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peter.v's Profile

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Where's the coffee, vancouver ?

That Italian ristretto/espresso is a style of espresso that is widely derided on the west coast. See, the Italians thought they perfected espresso in the 70s and stopped innovating since then. That's when the Nordic countries, Australia, Japan and North America started evolving.

Top coffee in Vancouver is to be found at Revolver, Elysian, Matchstick, 49th Parallel, none of which are downtown proper and all of which eschew the Italian tradition.

To actually be constructive, here are some options downtown that might actually fit your criteria for coffee in the morning. Bel Cafe in the Hotel Georgia uses 49th Parallel. If I'm not mistaken, they were using a slightly darker roast than what 49th themselves were using. Small Victory in Yaletown uses Bows and Arrows and a few other west coast roasters. I quite like their pastries and the very few espresso drinks I've had their have been solid. The various JJ Beans may be an option for you as well, as they were an early pioneer in Vancouver for coffee and are rather prevalent. When I'm in need of coffee and JJ is nearby it fits the bill. Espresso there tends not to trend as light as the other shops in town.

But I'd agree with waylman, with those sorts of criteria, making an espresso at home could be the best option. You can have your own bottle of Pellegrino (or whichever brand of water you drink) to match your preferences.

Aug 06, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Wine service in Vancouver Restaurants

You can absolutely do that. Not a problem at all so long as the restaurant offers corkage, and yes it's the same for bottles purchased off of the list.

Jul 30, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Wine service in Vancouver Restaurants

I'll elaborate a bit on the reasons for why you would be seeing so much BC wine on lists at certain restaurants. Take spots like Edible Canada and Tap and Barrel out of the equation as they have savvy BC wine program. BC wine is easier to acquire than most wine in BC. Restaurants are required to purchase all alcohol from the BC liquor stores with the exception of locally produced booze. If I want to make an award winning wine program, I have to special order products which takes 2-6 weeks for cases to move from the Liquor Distribution Board warehouse to the store that I have to pick it up from (as a restaurant customer, we do not get deliveries from the LDB, or discounts for that matter... Us restaurants pay the same for our booze as you do as a member of the public). Balancing all of the orders is tough to do if you have a complex list. With BC wine, I can phone a lot of wineries and have a case delivered the next day. Makes it super simple and worry free for the restaurant. This alone frees up a ton of labour if you are trying to run a tight ship or you just don't have the personnel to manage a great wine list. The best in the city have whole sommelier teams, Hawksworth has 4 to 5 dedicated wine staff alone!

Also, not everyone running restaurants knows wine very well (or knows how to let someone who knows wine well to run their wine list). This results in familiarity with salespeople or brands to take over your list. BC wines are almost entirely consumed within BC, so it's what a lot of people (both customers and restaurant managers) know best. That ends up influencing what goes on the list.

A good part of my 60 hour work week is taken up with meetings with wine importers for tastings just to see what is available on the market to find the right fits for my lists. If you don't have that time, it's easy to fall back on BC wine.

Hope that gives some insight into what you're seeing in Vancouver.

Wine service in Vancouver Restaurants

Also with due respect, you haven't mentioned any restaurants with wine expertise. Use the Vancouver Wine Fest Excellence awards as a start (these are by no means all the top lists in town but it's a good start).

There are good places for wine in this town. I'd argue that if you're willing to discuss such an issue on a board dedicated to food and drink, maybe it's time to select restaurants based on their wine lists? Great lists often also result in great attention to food and service too, so it's win win.

Jul 30, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Hottest restaurants in Vancouver, where are they?

At the risk of being incendiary, that price point isn't going to get you into anywhere hot. If you're touring around, double your budget and go to half the number of places. $25 tax and tip in won't even buy you an entrée at Cactus Club.

Edited to be more helpful:
Restaurants that are hot at the moment that may be doable without drinks and stretching your budget a bit:
Ask for Luigi
Farmer's Apprentice or Grapes & Soda
Burdock & Co
Bao Bei (still hot, I assure you all)

You will have a much better time though if you're able to double your budget here.

Jun 29, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Recommendation needed for one 'wow factor', Michelin stars caliber meal in Vancouver

Screw Michelin ideals and go somewhere that puts local top quality ingredients on a pedestal. Farmer's Apprentice and Burdock and Co. Innovative wine, delicious small plates, intimate. Very Vancouver.

Out of your list, Hawksworth is the room I go to the most. It has the top wine service in the city at all price points (and this is critical talking Michelin). Tasting menus are versatile there. Cocktails and spirits also excellent.

Blue Water is also quite good.

Haven't been to the Pear Tree but they are a chef favorite in these parts. Scott and Stephanie are industry legends.

Giffard's Creme de Pamplemousse

The Creme de Pamplemousse is a liqueur so Modern Bartender won't have it. Legacy's inventory is showing 24 bottles.

Feb 01, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Giffard's Creme de Pamplemousse

Legacy would be your best bet. They carry a large selection of Giffard.

Jan 31, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

The Dine Out dilemma...

