Archive for the 'Food' Category

The Internets – Waiter Blog

Check out Waiter Blog, a great Vancouver food blog written by Andrew Morrison, a writer, restaurant critic and fine dining waiter. There’s lots of industry news, reviews and even a touch of wine from local Wine Diva, Daenna Van Mulligen.

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Food & Wine – Salt Tasting Room

Salt Tasting RoomI’m a bit excited. We have a cool new place opening up in the neighbourhood – Salt Tasting Room. Salt is being opened by Sean Heather of the Irish Heather and Limerick Junction and is slated to open this Wednesday, July 12th down in the ghoulishly named Blood Alley. Whee!

According to their opening soon blog, the restaurant’s concept is, “… to take the growing popularity of cured meats and artisan cheese and to marry it to a great selection of wines. When presented in a specific way, the customer can experiment by picking their own combinations, of wine, meat, cheese & condiments and then taste them in a comfortable space.” They’ve hired a sommelier to put together the list and tweak the wines as they go along.

Sounds good to me. See you there. 🙂

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Food – Dinner in the Sky?

OK, I love a great view while dining in a restaurant as much, or more, than the next person…. but this site/idea Dinner in the Sky looks pretty ridiculous. Really, what if you have to visit the washroom after your 3rd glass of wine or beer?

[via the cool hunter]


Food – Lolita’s South of the Border Cantina

Lolita's South of the Border CantinaA couple of weeks ago I finally got around to checking out Lolita’s South of the Border Cantina, a cool take on cali-Mex food which opened in th old Random space on Davie St. here in Vancouver. The restaurant was opened by Lisa Gaylie and her brother Jaison. I’m guessing that after managing Bin 942 for 5 years, Lisa knows something about funky and successful restauranteur-ship.

The place is very funky. From the surfboard as a sign, to the interior, the good music and the tattooed waitresses everything about the place says hip in that shabby-chic, taco stand on the beach kinda’ way. Fortunately, the food is as tasty as the staff is cool. We had the guacamole classico with fried tortilla chips, the beef taquito and the fantastic fish tacos. All were great… I’d definitely go back for the fish tacos and there were a few other things I’d like to try as well. The wine list was small, but well-chosen and of course there were the Mexican (and local) beers.

We needed something like this in town. I’ll be hitting Lolita’s regularly over the coming months.

NOTE: I went back and it was just as good… and really, you have to try the fresh raspberry mojitosawesome.

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The Interweb –

One of the rules I live by when I dine out with people is that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat the waitstaff in a restaurant. Anyone who treats restaurant staff badly isn’t worth my time or respect. I had an ex who was awful to hostesses and waiters/waitresses… I should have run at the first sign of this. Oh well, life’s lessons learned…

On this subject, check out Waiter Rant, a well-written, hilarious and often touching blog written by a waiter/restaurant manager in NYC.


Wine – Wine Fest come down

OK, so the 2006 Vancouver International Wine Fest has come and gone… I’ve gotta say – even though my liver is slightly larger and my breath smelled like Cabernet for days – that it was a blast.

The focus of this year’s fest was France. One end of the enormous tasting room was devoted to sections divided into France’s different wine regions… Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire, the Rhone, etc. So many fantastic wines I could have just spent 2 days tasting around there.

I didn’t though. I managed to make my way around pretty much the whole shebang. I tasted wines from Argentina to Uruguay… from Napa to Barossa and almost everything in between.

Some of my absolute faves were wines such as (with no tasting notes and in no particular order – there are too many):

