Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Restaurant Review: Bridges

Tonight a friend of mine and I partook of the annual event Dine Out Vancouver. For all y'all that don't know, Dine Out is an event in which different restaurants offer three course meals for a discounted rate. It's done every January, and I presume it's a (clever) marketing ploy, to up numbers in a traditionally slow month, restaurant-wise. Anyhow, it has been a rousing success, on the whole, and I've been happy to enjoy the benefits.

Bridges is on Granville Island, with (according to the website) several different dining areas, most of which seem to be open only during the summer (example: the patio). Their Dine Out menu was mainly westcoast-style cuisine, with a good variety of dishes on offer. Our server was hysterical; he seemed to be under the impression that we were two children playing dress-up in adults clothing, and talked to us as if we were ten years old. Each time he came by, I found myself struggling to keep a straight face.

I had A Bosc Pear with Rocquefort Salad to start, which was quite nicely done; fresh, interesting greens, all of a similar texture, a nice dressing, and the rocquefort had that spicy kick to it I like in a Bleu. My friend had the Sauteed Tiger Prawns, which were also quite nice, however I remember less about them. The presentation of both were lovely, it should noted.

For the entree, I had a Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni (very nice, although the presentation was a bit too edgy for me...cannelloni will never appear geometric, nor should it try), while my friend had the Pan Seared Monkfish, which was also a success. It came on a bed of rice with some vegeteables, and as a whole was great; the flavours blended fantastically.

My dessert was a Citrus Creme Brulee, and I think this was the weakest link in my meal; there was no discernible "citrus", and the creme was far too sweet. It was however "brule'd" very nicely; a crust that snapped when you tapped it, but still paper thin and crucially, never burned. My friend had the Dark Chocolate Semi Freddo, which I didn't try, but she enjoyed it. The entire meal was accompanied with the Sandhill Pinot Gris, which was surprisingly pleasant. The dinner was great, and very improved by the great conversations we had over it. Good food and good company are indeed all you can ask for.

Friday, January 26, 2007

To Whistler!

We're all going to Whistler for the weekend, to celebrate J's birthday. I'll catch y'all on the flip side, with a longer post, I promise!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wine & Oyster Night

Last night I went to the 13th Annual B.C. Wine and Oyster Festival, a charity event put on by Liberty Wines for the Children's Hospital. It was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in the ballroom, and was basically a (large) room with different wineries offering tastings around the perimeter, and different restaurants offering oyster bars in the middle. I'd never tasted raw oysters before, and I have to say, I quite enjoyed them. I, forgoing the cocktail sauces, the tabascos and worcestires, liked them best with a little (okay, quite a lot) of lemon juice squeezed directly into the shell. L, who I was with, gamely tried them twice, but wasn't a huge fan, saying it was "like having a mouthful of ocean". As if this was a bad thing!

As for wines, we tasted quite a lot, but here were my highlights (note that these are basically all whites. By the time we got to reds, I was too drunken to take notes)

Garry Oaks Pinot Gris 2005 - smells like pineapple and passionfruit (mmm), and is really smooth, not at all harsh.
Arrowleaf Bacchus - light, fruity, cheerful
Gray Monk Ehrenfelser - very sweet but bereft of tartness, I liked it a lot but it was too much for L, almost caramel-y with a lingering taste.
Mt. Boucherie Semillon - easy to drink, not at all sharp.
(This is about when the wine started getting to me. The notes get a lot shorter, and on my program are no longer even trying to be in straight lines.)
Wild Goose Vineyards Gewurztraminer - sweet but still quite crisp, not at all cloying.
Tantalus Old Vine Riesling - Amazing, tart, one of my favourites.
Elephant Island Framboise/Apricot - Fruit dessert wines, my overall favourites, especially the Apricot.

That's about all I can make out from my notes; there are a couple where I just put "+" or crossed them out, and a couple where I was clearly unimpressed (one I described as "onion-y"! Mmmm!), but all in all, a good night. Til next year!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Do's and Don't's for Housesitters

Written on behalf of a friend:
Feel free to cook meals, watch TV, surf the net
Use the bathroom facilities
Sleep in the bed (see how I put in new sheets, just for you?)
Use what's in the fridge

Break my dishes. One or two I understand - accidents happen. More than that and I just wonder if I've somehow made you angry. Learn from your mistakes!
Not clean up after yourself. This is not a hotel.
Wear my clothes and not wash them. At least try to hide that you wore my clothes.
Bring someone into my bed. You want to have friends over, fine. But have someone over for the night? Not so much. Especially when you...
Leave a condom in my garbage can, fom which you have so kindly removed the liner. Really? Actually? Come on, now. Now I'm wondering who you did what with, whether or not it was localized to my bed, and if you were wearing my clothes when you started. All of which I wish ever so much I didn't have to wonder. Now excuse me as I throw out my damaged property, wash everything with hydrogen peroxide, and burn the (unwashed) bed sheets.

Friday, January 12, 2007


It is coooold here. I mean in comparison to our usual climate, and not in comparison, with, oh, let's say...Winnipeg. Where my friend D lives. Where, he's informed me, it was -43 last night. Celsius. Godspeed, D.

But it is cold. Cold enough that my closet full of coats and jackets is seeming slightly inadequate, and I'm left wishing I had a pair of mittens. Also cold enough that when I walk into a store after being outside for a while, my glasses fog up. Which I'm sure is quite funny for the people in the store at first, but I'd imagine that it becomes less charming after I've bumped into and upset your neatly stacked pile of magazines.

The good news is, I'm home, our furnace works, and even though my digestive tract seems to have declared war on my nervous system (or vice versa - these disputes are hard to understand), I'm going to retire to my warm bed and read a good book before falling asleep.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


So, I've been gone a while. Sorry! I got distracted by...life. Happy New Year! I hope you rang it in in a less car-accidenty manner than I did. No injuries though! Just a weaker bank balance. I don't have any big thins to say, but here are some disconnected thoughts:

When you can't download music (argh), YouTube is a godsend. Just "watch" the music video of the song you want with the window minimized. Genius!

The weather here is bizarre. First, huge windstorm (again), involving spats of rain, sleet, snow and hail. Then yesterday we get snow blanketing the city. Then today? Blinding sunshine. Weather's mission? To boggle.

Christmas was great, because everyone came home to visit meeeee (and alright, I suppose there were other reasons as well, if you insist upon being that way), but now they are all gone again, and it is sad.

I need to start getting on the GRE horse. Blast.