Raul’s picks for Dine Out Vancouver 2011 (Jan 24th to Feb 6)

I considered not writing about Dine Out Vancouver (which takes place from January 24th to February 6th) as my relationship with Tourism Vancouver is not precisely stellar. But my readers take precedence over any sort of disagreement, so here are my picks for Dine Out Vancouver 2011 (I have also written about Dine Out Vancouver every year and I wasn’t about to stop doing it this year).

The first disclaimer: I have been invited to Dine Out previews at Charm Modern Thai and the entirety of the Glowbal Group restaurants. I have had dinner at Charm on my own dime before as well as the Glowbal Group so my suggestions are not biased by having been invited. The second disclaimer: I have not been invited to any other Dine Out previews. These are only my views from what I have tasted before.

Ouisi Bistro (South Granville)

From the $18 menu list:

  • Beachside Forno – My friend Phil is the general manager and I’ve been dying to try them out. I would just recommend them for the adventure, the decor (I’ve seen it in photos) and just because it’s in West Vancouver
  • The Charles Bar – I had a very good experience there for dinner, and in a return visit for Rebecca’s birthday, so I’d recommend them.
  • Chutney Villa – I haven’t checked the menu but it’s good Indian food. I’d go there again.
  • Kerkis Taverna – Absolutely. Greek food made with interest. Off the beaten path on 4th Avenue.
  • Pier 73 – I got invited to check it out once and I did enjoy it, I’d love to try it again. In Richmond, just FYI.
  • Sanafir and Society – I’ve dined at both restaurants on my own dime, and enjoyed the food. And the drinks are spectacular
  • Trattoria (Italian Kitchen)

    From the $28 menu:

  • Arms Reach Bistro: Without a doubt, one of the best restaurants in North Vancouver. And it’s Deep Cove. And it’s romantic. And the food is stellar.
  • Campagnolo: Man, this is comfort Italian food made the right way. I keep fond memories from this place from one night when I had dinner there with Anthony Nicalo. Fabulous. And off the beaten path as it’s on Main St. near the Skytrain.
  • Charm Modern Thai: Been there before, had also the Dine Out menu on a media preview. Stellar, and the service is very good.
  • Horizons: If it’s the same Horizons in Burnaby where JT and I spent one of the best Valentine’s Day ever, then it’s totally worth it. The menu looks delish.
  • Italian Kitchen: CB took me there for lunch and we had a spectacular time. I would love to return, and the pastas here are simply delish.
  • Maurya: I’m in absolute love with this place. Best Indian food I’ve had almost, this side of Vij’s and Rangoli. But I have very fond memories as my good friend Andy Peatling took me there for lunch before he left town. I’d recommend it.
  • Prestons: Went to the media opening, and then returned for two events. The food is good, and I’d definitely try it again. It’s off the beaten path in Coal Harbour, which is nice.
  • r.tl (Regional Tasting Lounge): I am in love with r.tl. Been there more than 3 times, and it brings me great memories as it marks my Friendaversary with Jason Sanders. Food is very innovative and well paired with wine and drinks.
  • Seasons in the Park: Went there for my good friend AF’s wedding and the service was spectacular. Besides, have you been to that restaurant? The view makes it worth it.
  • The Point: I’m surprised The Point is on the high-end or middle-of-the-ground list, as it’s a restaurant that has fabulous tapas (Mexican and Spanish) but it didn’t seem so expensive to me when I went. At any rate, worth checking out, on Commercial Drive.
  • Dinner w Mom at Q4 Restaurant

    From the $38 menu:

  • Glowbal Grill: Most of the food I’ve had hereB has been lunch-style, but if I were to try it for dinner, I’d probably come for their Dine Out menu.
  • Bridges: It’s on Granville Island, it’s romantic, the food is stellar. What else is there to say. They had me at mojito.
  • Goldfish Kitchen: Totally. Goldfish has always been good to me, when I went and tried their set 3 courses menu, it was spectacular (I took JT with me and he liked it too).
  • Le Gavroche: Absolutely. This is a must-not-be-missed during Dine Out. JT took me there for my birthday and it was simply spectacular.
  • Q4 al Centro: I’ve had dinner at Q4 in Kitsilano and it was simply unbelievably good. I suspect Q4 al Centro is about equally good. I’d try their Dine Out menu on my dime.
  • The Observatory: This is one I have never tried, but if I were to spend $38 of my hard-earned money, I’d just try it for the view and the romantic scenery.
  • Potential (good) surprises might include La Terrazza, Le Bistro de Paris. I’m obviously open to others’ suggestions. I’ll be trying a few restaurants on Dine Out. But the above, I’ve already tried (with the exceptions noted), and those are my recommendations.

    Disclosure: I have only been invited to (and attended) Charm Modern Bistro and the Glowbal Group restaurants’ group (which I am attending tonight). That said, as I mention above, I have eaten at all the restaurants mentioned (with 2 exceptions I’m curious about) and paid on my dime, so my opinion is unbiased. In any case, as all restaurants know, I retain editorial control on any review.

    Related posts:

    1. Dine Out Vancouver 2012 Glowbal Group menu (media preview)
    2. Dine Out Vancouver 2012
    3. Dine Out Vancouver 2009
    4. Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – my $ 25 per person recommendations
    5. Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – my $ 15 per person recommendations

    Comments (3)

    NickJanuary 26th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    You rated every single one positively? how can i choose then

    RaulJanuary 26th, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    @ Nick – THAT is your prerogative. I picked out of ALL the Dine Out options, ONLY the ones I thought would be worth checking. Would you want me to NOT recommend restaurants for Dine Out? Or would you want me to say “I would recommend that you do NOT check these?

    I’m confused.

    KevinFebruary 1st, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Which of the restraunts would you absolutly recommend? For instance, the best of the $18, $28, and $38 menu?

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