First, thank you to all on this board who assisted with the trip planning.
Now on with the reviews:
5 of us hit Hapa Izakaya on Robson with a last minute reservation mid week. This was a great tip. The more adventurous among us ordered raw squid, the vegetarian loved her tofu soup and daikon salad and those of us in between were content with our noodles, our beef ribs, our avacado salad and our seared alabacore. The one dish which seemed to be less than enjoyable was the pork confit. It really did look like big pieces of fat back. I did not taste it but the person who ordered it was quite put off. We all ordered the various martinis and thought they were great. The place was hopping and filled with young Asian folks which made it a great recommendation. It was so hip we could all swear we smelled marijuana at one point.
After that we ventured up Robson for Mondo Gelati. Once we figured out what was what(milk base vs soy base etc) we all left quite happy with our choices.
Thursday 3 of us dined at Feenie's @ lunch. We had suggested this to our friend who lives on the North side. It was a relaxed place to visit. I had the Feenie's burger which was very good, one person had the albacore and another had the smoked salmon with brioche. It was a good place to visit and the food and service were very good. Prices are reasonable, I thought and we could pretend we sampled the Lumiere fare. Our friend took us to Meinhardt's Fine Foods (Granville and 14th) for a looksee..MY GOD!!
That evening we were solement deux and had dinner at Chambar. What a waste!! I had read disappointing reviews of late on this board but we thought how could they go wrong with moules et frites..but they could! Agreed we are from the SF Bay Area and are very spoiled but we have had far better moules et frites in such unlikely places as a bar on Whidbey Island,WA. The moules were way overdone and the frites soggy. We had seared scallops (fabulous) and the lamb tenderloin in phyllo as appetizers. We shared a BC (Okagnan Valley Pinot Noir) which was fabulous. We found the wine list pretty pricey but opted for a Torbreck Sauvignon Blanc which was sublime! The room is great to look at although VERY noisy(we were in the back) and the service excellent. We felt this was much more a place to see and be seen than to dine. I reserved before leaving the states for this as I'd heard reservations were hard to come by.
Friday I ventured on my own over to SOMA to shop. I ended up at Legendary Noodle where the thin noodles with spicy peanut sauce and spinach was quite good.
That evening we took a beloved former colleague to Vij's. I loved this place on our last visit. She is a vegetarian and her eyes grew large as we listed pff possibilities(Cru vs Vij's vs Bin 941). What a fabulous even more fabulous meal we had this time. Our wait on a Friday @ 7 pm was a wee bit over an hour. We amused ourselves with good wine, good company and great appetizers. I had the pork tenderloin(marvelous), others had the roasted spicy vegetables and the eggplant. I cannot rave enough about this place.
Saturday we headed to Yaletown as I wanted to check out the Coastal Peoples Gallery(it was worth the trip). We had a great breakfast at Mel's Grill just across the street.
Saturday evening we again dined solement deux at Aurora Bistro. I really liked this place. We had eaten at Bishop's on our last trip(about 4 years ago) so were looking forward to tasting the grown up version of the former sous chef's vision. It was lovely. We split starters of whiskey cured albacore with daikon salad,the blue cheese tart with carmelized onion, the mushroom and meyer lemon risotto and the hanger steak platter. We shared 3 glasses of wine(2 Okagnan Valley Pinot Noir and 1 Syrah-sorry the name escapes me). We started with a very dry grey goose martini up with an olive for each of us.
We were sorry to have skipped Bin 941`this time as we so liked it on our last visit. Were there more time, we'd hit it in a heartbeat.
What a great city..and thanks for the sunshine!!