Father’s Day Brunch @ the Fish House, Stanley Park

 So, June I had been uber lazy with blogging. Probably because I was too busy eating. Seriously, I think I gained nearly 10 pounds in the past month. Anyway, so this Father’s Day post is 3 weeks late, but what the heck. Anyway, I had wanted to make a reservation at the Sequoia Grill at Stanley Park for Father’s Day. Unfortunately, I was a little late and they were fully booked. I decided instead to try the other Stanley Park restaurant, the Fish House, which I have never been to before. 

Fish House

Fish House

 

I came here with my parents and my aunt and uncle. It was a really nice beautiful sunny Sunday, and pretty much the entire city was out, rollerblading, biking, walking, suntanning at the beach. Yeah, downtown and Stanley Park were crazy busy. We got to the Fish House and since we had a reservation, were seated right away. There was a couple in front of us without a reservation and I think they were told to wait; the restaurant was pretty packed with families big and small (many were tourists). It’s pretty nice inside, high ceilings, spacious dining rooms with large doors and windows, beautifully lit with sunlight, nice patio. 

I liked their menu – their fresh sheet menu has a LOT of different fish (probably the most I have seen) that I would have liked to try except it was a lunch thing and I wasn’t too hungry, so I didn’t order from there.

Fish House menu

Fish House menu

Everybody gets a complimentary pastry to start. Their pastries are made in house, and carried out in a giant basket and you get to pick from a muffin, croissant, or scone. I tried a bit of everything – the croissant was the best, flakey and warm and not too buttery. The blueberry scone was great too, especially with the blueberry preserves that was served with the pastries. The apple muffin was the least exciting.

croissant

croissant

 

muffin

muffin

scone

scone

 

Hmmm…. Flakey fresh croissant:


 

Unfortunately there are only a few pics of the rest to post, as everybody had the warm salmon salad, which was garnished with some daikon, tomato and chives. It was a good salad although nothing too spectacular. You can upgrade to from pink to sockeye for a few bucks more.
 

salmon salad

salmon salad

 

Except for my dad who always picks burgers (doesn’t really matter where he goes, it’s always burgers. And fries. And occassionally, a boring Caesar salad. You guessed it, he was also the one who chose the boring muffin):
 

burger

burger

 

Our server was a most proper and warm guy who was really pampering. The service is not speedy at all, but that is to be expected – you’re there to relax and enjoy your brunch. And they get everything right. We ordered a few coffees and I an Americano and Dad got some Merlot and all of that was pretty good. I was the one who paid (of course!) and the bill only came out to be about 20 bucks per person. 

Overall, quality and service and the atmosphere here is great. I would have loved to try some of their fresh fish, so maybe next time. If I had the choice though, and was in the neighborhood, I would definitely pick the Sequoia Grill over the Fish House, any day. Both places are excellent. The Fish House probably has a better, larger fish menu, and is more “fine-dining”, but personally I like sitting at the Sequoia Grill, and I find they put more effort into making and presenting their food. That’s just me.

 

The Fish House in Stanley Park

8901 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-681-7275

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Caffe Artigiano 06.28.08. Betty’s 86th.

I think there was a new guy at the Artigiano I go to at Kerrisdale. Well, whether or not he is new, he made a pretty nice heart the other day. Then again, everybody seemed to have gotten the same heart…


artigiano latte art

 

This day was special: it was one of E’s old neighbor Betty’s 86th birthday. We didn’t know this – we had drove by to see E’s old place in the neighborhood, and happened to see Betty’s niece in the garden and were invited in to say hello. E hasn’t seen Betty for over a decade and Betty’s starting to suffer from dementia but still remembers E fondly. After we found out it was her birthday that day (and after having said latte at Artigiano), we went down to Michelle’s Cake house on W. Boulevard and got her a tiramisu. Too bad I didn’t take a picture of it, it looked quite pretty. I would have chosen the fresh mango cake but Betty seemed more like a Tiramisu kind of gal. Anyway, Michelle’s Cake House is an Asian bakery, and makes fabulous cakes and pastries. There was a gigantic lineup when we were there; they take numbers.

We brought the cake back to Betty’s place just in time as her friend told us she was just about to call and order a cake for Betty. ^__^

 

Michelle’s Cake House

6033 West Boulevard, Vancouver

604-261-3284

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Since I can’t eat much, there isn’t much to post in terms of turkey, Christmas baking, or giant festive meals, sorry. So … instead I shall post a picture of little sesame challah buns from the GC Bakery.  Challah is kind of festive, no? ^___^

challah

Happy Hannukah! Solly’s Rugelach. (And bagels of course)

Solly’s Rugoleh

Rugelach (“RUG-oh-la-khhh”) are sweet little pastries meaning “little twists” in Yiddish. (“Rugel” also means royal.) A popular treat during Hannukah, it is made from a cream cheese dough, with a fruity and sometimes nutty filling, and rolled up into little crescents (but sometimes into pinwheels as well). Apparently the classic European version is made with a yeasted dough, while the cream cheese dough is a purely American-Jewish invention. Solly’s sell several flavors of these little pinwheel-shaped “cookies”, which they call “Rugoleh”. The ones I got had dates, apricot and raisins. Nice slightly flakey crust. The pinwheels are cute, but I kind of think they look more … decadent as crescents. Maybe it’s the association with croissants.

