Category Archives: Delicious

Bibo Brunch Party


Introducing our good friend Kurt who is a Seafood salesman, husband, father and singer. Loves food, and is a cousin of the father who birthed WFLBC. 

Arriving at BiBo

When Scott asked if I could attend a launch party for Bibo’s new brunch menu, I believe I may have said “YES” before he finished asking the question. With my beautiful wife on my arm, I headed to Bibo at 1835W.4th Ave. in Vancouver.

Bibo is owned and operated by Andrea Bini and Lorenzo Bottazzi (hence Bibo). Their mission is to present the most authentic Italian dishes possible, and I have to say I was impressed.

When I arrived there was wine and Antipasto aplenty. The wine is from their 400 year old family winery. The cheese and meat were great (I am looking at you Chili Gorgonzola), but the star for me (and maybe for the whole night) was the Bagna Cauda. Although it is a very common dish of the Piedmont
region, I have never had it before. It is a warm dip made from olive oil, butter, garlic, and anchovies. Served with fresh vegetables for dipping, it was everything I need food to be. Rich, deep buttery flavor, and a little salty kick from the anchovies. I think I stood in front of it for a while so that
nobody else could take any (I am like that).

Yummy sauce for dipping things in

The focus was on the Farinata and the Foccaccia Al Formaggio Genovese. Farinata is a flatbread made from chick pea flour, and cooked in a wood burning oven. Foccacia Al Formaggio is a thin Foccacia with cheese, also baked in the wood burning oven. Farinata and Foccacia joints are as common
in Italy as pizza joints are in North America (This according to Lorenzo Bottazzi). Matteo Ortu owned one such restaurant in Italy, and is now part of the Bibo team. Unfortunately I did not get to try the farinata, but I can give you the low down on the foccacia.

Focaccia di Recco… or baked heaven

The particular foccacia that came out was a focaccia al formaggio di Recco. It is made by dotting soft cheese between two thin sheets of dough then baked in the wood oven. This dish was much anticipated and it barely hit the table before it was gone. Imagine dropping a sack full of free Coach Bags in a mall on Black Friday, it was kind of like that. Even though I elbowed my way past a few very attractive girls that were all taller than I (I am 5’11”), I only managed to
get my hands on one sad little piece. Looking back, I should have let my wife have some of it, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. It was crispy, cheesy, and oh so delicious. It had a slight fried cheese flavor that reminded me of saganaki (Greek fried cheese). With one tiny piece left in my hand, I knew what I had to do……I gave it a bagna cauda bath and deposited directly into my pizza pie hole. Perfection!!

I finished off the meal with a nice house-made chocolate gelato, and I was out the door. Although I was bit bummed to not get my hands on the farinata, it gives me a good excuse to go back. I definitely will, and I can already taste the bagna cauda.

Matteo and Salvatore

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Maurya’s Spice Dining Pass from VANEATS.ca


The joy of living in a temperate rain forest sometimes means that your heat turns on in the middle of the day on July 2nd, and the weather resembles late October. Originally I was scheduled to go to Maurya later on in the week, but all the rain and grey and yuck outside prompted me to seize the moment and move up my reservation.

I had the luxury of obtaining a complimentary dining pass for Maurya’s Spice through VANEATS before they went on sale to the public. I thought the restaurant was beautiful with its high ceilings and subtle, but elegant décor. It was the perfect place to go for date night.

The service was impeccable. Moreover, I was seated promptly, the wait staff was polite and intuitive, and I never had to ask for a thing. Our meal started with Papadum, which is a thin, savoury, crispy, wafer-like appetizer.  We casually broke off small pieces, and dipped it in the mango chutney and the cilantro paste that was provided while we waited for our food.

