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Best restaurants in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa?
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baronism



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:11 am    Post subject: Best restaurants in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa? Reply with quote

I am compiling a list with short reviews for an online resource. Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Last edited by baronism on Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phooey! I can't remember the name of the wonderful restaurant that's at the summit of Grouse Mountain. It has excellent food and a flat out spectacular view. Be sure to make a reservation to be there at sunset.

One arrives at the summit via a funicular tram that's an experience (I white knuckle myself all the way up; my companions generally have a fantastic time trying to get me to wet my pants Shocked and more than once I've come perilously close but people who believe more in steel cable than in gravity will be able to focus on the fantastic view).

Alternatively, one can hike up the famous Grouse Grind (set aside the whole day and about half of the next one if you're not in excellent physical shape) by which time one deserves some of the best food in BC. There is also a lower price, more casual restaurant. That being said, all dining in Vancouver is about as casual as one chooses.

I also highly recommend a few hours at the Capilano Suspension Bridge on the way to dinner. The bridge is nothing short of spectacular and the surrounding trails have been meticulously developed and maintained. A couple years ago they added a catwalk of bridges and platforms so you can walk through the canopy of massive firs several stories up. It's quite a unique experience.

Another personal favorite is Troll's Coffee Shop in Horseshoe Bay. It's decidedly family, coffee shop fare but it's very nice ordinary coffee shop fare with a lovely view of the ferries coming in and going out (I don't know why the ferries delight me but they always have). Their fried oyster sandwiches are a personal favorite and perfect for getting in the BC frame of mind. So is a bowl of their hearty seafood chowder or several varieties of fish and chips. There is a gallery of First Nations artwork next door and next to that an oyster house (also a Troll's enterprise) with a lot more dark, cozy ambience including a fireplace.

Further along the street is a more upscale restaurant (sorry, I'm crapping out on names). It's a good deal tonier than either the coffeeshop or the oyster bar and opens up directly onto the bay. The food was nice but the wait is almost always long and the service slow and I'm not sure the food completely justifies the wait.

Speaking of being on the water, Carderos (at the foot of Cardero) in Coal Harbor is lovely. The food is very nice and you can watch people kyaking between the marina and Stanley Park and float planes taking off while you enjoy it. There's always a wait but they'll give you a beeper and it's pleasant to stroll along the quay and people watch.

My husband's favorite steak house is Gotham downtown. The food is good but it's steaks & chicken. Not much on innovation but they're good steaks & chicken.

If anyone has an interest in gardening Van Duesen Gardens is lovely. There's a restaurant there (maybe it's called "O's"?) in the administration building. It has super lunch fare from a menu that always has interesting choices. On the busiest days they are pleasant and efficient and the food maintains it's fine quality. On quiet days you can linger over tea and then take a leisurely stroll through the gardens.

Vij's is famous for its innovative Indian cuisine and is supposed to be a favorite haunt of Goldie Haun. I couldn't recommend it from personal experience -- it's always too busy to get in and they don't take reservations. They do "take out" (enormous portions sealed in silvery vinyl pouches) in an unusual market next door if you'd rather not deal with the wait.

When you're ready for coffee you can go to Starbucks on the corner of Starbucks & Starbucks (Robson & Thurlow) and stare at the people in the Starbucks across the street or you can go to Artisiano a few blocks further on near the museum (there's a second downtown location but I'm not clear on where it is; maybe one of the highrises on Pender?). The lattes are great. So are the panini. And it's a gas to watch them "pour". You'll get to see how they earn the name "Artisiano"! It's really very cool!

Vancouver is full of very nice small restaurants. Yaletown, for example, is one right after another. I couldn't begin to scratch the surface. I hope some of the ones I look forward to experiencing again are helpful.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Calgary a "must eat at" is Il Sogno, the finest Italian cuisine I have ever run across, creative approach, good service, fine ambiance.

Bechta - is currently the top pick here in Ottawa, also has the best sommelier in the city (Bechta himself, once the toast of New York). 18 is very very good as well. Some of the finer restaurants are across the river in Gatineau (Hull). The Baccarrat at the Casino de Lac Leamy is superb. For more bistro style, Le Verlan is magnificent.

Well that is the short list anyway, if you want ethnic restaurants as well just say so and I can add more!
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baronism



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:29 pm    Post subject: best restaurants... Reply with quote

Hi David,

Thanks for the intell!!

Any ethnic recommendations are welcome as well. If you know of any scene-y paces, places you go for the room and the crowd as much as the food, that would be great too.

--Laura
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tangaloor



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Vancouver Reply with quote

Here are some of my favourite places... I notice you asked about scene as well, so I'll add a few of those, too. I tend to avoid them as they're a bit overstimulating for me.

Circolo -- italian in yaletown. Wonderful patio in the back surrounded in green vines. The food is superb and the atmosphere is quieter than one would expect in yaletown. owned by Umberto Menghi, local king of italian food. Expensive.

West -- very elegant room and food, west coast cuisine. Granville & 13th.
Lumiere -- again, elegant. Broadway.

