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Vancouver

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

One-of-a-Kind Buys at Litchfield

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Mar. 2019

Litchfield (Photo by KK Law)

Have home-decor hankerings? On the lookout for luxury goods? Then head to concrete-and-wood-trimmed Litchfield, a carefully curated Gastown boutique that has everything you want—plus a few things you didn’t know you needed (but really, really do). Most of the thoughtful decor, housewares and personal accessories are by emerging or unheard-of designers, while others are influenced by owner Jonathon Litchfield’s childhood in Japan. But everything is as functional as it is fashionable. On our just-gotta-have-it list: Hasami Japanese porcelain, WANT Les Essentiels bags, locally made Vitruvi fragrances, and Patchology’s On the Fly travel skincare kit. Guaranteed to satisfy any and all shopping desires.

Spring into Shopping Mode

‘Tis the season for a spring shopping spree

By SHERI RADFORD
Mar. 2019

Keep that little bouncing bundle of joy dry from April showers with a High Performance Rain Cover for your Bugaboo stroller. At West Coast Kids. Read more…

Raise a Glass to the Half Corked Marathon

By SHERI RADFORD

Mar. 2019

Photo by Sheri Radford

If your two passions in life are drinking wine and running races, then this is the event for you. The 11th annual Half Corked Marathon takes place on May 25, 2019, in the picture-perfect Okanagan. It weaves through 18 km of Oliver Osoyoos wine country, stopping at vineyards all along the route. Only problem is, the 1,500 available spots were allocated by lottery months ago, leaving thousands of other folks wanting. The organizers hate to see such disappointment, so they have just announced that an extra 100 tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 9 a.m. If you’d like to take part in the tipsiest race this side of France, then visit www.oliverosoyoos.com/tickets. Cheers!

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). Read 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

A Fan-Tastic Weekend: Fan Expo Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Fan Expo Vancouver is the perfect time to break out your best costumes

Mar. 1 to 3, 2019 Whether you belong to the “May the Force be with you” or the “Live long and prosper” galaxy of geekdom—or another one entirely—you’re sure to find like-minded uber-nerds at Fan Expo Vancouver. Fanboys and fangirls of all ages don elaborate costumes and line up to meet celebs such as George Takei (Star Trek), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Pamela Anderson (Baywatch), and Cary Elwes and Wallace Shawn (both from The Princess Bride). Will you try to be there? As Yoda said, “Do or do not; there is no try.”

Truly Unusual Souvenirs

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Feb. 2019

Chinese-takeout-themed mug by Main and Local

Because you can’t bring the Steam Clock or Granville Island with you, there are Canadian-inspired souvenirs by Main and Local. The Montreal-based company specializes in Canadian and city-centric—from Toronto to Vancouver—keepsakes, with the encouraging tagline “souvenirs that don’t suck.” Fun, displayable take-home tokens include a poutine snow globe, sushi air freshener and Chinese-takeout–themed mug. After all, nobody really needs another souvenir that sucks. Stock up at Make or at www.mainandlocal.com.

A Sampling of Vancouver’s Tapas Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
Feb. 2019

Spanish-style dishes at Bodega include (L-R) marinated and grilled lamb chops, spicy chorizo sausage and saffron-infused paella (Photo by KK Law)

A coterie of Spanish rooms yields a wealth of small plates. Drop by Bodega on Main for mainstays like grilled octopus, spicy chorizo, patatas bravas (zesty potatoes) and gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), all served in heritage surroundings. On Commercial Drive, Cabrito melds classics with gluten- and dairy-free options, plus smartly picked wines and sherries. In Gastown, The Sardine Can is a compact spot that lives up to its name, and it tempts with smoked-ham-wrapped prunes, meatballs in tomato-and-red-wine sauce, and lots of tostas (toasts)—including, of course, sardines on toast.

Signature Scents by Valmont

By CHLOË LAI
Feb. 2019

Gaggia Medio I, one of the five fragrances in La Maison Valmont’s Storie Veneziane collection

Move over, Chanel No. 5: Valmont’s latest collection of fragrances has arrived. The Swiss beauty brand—best known for its powerful anti-aging skincare products—whisks patrons away on an olfactory adventure with Storie Veneziane, five perfumes inspired by Italy’s most romantic city. Delicate notes of jasmine, sandalwood and damask rose are guaranteed to make even the most levelheaded lady swoon. And the bottles are works of art too, adorned with handcrafted Murano glass masks and Venetian leather in coordinating colours. Get yours at La Maison ValmontBellissima!

Vancouver International Wine Festival Features Californian Wines

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Vancouver International Wine Festival photo by Marjo Wright

Feb. 23 to Mar. 3, 2019 There’s a lot to celebrate at the 41st annual Vancouver International Wine Festival. There are over 1,500 wines, 15 countries, 160 wineries and 54 events—trust us, the math is easier before the bacchanalia begins—which all adds up to one epic event. This year, California dreamers come out on top with 53 attending wineries from the Sunshine State, the showcase region in 2019. Take part in seminars, vintage tastings and winery dinners, or head straight to the festival’s hub: the International Festival Tastings. Ready, set, sip!