Dine Out Vancouver alternatives abound

Starting tomorrow (January 20), over 200 local restaurants will be offering set menus as part of the annual Dine Out Vancouver festival. In a city with thousands of restaurants, that leaves plenty that aren’t participating. Others are jumping on the set-menu bandwagon for roughly the same dates as Dine Out Vancouver—January 20 to February 5--but doing it their way.

For those enthusiastic about set meals in addition to Dine Out Vancouver, or who are looking for options in a particular hood, here are some offerings.

Adesso Bistro This West End Vancouver restaurant is running a promotion from January 20 to February 3 to support people living with HIV/AIDS. The $33 set menu of modern Italian food features several choices including a warm portabella mushroom salad to start, braised veal cheeks with polenta as a main, and zabaglione semifreddo for dessert. Five dollars from each meal goes to A Loving Spoonful.

Ensemble Tap If you’ve been hankering to try Top Chef Canada Dale MacKay’s new sports bar, this is a good opportunity. From January 20 to February 4, it’s offering “Taste of eTap”: a $29, three-course set menu available for lunch or dinner. An additional $15 buys you beer pairings with the meal.

Kalamata Greek Taverna As a celebration of its anniversary, this Greek restaurant one block east of the City Hall Canada Line station is offering an $18 set menu for four dinner courses. Choices include hummus or calamari to start, followed by Greek salad or organic greens, and then a main course of chicken or prawn souvlaki or lahanika (spanakopita with grilled artichokes). Bougatsa—baked lemon custard in filo—ends the meal. The special starts today and runs until February 5 and beyond, with no end date yet pegged. While the restaurant has no website, call 604-872-7050 for reservations, or show up at 388 West Broadway.

Feast Van With a logo that emphasizes the “East” in “Feast”, this promotion features 12 restaurants on the city’s East side. It runs from January 20 to February 5, and restaurants offer two- to four-course menus at a variety of price points. The most common is $20 or $25 for three courses at lunch, and $30 or $35 for the same at dinner. One dollar from every dinner goes to the Vancouver Inner City Backpack Food Program. Participants include Les Faux Bourgeois, the Waldorf, the Red Wagon, and the new Founders’ Lounge at the Cultch.

Bite of White Rock Until February 7, over two dozen White Rock restaurants are offering three-course meals for $15, $25, $35 or $45, or thereabouts. Participants include Giraffe, Uli’s Restaurant, Slainte by the Pier, and Onyx Steakhouse and Lounge.

Know of any other set-menu specials? Share them here.

Follow Carolyn Ali on Twitter at twitter.com/carolynali

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Memphis Blues Barbeque House
* 'Meat Me In Memphis' Dinner Series - Memphis Blues Barbeque House is hosting a series of “Meat Me In Memphis” themed dinners, starting at 7pm on Monday, January 23rd at the flagship 1465 W. Broadway location. It is a signature classic – a Memphis Whole Pig Pickin’ dinner served family style with all your favourite sides. It’s only $25 per person and reservations are required. Space is limited so call ahead at 604-738-6806 or email info@memphisbluesbbq.com to reserve!
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Tom Poirier
At both Yagger's Restaurant & Sports Bar locations (downtown and Kits), they are doing their own version of dineout as well. Each location has a different 3 course menu for $18 that is posted on their website. Go to www.yaggers.com and pick the location you want to try!
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