Easier to get into and cheaper than the above two, and more representative of Vancouver in terms of its location facing English Bay Beach is the Raincity Grill at Denman & Davie. A seat on the patio on a summer evening (try to get the back end of the patio away from denman st) is hard to beat.

Foundation -- vegetarian at Main & 7th. This place rocks! The food is great and the prices are so low i don't know how they make any money. Usually about $10-15/person including drinks. Line-ups are common after 6. Very Main St. vibe here, hip-hop soundtrack, vintage clothes. Highly recommended for everyone, not just veggies. If I had to give someone an idea of what Vancouver's about by going to only one restaurant, this would be it.

Vij's bridges the gap between the favourites and the sceniest. It's both. Fusion indian cuisine at Granville & 11th, but be prepared to wait unless you get there early.

Coast -- seafood in yaletown. Not the best seafood in town (c? blue water?), but definitely the sceniest. And the food is quite good.

Chambar -- belgian in gastown. At the moment, this is THE place to see and be seen in Vancouver. Only been there for drinks, a fig martini served with stilton. Delicious.

Because of its setting, Vancouver has a number of restaurants that rely on their stunning location to make money. People will pay to sit on the patio at these places, no matter that the food is only all right. In this league I would place Sequoia Grill in Stanley Park (but the view is stunning from the patio in the summertime), Lift (new and very sceney on a pier in coal harbour), Cardero's (coal harbour pier as well), and numerous others...

C restaurant has a wonderful location on the seawall and great food to boot. But most of the oceanfront restaurants are not all that, sad to say. For a different take on 'oceanfront', try Go Fish at the fisherman's wharf just off granville island. Great seafood, waterfront in the very real sense.
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seastar



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to throw in my bit for chocolate and pastries ...

5 Senses
Hotel Georgia
801 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC

Fine chocolatiers. Edible art. Indulgent.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 1:02 am    Post subject: Re: Vancouver Reply with quote

tangaloor wrote:
Circolo -- italian in yaletown. Wonderful patio in the back surrounded in green vines. The food is superb and the atmosphere is quieter than one would expect in yaletown. owned by Umberto Menghi, local king of italian food. Expensive....

C restaurant has a wonderful location on the seawall and great food to boot. But most of the oceanfront restaurants are not all that, sad to say. For a different take on 'oceanfront', try Go Fish at the fisherman's wharf just off granville island. Great seafood, waterfront in the very real sense.


Yes, yes, yes to Circolo! We had a memorable Valentine's Day meal there that lasted all night long. It was wonderful. I'm so glad you remembered it!

And I've never eaten at C Restaurant. But I have several flavors of their salt. My favorite is the smoked flakes that are blissful (I'm not kidding!) on a thick slice of heirloom tomato.

I must say the only dealing I had with them directly was very nice. I had gotten the salt at Capers and one of the (most attractive) tins would NOT open. I had to take it back to the restaurant for a replacement and they gave me a second flavor by way of apology even though I thought they were very kind to help me out in the first place.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, Ottawa scene-y type restaurants---Kinki, Eighteen, the Empire Grill and Social spring to mind.

My favourite ethnic restaurant in all of Ottawa is in a small strip mall on Ogilvie Rd.. The Mandarin Ogilvie has two kitchens, a Chinese and a Thai. Both are superb. I had my 50th birthday there with 50 friends. They gave us half the restaurant and although we had a set Thai menu they went out of their way to accommodate my Jewish and vegetarian friends--and they didn't charge extra for the bartender!

I haven't tried it but I'd really like to go to Sweetgrass, an aboriginal restaurant in the market---the menu looks fabulous!
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Vancouver I love Il Giardino.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Il Giardino was my husband's favorite Vancouver restaurant by far for years. But the chef has moved on and I don't think it's the same anymore.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be wrong but I think he still runs the place but opened up another and is spending more time there. The last time I was there was last spring when I had a risotto that I would sell my soul for. The carpaccio was great also.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh and in Ottawa/Hull/Gatineau Sans Pareil for good Belgian, and Tuesday is all-you-can-eat moules et frites!
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baronism



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:11 am    Post subject: best restos...Edmonton? Reply with quote

Thanks for all your answers so far, they have been inestimably helpful!

No one has mentioned Edmonton yet, any recommendations there?
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Last edited by baronism on Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin wrote:
I may be wrong but I think he still runs the place but opened up another and is spending more time there. The last time I was there was last spring when I had a risotto that I would sell my soul for. The carpaccio was great also.


Erin- I think we're talking about different eras and different chefs. Which is good news for Steve. I don't think he's been back since Gianni left 5 or 6 years ago. I'll tell him he might want to try it again. ...tho the truth is his enchantment was half food and half hospitality. Gianni used to cook for them when they'd stumble in at 11pm or midnight at the end of their day and they'd all decompress together over food and drinks.
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JKR



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:15 am    Post subject: restaurants in Van Reply with quote

I have to put my 2 cents in for Trafalgar's (@ 16th & Trafalgar), closest thing to bistro you're gonna find in this city. Moderately expensive, but great food and good drinks.
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