Vancouver likes its hotels artsy (and a tad edgy), its food fresh, organic, and in abundance, and its wine on tap. By design, Vancouver is a trifecta of old, modern, and natural: Glass-and-steel structures scraping the sky are punctuated by turn-of-the-century colonial brick brick buildings with garden rooftop terraces, and the whole city is propped against the backdrop of towering green mountains that gently slope into the ocean. The post-Olympic boom hasn't slowed down yet, as more restaurants, bars, and galleries pile into the already almost too-cool city. Here are the best new highlights.
When the opening of Hawksworth was delayed by three years, native Vancouverite chef David Hawksworth took it as an opportunity to travel the world, spending part of the time with the interior designer gathering inspiration for the food and décor. The thorough research paid off, and won them Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year in Vancouver magazine. The brunch is the perfect start to a sophisticated day of trotting around this cultural city (think sablefish benedict with tomato fondue) and the accompanying "breakfast cocktails," offshoot martinis infused with ingredients like green tea, justifies imbibing in a pre-noon cocktail or two.
The unabashedly adventurous Wildebeest restaurant is Vancouver's newest spot to express the snout-to-tail movement. Once inside its weighty doors of the long and narrow Brooklyn-style digs, you'll quickly notice this is perhaps one of the only restaurants to bridge the worlds of macho and molecular gastronomy. Artfully crafted squares of lamb tartar arrive specked with dehydrated olives crushed to the consistency of cracked pepper, and thick slices of pork jowls lie on a bed of oats drizzled with viscous bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. Bonus: Manly cocktails and an underground wine bar.
The Keefer Bar is where you want to spend your final night. Here, Danielle Tatarin slings classic cocktails with an eastern medicinal twist. For three years Tatarin studied traditional Chinese medicine, collecting immunity herbs and concocting house-made tinctures, which she shakes into well-balanced colorful cocktails, sure to make you feel better about life after putting a few down (the menu is titled "Remedies and Cures")....
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