I remember watching the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, make them before. Here’s her recipe.

And of course, what is a visit to Solly’s without some more bagels? Ah, look at them delicious bagels! (I still think their plain bagel is the best.)

Bagels!

Related post: Solly’s Bagelry

Solly’s Bagelry

368 W. 7th and Yukon (featured)

2 other stores: 2873 W. Broadway and MacKenzie, 189 E. 28th and Main

Fwlisht (Food Wish List)

Dear Food Santa:

December is here at last! And to welcome the arrival of this wonderful month Cooking Nerd has been working hard on her Christmas Fwlisht (Food Wish List). She’s been so good and nerdy this year. So please put under her tree some simple things, some much needed things, and some totally useless things she would otherwise never buy for herself. You get the point. 😉

– A pullman loaf pan
– A square bread baking stone
– A double-burner stove top griddle, like this Le Creuset one
– A non-stick crepe pan
These Mario Batali silicon pot grips (preferably in orange or some color that matches my orange Le Creuset dutch oven)
– Saffron.
Cuisinart’s 6-cup Non-stick Muffin Top pan
These French bread razors (I know, I know. I have razor blades and I can make one myself. Still. )
– Oh so many books, but I will list just a few:
Twinkie Deconstructed – Steve Ettlinger
The Science of Cooking – Peter Barham
Millennium Cookbook – Eric Tucker
Let Them Eat Flax! – Joe Schwarcz

That’s all. For now. Thank you Santa,

Sincerely,

Cooking Nerd.

Happy Halloween!

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I have this cute little mini pumpkin sitting in the house. I didn’t have time to carve it, or make any Halloween treats for that matter. Well, actually to tell you the truth I don’t really make Halloween treats. But I wonder what I should make with this pumpkin: Pie, bread, muffins? Ideas are brewing in my head. Although, I must also admit that I am probably too lazy that I’d rather just go out and buy the canned stuff.

 

Happy Halloween everyone – enjoy all that sugary stuff!

Felicos – Redux and Greekier.

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Felicos Restaurant closed for months this summer and went through a major renovation. They re-opened earlier this month. They’ve looked busy ever since their reopening, but waited a little while so they can get everything going before coming. Very posh and more Greek-looking than before. Pillars seem to be a theme. They now have a hip, bluish lounge/cocktail area to the left of the (grander) entrance, with a nice bar and couches. Off to the right are two dining rooms separated by a wall. The first room is small (I thought looked rather cramped); the second is larger, quite cozy, with a big fireplace.

Felicos

Main dining room

 

We came for mom’s birthday. Luckily we made a reservation and were seated straight away, because it was a super busy Saturday night, and there was a consistent big line up (and no parking). I noticed a couple who did not have a reservation waited probably an hour before getting seated.

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Although the decor has changed, the menu hasn’t. But I’ve always found their menu to have a pretty large selection anyway: lamb, steaks, fish and shellfish, souvlaki, Greek appy’s, combo’s and platters… your typical Greek fare. They had a dinner special of lamb shank and stuffing but I chose the lamb chops. They were delish, four good size chops, but not as gamey as I like for lamb. Mom likes it better like this. I like that gamey smell more. Nonetheless, they were well cooked, medium rare, tender, juicy.

Lamb Chops

The Trio: Steak, stuffed prawns, and a lobster tail for mom:

Trio

Stuffed prawns for dad:

Stuffed Prawns

House bread was whole wheat pita. (Used to be just plain bread before, nice that they noticed they might require something more Greek at a Greek restaurant.)

Whole Wheat Pita

No complaints about the food, it was satisfying and authentically Greek the way Felicos has always been, but not super food-gasmic. The service is neither terrible nor super attentive, although there are enough servers running around for everyone. I did find it a bit rude that they were moving tables around right behind me and I had to move, but it seemed like I was expected to, as nobody ever said an ‘excuse me’ or a ‘thank you’. It was a busy night, and unfortunately their eagerness to kick you out showed through a little too well. Overall, it’s the same Felicos food, the same Felicos people, but with the renos it’s a whole new dining experience. Whereas before I found the old Felicos atmosphere to be more family-style, now it’s more elegant and cool but still comfortable. If it was definitely worth a try before, it’s now even more so.

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Felico’s Restaurant

8140 Leslie Rd, Richmond 

(Make reservations. Go early. Parking is quite limited and traffic around there is hectic.)