I think you're safe with your choices. I'm a big fan of brunch at Chambar (I may be the person grayelf spoke to about said brunch). The later dinner bookings should save you from the crush of Dine Out folks, but the professionalism at your chosen restaurants should render Dine Out a non issue.

Jan 14, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Please help me shorten my list!

I know I'm satisfied after a good currywurst and I'm no small dude. If you're 'starving' after having a dish somewhere, order another dish!

Jan 08, 2015
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

new year's eve with well-behaved kids

Chambar will not be appropriate on New Year's Eve for children. $150/head, open bar. Their civilized debauchery is at its peak on NYE.

3 Dinners in Vancouver

Transit junkie reporting in, I'd avoid the 20 from downtown at virtually all costs and take the Expo/Millennium line to Commercial/Broadway station and transfer to the 20 southbound there. Saves a ton of time and the 20 is not the most pleasant of buses down East Hastings.

East of Main Cafe - closed

It's not just hipsters that have very little clue as to how to make it in the restaurant business. The owners of East of Main were film industry and non-profit veterans.

Aug 05, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Any 'All You Can Drink' Brunches Here in Vancouver?

That is absolutely illegal in BC.

Jul 29, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Hai Phong: Viet in Vancouver deserving its own thread

I definitely wondered that. Sad to see the old awning go... But at least I can keep calling it Kam Gok Yuen.

Hai Phong: Viet in Vancouver deserving its own thread

Daisy Garden is the new awning. Haven't popped in to see if it's the same folks.

Jul 24, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Olympic village suggestions

Burdock and Co is a 15 minute walk at most south of the Village on Main Street. Farmer's Apprentice would be a brisk 30 minute walk. The spots in the village are far from farm to table spots and I don't mean to downplay the Terra suggestion, but it's a rather bustling cafe and not a dinner spot (though I do enjoy their sandwiches to go). You are also a 15 minute seawall walk from Chinatown, Gastown and Strathcona which allows you many, many options.

Jul 24, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Knifewear coming to the Coast in July 2014

I'm guessing they have a bunch of stock. There are some really lovely nakiris there... some from their Masakage lines and then some beauts from Yoshikane and Takeda. There's also a chinese style cleaver from Moritaka that is incredibly awesome. Like a mega-nakiri!

I avoided spending all my money on new knives and instead bought 4 sharpening stones instead... thank goodness next month has three pay periods!

Cowichan Wineries and Lake Shawnigan groceries?

Unsworth is doing some great things with their vineyards. Good people too.

Jul 03, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

3 Days from Toronto - Vancouver Itinerary - comments please!

The bar at West is open all afternoon, but the kitchen opens at 5:30. I found that out last week when I went in at 5:30, but had wanted to meet a friend at 4. Turns out they stay open between lunch and dinner service!

May 28, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

3 Days, Need Seafood & Asian, Vancouver from SF

Friends that are into high end Chinese cuisine have mentioned that Hoi Tong has stellar geoduck.

3 Days from Toronto - Kelowna, Okanagan and Vancouver

Bar Isabel is doing a Visa Infinite dinner tonight at Pidgin.

May 07, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

First time - 2 dinners & 2 lunches (from Toronto)

I've had nothing but exemplary service at Vij's. Sam obviously holds a grudge.

Apr 08, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

German Whiskey/y to buy in BC

I'm frankly unaware of any German whiskies in this market. Next time I'm at Legacy, I can check, but I can't say I've seen any (and I'm a bit of a spirits geek/professional bartender). There are stranger things on this market though...

Apr 06, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best Ramen

My vote would be for Santouka, Motomachi Shokudo and Marutama. I'm a big tsuke-men fan, and the first two are solid if they are offering that dish now (it's not always on winter menus and I've been too busy to go down to the west end). I haven't been to Marutama, but my Japanese cook friends are rather enamored with their style of ramen. I'm sure others have ideas. The bonus is that all 3 are within a few blocks of each other.

Feb 12, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Vancouver 3 nights // Whistler recommendations

I was speaking more about myself perhaps.

Jan 14, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Vancouver 3 nights // Whistler recommendations

Alibi is fine for kids (you see them there frequently), but yes, go earlier to avoid the heavier drinking crowd.

Jan 14, 2014
peter.v in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

One Night in Vancouver

I would agree. Guu with Garlic. Revel in the atmosphere. Hop in a cab and have drinks at the Alibi Room afterwards (or if cocktails are your style, try L'Abattoir, Pourhouse or Wildebeest, followed by the Diamond or the Keefer).

Los Cuervos Taqueria opening soon

Sounds like they need a cocktail called Kingsway & Fresa.

Meals near Vancouver General Hospital

For a drink I would highly suggest taking the Canada line to Waterfront Station and going to the Pourhouse or L'Abattoir for cocktails. Very good drinks and bartenders, far beyond what you'll get at that Cactus Club. Or, walk up 10th Avenue to Cascade at Main and 10th (a 15 minute walk). Cocktail program is better and better these days. Beer is good and local too.