If you tuned in to my ‘Beyond Food & Wine Talk’ with Deborah Moore at AM1470 this morning, you would have heard how busy February has been for me. Five radio interviews, three TV segments cooking and talking Chinese New Year food (Thanks to Real Canadian Superstore who supplied all the ingredients and the T&T brand pastries!) and three family dinners later, I now have to focus on Valentine’s Day dinner, since it’s only hours away!
No matter how you look at it, those who decide to go out and enjoy a Valentine’s dinner are not talking about dinner at a fast food joint or hole-in-the-wall eatery. To feed the romance, they are going to dress up and arrive at a nice cozy restaurant lit with candle light and soft music. Perhaps it is one of Vancouver’s debonair restaurants; or simply be one with a dreamy ambiance; or a place with nostalgic attachment. And of course, the food must be up to par too.
Fraiche - 2240 Chippendale Road, W. Vancouver. 604-925-7595 www.fraicherestaurant.ca
Up the hill in West Vancouver with a panoramic ocean view, Fraiche surely is a unique dining haven. If you take in the gorgeous million dollar homes along the way, the drive itself is part of the tempo. Make sure you have a clear direction of how to get there, or use your GPS!
The Observatory at Grouse Mountain - 6400 Nancy Green Way, N. Vancouver. 604-980-9311 www.grousemountain.com
$100 per person includes the ride up, access to all mountain activities and the 5-course dinner. Dress warm for the stroll in winter wonderland, than go inside and dine near the fire place.
Market by Jean George Restaurant (Shangri-la Hotel) 1115 Alberni Street, Vancouver. 604-695-1115 www.marketbyjg.com
A romantic dinner inside this newly-crowned 5-diamond hotel, orchestrate by the one and only Jean George in a beautiful dining room with impeccable service…
Hart House 6664 Deer Lake Ave. Burnaby. 604-29804278 www.harthouserestauant.com
The old Victorian style house by the lake reminds you of a poetic movie setting. The creative dinner prepared by Executive Chef Alana Becham promises to help set the mood. A walk hand-in-hand by the lake or in the park before dinner is almost a must!
Zest Japanese Restaurant 2775 W. 16th Ave., Vancouver. 604-698-7338 www.zestjapanese.com
This very stylish modern Japanese restaurant puts efforts in making your dinner an exceptional experience. From the moment you walk in the door, to the plating of each course and the perfect harmony of the ingredients used. Pairing wine with your food - Zest does an amazing job too.
Preston Restaurant (Coast Coal Harbour Hotel) 1177 W. Pender Street, Vancouver. 604-673-2173 www.dinepreston.com
One of the unsung surprises in the downtown core that lets their food and service does the talking. Preston also offers a more wallet-friendly menu, but everything else never compromises. Preston’s great food, good décor, quiet setting and attentive service have already wowed many.
The Brix 1138 Hamilton Street, Vancouver. 604-915-9463 www.brixvancouver.com
You will fall in love with the courtyard, than their menu and even their wine list. Unpretentious and friendly, The Brix has been around for years and is a gem in YaleTown who keeps and is proud of its own character.
Lupo 869 Hamilton Street, Vancouver. 604-569-2325 www.luporestaurant.com
This house is the sweet home glowing with dimmed lights, a fireplace and comfortable interior décor. Their traditional meets refreshing Italian cuisine never disappoints.
Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge (Wedgewood Hotel) 845 Hornby Street, Vancouver. 604-608-5319
With the piano man spilling out romantic tunes, Bacchus is still one of my top cozy dining rooms in town. The food has always been charming. An afternoon tea by the firplace at the lounge can be both relaxing and engaging!
Other upcoming events:
The Wellness Show 2013
February 15 to 17
Vancouver Convention Centre East Hall A & B
Tons of seminars and exhibits good for your body and soul. There's something for everyone and food lovers too. Foodies please check out the Celebrity Chef Cooking Stage where a line up of famed local chefs will be lighting up the stage. (I'll be cooking on Saturday at 4:30pm)
Eating Together (Presented by Touchstone Family Association)
February 24 to March 03
It's all about friends and families embracing the simple pleasure of eating together! The week-long event maps out fun and meaningful meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as cooking classes. And everyone is welcomed!
35th Vancouver International Wine Festival
February 25 to March 3
Feature wine country: California
Global varietal focus: Chardonnay
Numerous events held at various locations - check out the website for program details. www.vanwinefest.ca
Our wine columnist Henry Yuen was at Aberdeen Centre talking wines and sharing tasting tips for the upcoming International Festival Tasting where 176 wineries and 1850+ wines are waiting to be swirled, sipped and spitted (optiona!). He'll be talking about the events he has registered to go on AM1470 and posting his tasting notes right here and on his www.taiyangbao.ca column.