Lower Lonsdale Food Crawl
April 2, 2011
At The District (3 Lonsdale Ave., 778-338-4938. Thedistrictsocial.com) charred roma tomato, chorizo sausage, tarragon, and dried guajillo pepper dance with Gulf Island mussels, and beef short ribs are braised to perfection. Owner Paul Mon-Kau brings a fresh vibe to the neighbourhood with hopping tunes, 28 artisanal beers, and his twist on the bloody caesar (infused with house-made bacon).
Dreamy chocolat chaud, scalding organic coffee, and a giant display case spilling over with French pastries-tartlets, éclairs, biscuits, and cakes that are almost too pretty to sink a fork into-draw passersby to Sweet Art Bakery & Café (109 Lonsdale Ave., 604-988-1000. Sweetartbakeryonline.com), as does the Euro-style patio-a tempting perch from which to watch the world traipse by.
Pommes purées flavoured with fennel, dill, or roasted peppers are fitting accompaniments to OceanWise rainbow trout and Arctic char at Fishworks (91 Lonsdale Ave., 778-340-3449. Fishworks.ca). Chef Shallaw Kadir's simple treatment of seafood leaves room for experimentation with sides and sauces. (We loved pistachio pesto and braised rhubarb.)
Raglan's (15 Lonsdale Ave., 604-988-8203), a long-standing surf-and-tiki-inspired eatery, plates beautiful burgers, flatbreads piled with crispy onions and BBQ chicken, and four kinds of gooey poutine. The snowboard videos and Tribe Called Quest-meets-Bob Marley soundtrack fittingly complement the laid-back charm of faux palm fronds and tropical licence plates affixed to the walls.
Come afternoon, the sun-drenched harbourside lounge at The Lobby Restaurant and Lounge (138 Victory Ship Way, 604-973-8000. Pinnaclepierhotel.com) is the place to nosh on a trio of savoury hand-pressed sliders on buttery brioche buns. Stay for supper to delight in chef Joel Green's delicately roasted Vancouver Island sablefish, lightly glazed in soy and brown sugar and accompanied by dainty baby bok choy.
Just off Lonsdale find succulent kokkinisto, a slow-cooked lamb shoulder dish served with penne pasta tossed with salty kefalogriaviera cheese. Moussaka makes a double appearance on the menu (the vegan option is delectable), but consider that chef Katia Kefalogiannis-Roumanis has been going strong here for almost four decades-in other words, trust the house favourites at Pasparos (132 W. Third St., 604-980-0331. Pasparos.com).
What it lacks in curbside appeal, Honjin Sushi (140 Lonsdale Ave., 604-990-9168. Honjinsushi.com) makes up for with beautifully trimmed, fresh sashimi. Try the hotate temaki, spicy scallop hand-rolled in fresh nori and chopped masterfully.
It's nothing fancy and you'll be fetching your own coffee refills, yet Moodyville Café (101 Lonsdale Ave., 604-985-2182) rates among North Vancouverites' first choice for mopping up a morning hangover-even if you're not out of bed until 2 p.m. Regulars rave about the pancakes, but the classic bacon, eggs, and potato fry-up (under $10) is the real deal.
Deeply roasted onions swim with gruyère, emmenthal, mozzarella, and croutons in a rich beef broth. Bacon and peas mingle with traditional macaroni and cheese for a twist on the American classic. Comfort's the theme that runs from the food through the décor at Burgoo (3 Lonsdale Ave., 604-904-0933. Burgoo.ca), part of a growing Vancouver chain that was almost called "Stew Arts."
White linens and a 260-label wine list lend weight to Gusto di Quattro's (1 Lonsdale Ave., 604-924-4444. Quattrorestaurants.com) reputation for upscale dining, but its peasant's take on spaghetti, forward with garlic and chilies and brimming with ground chicken, sets a decidedly cozy and unpretentious tone.