It’s almost time for Dine Out Vancouver, the city’s annual 17-day celebration of all things delicious, running January 19 through February 4.
Although there are varied events around town, including international-chef-exchange dinners, craft-beer tours, and cooking classes, the centrepiece of Dine Out is the series of three-course dinners being featured at more than 300 restaurants at $20, $30, and $40. Wines of British Columbia has partnered on the venture so diners can look forward to optional B.C. VQA wine pairings galore.
I combed through the offerings at DineOutVancouver.com, which is where you need to go for more information and reservations, and I’ve assembled a list of restaurants to hit up for my top 10 pairings. Do book your spots soon, as seats always go quickly!
Brix & Mortar
(1138 Homer Street, $30)
The Yaletown hot spot is dishing up wild local sockeye salmon with prawn and fennel risotto, yuzu beurre blanc, and tobiko, matching it up with Mission Hill Family Estate’s 2014 Lone Pine Chardonnay, which exudes fresh lime, mango, and passion fruit, gently framed by some toasty French oak.
The Cascade Room
(2616 Main Street, $30)
I can’t imagine a rainy day getting much better than having an opportunity to tuck into Cascade’s venison burger with huckleberry-and-red-onion chutney, Stilton, arugula, and Kennebec chips, washed down with Stoneboat’s Stone’d Red 2014: a plummy, cherry-laden blend of Pinotage and Pinot Noir.
(568 Beatty Street, $40)
Chef Nico Schuermans’s pan-seared arctic char with Yukon Gold–stuffed piquillo pepper, rainbow Swiss chard, and caper-and-currant sauce vierge looks to be handled damn well by Clos du Soleil’s Grower’s Series Middle Bench Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2016. It’s chock-full of Granny Smith apple, Meyer lemon, and a good crack of minerality.
(646 Kingsway, $30)
This buzzy Fraserhood joint dresses up grilled carrots with black-garlic bagna cauda and almonds, then adds a tropical flair, pairing them with the litchi- and citrus-driven Pentâge Gewürztraminer 2015.
(1210 Denman Street, $30)
Warm up with a bowl of bisque at this newish English Bay neighbourhood spot. The lobster and Dungeness crab broth finished with brandy cream and fresh herbs will come up a treat with the peaches ’n’ cream charms of Poplar Grove Chardonnay 2016.
(217 Carrall Street, $40)
I don’t often get excited by broccoli, but I’m totally jazzed by chef Lee Cooper’s tasty-sounding dish, accompanied by Serrano ham, lemon, and Parmesan. I’m also loving the unique pairing of Stag’s Hollow Grenache 2016, one of B.C.’s only bottlings of the Rhone variety, awash with purple fruit and cardamom.
Salmon ’N Bannock Bistro
(7–1128 West Broadway, $40)
You’re gonna need a mighty big red wine to tackle bison pot roast, celery-root mash, and horseradish cream. Look no further than Nk’Mip Cellars Talon 2015, a juicy blend of Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, loaded with currants, blackberries, mocha, and sage.
Tableau Bar Bistro
(1181 Melville Street, $40)
Executive chef Tret Jordan is doing winter right with boeuf bourguignon prepared with bacon, mushrooms, carrots, cipollini onions, and potato. It may be tough to only have one glass of JoieFarm Pinot Noir 2015; those raspberries, blueberries, violets, and dusty cocoa notes should ride along well.
(958 Main Street, $30)
Get yourself a glass of Bartier Bros. Riesling 2015, marvel at all those apricots, limes, and honey, then enjoy chef Clement Chan’s “Mussel Man”: sake-steamed Salt Spring Island mussels, yuzu butter, tomato, and Chinese puff pastry.
YEW seafood + bar
(791 West Georgia Street, $40)
Step into the Four Seasons Hotel, head into Yew, and pretend it’s already summer with steelhead and Brussels sprouts, pickled daikon, and bonito consommé accompanied by a glass (or two) of Painted Rock Rosé 2016. The blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot sees everything in its right place, with huckleberries, strawberries, white pepper, and mint.More