Yaletown - Vancouver Restaurants

 

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

15,844 views - Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

 

Ebi Ten Japanese Fast Food (Downtown)

Ebi Ten Japanese Fast Food (map, 388 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-689-9938) is a bright, bustling take-out restaurant across from the Vancouver Main Library downtown that serves inexpensive sushi, teriyaki, tempura, and other tasty Japanese food selections.

The restaurant is run by mostly Japanese students who are very efficient at serving big lineups quickly. Fast food is the name of the game here – Ebi Ten seems to have taken a cue from McDonalds and if there is a big line, someone might take your order while you are still in line, so that when you get to the cashier your food will soon be ready.

Pictured below is some of the ready-made sushi that is available in the refrigerated display case at the entrance to the restaurant. A roll such as the ones pictured costs in the range of $1.75 to $3.00 depending on the type. I really like the Ebi Ten Roll (pictured below) and the Tuna Avocado Roll (also pictured below). Other fun treats to try are the Takoyaki, the battered and deep fried octopus balls which are served with a topping of mayonnaise (not pictured), and the green Seaweed Salad (pictured below) which has a delicate, slightly salty flavor and is a little bit chewy.

Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant is within walking distance of the major theatres such as the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Playhouse, as well as the sports stadiums (GM Place Stadium and BC Place Stadium), making it a good place to go to grab a quick bite before a concert, theatre play, or game.

Don’t expect haute cuisine here – the food is simply cheap, fast, filling, and can satisfy a sushi or teriyaki craving.

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

Tuna and Avocado Roll Sushi from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Tuna and Avocado Roll Sushi from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Ebi Ten Roll (around $3) from Ebi Ten Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Ebi Ten Roll (around $3) from Ebi Ten Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Seaweed Salad from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Seaweed Salad from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Ebi-Ten (Robson) on Urbanspoon

22,000 views - Posted Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

 

Yaletown Brew Pub (Part 3)

I made another visit to the Yaletown Brew Pub (web site, map, 1111 Mainland St., Vancouver BC Canada, phone: 604-681-2739) and enjoyed their Mac and Cheese lunch entree (pictured below) which was served with Chorizo sausage and lots of premium cheese. The accompanying salad had goat cheese crumbled on it. Yum! It was around $14 for the lunch.

For more info on the Yaletown Brewing Company, please view Part 2 and Part 1. The restaurant is offering a special 3 course meal during Dine Out Vancouver 2009.

Video from Yaletown Brewing Company:

Macaroni and Cheese with Chorizo sausage (around $14) with lots of premium cheese. Salad had goat cheese crumbled on it. From Yaletown Brew Pub in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Macaroni and Cheese with Chorizo sausage (around $14) with lots of premium cheese. Salad had goat cheese crumbled on it. From Yaletown Brew Pub in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Yaletown Brewing on Urbanspoon

9,386 views - Posted Thursday, January 8th, 2009