With the pandemic forcing restaurants to innovate for their very survival, chefs and businesses are proving just how creative, determined, and resilient they are. As they pivot, local food lovers benefit.
Temporary patio expansions mean all sorts of new spots for fantastic al fresco nosh, with operations allowed until October 31. Of the dozens approved by the City Vancouver so far are those at 3 Acres Brewing, AnnaLena, Chickpea, Dachi, El Camino’s, Little Bird Dim Sum, Livia, Old Bird, Published Restaurant, Say Mercy!, and the Reef Restaurant.
Burdock & Co is another, the Main Street eatery having recently opened its new patio and resumed dine-in service. For outdoor dining, chef Andrea Carlson is offering a four-course set menu that will change weekly but that will always feature local, seasonal fresh ingredients as is her unwavering mandate. Examples of menu items include slow-roasted lamb collar with summer onion, mustard, and Arctic sourdough; tempura with oyster plant and corn cake remoulade; spot prawn raviolo with mascarpone and leek cream. (More info is at Burdock & Co.)
Carlson has also expanded her outstanding Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which supports local growers, farmers, suppliers, and producers. Farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, ethically raised meats, and artisan goods are available for weekly pick-ups in CSA bags (aka share boxes) at Burdock & Co and sister restaurant Harvest Community Foods (which also has a terrific noodle bar, with udon, ramen, and rice bows).
There are different items every week, with previous bags including produce from North Arm Farms, Hazelmere Organic Farms, and Klippers Organics. You get a recipe, too, so you can use many of the ingredients. (And no commitment necessary; you can sign up for a single week if you like. The CSA bags are $38 and geared for two people.)
The Pac Rim Pop-Up Patio, meanwhile, takes place on the plaza of the luxury Fairmont hotel Thursday through Saturday, with picnic tables spaced well apart, a barbecue station, and live music. After having your temperature checked, you purchase tickets via contactless payment. Watch luxury cars roll by while you dine on topnotch dishes by executive chef Damon Campbell like house-made Falafel Burger with pickled onion, lemon herb sauce, and more on a toasted bun with Yukon Gold potato chips; West Coast Lobster and Shrimp Roll stuffed with preserved lemon, tarragon, and crème fraiche; Citrus Shoyu Marinated Tofu Poke with ginger rice, avocado, mango, cucumber radish, crispy onion, and yuzu mayo; and a Superfood Salad that has ancient grains, kale, arugula, beets, cucumber, mint, dill, and apple tahini dressing; among others. There’s white, red, and rose wine; a selection of Stanley Park Brewing beer; Stella Artois Pilsner; and Bulleit Bourbon Old Fashioneds. The patio pop-up is weather-permitting; rain or shine, and seven days a week, you could opt to dine on Ocean Wise sushi at the hotel's Lobby Lounge and RawBar.
Six months ago, it would have been unfathomable for Hawksworth to do takeout. Now, how about Lamb Sirloin, roasted and sliced, with wild mushroom, pomme boulangère, ramp, and lamb jus to go? Or Watercress and Duck Salad, Beef Tenderloin, Pea and Ricotta Ravioli, or the Sablefish with chorizo, white bean, dried cherry tomato, and herb salad, all packed up for you to pick up downtown? Who woulda thunk it? With delivery by Door Dash coming soon, the new offering also includes the Hawksworth Classic Burger, with old cheddar and crispy bacon.
Hawkworth’s sister restaurant, Nightingale—which also does delivery and takeout—has introduced Brunch, with dishes such as Bacon Pizza, Smoked Salmon Omelette, Fried Chicken Sandwich, and Niçoise salad. Nightingale is about to open its new patio space beside the Oxford Tower.