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hired belly’s best restaurants and dining

Periwinkles, Seaweed, Sardines and Sea Cucumber: Unsung Heroes Return to Blue Water Café

By |February 22nd, 2012|

Regular visitors will know we’ve recently developed a bit of a thing for sardines. We’ve found some pretty good canned filets, that do just fine for our pissaladierre recipe. But nothing comes close to the fresh caught fish. A heads up: this is the last week for chef Frank Pabst’s Unsung Heroes Festival, [...]

Goodbye Goldfish: Hello Minami

By |January 31st, 2012|

We get more than our fair share of press releases in this age of hyper-communication but here’s one with a difference. We like it both for its clarity but also for its tone. And, as we've come to expect from someone who’s given so much to Vancouver as Bud Kanke, its class. In fact, kudos [...]

Canned Budget Bites by the Book: Moving Well Beyond Sardines on Toast

By |January 24th, 2012|

A few weeks before Christmas we dropped into Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks to take a peek at what’s hot in the culinary book world. And, as usual, we wound up picking up a couple of things that would make fun gifts—but somehow we forgot to give them away. One was Len Deighton’s French [...]

Zagat Encore: Believe me. Le Crocodile and Bishop’s are “still a thing”

By |January 23rd, 2012|

Last week it was fun to see people’s reactions to the latest Zagat Survey. As the Vancouver editor, I’m deeply involved in sorting through the immense amount of data that goes into compiling the reviews and, hence, the final scores. What might not be apparent to the casual observer is that no review gets past [...]

When the Good News is All Garbage: Composter is a Game-changer

By |January 17th, 2012|

  Calling all restaurateurs! When it comes to how you dispose of your garbage, if you have even the slightest hint of a social conscience (and from my experience most do), this one’s a game-changer. What if you could forget about filling that dumpster with all kinds of garbage every day, reduce your [...]

Dale MacKay Folds Ensemble and Ensemble Tap

By |January 16th, 2012|

eTap burger: worth a bite, Tim Pawsey photo UPDATED, August 27th, 2012. Sadly, Dale Mackay has had to close both Ensemble and Ensemble Tap. Here are the pertinent excerpts from today's press release... “I learned quickly that opening a restaurant in the heart of Vancouver is something I should have done after building my business [...]

Going Haywire (with a little BS thrown in) at Edible Canada at the Market

By |December 20th, 2011|

Yesterday we took time out from our pre-holidays deadline whirl, and Zagat Survey wrap-up (hence the lack of posts here), to catch lunch with the Okanagan Crushpad gang and consulting winemaker  Alberto Antonini. His best quote of the day was: “If I was a yeast, I wouldn’t want to spend my life in [...]

Taking the LEED: Cactus Club Readies English Bay for March 2012 Launch

By |December 8th, 2011|

As a long time West Ender, I like to think I have a vested interest in what happens at English Bay. For me, it represents the very heart of the city. In a way, it’s the ‘essence’ in Vancouver’s quintessence. To put it mildly, there was quite the kerfuffle when Cactus Club landed [...]

Having a Ball at Bel: Hawksworth Mini-Bites at Rosewood Hotel Georgia

By |December 2nd, 2011|

The buzz at the Rosewood Georgia Hotel is mainly all about Hawksworth, and rightly so. But now newly unveiled "little sister" Bel Café, named after chef David Hawksworth's wife Annabel, and which wraps around the corner of Georgia and Howe, is also causing a stir. We found time for a bite the [...]

Montreal Smoked Meat (at least the really good stuff) Comes to Vancouver. At Last!

By |November 23rd, 2011|

For a city too long deprived of seriously good smoked meat, the good news is that Dunns (just opened up the street from the Orpheum stage door) makes amazing smoked meat sandwiches. No question about that. A pretty good Reuben, too. I had a fun chat with owner Elliot Kligman at last week’s [...]

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