Archives for June, 2010
Posted on Jun 30, 2010 under Archives |
Blue Water Cafe Patio
An anchor in Canada’s culinary landscape, Blue Water Cafe is one of the top destinations for seafood. While visiting Vancouver for an article, I took my dad to a tasting menu at the renowned restaurant.
Housed in a handsome brick and beam heritage warehouse, Blue Water Cafe is in the heart of historic Yaletown, one of the city’s vibrant and hip neighborhood.
Blue Water Cafe interior
Executive Chef Frank Pabst is known for his innovative and brilliantly executed West Coast plates, insisting on using seafood from wild and sustainable harvest. At the raw bar, master Yoshi Tabo serves exceptional sushi and sashimi original dishes. The sweeping main bar leads out to the heated patio and the private wine room holds the extensive award-winning wine and bubble selection.
Enhanced by the intuitive service from Stephan Cachard’s dedicated team, the dynamic dining room provides action views of the opposing open kitchen and raw bar. Here is what Chef Frank Pabst served us on our tasting menu.
Kusshi and sawmill bay oysters
We started with fresh oysters, kusshi and sawmill bay, paired with a nice 2007 Sumac Ridge Tribute Brut from Okanagan Valley.
We especially loved the Kusshi oyster, on the left, for it’s plumpness and clean flavor.
Next came out a halibut tataki from the sushi bar with shredded radish, green onions and ponzu sauce.
grilled spot prawn
Next we tried a grilled spot prawn with a madras curry, pineapple and tomatillo salsa with a coconut foam. Delicious.
Following the spot prawn, we each got a unique preparation of crab. Dad got the Kani Salad, with pickled cucumber, yuzu peel and chili threads.
Equally yummy was my crab salad, with white asparagus panna cotta, celery, peanuts, raisins and a green apple froth. We both thought these dishes were amazing. Paired with Black Hills Alibi, Okanagan Valley 2008.
Then Chef Pabst sent out an arctic char with braised leeks, fennel, duneness crab and wakame seaweed. This was served with a Mission Hill SLC Chardonnay from Okanagan Valley, 2006.
Our last dish before dessert was a Vancouver favorite, West Coast Sablefish (which is cod). Served with a miso sake glaze, baby bok choy, edamame, quinoa and shiitake mushrooms, kombu dashi with soy and yuzu, paired with a Kenwood Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley. Very tasty!
It was nice to spend some time with dad and finally take him with me to a tasting menu. We both loved Chef Pabst’s tasting menu.
Me and dad
For dessert, we received this beautiful plate of red berry and grand marnier sabayon, nougot glace and raspberry chocolate mousse. A great way to finish off the meal.
I highly recommend visiting Blue Water Cafe the next time you travel to Vancouver. Located at 1095 Hamilton Street in Yaletown, reservations can be made at 604/688-8078.
Posted on Jun 30, 2010 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews |
Chef Frank Pabst
Widely recognized for his creative impetus and leadership in responsible seafood practices, Chef Frank Pabst leads Vancouver’s Blue Water Cafe’s brigade of expert chefs in what has been called “one of North America’s finest seafood restaurants.”
With tenures in Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Germany and France, including La Becasse (Aachen), the Hotel Negresco (Cannes) and Restaurant de Bacon (Antibes), Pabst was schooled in the rigorous classical technique that provides the foundation for his diverse cooking style today.
Directing the kitchens at Blue Water Cafe since 2003, Pabst has consistently demonstrated excellence, both in the procurement of impeccably fresh, sustainable seafood—Blue Water Cafe is a founding member of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program—and in the execution of its cookery, showcasing his trademark “complexity without complication.”
My dad and I visited Blue Water Cafe for a tasting menu and we sat down with Chef Pabst to talk a bit about Blue Water Cafe and his philosophy on food.
Posted on Jun 05, 2010 under Archives |
Lobby at W Hotel, Hollywood
I recently visited the new W Hotel in Hollywood to review it for lowfares.com. Kristi Blake, the pr director, gave me a tour of the suites, spa and property. Here are some pics and a brief overview of tinseltown’s latest hotspot.
