Dine Out Vancouver 2013 preview-20

It was a packed crowd of media and food writers at the recently-renovated Vancouver FanClub on Granville Street for Dine Out Vancouver’s 2013 menu preview.

GIB to-go beers for guests

MARKET by Jean-Georges' Executive Chef Wayne Harris, and Sous Chef Henderson
[MARKET by Jean-Georges’ Executive Chef Wayne Harris and Sous Chef Scott Henderson]

Eight of the city’s top restaurants, plus Granville Island Brewery, The Burrard Hotel, Secret Supper Soirée, Off the Eaten Track and Street Food City II were on hand for sampling and information leading to the big event itself: Dine Out Vancouver.

Dine Out Vancouver 2013 preview-6

This year, Dine Out will be held from January 18 to February 3, offering dozens of ways to enjoy the city’s eateries. Whether you choose to indulge in a few favourites or experience some new gems, this is a great chance to taste, savour, and enjoy.

As well as restaurant menus, hotels have stepped up to offer package deals (starting at $78), and numerous events during the festival will round out choices galore.

Street Food City II is where you’ll be able to try 18 Vancouver food carts all clustered near the Vancouver Art Gallery, from January 23 to 27. Tents, heaters, seating, and music will be part of the scene, as this popular event returns for another Dine Out, with special Festival pricing and menus. Follow the event’s official hashtag at #StreetFoodCity.

Here’s the list of confirmed food trucks:
– Feastro The Rolling Bistro

– Guanaco

– Holy Perogy
– Japadog (two locations)
– Kaboom Box
– Le Tigre
– Mogu

– Mom’s Grilled Cheese
– Pazzarella Woodfired Pizza
– Pig On The Street
– Re-Up BBQ
– Soho Road Naan Kebab
– Street Meet
– Tacofino
– The Juice Truck
– Yolks Breakfast
– Zebite

Out of the eight restaurants at the preview, my favourite three preview dishes were:

Pacific Institute of Culinary ArtsSustainable BC scallop, apple cider-infused beet puree, micro kale salad, paired with Hester Creek Estate’s Trebbiano
The scallop is so fresh and delicate while the puree just adds the right touch of flavour to the dish. This dish is featured on PICA’s $18 menu.

The Observatory at Grouse MountainRed wine braised Pemberton Meadows beef short ribs with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, baby carrots, and turnip, paired with Desert Hills Estate’s Cabernet Franc 2008
The Observatory’s tender-cooked beef with the winter goodness of carrots and turnip is a cold weather treat. You might even try starting the menu off with the winter squash gnocchi with rosemary pesto and truffled Pecorino Romano. I’m hungry already!

This happened to be my favourite food and wine pairing of the night as well; the dish is part of the restaurant’s $38 menu.

Edible Canada and Bartier Scholefield Wines at Dine Out Vancouver preview
[Edible Canada and Bartier Scholefield Wines at Dine Out Vancouver preview]

Edible CanadaRoasted Grangeland leg of elk with bone marrow, crispy grits and Hunter sauce, paired with Bartier Scholefield’s Red Table wine
I admittedly am not a big fan of elk, however the crispy grits and sauce, with a mixed mushroom spread on top was hearty and delicious with the notes of the table red (dish appears on Edible Canada’s $28 menu).

Here’s a few more photos of the night. More can be found on my Flickr set. Visit Dine Out Vancouver 2013’s website for detailed menus and reservations. And remember that as many prime slots are already filling up, try to be flexible, or experience a couple of events!

L: forage's Head Chef Chris Whittaker
[L: forage’s Head Chef Chris Whittaker]

Dine Out Vancouver 2013 opening remarks
[Dine Out Vancouver opening remarks by Tourism Vancouver President/CEO Rick Antonson]

Kate Crothers of BC Wine Institute
[Kate Crothers of BC Wine Institute]

Saxophonist Buddha Sax
[Saxophonist Buddha Sax]

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