Archive for March, 2009

 

Simpatico Greek Restaurant (Kitsilano)

Simpatico Ristorante (map, 2222 West 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 604-733-6824) is one of Vancouver’s oldest Greek restaurants, a long standing place for tasty and authentic Greek food since 1969.

Where.ca writes (click here to read review):

Butterknife-tender roast lamb and crusty whole-wheat pizza are the specialties in this traditional Greco-Roman family restaurant.

Located in the heart of the trendy Kitsilano neighborhood, Simpatico is nestled amongst many interesting independent shops ranging from clothing and fashion to hobbies and pets. Simpatico is about 5 blocks up the hill from the popular Kits Beach (English Bay), which the Vancouver Parks Board describes as:

Kitsilano Beach: a happening place geared for the younger set (teens to thirties) with a lovely outlook spanning from open bay, to North Shore mountains to Stanley Park

At Simpatico Restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly server who guided us to a table with a blue checkered tablecloth by the window. The main dining room is bright and airy with several skylights, and a large number of healthy plants all around the room. The couple next to us were speaking Greek and there was a large well-dressed family group at another table who were having a great time.

My friend and I both ordered the same thing: the Lamb Souvlakia (pictured below) which came with Greek salad, rice, potatoes, and a skewer of premium lamb garnished with fresh herbs. The dish was a reasonable $13.99 and was quite a generous portion.

I’ll definitely be back to try their pizza, which the server said is one of their specialties.

Lamb Souvlakia ($13.99) from Simpatico Greek Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Lamb Souvlakia ($13.99) from Simpatico Greek Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

A closeup shot of the Lamb Souvlaki from Simpatico Greek Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver.

A closeup shot of the Lamb Souvlaki from Simpatico Greek Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver.

Simpatico Ristorante on Urbanspoon

17,782 views - Posted Monday, March 30th, 2009

 

Keg Steakhouse (Granville Island) – Part 3

The Keg Steakhouse and Bar (web site, map, 1499 Anderson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-685-4735) is one of my friend’s favorite places to go for a relaxed and satisfying Steak dinner in Vancouver. Located on Granville Island, this is a very popular location of the successful Keg steakhouse restaurant chain.

One dining tip that’s worth noting is that the place really starts getting busy after 5pm on a Saturday. We arrived at 4:30pm and were seated right away, and enjoyed a lengthy and enjoyable meal including drinks, salad, appetizers, steak dinner, and even some ice cream for dessert.

After my meal (which is pictured below, except for the ice cream which I didn’t snap a picture of), I exclaimed, “it’s dinners like these that make me think that Life is Good!” I don’t usually write things like this, but I think that those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to afford a fancy steak dinner should really think about how we can give back to our communities and help out those who are not so fortunate (link to Vancouver charities directory)

I also wanted to mention that the Calamari at the Keg is a really creative dish (pictured below, $9.95) where the ringlets of squid are lightly battered and fried, and then tossed with a sweet tangy sauce, kind of like a teriyaki sauce. It is served with a side of more spicy hot sauce as well as a lemon to squeeze onto the calamari if desired. It’s quite a taste sensation, maybe not for everyone, but definitely is a yummy dish to try for adventurous diners!

Another thing to note is that if you order one of the Keg Classic Dinners (such as the Sirloin, Prime Rib, or Teriyaki Sirloin – $24.95), the dinner will include a Caesar salad (such as the one pictured below). If you order a steak that is not listed in the “Classic Dinners” section of the menu, such as a 14 oz New York Steak ($32.95) the salad is not included (but can be added on if requested).

For more photos and info please view Part 2 and Part 1.

Caesar salad at the Keg Steakhouse on Granville Island in Vancouver BC Canada.

Caesar salad at the Keg Steakhouse on Granville Island in Vancouver BC Canada.

Calamari Appetizer at the Keg Steakhouse ($9.95) restaurant in Vancouver.

Calamari Appetizer at the Keg Steakhouse ($9.95) restaurant in Vancouver.

