Callister Brewing is now open! Their soft-opening was yesterday, but I guess this was their first full day being open to the public. It’s good that they’re open now, while there’s still some good summer weather to be had. I’m not sure if people would come out if it was the middle of a dreary Fall.
I have a made-up category of restaurant that I call “West Coast Modern” that is ingredient-focused, seasonal, local, and small plates-style. I lump restaurants like Farmer’s Apprentice (conflicted review), Burdock & Co. (review, another review), and today’s restaurant Wishes + Luck in that category. Wicca and I went with a bunch of hardcore Instagram foodies to check it out.
Straight up, I’ll admit that Miku isn’t my first choice for dining. I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable dining in such a fancy, rich, beautiful restaurant where the Asian 1% dine, but it was a special occasion and we booked the private room, and dammit we had a really good time. The food ranged from good to amazing, and the service was prompt and accomodating. They even have a Strange Fellows beer on tap!
I’ve always been scared of going to Octopus’ Garden in Kits because I thought it was high-end and kind of expensive. But how times have changed. I remember back in the early/mid 90s going to Dario’s La Piazza and paying more than $60 for a meal for two, and thinking, “My god, we’ve hit this threshold…we won’t be doing this that often…” Turns out that nowadays, $60 for two (especially including drinks) is getting harder and harder to do! So with that in mind, places like Chambar and Octopus’ Garden really aren’t that expensive, depending on how you order. And the quality makes it worth it. We went here for Wicca’s birthday, but at times it felt like my birthday! 😀
My downtown Persian standby had been Cazba on Davie and Thurlow, but someone recommended that I try Zeitoon on Pendrell near Denman. So after a lunch at Che-licious around the corner, I got some takeout from Zeitoon for dinner. Our food ranged from good to incredibly awesome, so we’ll be back!
Vietnamese options in Downtown/West End are few and far between. But Denman St. has become a little hotbed (maybe not hotbed exactly…perhaps warmbed) for Vietnamese restaurants with three that I now know of: Cafe Phin (reviewed here), Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro, and today’s pick Chè-licious.
Side note: Baoguette is mildy famous for their salad rolls that contain a full-sized spring roll inside. Check out Maggie’s or Sean’s post. I’ve never tried it myself, but maybe next time I’m on Denman?
I’ve been a little bored with the ramen in Vancouver lately. My top 3 places are still Ramen Jinya, Marutama, and Ramen Santouka. Taishoken made a blip last year, but ownership changes didn’t sit too well with me although when I tried their tsukemen last November, it was still good. Ramen Butcher was good but didn’t wow, and now they’re reworking their broth, which seems worrisome because considering their pedigree, wouldn’t their parent company have nailed a broth recipe already that’s precise to the last detail?
Cafe Regalade made it’s transition into Linh Cafe last fall, turning it into a French/Vietnamese restaurant. I think we’ve had a pastry or two at Cafe Regalade, but nothing that memorable. I’ve been following Linh Cafe on Instagram, and have been enjoying the photos of their process. We finally had the chance to check them out for lunch last week and were quite pleased with their Northern Vietnamese flavours.
Well-trained but restrained… maybe too restrained.
The first time I went to Farmer’s Apprentice was more than a year ago when I went for brunch. I remember being stimulated more intellectually than gastronomically. Since then, this restaurant has won a few awards and is generally regarded as one of the best restaurants Vancouver has to offer — especially when out-of-towners ask where to eat on Chowhound. Speaking of Chowhound, check out this little discussion of Chef David Gunawan’s new downtown venture with Donnelly Group (!).
Continue reading Well-Trained but Restrained: Farmer’s Apprentice
Four Winds surprised the hell out of everybody by announcing a pop-up to celebrate their 2nd anniversary, a mere 5 days beforehand. Just check out the Instagram reaction:
Four Winds’ limited bottle releases have consistently sold out fast and furiously. If there was one BC brewery that inspires the madness of crowds, it would be Four Winds. (Driftwood would be up there too.) The guys are the nicest, and this down-to-earth quality was reflected in how we were treated last night. I had a great time and I didn’t want it to end.