A stop before heading out on the town with friends

Trattoria Kitchen
1850 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
604.732.1441

Jumping with a club like vibe that feels a little late 90’s this West 4th venue is a better stop with a group of friends than an intimate dinner. Our evening was one with friends to kick off a weekend of fun so it met our needs. We started with Kobe meatballs appetizer for everyone and the bruchetta. The bruchetta was fresh and the combination of different colored tomatoes made it deelish! The meat balls were good – but I’d say only so so in my repertoire of yummy Italian meatballs. A couple of us at the table ordered the Kobe beef lasagna. Now is as a good a time as any to mention I think it is con’fusion to have Japanese beef on an Italian menu, but my bigger concern here is the ‘overkill’ as it shows up in several dishes. However, in the case of the lasagna…um…it was goooood. There was a section of other dishes gnocchi, carbonara’s and more all enjoyed. Our service staff fully engaged (with controversial opinions and all) in our conversation on countless occasions, ranking it very high on the bad service category. This place also has a tv at the bar – why oh why Vancouver do you need tvs in all your restaurant bars? A little class please. I’m giving the lasagna a Very Good, but Trattoria Kitchen, service accounted for, only gets a Very Ok.

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Beach Bums and Benedicts – Putin wears the pants

Café Zen
1631 Yew Street, Vancouver
604.731.4018

 

A quaint little breakfast nook in the heart of Kits. The Café Zen signature is that they have half orders of eggs benny – or even better, mix it up and do half and half. Given my search for a great pancake in Vancouver I probably should have tried that, but instead we gave the bennys a whirl and split the baked eggs Mexican style. Hashbrowns pretty standard – deep fried chunks of potatoes. Benedicts were yummy (though to be a true critic I’ll say they hollandaise was not to my Montreal standards, a bit thick and not lemony enough). But by all appropriate west coast breakfast standards this place delivers and gets even higher marks for promptness of service and how quickly they seated us. And best of all on a sunny Sunday afternoon it is just seconds from some beach sports or lounging.

 

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kiss and run…jedi mind tricks and other adventures

Abigail’s Party
1685 Yew Street, Vancouver
604.739.4677

 

Who doesn’t like a party?! And Abigail throws a great one. Her party was just the first stop of the evening, but a great start. I loved my Moroccan Chicken, a bit of gamble in west coast restaurant, but the portion was great, the serving style was a refreshing twist on the richer saucier traditional Moroccan dishes, but had all the right flavors and the presentation was beautiful. The couscous was a lovely accompaniment with a mix of sweet, savory, and a nutty crunch. My host thoroughly enjoyed the Qualicom Beach Scallops and a bit of my couscous as well. A good selection of beer and wine, in particular I really enjoyed the house Chardonnay which is the Bonterra Organic Chardonnay (California). The desserts looked tempting and the waiter even suggested they help one connect with their inner child…which is cool…but we were stuffed and needed to move on to part two of the planned event – Yuk Yuks, so no time to search out our inner child. Abigail’s boasts a local, organic, and sustainable food ethic, which although is very trendy I’ve come to appreciate it. It is a small, long, and narrow restaurant appointed with dark tones with warm lighting and a buzz with good ambiance. I had heard a couple of mixed things about the restaurant, but I really enjoyed my time there. There was a certain je ne sais quoi added to the experience that I credit to my dinner companion that you may not be able to replicate on your visit…so my advice in general is if you’re not sure that you’ll love a restaurant, at least make sure to go with someone who makes you laugh so you enjoy the evening. Like all things Kitsilano parking is near impossible to find, but overall for Abigail’s Party I’d say the service was great, the food was excellent, and atmosphere was enjoyable.

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