Italian chef’s tasting menu at Mosaic

This restaurant might be the best kept secret in Vancouver. Mosaic Bar & Grille, tucked away on the second floor of the Hyatt Hotel on Burrard, does some of the best high end dining in the city. Every month or so Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich does a Chef’s tasting menu. He kindly invited me down to check out the latest which has an Italian theme complete with wine pairings. The view from Mosaic is pretty spectacular as well considering it’s deep inside Vancouver’s business district. The menu is a 5 course affair, here’s a quick run down of the dishes and wine pairings.

Nice view
Nice view

Course 1 – Panzanella Insalata. Bread affair ciabatta, heirloom tomatoes, bone marrow saltimbocca paired with Beniamino Maschio Grapa Di Moscato

Bone marrow paired with Grappa? It totally works.
Bone marrow paired with Grapa? It totally works.

Course 2 – Vialone Nano Truffle Risotto. Truffle dwarf peaches, 64 degree egg, Parmesan foam. Paired with Danzante 2011 pinot grigio.

Fantastic risotto and another great wine pairing.
Fantastic risotto and another great wine pairing.

Course 3 – Hand rolled pasta. Cerignola olive broth, bottarga. Paired with Quail’s Gate 2010 pinot noir.

Hand rolled pasta of the highest quality. The chilli's added a nice subtle heat and complemented the wine.
Hand rolled pasta of the highest quality. The chilli’s added a nice subtle heat and complemented the wine.

Course 4 – Branzino, polenta, squid ink. Paired with Ca’ Bianca ‘Cherise’ 2008 Barbers d’Asti Superiore.

Branzino is Seabass, fyi. Another fantastic wine pairing.
Branzino is Seabass, fyi. Another fantastic wine pairing.

Course 5 – Tiramisu. House made lady fingers, mascarpone, disaronno soaked cherries. Paired with Gehringer Bros. 2011 Cabernet Franc ice wine.

Tiramisu and Ice wine. Great combo.
Tiramisu and Ice wine. Great combo.

Mosaic is getting a lot of hype and it’s well deserved. The food is outstanding, the wine list is world class, their cocktails are some of the best in the city and they have craft beer!. That sounds like a winner to me.

Howe Sound Brewing's Devil's Elbow IPA
Howe Sound Brewing’s Devil’s Elbow IPA

Chef Heinrich is doing some great things at Mosaic, go check it out! The Italian tasting menu runs until September 12th.

Twitter – @cheftheinrch Make sure you follow Chef Heinrich for updates on all of his latest creations.

My tasting menu was comped by Chef Heinrich, somewhat unexpectedly 🙂

Scott.

 

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Rockin’ RAJIO dining pass preview from Rajio Public House and VANEATS.ca

VANEATS.ca is at it again, this time teaming up with Rajio Public house in West Point Grey, a few doors west of Alma and West 10th. #rockinRAJIO is an $18 four course pass at the latest restaurant from the same folks that run Kingyo and Suika, 2 of my favourite places to eat in Vancouver. What does your $18 get you?

  1. Kushikatsu Set, Rajio’s speciality. 6 delicious deep fried skewers (served with 5 different condiments, tartar, lemon salt, kabayaki yuzu kosho, onion).
  2. Dynamic Balsamic Sweet & Sour Pork Rib, pan-fried stewed pork rib marinated in Rajio’s original balsamic sweet sour sauce.
  3. Mini Carpaccio, chef’s choice of 3 kinds of fresh fish.
  4. Today’s Cold Tapas, chef offers a variety of daily options.

The first thing to arrive at my window side table was a bowl of complimentary oiled cabbage salad with a miso dressing, a nice starter and much better than the usual “green salad” that accompanies cheap sushi bento boxes.

Cabbage salad
Cabbage salad

The first dish from the pass to arrive was the cold tapas. I chose Tako Wasabi, chopped raw octopus and pickles marinated in a wasabi based sauce. The octopus came in a small dish with rectangular pieces of nori on the side. This dish had an intense wasabi heat but it was right up my alley. I took a little of the Tako and made little tako tacos with the nori. Mmmm.

Tako Wasabi
Tako Wasabi
Tako taco
Tako taco

Next up was the Mini Carpaccio, this one consisting of sockeye salmon, yellowtail and tuna but the seafood changes based on what’s fresh that day. It’s served with  yuzu zest, tobiko, lotus root chips, wasabi mayo and sesame soy dressing. Light, fresh, delicious and a perfect portion.

Mini carpaccio
Mini carpaccio

Third to arrive was Kushikatsu set. 6 deep fried skewers, 2 chicken, 2 scallop, 2 lotus root. They’re served with a few different condiments and it’s fun to mix and match with the different flavours and textures. The scallop skewers, which were my favourite, were cooked perfectly and paired well with the tarter sauce (duh) and the kabayaki yuzu kosho. All the skewers were cooked just right and weren’t greasy or oily.

