Thursday, January 11, 2018

Vancouver: Cinara, Indigo Age, Fishworks, The Portly Chef, Kissa Tanto


Before I begin, I just wish to say that this is a wonderful bistro for families or just an informal but very good dinner for 2. Perhaps one of the best examples of this kind of resto in Vancouver.

Zucchini crudo with sidestripe shrimp, whipped ricotta and grated bottarga.

White anchovies on toast with sweet pickles, radish and butter.

Thirty month prociutto di Parma, yellow melon and pecorino. 

Tortellini with sungold tomato, swiss chard and basil. 

Bistecca alla fiorentina for 2, with side vegetables below..

 Roasted zucchini.


 Slow roasted carrots were very sweet.

A post meal frisee salad with radish.

Indigo Age

Indigo Age is Ukrainian vegan restaurant. The food is quite genuine, highly flavorful, well presented and wonderful, whether you are a vegan or not.

Ukranian Pirogues with, olive oil, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, cherry, blueberry. 

Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls filled with brown rice, carrots, onions, tomatoes with a creamy cashew dressing and fresh dill. 

Mushroom soup with a variety of local mushrooms, button mushrooms, onions, black pepper, nutmeg and olive oil with cashew sauce.

Cold miso soup with garlic, sesame oil, dill, ginger, zucchini, carrot, red sweet pepper, kale and barley miso.

Portobello burger: marinated portobello mushroom, veggie patty, guacamole, tomato, eggplant bacon, marinated red onion, and fresh sprouts with cashew sauce.

Addiction burger: sunflower-pumpkin veggie patty, fresh cucumber, Guacamole, mango tomato salsa, fresh greens, eggplant bacon, marinated red onions, and fresh sprouts with cashew sauce.

Ukrainian borscht made from carrot, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, dill, parsley, garlic and potatoes.


Baynes Sound manilla clams with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs.

Fishworks bouillabaise in a tomato saffron broth.

 Mussels with ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, chili and coconut milk. 

Egmont white sturgeon with smoked pancetta, butternut squash puree, mushroom duxelles and market veg. 

Seared halibut with sour cherries.

Spaghetti carbonara with fresh shrimp, pancetta, egg yolk with white wine and garlic.

Fishworks paella with saffron rice, clams, chorizo, mussels, chicken and prawns.

The Portly Chef

Chef's grilled caesar salad with romaine, croutons and a creamy anchovy roast garlic dressing.

 Cornmeal crusted oysters with coleslaw and gerkin tartar sauce.

Scallops and crispy braised pork belly with tobiko and brown butter pan jus.

 Macaroni and cheese with mozzarella, gruyere, cheddar and a crouton crust.

 Brohm lake duck breast with cranberry Okenagen goat cheese demi-glace.

Herb crusted lamb rack with roasted potatoes and grainy dijon demi-glace sauce.

The Portly Chef's cioppino stew: prawns, mussels, market fish, scallops, peewee potatoes, roma tomatoes and a fennel saffron broth.

Kissa Tanto

Gnoccho frito: olive oil crackers, kombu dashi, braised onions, ricotta salata, greens. 

Beet salad with stracciatella, artichokes, smoked maitake mushrooms and black garlic vinaigrette.

Frittelle di melanzane: garlic eggplant fritter with yuzu gribiche, basil, bonito salt and topped with shave katsuo.

Tonno mantecato: confit of albacore tuna, smoked potato and furikake accompanied by bruschetta topped with tobiko.

Octopus salad: crispy smoked octopus, fresh and pickled radishes, mustard greens, parsley and chili puree.

Porchetta filled agnolotti with kombu cured olives and smoked butter.

Wagyu "lifter" steak: 24 hour slow cooked beef with fermented cabbage, Calabrian chili and shaved parmesan. Beef rating 7.5 /7/7 (taste/texture/juiciness).

Whole roasted perch was properly cooked inside, accompanied by grated daikon/soy dipping sauce.

Roasted eggplant, miso besciamella, almond crumble and grated parmesan.

Mushrooms: maitake and shimeji mushrooms with garlic, soft herbs and citrus.

Chocolate tart with an yuzu jelly, pistachio crumble and a honey ice-cream. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Alo, Toronto: A Special Dinner For Renown Olive OIl Artisan Armando Manni.

Alo is certainly one of the very finest restos in Canada, easily within the top 3, no matter which aficionado's opinion  of the best that you may receive. This is the work of chef/owner Patrick Kris and his devoted and focused staff. Other than the Alo team's sheer creative talent, one thing that distinguishes Chef Kris's creations is his wide ranging sourcing for the very freshest and very finest unique ingredients. Another contributing factor to an exceptional eating experience are the remarkably well thought out and harmonious food elements paired to complement the primary dish ingredient.

My guests at this very special early Fall dinner were one of the greatest olive oil producers in the world, Armando Manni (Manni Oils) and Food/book writer and Editor of Canada's Best 100 Restaurants, Jacob Richler.

Canapes: Foie gras terrine with bourbon and maple (left); foie gras cream with plum vinegar and rice pearls.

Canapes: gougeres with mimolette and apple (left); hamachi roll with daikon and wasabi.

Amuse: baby white shrimp from Hokkaido with dashi jelly, fermented bamboo and kombu (top); Spanish lomo Iberico ham with field musk melon and tomato (right); Japanese bluefin toro with shiso leaf, toasted nori emulsion and finger lime (left).

Ham closeup.

Baby shrimp closeup.

Tuna closeup.

Raw Japanese Hokkaido scallops with fermented raw green tomato, fresh Himrod grapes, lemon verbena oil, brown butter, Burgundy spinach and edible flowers.

Hudson Valley foie gras (quebec) cured and seasoned with espelette pepper and accompanied by fresh sour cherry granita, umeboshi plum puree and Sicilian pistachios.

Chawanmushi of Hokkaido sourced, poached hairy crab with B.C. pine mushrooms that were presented fresh and grilled and all accompanied by a pine mushroom broth.

Braised and pickled pine nuts with broccoloi.

Ricotta agnolotti with parmesan fondue and crisp, marjoram, field tomatoes and fermented chili.

New Brunswick Lameque oyster with apple puree, cultured cream and Venetian sturgeon caviar.

Veal sweetbreads with fermented rice (shio koji) dressing, fresh wakame, pickled honshimeji mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms confit, pickled cloud ear fungus, puree of Japanese yam and kombu dust.

Sixty day, dry aged, Ontario beef rib cap (deckle) accompanied by king oyster mushroom ragu, black garlic puree, grilled spring onion, bearnaise sauce, crispy shallots and mizuna.

Pre-dessert: cucumber lemon puree, cucumber champagne sorbet, juniper and kafir lime opatine.

Apple: yeast caramel, yeast crumble, apple puree, apple crisp, meringue crisp and gjetost ice cream.

Peach: olive oil ganache, peach puree, olive oil crumble, compressed peach, peach verjus gelee, olive oil ice cream and pink peppercorns.

When many question why Canada is not represented in Michelin's starred domain, after experiencing a meal like this, given my wide ranging experiences at some of the very best restos in the world, one must ask why!!