Located at one of the most iconic intersections in the world, Hollywood and Vine, the 305 room W Hotel sits above the Metro red line station. Once inside, the reception area leads to the vast light-filled 45 foot Living Room with a dramatic corkscrew shaped chandelier, a mirrored floating staircase, soaring 34 foot ceilings and a footbridge suspended overhead. The cavernous lobby also houses red carpets, an indoor small bar and the adjacent Station Hollywood, an al fresco lounge. The W also has 143 luxury condominiums, a 375 unit apartment block and retail space.
Set just off of Hollywood Boulevard and opposite the art deco Pantages Theater, the hotel is close to eastern stretch of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and walking distance to Graumans Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, Hollywood and Highland shopping complex, Amoeba Music and the Cinerama Dome and Arclight movie theaters.
Wow suite at the W Hotel
The W features a range of rooms and suites labeled wonderful, marvelous, fabulous and WOW. The décor and amenities are similar in all categories, with rooms in a palate of white, silver, bronze and red featuring marble bathrooms with walk in showers, 350-count Egyptian cotton sheets, goose-down duvets, white lacquer furniture and bejeweled door peepholes. Most also have the W signature bronze vinyl and chrome chaise window seats. WOW suites also offer enormous patios, marble foyers, kitchenettes and dining tables.
The hotel also houses Sweat, a large state-of-the-art fitness center free to hotel guests and open 24 hours. The W’s Whatever, Whenever Service can satisfy any guest requests (for a fee) including limo service, babysitting, dinner and show reservations and travel services. The PAWS (Pets Are Welcome) policy welcomes pets under 40 pounds for a $100 non-refundable deposit plus a $25 per day charge.
For sheer relaxation, guests can book a treatment at the 6,000 square foot Bliss Spa offering pedicures, facials, waxing and skincare services as well as signature massages in seven treatment rooms. The spa features the W signature brownie buffet, rhythm and blues music, and movie while you manicure nail stations.
WET, W pool scene
The 12th floor rooftop pool and bar feature panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown, poolside curtain daybeds and Moroccan inspired cabanas.
Drais Hollywood, a restaurant, bar and nightclub rolled into one, is located on the roof adjacent to the pool and spans over 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space. The sprawling area houses multiple bars, metallic silver booths, huge red lamps with chrome stripper pole bases, and mirrored ceiling high columns. The 120-seat restaurant’s menu features American standards such as steak, seafood and pasta.
Now through December 31, 2010, guests can get 50 percent off a second night stay or book two nights and get the third night free. Arrivals must be Thursday through Sunday. The hotel is located at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, reservations can be made at 323/798-1300.
Posted on Jun 05, 2010 under Archives |
delphine at the W Hollywood
A few weeks ago I stopped by the new W Hotel for a tour and lunch at their lobby level restaurant Delphine for a story I wrote on the new hotel for lowfares.com. My good friend Nicole met me for lunch at Delphine.
The lobby level Delphine Eatery and Bar designed by New York based Mark Zaff is filled with Riviera inspired décor – arched wooden ceilings, comfy pale blue circular banquettes, blue and white tile floors, massive framed mirrors, pictures of French beach scenes and shelves with antiques and books. The menu is French bistro fare and comfort food, offering macaroni gratin, fish and chips, steak frites with béarnaise, tapas, pastas and burgers. Adjacent is Station Hollywood, an open air space with a bar, seating areas, two fire pits and an 600 square food pull down movie screen. Here’s a sampling of what we ate at Hollywood’s new hotspot.
We started with a cheese plate and caesar salad.
Nicole, my friend ordered the lobster, which was huge and yummy.
I was trying to stay on my diet and ordered the healthy salmon with vegetables in a miso broth. Both the lobster and the salmon were delicious.
Salmon with vegetables in miso broth
Me and Nicole
We felt very proud of ourselves that we kept to ordering healthy food until….. the waiter brought out dessert. We had to sample these treats, a chocolate terraine with a rich chocolate mousse like top and a crunchy crust that came with a very large ice cream sandwich. We also received a huge apple tart. Both were really delicious.
chocolate terraine cake and ice cream sandwich
Delphine is a great dinner option if you are heading to the Hollywood area to catch a flick at the Arclight (just blocks away) or a show at the Pantages (even closer, just across the street). An added bonus is you can take the metro to the W’s doorstep. Located at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, reservations recommended, 323/798-1355.