Although mambo 'taliano's mustard-yellow awning calls the eatery a "ristorante and piano bar," it's difficult to say which aspect has more influence. The chefs fully commit to the menu of traditional Italian staples by rolling pastas, curing Alaskan salmon, and making fresh mozzarella in-house. These sorts of touches add a homespun quality to dishes such as the spaghetti with pancetta and pecorino romano cheese, and the thin-pounded veal milanese with arugula and cherry tomatoes. To help prime palates, the appetizer selection features everything from marinated Sicilian olives to a shareable antipasto platter with cured meats and roasted vegetables. The aromatic herbs and the sight of diners enjoying meals at the outdoor patio help attract passersby, but so does the sound of live jazz emanating from the dining room. Solo pianists and ensembles aim to entertain patrons with soothing background melodies. Coupled with the sounds of spirited conversations, these performances help create a lively atmosphere where diners can comfortably enjoy a casual meal, a glass of wine, or an impromptu dance off.
With Langley's picturesque countryside as its backdrop, Neck of the Woods Winery concocts red, white, and sparkling wines using grapes grown primarily in the surrounding Fraser Valley. The facility takes advantage of the area's cool climate–which is similar to that of Northern France and Germany–to oversee the entire production process from pressing to bottling. After spending quality time with their maker or a court-appointed barrel, products migrate to store shelves throughout Fraser Valley and Vancouver, or stay right at home in the winery's tasting room. There, visitors pass through daily to sample the varietals, or hang out in the showroom, warmly stocked with rustic casks and a crackling fireplace.
A dragon perches on a rock and bares its fangs, desperately wanting to take flight. But it remains chained to the ground. For this snarling beast lacks one important thing: colour. That?s where Paula Harvie comes in. As owner of Club Colour, she opens her studio to 40 people at a time to add pigment to more than 100 available ceramic pieces, from the dragon to cupcake trinket boxes and coffee mugs. Whether using stencils and patterns or following the lead of their sugar-stimulated day dreams, patrons can apply artistic designs to the ceramics using the studio?s stock of non-toxic acrylic and glaze paints. Handy staff members then glaze and fire the projects in a kiln to make them dishwasher and microwave safe.
The craftsmen at Blueberry Meadows Interiors know a solid piece a furniture can be the difference between a house and a home. With that in mind, they've made it their mission to pair people with well-built, designer imports through a hassle-free process that cuts out the middleman and his dreaded scheming. From beds and chests to chairs and coffee tables, furnishings come in several timbers, stains, and paints, so guests can match new additions to the rest of their home decor.
Cedar Rim Nursery sprouts more than 5,000 varieties of verdant species with which to decorate gardens of all shapes and sizes. Culinary herbs enliven window boxes with aromatic makeovers more effective than rosemary-infused sulfur deposits (from $0.99). Dirt devotees can flip backyard meadows into Edenesque landscapes with a selection of more than 120 dwarf fruit trees (from $29.98) or make edifices exotic with tropical houseplants (from $1.98). Annuals, perennials, shrubs, and specimen trees can beautifully bedeck properties, and an extensive selection of water fountains, garden statues, and attractive pots add an element of terrestrial distinction. Check in with an experienced spade wielder regarding upcoming garden theme weekends or for tips on garden design, plantcare, or drafting peace treaties among feuding weevil tribes.
Winner of numerous plaudits, including WineMaker magazine's U-Vint of the Year award in 2009, Crescent Wines, an on-premise winemaking store, allows patrons the opportunity to select and bottle their own batches of vino. Would-be vintners can choose from six wine varietals—chardonnay, gewurztraminer, pinot grigio, cabernet shiraz, merlot, and valpolicella—from Crescent Wine's selection of high-quality wine kits for a total yield of 31 bottles of a single style. Once the selection process has run its course, Crescent Wine's staff members take over, using their patented methods of racking and handling your nascent libations during the fermentation process.