    • E & E Black Pepper Sparkling Shiraz
    • 2002 E & E Black Pepper Shiraz
    • 2002 St. Hallett’s Old Block Shiraz
    • 2002 Hill-Smith Mesh Riesling
    • 2003 Peter Lehmann The Futures Shiraz
    • 2001 Peter Lehmann Eight Songs Shiraz
    • 2002 Château D’Issan Margaux
    • 2001 Château Lagrange St. Julien
    • 2000 Château Bel-Orme Tronquoy Lalande
    • 2003 Château Preuillac
    • the 1996 Deutz Cuvée William Brut
    • the 1996 Grand Cru Cramant from Nicolas Feuillatte
    • the 1996 Brut Millesime from Champagne de Venoge
    • CHILE:
      • 2003 Amayna Pinot Noir
      • 2003 Amayna Chardonnay
      • 2002 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon
      • 2000 Errazuriz Don Maximiano Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
      • 2004 Errazuriz Single Vineyard Carmenère (now in LDB stores!!)
      • Valdivieso Caballo Loco #7
    • ITALY:
      • 2001 Antinori Tignanello Toscana
      • 2001 Antinori Solaia Toscana
      • 2000 Fontanafredda Barolo
      • 2001 Fontanafredda Barbaresco Coste Rubin
      • 2001 Frescobaldi Lamaione Toscana
      • 1998 Masi Vaio Amarone
      • 2001 Fontanafredda Barbaresco Coste Rubin
      • 2003 Nautilus Chardonnay
      • 2005 Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc
      • 2005 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
    • USA:
      • 2001 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages
      • 2001 Chimney Rock Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
      • 2001 Chimney Rock Reserve Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
      • 2003 Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir
      • 2003 Seghesio Old Vines Zinfandel
      • 2003 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

    … Now this list could go on and on, but unfortunatley my notes only are so legible and the memory got a little fuzzy. I’m also leaving out some great ones here such as South Africa’s 2002 Rust en Vrede Shiraz, Burgundy’s 2003 Michel Laroche Chablis Grand Cru, all the great German Rieslings and many others. This is the list for now. I may add to it in the next day or so.

    I am going to write a post very soon about my pouring fun with the folks from Quinta do Vale Dona Maria, Quinta do Vallado and Signorello Vineyards – all of whom have some GREAT wines… and the party afterwards. Damn all this work getting in the way of blogging. 🙂


    Wine – 2003 Ridge Sonoma County Three Valleys

    2003 Ridge Sonoma County Three ValleysI just happened to come across this wine last night when I was doing a bit of shopping. I’ve always been a big fan of Ridge wines, so this one gave me hope after the disappointment of last night’s Merryvale.

    Mmmmm…. I can happily say I my hope wasn’t in vain. It was medium-dark, juicy, full of dark fruit and spice with a nice (but not too powerful) tannic structure. This wine has balls. I had it with a chorizo/basil pizza and it stood up to the spice extremely well.

    This is a blend of 72% Zinfandel, 12% Carignane, 10% Petit Sirah, 4% Grenache and 2% Mataro grapes… and full of red wine goodness.


    4 stars

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    Wine – 2002 Merryvale Starmont Cabernet

    2002 Merryvale Starmont CabernetI picked this one up last night because I did a hard road ride and had a craving for protein… in the form of a nice big steak. Cabernet and steak: a match made in heaven. Problem with this theory is that not all Cabernets can actually stand up to a good steak… and this, unfortunately is one of those.

    I’ve had some wines I’ve absolutley loved from this winery, so maybe I’ll give a future vintage another try. This was perfectly good, but lacked that oomph you look for from a really good Cab. It had none of the grippy tannins that would have helped with the bit of fat in steak that normally compliments a good wine. It was like a vanilla Cab. – all nice and normal, with no standout character. It would be nice with some bread and maybe some Brie.

    I just expected more for the $39 this one cost (gotta’ love the tax we pay up here). C’est la vie… It’s all part of trying wines. You win some and you lose some… This wasn’t necessarily a loss, but more like a game where the Canucks play Minnesota: even if they win, you want to forget about the game because it was just boring to watch.

    2.5 stars

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    The world of da’ blog

    Seriously, the one thing that’s impressed me about keeping a little online wine journal and culture blog is that people actually come and read it. I love that people read something and express an opinion. KEEP IT UP. The world is an increasingly small space and I usually discuss this stuff with local friends. It’s cool to get a wider point of view.

    Cheers… and remember, once a day, every day, give yourself a treat. 🙂


    BC’s tastiest white wine?

    My wine geek friends and I have a saying to describe white wine: “White is for drinking while the red breathes.” That may be true, but sometimes a white wine is just really tasty.

    On that note, BC does make some bloody tasty whites… and the tastiest? It just may be Domaine de Chaberton’s 2004 Gewurztraminer. It hits your nose with lots of citrus, honey, lychee and rose petal aromas. The flavour is slightly off-dry with honey, citrus and spice. Many BC gewurztraminers can be slightly thin and acidic compared to Alsatian ones (France) . Not this one. It’s so good. I just had some with Thai food and the match was a little slice of heaven here on earth. We all need that, now don’t we?

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