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I’m finally back with my trip report from August 2017. Thanks again to everyone who helped guide our decision making. Here’s what we ate:
For our large group dinner we went to Salam Bombay. It was decent, nothing spectacular, but they were able to accommodate our group in a private dining room, and the location and service were good.
For our anniversary dinner we ended up at AnnaLena (cancelled our reservation at Hawksworth after reading tepid reviews here). We loved it! I contacted the restaurant ahead of time to let them know about my husband’s allergies and they were able to provide a tasting menu we both could eat. The food was great, well paced, and we weren’t too full after. We also enjoyed the wine pairings which gave us a chance to try some BC wines as well as some old world favourites. We’re so glad we chose AnnaLena for our celebration meal.
We enjoyed a late lunch at Nightingale the next day. They will not make modifications to dishes even for allergies, but our server had an iPad that must have had a list of all the ingredients in each dish because she got us to order and then checked everything right then to make sure it was safe. The food and drink was good and the space was really nice.
Our next meal was at Kissa Tanto. The restaurant was packed at 8:30 on a Wednesday and we were glad we had a reservation. The vibe of the room here was great. We enjoyed our cocktails and a bottle of wine that we can’t get here in Nova Scotia. Our meal was fantastic, especially the tajarin pasta with cured egg yolk. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Japanese-Italian fusion but it really was great. Kissa Tanto was one of our best meals of the trip, along with AnnaLena.
We had another group dinner (party of 6) the next day at La Mezcaleria Gastown. This was a great place for a group because the room was loud so we didn’t feel like we were bothering other guests. We enjoyed the queso fundido very much but I can’t really remember what else I ate. Everyone enjoyed their food and cocktails.
The following night we saw Beck at the Orpheum, so we had an early dinner at Royal Dinette. I loved the decor here. I ordered a dish that in hindsight wasn’t really to my taste, so it wouldn’t be fair to say it was bad. My husband enjoyed his meal and was excited to see they had a Superflux beer on tap, which he loved.
Our final meal was at Bishop’s. It was a nice change to experience the “old school” style of food and service and it really was great. I had a salad followed by the chicken dish, which came with a little pot pie that was one of my favourite bites of the whole trip. If I recall correctly my husband had pate followed by duck. We were so stuffed after all the eating we did on our trip so I might suggest visiting Bishop’s earlier in your trip to fully enjoy it! John Bishop was indeed in the house, and visited our table to say hello. It was a lovely experience and I’m glad I didn’t cancel this one.
Now, for some miscellaneous notes:
One jet lagged morning we visited Revolver coffee when it opened and had some great coffee and a piece of some type of coffee cake which was great. I’m usually intimidated by these places as I’m not a coffee snob but they were friendly and welcoming.
We visited a bunch of breweries - R&B, Faculty, Main St., Brassneck, Strathcona, Callister, Luppolo, and Strange Fellows. We visited Faculty, Main St, and Brassneck as part of a walking tour with Vancouver Brewery Tours. It was fun and I would recommend it if you’re into tours. Our favourite brewery was Brassneck for the beer, but we had good food at R&B and Strathcona. I had had quite a few beers by this point but I remember the pizza at Strathcona being excellent. We also spent a Sunday afternoon at the Alibi Room and got to try a ton of beers and a good enough brunch. Do not miss Alibi if you’re into beer!
Edit: I just realized I forgot to mention a couple brunch meals. We had brunch with friends at Chambar and everyone loved it. We had to walk past Jam Cafe which had a long line but we got a table right away at Chambar. A few days later we went to Medina and after waiting an hour and a half, we were interested to see the menu is very similar to Chambar (or the other way around). I had a fricassee with King Oyster mushrooms at Medina and I couldn't eat it, but it could be that I just don't like those mushrooms and didn't realize it (I normally love mushrooms). My husband enjoyed his brunch. I would say if you want Medina, skip the wait and go to Chambar instead.
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