We’d been given the heads up by a fellow food blogger that this dining package is a lot of food to eat on your own, so we decided to share the meal. When it arrived I was a little skeptical about the portions, but it actually worked out well for us.  Included in the dining pass was:

  1. Garlic and Basil Naan, Indian leavened bread flavored with chopped garlic and basil
  2. Mixed greens & beets salad, lightly tossed with vinaigrette
  3. Seekh Kebab, minced lamb mixed with spices & skewed in charcoal oven
  4. Mixed Vegetables, seasoned and pan fried broccoli, bell peppers, green beans, zucchini
  5. Chicken Chettinad, Marinated chicken in South Indian chettinad paste of coconut and poppy seeds – 2009 Dine Out Vancouver Award Winner!
  6. Daal Maurya, Maurya’s Pride! Black lentils cooked overnight. A real accompaniment to an Indian meal

Some of the Garlic Basil Naan, I started munching before I took a pic. So typical.

The Garlic and Basil Naan bread was so amazing with the Chicken Chettinad and Daal Maurya heaped on top of it. We ordered another basket of the Garlic and Basil Naan (at an additional cost) at the end of the meal to sop up the remainder of the sauces, and that put us at a comfortable level of full. It’s no wonder that the Chicken Chettinad won a Dine Out Vancouver award. The lovely flavours of coconut and Indian spices and poppy seeds blend together for rich flavours; there were big smiles from both us after our first bites.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Daal Maurya, and I’m glad that a very traditional element was included in the meal.

Chicken Chettinad, award winning for sure!

Maurya Daal- spicy, delicious lentils

Salad, Veggies, and Lamb Kebab

Perhaps I would have had more of an opinion of the Seekh Kebab if I wasn’t sharing, but I did enjoy the texture which was less like lamb and more like sausage meat and the spices were quite fragrant. It was nice to cleanse our palette with the mixed vegetables and the salad, but the stars of the meal were definitely the Chicken Chettinad and the Daal Maurya.

That concludes the VANEATS portion of our meal, but we decided to prolong our date and went ahead and ordered us each of a cup of Masala Chai and the Ras Malai to share. Please do yourself a favour and try real Indian Masala Chai. The stuff that is sold in grocery stores and cafes all over Vancouver doesn’t hold a flame to the real thing.  You’re missing out on the bold flavours of whole spices and tea that have been simmered together, rather than ready to use syrups or bags for steeping. I had Ras Malai for the first time not too long ago, and I will confess that it has grown on me big time. I have fallen in love with the sweet, spongy dessert. This delicate, milky dessert has silky flavours of rose water, pistachios, and saffron.  I highly recommend that in addition to your VANEATS package that you try these items, your tummy will thank you!

Ras Malai, minus one bite because again, I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture beforehand

Be sure to get your Maurya’s Spice Dining Pass from VANEATS, there are limited passes available for a limited time, so don’t wait. Happy dining!

The Dominique


This place is by invitation only and if you’re so lucky to be invited, you have to help make dinner and you might have to help name the creation. 

May I present to you The Dominique, aptly named for its creator, the lovely and oh s0 talented (and tall) Dominique Fricot. Does his name sound familiar to you? His voice has been gracing the airwaves from 100.5 The Peak, and he was recently announced as one of the top 20 contenders for this year’s Peak Performance Project. He and his former band, The Painted Birds, were in the first Peak Performance Project back in 2009 and he credits a lot of his knowledge of the business to his experience in the PPP. He confessed that one of the reasons he entered the PPP last year was so he could go to Band Camp at Rockridge Canyon, and I don’t blame him. Don’t follow the other bands’ Twitter accounts, it will lead to heartbreak when you read about how much fun they’re having and the beautiful setting of Rockridge Canyon. I and many others are scheming to get ourselves to band camp without actually being in a band.  This year he’s back as a solo artist. His song Haunted by  Love is getting quite a bit of airplay and he just released his EP ‘If Baby Could Walk’ which is available for purchase here.

