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Best of the West

10 restaurants. 10 wineries. A beautifully decorated pier and the perfect summer night. This just about sums up Best of the West, an inaugural food and wine pairing event that was held last night as part of the Harmony Arts Festival. It was a successful event too, as all tickets were pre-sold.

Best of the West Best of the West Best of the West Best of the West Pouring a Haywire Rosé
[Pouring a Haywire Rosé]

Best of the West

Each restaurant was conveniently stationed next to its partner winery. The event was very well organized to this extent, as I’ve been to many festivals where restaurants and the chosen paired wines (or beer for that matter) are located nowhere near one another, and this can get confusing when things get crowded!

Seared rare Ahi tuna, avocado salad, crispy won ton and smoked salmon from Carmelo's
[Seared rare Ahi tuna, avocado salad, crispy won ton and smoked salmon from Carmelo’s]
Paired with 2009 >Mission Hill ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir

Rustic pork paté with frisée leaves, champagne vinaigrette, poached shallots and crisp filone from Louis Gervais Fine Foods
[Rustic pork paté, frisée, champagne vinaigrette, poached shallots from Louis Gervais Fine Foods]
Paired with 2009 Black Hills Estate Winery’s ‘Alibi’

Homemade country paté with French bread and mustard from Chez Michel
[Homemade country paté with French bread and mustard from Chez Michel]
Paired with 2009 Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir

Best of the West Zen Restaurant
[Zen Restaurant]

Best of the West

Best of the West was situated on the pier at the Ferry Building Landing (foot of 14th Street) in West Vancouver. The large light balls gave it a romantic atmosphere as dusk set in.

Best of the West

A band played at the end of the pier, and those in the mood got into the swing and danced away right through until the event ended at 10:30 pm.

Best of the West Best of the West Louis Gervais Fine Foods
[Louis Gervais and Heather Wright of Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering]

The House Wine ladies
[The House Wine ladies]

Best of the West Tantalus Vineyards Riesling
[Tantalus Vineyards Riesling]

Best of the West view from the pier

This event was a fantastic way to sample food from several local restaurants, many of whom are now on my radar. There was a People’s Choice ballot available at the event entrance, but I’m guessing from reactions around the pier that Mangia e Bevi’s tasty pork cheek and lentil raviolis with brown butter sage made it to the top. I hope to see the event continue next year.

Beef short ribs in peppercorn sauce from La Régalade
[Beef short ribs in peppercorn sauce from La Régalade]
Paired with a 2008 Cedar Creek Estate Syrah

Pan seared beef, crab cake, tarragon on crostini from The Beach House
[Pan seared beef, crab cake, tarragon on crostini from The Beach House]
Paired with Poplar Grove Winery’s 2007 Merlot

Foie gras tart with red wine, apple marmalade, apple-ginger caviar, fleur de sel and savoury sponge toffee from Fraîche
[Foie gras tart with red wine, apple marmalade, apple-ginger caviar, fleur de sel and savoury sponge toffee from Fraîche]
Paired with 2010 Tantalus Vineyards Riesling

Pork cheek and lentil ravioli with brown butter sage
[Mangia e Bevi’s pork cheek and lentil ravioli with brown butter sage]
Paired with Laughing Stock’s 2009 ‘Blind Trust Red’

Best of the West

The Harmony Arts Festival is on through Sunday, August 7. All images © 2011 Ariane Colenbrander.

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