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  • Apr13

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-5

    The spring weather is finally arriving in more than one-day-at-a-time batches. Vancouver’s stylish Rosewood Hotel Georgia has just opened its 4th floor Reflections outdoor lounge, offering light meals, craft cocktails, wine and beer in a superbly comfortable urban setting.

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-4

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-10

    Outdoor fire pits glow with brilliant sapphire-blue crystals; an infinity pool is decorated with amusing bright yellow sculptures. The cabanas are inviting, with pillows and comfy blankets at the ready for chilly nights.

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-7

    The lounge’s entrance offers a great view of the Rosewood’s famous indoor pool, sharing the 4th floor with Sense Spa.

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia pool

    Last night, local media were invited to enjoy this beautifully designed lounge to welcome the warmer, drier evenings that Vancouverites can now enjoy.

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-13
    [Lisa Nakamura Nguyen of BC Business; Joshua McVeity, photographer]

    Danica Jeffery, John Skinner
    [Danica Jeffery of Danica Writes; John Skinner of Painted Rock Winery]

    Ken Nakano, Head Chef, Rosewood Hotel Georgia
    [Ken Nakano, Head Chef, Rosewood Hotel Georgia's Reflections Lounge]

    West coast-influenced dishes are created by Head Chef Ken Nakano, and include flavourful striped shrimp terrine, scallop ceviche, and grilled chorizo sausage with honey mussels.

    Grilled Chorizo sausage, honey mussels, saffron vinaigrette
    [Grilled Chorizo sausage, honey mussels, saffron vinaigrette]

    Striped shrimp terrine, red pepper romesco sauce
    [Striped shrimp terrine, red pepper romesco sauce]

    Scallop Ceviche
    [Scallop ceviche]

    Chocolate Raspberry “Turron”: Crispy hazelnut, raspberry, 72% dark chocolate
    [Chocolate raspberry “Turron”: Crispy hazelnut, raspberry, 72% dark chocolate]

    Serving up the evening's signature cocktail, the Aperitivo Milano
    [Aperitivo Milano: gin, aperol, grapefruit syrup, prosecco, grapefruit twist]

    I tried a few of the cocktails served during the evening, my favourite being the Moscow Mule (Russian vodka, ginger beer, angostura bitters, lime juice, mint), though I was tempted by the Mission Hill wine table near the bar.

    Moscow Mule: Russian vodka, ginger beer, angostura bitters, lime juice, mint
    [Moscow Mule: Russian vodka, ginger beer, angostura bitters, lime juice, mint]

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-8

    Speaking of BC wines, local red and whites are well-represented on the drink menu, with Spanish, Argentinian, Chilean, and Californian wines dotted amongst them. Sparkling wine and bottled beer are also available.

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-19

    Seating will accommodate up to 120 guests and this choice venue is available for booking private events and special occasions. Between the non-obtrusive music and good company, it was hard to leave the “urban oasis”. I plan to return and enjoy this unique space in the heart of downtown.

    RTown's Mike Falcon, Steve Halliday, RTown's Brett Manlove
    [RTown's Mike Falcon, Rosewood Hotel Georgia Managing Director Steve Halliday, RTown's Brett Manlove]

    Rosewood Hotel Georgia Urban Oasis-6

    Reflections is open Monday to Saturday from noon, closed on Sunday, and is located at 801 West Georgia Street in Vancouver.

  • Mar9

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview

    Earlier this week, I was invited to preview Icebreaker’s new spring/summer line at the Kitsilano Touch Lab store. I’m a longtime fan of their soft, Merino wool pieces that last several wears before hitting the laundry pile. I’ve been digging one of their latest pieces and can attest to its softness, wearability, and easy integration into my wardrobe: the Bliss Wrap.

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview
    [Touching pure Merino wool]

    Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker is committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing, and animal welfare. In 2008, the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.

    Baacode screen

    As usual, I was curious to check in with the website to find out where my Bliss wrap’s wool originated from.

    Muller  sheep Station

    My search resulted in four stations, including Muller’s, from the South Island high country. Each farmer is featured with a short description about their commitment to the environment. A wave to Steve and his mountain-loving buddies!

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview

    The spring/summer collection is bright and features lots of stripes and bold colours in a few new lines.

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview

    Black Sheep is made from an exceptionally fine micron of merino wool, grown in New Zealand’s rugged Southern Alps. The merino is knitted into a fine gauge to create a stylish collection of exclusive knitwear.

    Icebreaker Product Design Director Keryn Francisco says sourcing premium merino wool was essential in creating the Black Sheep series.

    “Winemakers determine the highest quality grapes and barrels to make their highly coveted reserve wine. We did the same for our Black Sheep styles,” says Francisco. “We worked with sheep stations that produce some of the finest merino in New Zealand. The resulting garments are absolutely stunning both in how they look and how they feel.”

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview

    Black Sheep is part of Icebreaker’s Journeys range of soft, lightweight tees, sweaters, dresses and coverups. A combination of the City and Superfine collections of past seasons, plus beautiful new styles and graphics, Journeys offers a versatile system of interchangeable merino layering pieces ranging from essential core garments to seasonal trend-driven styles.