Teriyaki Sirloin steak (medium rare) with Baked Potato and vegetables from the Keg Steakhouse in Vancouver. ($24.95 including Caesar salad)

Teriyaki Sirloin steak (medium rare) with Baked Potato and vegetables from the Keg Steakhouse in Vancouver. ($24.95 including Caesar salad)

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice from the Keg Steak Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada (Granville Island). ($3.95 for a large)

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice from the Keg Steak Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada (Granville Island). ($3.95 for a large)

Keg Steakhouse and Bar on Urbanspoon

105,789 views - Posted Saturday, March 28th, 2009

 

r.tl regional tasting lounge (Yaletown, downtown)

r.tl regional tasting lounge (web site, map, 1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-638-1550) is a recent (and notable!) addition to the upscale Yaletown restaurant and shopping district of downtown Vancouver.

Late on a Saturday night, a friend and I were wandering the misty streets of this former warehouse district, and poked our heads into a bunch of nice looking restaurants such as Capones Jazz Club (which has live jazz every night), George Lounge (a cocktail bar), and Milestones (a chain restaurant with upscale decor). After a glass of wine and a chicken salad at Milestones, we were looking to go some place “cooler” and chill out the rest of the evening.

We meandered over to Mainland Street and were intrigued by the mysterious looking sign that simply said “r.tl”, like some kind of secret code for a fabulous New York hideaway that only a few locals know about. This may be closer to reality than one may think – Vancouver’s food scene is getting to be well known on the international stage, offering some dining experiences that are as every bit exciting and substantial as the most prized eateries in New York and Paris.

While making trips around the world to try new restaurants may be a pastime of the privileged few, r.tl has a new concept that lets the ingredients, recipes, and traditions of fine regional cuisines of the world appear in the easily accessed (and perhaps more affordable) realm of its sleek, laid-back dining room. r.tl is called a “regional tasting lounge” for a reason, as the restaurant rotates its menu every quarter through different culinary locales, choosing two complimentary world regions to accompany the local fare of Coastal British Columbia.

Currently r.tl is featuring Portugal and France along with the BC region. My friend and I were really amazed by the taste of the Pacific mussels we ordered, which were served in a kind of corn-chowder sauce with some chorizo sausage (around $11). The drinks list at r.tl is extensive, including a selection of hand-picked, rare wines and cocktails from around the world.

I was fortunate to visit another time to try some of their Canapes (pictured below) which are miniature versions of some of their larger dishes.

Check out the restaurant’s web site for their menu and more info.

Negroni (drink) - A bitter drink thats great preparation for a meal and an Apertif. Tanqueray gin, Campari, Cinzano Rosso on the rocks.

Negroni (drink) - A bitter drink that's great preparation for a meal and an Apertif. Tanqueray gin, Campari, Cinzano Rosso on the rocks.

Nicoise Salad - fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert nicoise olives, fingerling potato and seared albacore tuna

Nicoise Salad - fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert nicoise olives, fingerling potato and seared albacore tuna

Prawns Piri Piri - pan seared wild sea tiger prawns with traditional Portuguese chili sauce

Prawns Piri Piri - pan seared wild sea tiger prawns with traditional Portuguese chili sauce

Pate au Foie Gras de Canard - Duck liver pate with pickled red torpedo onions

Pate au Foie Gras de Canard - Duck liver pate with pickled red torpedo onions

The bar at r.tl regional tasting lounge in Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The bar at r.tl regional tasting lounge in Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Dining room at r.tl regional tasting lounge restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Dining room at r.tl regional tasting lounge restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Crab cakes from r.tl restaurant in Yaletown.

Crab cakes from r.tl restaurant in Yaletown.

Duck Liver Pâté and baguette

Duck Liver Pâté and baguette

r.tl regional tasting lounge

r.tl regional tasting lounge

The entree sized version of the salad, La Petite Salad Niçoise, with fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert niçoise olives, fingerling potato, seared albacore tuna

The entree sized version of the salad, La Petite Salad Niçoise, with fresh micro greens, quail eggs, haricot vert niçoise olives, fingerling potato, seared albacore tuna

R.tl on Urbanspoon

13,494 views - Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2009