If your heart makes a wee leap when you walk into the Wallflower Modern Diner (2420 Main Street), that’s a good thing. In their recent remodelling of the much-loved Aurora Bistro space, owners Matt and Lisa Hewlett have kept much of what we held dear, adding touches like a bigger bar and a wall of trippy blossoms. Food is priced-right ($7 to $15), tasty comfort fare: burgers, wraps, fried chicken, and more.
Living la vida local
In the bleakness of winter, it can seem like nothing’s in season and it’s hard to eat locally at home. For inspiration, download Get Local’s seasonal availability chart at www.getlocalbc.org/. Then walk away from those Ecuadorian bananas and Mexican tomatoes and head for local apples, kale, and leeks, as well as Pacific oysters, sablefish, and rosemary.
Rustic bar and restaurant Corduroy (1943 Cornwall Avenue) just off Kits Beach has a new, revamped menu to entice people in on cold evenings. Think cheese and chocolate fondues, short ribs, and organic meat loaf. There are free comedy nights on Sundays and open-mike live music on Tuesdays, both starting at 8:30 p.m.
The northern Italian region of Piedmont stars in the first of a series of monthly regional-themed dinners at Cibo Trattoria (900 Seymour Street). This Wednesday (February 4), a $48 five-course tasting menu will start with a sweetbread fritto misto and end with Toma Piemontese cheese. If that’s a bit above budget, instead duck into sister Uva Wine Bar at week’s end. Uva will be open Sunday evenings from February 1 onward with $5 glasses of Prosecco.
Not into Dine Out Vancouver? The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (1505 West 2nd Avenue) is offering a similarly sweet deal throughout January and February with their two-for-one lunch and dinner promotion. On weekdays only, a three-course set lunch for two goes for $24, and a three-course dinner for two is $36. Reserve at 604-734-4488.
Dine Out Vancouver ends February 1, but Quattro on Fourth’s $38 three-courser and the $28 prix fixe at North Vancouver’s Gusto di Quattro go to February 28. In Richmond, Papi’s Ristorante Italiano’s own Dining Out in Steveston event—three courses for $34.95—goes to mid-February and features changing Italian regional dishes and wines weekly.
No Valentine’s reservations? Time’s a-wasting. Railtown’s Two Chefs and a Table’s weeklong five-course wine-inclusive Valentine’s Day prix fixe is worth considering. Ditto Sutton Place Hotel’s February Month of Love deal (room, bubbles, and dinner) and Loden Vancouver’s weekend Love Inn, complete with accommodation, “aphrodisiac” cocktail, and Lovers’ Brunch.
Get to know some of our waters’ lesser-known (and -eaten) denizens like sea urchin, mackerel, and sardines during Blue Water Café + Raw Bar’s fifth annual Unsung Heroes Festival, running to February 28. Ten percent of the promotion’s proceeds benefit the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program.