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview

    Icebreaker Spring 2012 preview

    Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company to develop a merino fibre layering system for the outdoors. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. The Icebreaker apparel system includes underwear, mid layer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories. The range includes outdoor, technical, and lifestyle pieces, each with its own specific fabrics and design details.

    The Icebreaker TouchLab is located at 2089 West 4th Avenue at Arbutus Street in Vancouver.

  • Jan18

    Maxs Burgers exterior

    Last night, I was invited to Max’s Burgers for their media launch. Owner Bruce Redpath of Redpath Foods brought in chef Connor Butler (formerly of Restaurant Connor Butler, Pearl on the Rock, and C) to this casual 1,240 square foot Fairview space to design the gourmet burger and comfort food menu.

    Your burger is served

    Redpath is also behind Max’s Deli and Stuart’s Bakery (the latter of which supplies Max’s Burgers with hamburger buns and desserts).

    Chef Connor Butler, Owner Bruce Redpath
    [Chef Connor Butler, Owner Bruce Redpath]

    Maxs Burgers Vancouver

    This new burger destination, smack dab in the Cambie/Broadway corridor, will feature fresh Albertan beef, Kennebec fries with fresh black truffle mayo, and sinful drink concoctions such as the Fraser River Mud Shake and the Pop Shoppe Pina Colada Float.

    Maxs Burgers Vancouver

    In other words, an adult top-quality version of a kid’s hamburger chain. Max’s Burgers uses as many local ingredients as possible, creating some seriously tasty burgers as well as competition for Vancouver’s other top quality gourmet burger establishments.

    Maxs Burgers menu

    We were treated to a sampling of Max’s burgers in a smaller slider style, in order to fit everything in on the menu! There’s a British Columbia burger (my favourite of the group) with Applewood smoked bacon, bacon marmalade, and cheddar cheese, the Rooster on a Tailgate (grilled chicken, red onion rings, 40 Creek BBQ, chipotle mayo and Swiss cheese), a King crab Po’Boy, and for the vegetarians, Gargamel’s Stuffed Toadstool burgers, with portobello mushroom, charred tomatoes, and Swiss cheese.

    Serving up the sliders
    [Chef de Cuisine Travis Redpath serving up the sliders]

    If calories aren’t an issue, consider The Behemoth, where for $55, four mouths can be properly fed on 24 ounces of hand-formed patty on a custom roasted garlic bun, over a pound of toppings, an ice cold pitcher of draft and a Triple By Pass (yams, fries, ‘n’ rings).

    Chef at work

    Chef Butler was busy drizzling gravy on the poutine when I caught up with him at the counter. Being close to the action, I also checked out the gorgeous array of desserts ready to be served afterwards.

    Maxs Burgers Vancouver
    [Lemon Meringue Tart]

    Red velvet cupcake
    [Red velvet cupcake]

    Desserts will be priced at $3.99 each. As well, Max’s plans to serve seasonal house baked pies at $3.99 a slice.

    Maxs Burgers Vancouver
    [Chocolate Decadense Cake]

    Maxs Burgers Vancouver
    [NY Cheesecake]

    The full Max’s Burgers experience also involves trying some of their drink concoctions. Case in point: Liquid Lunch (bacon infused Stoli, Tabasco sauce, worcestershire sauce, clamato, celery salt rim garnished with lime wedge, pepperoncini pepper and crispy bacon stick). I wasn’t sure whether to call it a drink or a meal!

    Liquid Lunch
    [Liquid Lunch]

    Further down the beverage list, the tantalizing Fraser River Mud Shake (Southern Comfort, Kahlua, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup) and the Orange Creamsicle Shake (Stoli, Triple Sec, orange reduction, vanilla ice cream and candied orange peel garnish) catered to the sweet-with-a-touch-of-alcohol-tooth in me.

    There’s also a decent range of soda fountain offerings, as well as beer, wine, and highballs.

    Schloppy Chili cheese rings

    Kennebec Fries are served with bits of black truffle atop the mayo. Schloppy Chili Cheese Rings just ooze with chili and cheese for the onion ring lovers out there. I enjoyed the poutine, served with just the right amount of curds and gravy.

    Poutine

    Maxs Burgers Chef Connor Butler

    Look for Max’s Burgers at 521 West 8th Avenue in Vancouver (west of Cambie Street, across from Whole Foods). They will be open for lunch and dinner starting January 23.

  • Oct20

    Dine Prestons event

    Prestons now has a home in Vancouver’s financial district, located at West Pender near Bute Street (a second restaurant is located in Chilliwack). The restaurant has been described as “West Coast with Mediterranean and Asian flair”; having glanced at their full menu, this is a well-suited description.
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  • Sep16

    Okanagan Crush Pad glasses

    Harvest season is just around the corner! In two weeks, Okanagan Crush Pad will open its Summerland, BC doors. For the occasion, I was invited to a media tasting of several wine and food pairings at Boneta’s spanking new Gaolers Mews space inside 12 Water Street’s redone courtyard. Executive chef Jason Liezert provided the culinary offerings.
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