Campagnolo – Restaurant Review

A lot of my dining choices have to do with Masterchef.  The choice to go to Campagnolo was no exception.  In one episode, the challenge was to make gnudi, which is a ricotta-based gnocchi-like Italian dish, except there’s no potatoes in it.  I’ve never heard of gnudi before and it sounded delicious, so off to Google I went to see if anywhere in Vancouver offers it on their menu.  That my friends…is how the trip to Campagnolo came to be.

Campagnolo - InteriorThe inside of the restaurant – warm and inviting.

Campagnolo - Aged Beef TartareWe decided to share an appetizer of Aged Beef Tartare ($15).  Man was there a lot of meat…we felt like we could get two hamburger patties out of this dish.

The meat was very well seasoned but a bit on the dry side, but it was yummy.  There should’ve been more bread though for the amount of meat.  We ended up just eating forkfuls of meat in the end.

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Bistro Pastis – Restaurant Review

There was a fantastic deal on Travelzoo for Bistro Pastis, and having had a good experience there for Dine Out Vancouver this year, I quickly snatched it up and enlisted Fannypack to go with me.

Bistro Pastis - les moules marinieresOne reason I like Bistro Pastis was because their portions are pretty decent for a French restaurant.  For my appetizer I chose the les moules marinières (regularly $16) which is steamed mussels in a white wine butter shallots sauce.  The sauce was very rich and not too salty.  It was very good for dipping with the bread basket provided.

The mussels were big and succulent.  This was fantastic.

Bistro Pastis - le tartare et les fritesFannypack had the le tartare et les frites (regularly $17) which was a steak tartare, pommes frites and cornichons plate.  The tartare was tender which no chewy pieces, nicely seasoned and peppered.  The salad was a nice touch.  The portion was big also.

Bistro Pastis - les coquilles saint jacquesFor mains, Fannypack chose the les coquilles saint jacques ($34 regularly) and that was seared scallops with brussel sprouts, quinoa, french beans, in a lobster bisque émulsion.

Unfortunately the scallops were over-done…not up to MasterChef standards I must say.  We were both a little disappointed.

The grilled brussel sprouts however were fantastic and had good caramelization, so much that they were a little sweet.

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The Keg & Bullfrog Power Partners Up!

The Keg is now Bullfrog powered!‘Perfect Pairings’ was the theme one rainy afternoon at The Keg Yaletown.  To celebrate the environmental partnership between The Keg and Bullfrog Power, I was invited to a wine and food pairing event at The Keg Yaletown.

The Keg & Bullfrog PowerAs of March 25, 2015, ten of The Keg’s downtown restaurant in Toronto and Vancouver will be powered by Bullfrog Power’s green natural gas.  Because of this agreement, The Keg becomes the largest restaurant chain in Canada to choose green energy!  How do they accomplish this?  Well here’s what they say:

“Sourced from a unique, ground-breaking methane-capture project situated on one of Canada’s landfills, Bullfrog Power’s green natural gas is a climate-friendly alternative to conventional, polluting natural gas. Through this innovative technology, biogas is captured, cleaned up, and put into the national natural gas pipeline, displacing fossil fuel-based gas and reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Bullfrog Power ensures green natural gas is put into the national pipeline to match the amount of conventional natural gas that each bullfrogpowered The Keg Steakhouse + Bar location uses. As a result, each bullfrog-powered location can use natural gas for heating and operating kitchen facilities without contributing to climate change.”

A little convoluted but easy to understand!  Way to go Keg!!

the-keg-perfect-pairings-foodSo back to the ‘Perfect Pairings‘ theme, The Keg organized a food and wine pairing/tasting.  With The Keg Alberni’s general manager Jason Margoreeth leading the way, we were led from one wine to the other, with instructions on how to taste the notes and aromas of each wine.

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Okonomi Sushi

TDog and I met up for a much needed girl date, and we went for sushi lunch at Okonomi Sushi in Uptown New Westminster.

Okonomi Sushi is a Korean-run Japanese restaurant.  It’s spacious and clean, but the service is a bit slow and sometimes it feels like there’s a language barrier.  Extremely polite though.

Okonomi Sushi - Lunchbox DI rarely make it for the lunchbox special deals at Japanese restaurants, this time I made it!  I chose the sashimi box combo and that includes 3 pieces of salmon and 2 pieces of tuna.  Like most Korean-run establishments I’ve been to, the pieces of sashimi are thickly cut.

The chicken karaage were also better than I expected!!  They were crispy, juicy morsels of tender meat.  The tempura were equally impressive.  The amount of batter was appropriate and overall crispy and light.  The sashimi dipping sauce was a tad too sweet though.  Beef teriyaki was dryish, which I find the is the norm.

Okonomi Sushi - Lunchbox ETDog had Lunchbox E which was a vegetarian combo.  It had tofu teriyaki (agedashi tofu with teriyaki sauce) and avocado roll.  They made a mistake and gave her both the veggie udon AND inari tempura (supposedly you get a choice of one).  The udon was chewy, a very nice texture.

I was quite impressed with Okonomi Sushi and I would gladly come back for another lunch date.  Or dinner date.  Or whatever.

Okonomi Sushi Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Highlights from CHFA West 2015

CHFA West 2015 ShowcaseHot off the heels of the Healthy Family Expo comes the trades-only Canadian Health Food Association‘s Conference and Tradeshow CHFA West and it was with pleasure and excitement that I was able to attend.  It’s always interesting to see what the upcoming trends are in the food world, and this year, it seems like anything coconut is still all the rage, along with kale, nut milks, and of course, anything organic/non-GMO/whole-grain/ancient-grain.

Even though the convention was organized by the Canadian Health Food Association, there were more than just food products on show.  Labellers, cleaners, and body products, etc, were also on display.  But again, since Eat ‘n About is a food blog, I will focus on things that can go inside the tummy.

This year, chocolate products really topped my list.  Flavored dark chocolates of course, at least 72% and up.  And there was just so much to see and taste, this “Healthy Picks” list from the CHFA is my largest one to date.  Let’s get to it!

Highlights from CHFA West 2015

#1: Giddy Yoyo Raw Chocolates

Giddy Yoyo Raw ChocolatesGiddy Yoyo‘s chocolate bars were hands-down my favorite item to have tasted at CHFA West, and it’s not just because it’s chocolate.  It’s much more than that.  What really impressed me about Giddy Yoyo‘s chocolate bars is that they are raw, which greatly differentiates them from the rest of the chocolate bars out there.

I asked how this is accomplished, and in layman’s terms they told me while the chocolate does go through a tempering process, it never reaches the temperature of usual “cooked” chocolate so it does retain it’s “raw” quality.  This results in less oxidization of the cacao’s nutritional properties.

The “important” stuff aside, Giddy Yoyo raw chocolate bars just taste darn yummy!  They have so many different flavors to choose from and they ONLY do dark chocolate!  From regular dark (60%) to VERY dark….

Giddy Yoyo Raw ChocolatesJust how dark you ask??  Behold the 100% unsweetened dark cacao!  I braved it and tried a piece.  A pretty big piece actually.  It was intensely chocolatey and that really is all you get- chocolatey goodness!  To be honest this was quite difficult to swallow as is but I’m pretty certain that when it’s used as an ingredient in perhaps baking or homemade hot chocolate, this would be divine, and a little would most certainly go a long way.

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