Not sure where to grab lunch or dinner this weekend? Don’t fret.
The 18th annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is still running for a couple more days, allowing local food-lovers to check out multicourse menus at various price points.
If you’re hoping to check out a solid Dine Out participant this year without doing all the online research and social-media digging, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some must-try menus at this year’s Dine Out Festival before it comes to a close on February 2.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (845 Burrard Street, $45)
This upscale and award-winning restaurant located at the Sutton Place Hotel is serving up a mouthwatering selection of dishes for its Dine Out dinner menu this year. Appetizers range from mushroom consommé (with truffled mushroom relish) to albacore tuna with compressed celery. For entrees, guests can choose between roasted ling cod, perfectly cooked hanger steak, as well as a vegan house-made rigatoni with caramelized cauliflower and cashew fondue. Finish off with dessert picks like coffee chocolate mousse or passionfruit bavarios (made with caramel crunch and raspberry sauce). A meal here would normally cost you a pretty penny, so this limited-time meal is a great option to try out its culinary creations.
Mak N Ming (1629 Yew Street, $45)
This cozy dining spot in Kitsilano is known for its Japanese-French multicourse meals served on the regular, but it has been offering a condensed version of its dinner menu for this year’s Dine Out festival. Food-lovers will start off with dishes like albacore tuna tataki with citrus and cucumber, or warm brussel-sprout salad with sesame furikake. Then, you move onto the mains such as beef tenderloin katsu (fried cutlet) or a flavourful roasted sake-kasu sablefish. For dessert, choose between almond cake (with carrot and cranberry) or a tropical coconut pudding. Reservations are almost all gone, but if you’re quick enough, you may be able to secure one of the last spots.
Notch8 Restaurant & Bar (900 West Georgia Street, $45)
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s resident restaurant is a popular spot among city-dwellers. Known for its west-coast dishes, signature cocktails, happy hour, and afternoon teas, Notch8 is also a Dine Out participant. Its multicourse menu includes appetizers like ahi tuna with apple and ponzu, as well as a mushroom tartine with caramelized onion. Main dishes include rotisserie porchetta with Tokyo turnips, steelhead with roasted squash and squid-ink tuille, and gnocchi with herb puree and puffed rice. Finish off with chilled-chocolate fondant paired with a delicious salted-butter caramel sauce and praline croquant. We suggest everyone in your dining party order different dishes to try out all the flavours.
Torafuku (958 Main Street, $45)
A staple in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Torafuku’s pan-Asian flavours attract many patrons looking for a good bite. For Dine Out this year, the popular restaurant is serving up a five-course menu meant to be shared between two people. Start off with bread and daily butter, before indulging in cold and warm appetizers like calamari and Caesar salad, wagyu beef tartare, chawanmushi mushroom steamed egg, and fried brussel sprouts.
Choose from entrees like AAA striploin steak with saute kimchi, seared scallop with risotto, or bucatini pasta with mixed mushroom and yuzu brown butter. The dessert selection ranges from Japanese kabocha pie with brown-sugar boba, chocolate ganache with hazelnut feuilletine, and Thai milk-tea panna cotta. It’s definitely a lot of food (you get a bang for your buck), and we recommend wearing stretchy pants to your reservation.
Water St. Cafe (300 Water Street, $25 to $35)
Gastown’s iconic Water St. Café has no shortage of loyal patrons. For those who have never visited this eatery, you’re in for a treat. It is offering a brunch, lunch, and dinner menu for the duration of Dine Out, and will be extending these menus past the festival end date—food-lovers will be able to try out these limited-time meals until February 9.
All the menus have pretty much the same appetizer and dessert options, such as bison carpaccio with truffle aioli, burrata caprese (additional $5) with salsa verde, and lemon tart with Italian meringue, and daily seasonal sorbet. But the entrees are different: the brunch menu features pork-belly benny, French toast, or steak and eggs (additional $10); lunch dishes like savoury lamb lollipops and kale, spaghetti carbonara, and New York steak & frites with perfectly seasoned Cajun fries (additional $10) are available; and dinner mains such as lingcod and clams, duck lasagna, eggplant pave, and lobster pappardelle (additional $10) are hot picks. The add-on pricing may seem sneaky, but it’s worth the extra dollar for tasty creations.