duck. Better still, book a day ahead for the no-holds-barred prix fixe menu.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

West End Hidden Gems: From Leafy Patios to Retro Bars

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2018

Game hen with shallots, pomme fondant and Brussels sprouts, at Adesso Bistro (Photo by KK Law)

A block off bustling Denman, Adesso Bistro yields inventive European flavours with contemporary flair. Housed in the ground floor of a heritage hotel, the tranquil setting includes one of the city’s leafiest and most secluded patios. On the plate, chef Pekka Tavela’s artfully presented fare includes fresh tuna crudo, deeply flavoured pork-and-fennel rigatoni, squash-and-ricotta agnolotti, and game hen with shallots and Brussels sprouts. Classic cocktails and smart wine picks complete the picture. Looking for more neighbourhood haunts? Check out compact and friendly Amici Miei for authentic cuisine from Italy’s Abruzzo region. For good Greek eats, head to Davie Street’s Takis’ Taverna to savour souvlaki, kleftiko and saganaki. Or, at Davie Street and Denman, climb the stairs to discover retro Bayside Lounge, with its circular bar, classic cocktails and casual bites.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Quintessential Québécois Flavours at St. Lawrence

By TIM PAWSEY
Jun. 2018

Chef J-C Poirier’s Québécois-inspired dishes include steak tartare with chèvre noire and potato chips (Photo by KK Law)

Chef J-C Poirier boasts no shortage of “haute” haunts on his résumé. But at St. Lawrence, his cozy spot on the East Side, he blends French and Québécois classics with more rustic but polished flavours. Impeccably served with well-chosen wines, mains run the gamut: rabbit leg cordon bleu, duck in pastry with sauce à l’orange, hanger steak with bone marrow and escargots, lingcod en papillote. Be sure to leave room for sugar pie or tarte au citron flambéed with Pastis Ricard. Reserve early and hop a cab to this popular room, crowned Restaurant of the Year at Vancouver magazine’s recent dining awards.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.