Calling all Foodies, the 16th Annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back. For two weeks and three days, January 19th until February 4th, 307 culinary experiences will be available for locals and visitors alike to savour and enjoy. Seventeen days that prove without a doubt that Vancouver is a Foodie destination on par with any major city in the world. Experiences include restaurants at every price point, cocktail masterclasses that will inspire your spirit and unique pop up dining experiences never before seen including global guest-chef collaboration dinners. There is truly something for everyone, no matter your palette or budget. Have you got your calendar ready? It is time to make some reservations.
New this year’s Dine Out Vancouver are exclusive privileges for Aeroplan members.
Privilege #1 Aeroplan members have a two-day window January 8-10 to make reservations before they open up to the general public.
Privilege #2 Flash your Aeroplan card or Aeroplan affiliated credit card at participating restaurants and they will offer you a special treat. Here is the list of participating restaurants and what they are offering Aeroplan members. Just remember to flash your card when you are shown to your table.
- Second Floor Eatery + Bar – Aeroplan members enjoy one complimentary glass of champagne per guest. Maximum of two per table.
- Al Porto Ristorante – Aeroplan members enjoy one complimentary Negroni cocktail.
- Afghan Kitchen – Aeroplan members enjoy one complimentary soup of the day and dessert (Mum’s secret recipe).
- The Holy Crab – Aeroplan members enjoy one complimentary order of clams or mussels after an order of $50 or more (excluding taxes and tip). This offer cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion.
- Sai Woo – Aeroplan members enjoy one complimentary amuse-bouche (tequila-infused smoked prawn ceviche).
Dine Out Vancouver doesn’t officially start until January 19th but I was lucky enough to be invited by this year’s Premier Partner Aeroplan to a special media preview event. Four restaurants in four hours. It is a tough job but someone has to do it.
The evening started at H2 Rotisserie & Bar where the chefs wowed us with comfort food, a welcome cocktail created by superstar mixologist Lauren Mote, and BC VQA Wines. Did I mention that there is a BC VQA Wine Brunch among the many culinary experiences you can enjoy?
Haywire Winery 2016 Switchback Pinot Gris started my night off and it was followed by new vintages of many of my favourite BC wineries.
From wine to cocktails we next visited Yew Seafood + Bar at the Four Seasons Vancouver. Lauren Mote is leading a Spirited Masterclass – Bitters 101 and tonight we got to sample a few of the cocktails she has crafted specifically for Yew. If you love a handcrafted cocktail you have to take this class. Lauren Mote is an absolute genius and as the co-owner and founder of Bittered Sling Bitters, I don’t know anyone who knows more than she does on this topic. Take your cocktail craft up a notch or two and reserve your seat.
Our next stop is at Cacao in Kitsilano. This restaurant is brand new to me and Chef Jefferson Alvarez completely wowed me with his progressive and fresh Latin American menu. The experience started with a handcrafted cocktail (to die for) and miniature Arepas and Wild Mushrooms & 50 Year Old Mole. Then an Elk Tartare followed by Elk Loin with a Sour Dark Chocolate drizzle. Even dessert left me speechless as we sampled the Impossible Cake.
The last and final stop is at Nicli Antica Pizzeria, in my opinion, the best pizzeria in Vancouver. We sampled the Dine Out 3 course Napolitano menu that included Zuppa, 10″ Pizza and of course Gelato. All made fresh in-house and 100% authentic. Are we in Vancouver or Naples I can’t tell. Which pizza will you choose? Margherita, Diavola or the Cavolo Nero e Funghi. For me, it is the Cavolo Nero e Funghi all the way. I love mushrooms and these are cooked to perfection.
If you haven’t made your reservations what are you waiting for? Visit an old favourite or check out a brand new to you restaurant. Or why not mix it up and do both. The food scene is Vancouver is absolutely amazing and there is no better time to get out and explore it than during the Dine Out Vancouver Festival. Don’t forget to flash your Aeroplan card for what I am sure will be moments to savour.