The Dominique   – serves 4-5 hungry people, 25 mins to prepare

Rotini Pasta

½ lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 chicken breasts, cubed

White cap mushrooms, sliced

1 jar of Blue Cheese Dressing

The Salad:

Greens – your choice of mixed greens, leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, even spinach would have been good

Mango chunks

Grated beets

Vinaigrette of your choice

Combining two of my favourite things- cooking and music, which happen to be two of Dominique’s favourite things, we set out to make a meal together. I asked Dominique what we were going to be cooking and he confessed that the dish didn’t have a name, and since Bacon-Chicken-Mushroom-Blue-Cheese Rotini is a mouthful, we settled on The Dominique. Apparently Fricot is already a soup; I imagine The Dominique Fricot is a pasta and soup combo with a side of soulful lyrics and a dash of charm. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Cutting the chicken into cubes

I chopped the bacon into one inch pieces while he cut the chicken into cubes. In my opinion, everyone can cook with a recipe, it’s when you start to make a recipe your own that the magic happens. That’s how Dominique started cooking, too. His mom’s friend gave him his first cookbook after he graduated, and he initially he followed the recipes. These days he finds his inspiration online, looking at the comments at the end of recipes for the tips and tricks of those that have cooked before him. However, this dish was unwritten, one that was passed down through friendship, trial, and error until now.

Did I mention he’s tall?

The chicken went into a hot wok with a little bit of olive oil, and after a few minutes the bacon was added. Meanwhile, a pot of water was boiled for the pasta and Dominique got down to business preparing a simple summer salad. I stirred the wok every now and then to ensure that the bacon was cooking evenly, and at the ¾ mark he tossed in some sliced mushrooms and we let those cook down.

Messy and delicious addition to a salad

Dominique prepared a lovely summer salad with greens, mango chunks, and shredded beats. Yes, shredded beats are as messy as they sound, but I think they taste really great in their fresh state. You can do it yourself by peeling the beets with a potato peeler and then using a cheese grater to shred. It adds an earthy, sweet flavour to the salad and it looks beautiful against the orange hue of the mango. Easy like Sunday morning, and a fresh accompaniment to the pasta. Once the pasta was cooked and drained, the bacon, chicken, and mushrooms were added and a jar of blue cheese dressing was stirred in. Voila! Dinner was ready. The pasta was creamy and rich, and surprisingly not dominated by the bacon. This was an easy meal to prepare, and it was delicious.  Definitely a recipe I will keep in my back pocket for unexpected guests which seem to happens at my house fairly often.

Rochele stirring the goods

You know what made the meal fantastic, though? The chef. Do yourself a favour and go check out his music. His tunes are so smooth and mellow, perfect for afternoon cups of tea and lounging. Scott’s daughter even has Dominique’s East Coast Girls on her iPod which she listens to every night at bedtime. Looking forward to Dominique’s musical journey over these next few months as he plays his heart out for an opportunity to win $100,500.00 in the Peak Performance Project. Best of luck and thanks for having us in your home, Dominique. Follow him on Twitter and check out his Facebook page for shows and updates.

The chef being his charming self and his creation, The Dominique

Make the weekend awesome with stuffed French toast


Who doesn’t love a big breakfast on the weekend? I know that a lot of people don’t bother because it takes so long and is devoured so quickly. But guys, it doesn’t take that long and it’s worth it. If you do it frequently you’ll get into a rhythm and soon it takes no time at all to whip up a big breakfast. Another way to get in the groove of making breakfast items is to make them for dinner. Somehow it’s okay to spend 30 mins making dinner, but to spend that time Sat/Sun morning seems like a stretch to some people. It’s so worth it!

Each recipe listed below serves 4 and only takes 25 minutes

Option 1 – Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast 

  • 8 slices of day old bread- I kind of love Texas Toast for this
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • creamy peanut butter
  • liquid honey
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • tablespoon or so of vanilla
  • optional tablespoon or so of rum (dark, amber, or white)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • butter for frying
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling.
  1. Spread peanutbutter onto all 8 slices of bread, on 4 slices add banana slices, on the other 4 drizzle some honey. Stick together to make sandwiches and set aside.
  2. In a flat bottom dish, whisk the eggs, milk, juice, vanilla, rum if you are using it, and spices until combined.
  3. Heat frying pan, skillet, or grill on medium heat, 350-375F or until the butter begins to sizzle.
  4. Dip each sandwich in the mixture on each side, and place into the hot pan.
  5. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. The sandwiches should be golden brown.
  6. Remove from pan and very carefully cut in half diagonally. The peanut butter will be very hot and will ooze out of the sandwich if you press too hard.
  7. Arrange a sandwich on a plate and sprinkle generously with icing sugar.