Kushikatsu Set
Kushikatsu Set

The last dish that was part of the pass was the best, obviously it has to be pork related. You guys know me so well. The pork ribs are fall apart tender and there is enough meat here to be worth the entire $18 that the package costs. The balsamic/sweet and sour reduction would be right at home in a competition BBQ setting . It’s sweet and tart and amazing. Seriously though, these ribs are good. $18 for all of this, it’s like you’re stealing.

Pork Ribs
Pork Ribs

In addition to the package I had to try the Tuna Tataki as it’s one of my favourite things at Suika. Rajio’s tataki didn’t disappoint and I managed to save just enough room to finish it. I’m a professional eater folks, don’t get caught up the glamour of trying to eat everything you see, it’s a jungle out there.

Tuna Tataki
Tuna Tataki

You can purchase your rockinRAJIO package right now at VANEATS.ca but this is a limited time package so get it before October 12th.

My rockinRAJIO package was provided free of charge for review purposes by Rajio Public House and VANEATS.ca. Any additional menu items and gratuity were right out of my giant brown leather old man wallet.

Twitter – @rajio3763    –    @VANEATSca

Facebook – Rajio Japanese Public House    –    VANEATS

Website – VANEATS.ca

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Vancouver’s own Bodhi Jones new album “Bones” available NOW!

Bodhi Jones is back. The last time we had a new album from this talented local singer/songwriter was back in 2010 with “Where Does The Time Go”, which I still listen to often. Bodhi is taking part in this years Peak Performance Project on 102.7 The Peak, it’s his 3rd time in the competition and everyone who knows Bodhi is hoping for big things this year!

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I first met Bodhi in 2011 when I was organizing Andrewpalooza to raise money for a friend dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. I asked Bodhi if he wanted to play at the Red Room for the event and he immediately said yes, he helped secure other talent and even helped persuade the lovely Carmen Cruz to host. Bodhi is a great guy, truly my brother from another mother. Here’s the video for the first single off Bones – Drink Like the World’s Gonna End.

Head over to peakperformanceproject.com and check out Bodhi’s page. Make sure The Peak knows WE LOVE BODHI!

Bones is available on iTunes and you can catch Bodhi live at St. James Hall on September 6th for the official Bones release party, get your tickets HERE.

Twitter – @bodhijones

Facebook – BodhiJones

Youtube – Bodhi Jones

Instagram – bodhijones

Interwebzzzz – bodhijones.com

Good luck man!!

Scott.

Vij’s Railway Express nominated for Air Canada Enroute award.

Every year Air Canada picks the best restaurants in Canada through its in flight magazine, Enroute. This year there was a surprise in the “Best New Restaurant” category, a food truck! Vancouver’s own Vij’s Railway Express is the only food truck to ever make this prestigious list and it shows the impact that food trucks are having on Vancouver’s food scene. The truck was created by Vancouver based award winning chef Vikram Vij and is amongst seven restaurants nominated from Vancouver.

Vij's
“I am really honoured that our Vij’s Railway Express has been chosen as one of the top dining experiences in Canada,” says  Vij, who owns two restaurants in Vancouver Vij’s Restaurant and Vij’s Rangoli. “As the only mobile restaurant to be nominated within the contest, we are up against some tough competition, but know that our home cooked quality style of Indian cooking is very unique.” He also notes that “we consider ourselves as more of a mobile catering service, as we provide food for many corporate and private events around the city, as a way of bringing the Vij’s hospitality to the streets”.

I’m a huge fan of Vikram Vij and Vij’s Railway Express is the real deal. Does it deserve to be in the same league as brick and mortar restaurants? Yes, it most certainly does. You can vote for Vij’s Railway Express at  www.EatandVote.com for the rest of the week, let’s get them into the top 10 so they get featured in the magazine!!

If you ever thought that running a food truck was something you wanted to try, give my pals at Gourmet Syndicate a call, they’re the heart that beats inside Vij’s Railway Express and The Roaming Dragon, quality stuff.

Vote now and vote often! Vij’s for the win!

Scott.

MEC is open in the Fraser Valley!

MEC Rebrand 20130618

Vancouver’s own Mountain Equipment Co-op has opened a new store in Langley! Located in a space that used to house Sport Mart and Danier Leather, the newest MEC will be a much welcomed addition to the Fraser Valley. No more long drives to Broadway or North Van!

Check out all the details on MEC’s website.

Now where did I leave my membership card…

Scott.

Vancouver Facial Hair Club. It’s real and it’s awesome.

VFHC
VFHC

Beards and moustaches are awesome. Women love them, men love having them and everyone loves touching them. Argue with me if you want but it’s science, I looked it up. The Vancouver Facial Hair Club is a group of great bearded/moustachioed guys, and girls who have an appreciation of the commitment it takes to maintain a healthy face full of luxurious hair. Do you like facial hair? Do you HAVE facial hair?? You’re in!

Devan and Garrett
Devan and Garrett. 

Come out to London Public House on Main Street for one of their meetups, I did, it was fantastic. Beards and beer is never a bad combo. For more information on when the group meets follow them on Twitter @VanFHC and check them out at vancouverfacialhairclub.com . The next meetup is Wednesday August 14th at 6pm, BE THERE!

Scott.