2016 Dine Out Vancouver Media Preview-7

When Dine Out Vancouver Festival began 14 years ago, we’re willing to bet that the organizers had no idea that it would grow to include nearly 300 restaurants, take in over 100,000 locals and visitors and run for 17 days straight.

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[The Keg’s baked sea bass]

Sure enough, what started out as a humble food and wine fest has now grown to epic proportions. We’re talking a serious variety of both destination and local spots, from steak houses to destination restaurants.

This is a good thing too. As I chatted amongst fellow media and food writers last night at Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out preview, it quickly became apparent that each one of us has a soft spot for a particular chef or establishment — or a must-try list for the new year.

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[Brix & Mortar’s pickled pineapple & pork belly]

Either way, this festival aims – and succeeds – in offering up three-course menus (at $20, $30 and $40 price points), Dine and Stay packages with special hotel rates around town plus over 100 culinary events to enjoy once you’ve whet your appetite with a few favourites or newly-discovered gems.

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[The Keg’s sirloin]

A first for the festival is a dedicated festival beer, Big Rock Urban’s Dine Out Van Fest Ale, an English Brown Ale at 5.5%, making it a great sessional sipper that pairs nicely with hearty foods and cheese (and fine on its own merit). The exclusive beer will only be available during the festival at Big Rock.

We sampled from three Dine Out restaurants. Here they are, along with photos and menus. All include optional BC wine pairings. Enjoy!

The Keg, Yaletown

The Keg/$40 menu (choose one item from each category)

Baked garlic shrimp
Succulent shrimp finished with garlic, herbs and cheese

Keg Caesar
Crisp romaine and aged Parmesan cheese tossed in Keg’s own creamy dressing

Wild mushroom soup
A creamy medley of wild mushrooms, garnished with sour cream

New York tender New York striploin: The King of steaks (12 oz)

Prime Rib
Aged for extra flavour and tenderness, rubbed with our unique blend of spices and slow roasted. Hand-carved and served with horseradish and red wine herb jus. (12 oz)

The Keg Oscar
Choice of grilled top sirloin (6 oz) or pan-seared and oven-roasted chicken breast with drumette, topped with shrimp, scallops and asparagus and served with Béarnaise

Baked Sea Bass
Served on a fresh chilled quinoa salad and steamed asparagus, topped with tomato cucumber salsa

Choose one of the following to complete your entrée:
baked potato • roasted garlic mashed potato • Keg fries • twice-baked potato (contains bacon) • rice • mixed vegetables

Billy Miner Pie – Mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust with hot fudge, caramel and almonds
Cheesecake with Bing cherry topping
Spanish coffee: brandy, dark cacao and coffee with whipped cream

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[Apricot Whiskey Sour]

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[Save room for Billy Miner Pie!]

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Brix & Mortar/$40 menu

Butternut Squash Soup
Noble bourbon syrup, creme fraiche

Pickled Pineapple & Pork Belly
Crispy adobe style Gelderman Farm pork belly, jicama, cilantro, spiced peanuts, Serrano chili

Roasted Duck Breast
Maple glaze honey, duck leg confit, braised Brussel sprout succotash, spiced pepper gelée

Grilled Wild Salmon
Warm potato salad, fresh Dungeness crab, jalapeños & corn, roasted garlic aioli, salsa verde

Vanilla bean panna cotta, fresh fruit compote

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[Brix & Mortar’s roasted duck breast]

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Beach Bay Cafe/$30 menu

Seafood chowder, bacon, crispy leeks

Organic greens, shaved vegetables, sherry dressing

½ dozen West coast oysters, apple mignonette ($4 supplement)

Celeriac risotto, roasted celeriac, truffle oil, herbs (add freshly shaved black truffle, $5)

Confit duck leg, green lentils, smoked butter emulsion

North Pacific ling cod, clams, mussels, peas, potato

Cheesecake, red onion jam, shortbread

Sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce

Coconut sorbet, apples, raspberries

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[Starting Beach Bay dinner with organic greens in sherry dressing]

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[Beach Bay Cafe’s North Pacific ling cod, clams, mussels, peas, potato]

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[Beach Bay Cafe’s confit duck leg, green lentils, smoked butter emulsion]

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[Coconut sorbet, apples, raspberries at Beach Bay Cafe]

Dine Out Vancouver Festival is produced by Tourism Vancouver and runs from January 15 to 31. More info and reservations can be found online.

Follow the festival on social media using the #dovf hashtag.

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