Option #2 – Apricot (or any fruit preserve) and Cheese Stuffed French Toast

  • 8 slices of day old French bread, or more if using a Baguette
  • Apricot preserve, or your favourite jam or fruit preserve
  • softened cream cheese for spreading, or sliced Swiss cheese if you’re extra fancy
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • tablespoon or so of vanilla
  • optional tablespoon or so of rum (dark, amber, or white)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • butter for frying
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling.
  1. Spread apricot preserve onto 4 slices of bread, on the remaining 4 slices spread with cream cheese. Stick together to make sandwiches and set aside. If using Swiss Cheese, put preserve on both pieces of bread and put a layer of sliced cheese in the middle.
  2. In a flat bottom dish, whisk the eggs, milk, juice, vanilla, rum if you are using it, and spices until combined.
  3. Heat frying pan, skillet, or grill on medium heat, 350-375F or until the butter begins to sizzle.
  4. Dip each sandwich in the mixture on each side, and place into the hot pan.
  5. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. The sandwiches should be golden brown.
  6. Remove from pan and very carefully cut in half diagonally.
  7. Arrange a sandwich on a plate and sprinkle generously with icing sugar.

Option #3 – Strawberry and Nutella Stuffed French Toast

  • 8 slices of day old bread, again Texas Toast is great
  • fresh sliced strawberries
  • Nutella
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • tablespoon or so of vanilla
  • optional tablespoon or so of rum (dark, amber, or white)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • butter for frying
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling.
  1. Spread a thin layer of Nutella on all slices of bread. Place sliced strawberries on 4 slices of bread, use other 4 slices to stick together to make sandwiches and set aside.
  2. In a flat bottom dish, whisk the eggs, milk, juice, vanilla, rum if you are using it, and spices until combined.
  3. Heat frying pan, skillet, or grill on medium heat, 350-375F or until the butter begins to sizzle.
  4. Dip each sandwich in the mixture on each side, and place into the hot pan.
  5. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. The sandwiches should be golden brown.
  6. Remove from pan and very carefully cut in half diagonally.
  7. Arrange a sandwich on a plate and sprinkle generously with icing sugar.

You can serve any of these on their own because they are pretty hearty, but it’s extra awesome with the savoury flavours of sausages and/or bacon. You might want syrup, but I encourage you to try it without it first. And you know what? This would be an excellent and easy thing to surprise your mother with this Sunday. Enjoy! – Rochele 

Dine Out Vancouver at Dockside


I had an excellent dining experience at the Dockside restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel. The locale can’t be beat, it is literally dockside. Granville Island is a beautiful place, and I think that it actually improves at night-time when the water reflects the lights.

I was there specifically for Dine Out Vancouver, which is an excellent opportunity to try a three course meal at a pricier dining establishment for considerably less. There are formal and informal establishments, ranging in price from $18-$38. Dine Out Vancouver runs now through February 5th, so I’d make a reservation ASAP if you haven’t done so already.

I’m still not terribly confident about taking pictures of food in restaurants, so there are no pictures to accompany this post. I’ll be brave next time. 

I was surprised by the Amuse Bouche plate- a complimentary pre-appetizer that wasn’t listed on the menu. Sliced cured salmon, crème fraiche, capers and fresh dill on a savoury wafer was a pleasant way to begin the meal.

For an appetizer I selected the seared scallop with smokey corn puree, crispy prosciutto and pea shoots. Delicious! I would have gladly eaten an entire meal of this. The corn puree was unique, but very tasty. I personally prefer prosciutto not to be as crispy as it was served, it felt a bit too much like bacon. I’m not really complaining, bacon is good.

At other Dine Out establishments I’ve left feeling hungry, so in addition to the set menu  I ordered the Forno Flatbread. It was huge. In the centre was a panko-crusted, fried ball of goat cheese. As tempting as it was to pop that in my mouth whole, I spread it out on the flatbread. It paired really well with the balsamic and olive oil drizzle, complete with shaved mozzarella and grilled tomatoes. I shared this with two other people, and we all really liked it and felt that this item had a great value.

