First Taste – Good Wolfe Kitchen and Bar

To say that I am a fan of Josh Wolfe is an understatement. Josh is the owner/chef/hard working dude behind Fresh Local Wild, one of Vancouver’s best food trucks. Fresh Local Wild has been featured on Eat St. and Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and is a personal favourite. Josh is the former Executive Chef of Coast and has also served as the Assistant Corporate Chef for the Glowbal Group among other top jobs in restaurants back in Toronto. Pretty solid résumé, no?

Chef Wolfe, looking at me, looking at you.
Chef Wolfe, looking at me, looking at you.

A few months ago I heard Josh had teamed up with Richard Goodine, a man of immeasurable food and beverage experience and they were opening a new spot in Yaletown, Good Wolfe Kitchen and Bar. Was I excited? Uh, ya.

Beer!
Beer!

Last week I found myself in Yaletown having a few tasty craft beers with the local Klout crew so I decided to tweet Chef Wolfe and ask if he was at the restaurant. I had planned on stopping by to say hello but I quickly discovered that I had stumbled upon their soft opening! I hastily paid my tab and did a sexy speed walk (like Flanders) down to 1043 Mainland St. and found myself a comfy seat at the bar. I saw Josh, he saw me, the magic started to happen.

Qualicum Bay Scallop Chorizo
Qualicum Bay Scallop Chorizo

I started with a Quallicum Bay Scallop Chorizo. Sliced raw scallops with marinated peppers, olive oil and parsley with all the spices you’d normally find in a chorizo sausage on top of the sweet scallops. Great presentation, wonderful flavours and textures. It paired well with the Phillips Brewing Hop Circle IPA I was enjoying at the time.

Lemon Pepper Chili Squid
Lemon Pepper Chili Squid

Next up Chef Wolfe sent me some Lemon Pepper Chili Squid with ginger, green onion and chili piquant. A very nice way to do a classic calamari. Nice crunch, tender squid, subtle heat and a nice  freshness provided by the ginger. The presentation is nice but I sort of knocked them over before I took the picture and then failed to stack them back up neatly…hence the crumbs.

CHicken Fried Sweetbreads
CHicken Fried Sweetbreads

The third dish to arrive was a high end take on a pub classic, think chicken wings taken to the next level. Chicken Fried Sweetbreads with house made red hot, Rochefort dressing, celery and carrot. Classic chicken wing taste with  tasty, tasty sweetbreads aka thymus gland. So good. I want more right now.

Braised Beef Cheek
Braised Beef Cheek

Next up was a dish I asked to try, Braised Beef Cheek with country style risotto and natural jus. Super tender beef cheek on a classic, perfectly cooked risotto. There isn’t a whole lot to say here other than wow.

Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Torte
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Torte

Last but not least, dessert. As you probably know I’m not a sweets guy so dessert has to be out of this world for me to rave about it. This was. Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Torte with tamarind candy, vanilla ice cream and mint. I grew up in Surrey and I hate to generalize but I’ve always loved South Asian sweets and this dish is a great fusion of classic chocolate and South Asian flavours. Dense, rich, exotic, incredible. The tamarind candy was like an old friend, a flavour I didn’t know I was missing until it came back into my life.

House made bread
House made bread

Goodwolfe also bakes their own bread and It’s not the typical sourdough loaf you’re used to. This is artisan bread that comes with butter and a cauliflower and truffle puree that is lights out.

I know this post may seem biased to some due to my obvious chef crush on Josh but he is where he is because he’s incredibly good at what he does and it’s a true joy to see him in a kitchen again and even better to see him in the kitchen of his own restaurant.

Josh hard at work
Josh hard at work

You’d be hard pressed to find better food, better value and better company than Goodwolfe Kitchen and Bar. Go see for yourself.

Light fixture above the bar
Light fixture above the bar

Scott.

Twitter – @GoodWolfeVan  @ChefWolfe  @RichardGoodine

Facebook – Good Wolfe Kitchen & Bar

Interwebz – goodwolfe.ca

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Karma stuff – part of my meal was comped by Chef Wolfe but I left his staff a big juicy tip because Karma is a real thing and the service was as good as the food.

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Black and Blue Grand Opening Bash!

The Glowbal Group is Vancouver restaurant royalty and they’ve added another jewel to their crown with the addition of their 7th restaurant, Black and Blue, an ultra chic take on the classic steakhouse. Beef aged in a room with a wall made of Himalayan salt, a room with tobacco lined walls that smells incredible, large rooms for private functions and an impressive central bar are definite highlights of the posh design.

The quality of beef in the salt walled aging room is a carnivores dream, aged 28 days before it arrives and then dry aged and on display for all to see. The top of the line wagyu beef is the star of the show, the cattle is fed potatoes for a month to add flavor to the meat and it is very effective, creating a richness unmatched by other top grade beef. The event was fantastic and packed with the who’s who of Vancouver’s food scene. I can’t wait to return and sample the menu on a regular night!

Huge thank you to Emad Yakoub and Shannon Bosa Yakoub for inviting me to be a part of their opening, it was a great night. I’m also thankful I was able to share the evening with my father Dwayne. He’s been in the food business for years and I think he really enjoyed himself.

Check out the pictures!

Scott.

Fresh Local Wild

I’ve eaten a lot of street food this week and I’ve also had Chef Josh Wolfe’s food twice in less than 7 days. I love my “job”! Fresh Local Wild is located at Hastings and Burrard in the heart of Vancouver’s business district and serves up fresh predominantly seafood dishes.

Before we get to what I ate, let’s talk about the trailer, the truck that moves it around and why they’re good for the future of street food. The trailer holds over 400 litres of fresh water which means Chef Wolfe can really use the kitchen on wheels as a real kitchen! The generator that powers the trailer runs on bio diesel, made from the oil used to make the fish and chips that Fresh Local Wild is know for. The truck that tows the trailer around also runs on bio diesel. The long term benefits of not using petroleum based fuels are obvious and I hope other food truck can learn from this. There’s also a patio on the trailer (!!!) made from stained western red cedar that has a great view of the action in the kitchen.

Sockeye Fish and Chips looked too good to resist and I waited in line to place my order along with lots of other people, this place is pretty popular and having been recently filmed for The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” the crowds are sure to get bigger! The fish is taken from the cooler and battered to order, not pre battered and it makes a huge difference. The fish was hot and not dry with a nice firmness that the crispy fresh batter matched with perfectly. The Fries were hot and fresh, the best food truck fries I’ve had to date and the house made tartare sauce was really good with both the fish and the fries.

This street food is a little different from the rest, how many street food trucks can say that they have the Assistant Corporate Chef of the Glowbal Group making your lunch? I have to try the seafood chowder poutine…

Scott.