My entrée consisted of  halibut and a butterflied jumbo prawn, grilled grape tomatoes,  potato, and grilled asparagus. The halibut was flaky and had a great texture and I loved that the potato was somehow crispy on the outside but soft as if it was mashed on the inside. How did they do it?? I’m going to have to do some research and when I figure it out, I’ll write a follow-up post. My only regret was not snagging a bite of my friend’s rabbit, I was genuinely curious about it. He assures me that the halibut was a better choice.

Dessert was so fabulously sweet and decadent. Filo wrapped marzipan cheesecake in a pool of spiced white chocolate, with a small handful of sugared almonds on the side. The amazing part of the desert were the black cherries hidden inside the cheesecake bundles. Mmmmmm it was a small bite of summer-time goodness. I couldn’t finish my dessert because I was full. In fact, I probably could have skipped the flatbread and still have been very satisfied.

I really enjoyed the rich flavours and the different textures of the evening. It’s not the most expensive Dine Out Vancouver option, either. Furthermore, there are wine pairings for each course that are available for an additional cost.

Cheers! – Rochele

Strawberry Margarita Mousse, a Boozy Treat


This is the adult version of Strawberry Mousse, complete with tequila and triple sec. The tequila flavour is quite prominent.

You can serve this dessert a couple of ways: frozen over night and cut into cubes, or simply chilled. I’ve used grated lime zest as a pretty garnish, it looks nice against the pale pink colour of the mousse.

Simple ingredients, right?

Ingredients:

Frozen strawberries in light syrup, thawed

2 tsp (one envelope) unflavoured gelatin

1 cup mascarpone cheese, you can substitute soft cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup tequila

1/4 triple sec or orange flavoured liqueur

1 cup whipping cream

Optional: grated lime zest for garnish

Construction:

Separate strawberries from the syrup, set strawberries aside. In a small sauce pan, combine reserved syrup and gelatin, and whisk over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, beat mascarpone, sugar, and 3/4 of the strawberries. You may want to add all of the strawberries, it’ a personal preference. Beat until combined. Whisk in tequila, triple sec, and the strawberry gelatin mixture.

Whip the cream until peaks form. It should be a bit stiff, but not too stiff that it

Cover and let chill in the fridge

turns into butter. Fold into the the mousse mixture.

At this point you can cover it and put it in the fridge to chill for 4-6 hours or an 8 inch glass dish and freeze it over night. Serve with fresh grated lime on top and voila! You’ve got an easy, light, adult dessert.

Save On Meats


I’m a little late to the party on this one but hey, I’m a busy guy. Save On Meats is a Vancouver landmark located in the heart of the Downtown East Side, a neighborhood that I don’t frequent due to a pathological fear of bedbugs… After 52 years of serving the people of Vancouver the original meat market closed down in 2009 so owner Al DesLauriers could retire. This past June Save On Meats was resurrected by local businessman and restaurateur Mark Brand. Now operating as a diner, street side sandwich counter and meat market I was pretty excited to see what all the fuss was about.

The sandwich counter is closed on the weekend so I ventured into the diner to get some takeout, the obvious choice being “The Burger”, a $6 bacon cheeseburger with a side of fries. This burger has garnered a ton of positive press and the hype is warranted. Sharp cheddar, thick cut bacon, a fresh hand formed beef patty on a fresh bun with butter lettuce, tomato, mayo and relish, perfect combo. The fries were really tasty too, not the best ever but good. $6 is a crazy good deal for this food, try and find something this good for this little anywhere, you won’t.

The atmosphere in the diner is awesome, a good feeling in an otherwise bleak area. I was asked if I was a cop on my way out the door by a local who seemed to be intoxicated but I’m sure he was just tired from being up all night walking around… If I know most of my readers as well as I think I do I would guess that 70% of you will never go to Save On Meats simply because of its location. Don’t worry about the neighborhood, it’s coming around and places like the new and improved Save On Meats are the key to making the DTES a place worth visiting again.

Scott.