Owner-manager Robert Klaus shows his commitment to sustainable, regional fare from the likes of Fraser Valley and Lake Louise by filling colorful plates on the dark wood tables spotting Lava Dining and Lounge. Locally sourced ensembles, such as roasted Fraser Valley free-range chicken breast with mushroom and sage bread pudding or braised Canadian lamb shank, earned the eatery the title "Best New Restaurant Outside Vancouver" from Straight.com's 2011 Golden Plate awards. In the kitchen, the eatery's prized chef sears duck and decks plates with seasonal veggies as servers complement the menu with an evolving selection of British Columbia wines and house cocktails. During clement weather, Robert's team situates patrons on the lush patio where lofty greenery, flowers, and table umbrellas shield diners from roving stegosauruses. Inside, servers scuttle across matte wood floors framed by muted orange walls and pass plates to tables flanked by black leather chairs.
Cold Stone’s ice cream, made in-store daily, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. Ice-cream voyeurs can create their own ice-creamplosion from old favourites or unheard of delights ($2.89–$4.59 with two mix-ins), eliciting taste tests of dozens of silky flavours such as cake batter, cotton candy, and piñata. Each ice-cream creation generously welcomes up to two of the shop's dozens of mix-ins as traditional as Oreo cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as pie crust. Those willing to bequeath the invention of creamy concoctions to the professionals can try a Cold Stone Signature creation, such as the almond-studded and caramel-slathered Coffee Lovers Only or the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection with Reese's peanut-butter cups, fudge, and a side of endorphins ($3.99–$5.75). Once concoctions are chosen and perfected, they're scooped cold into freshly made waffle cones or bowls.
White-water raft down the Thompson River and you’ll likely encounter a famous rock formation dubbed The Frog—the inspiration behind Todd and Shari Pratt’s eatery, The Frogstone Grill. Just as the boulder's unique shape has stood the test of time, the Pratt's wanted to create a reliable and unique restaurant, distinguished by memorable dishes. And with a menu of Mexican, Italian, and Southwest-inspired contemporary fare, they've managed to do just that.
An open kitchen showcases the chefs' flair for culinary invention, giving patrons front-row seats to watch as they pull homemade breads and margarita pizzas fresh from the brick oven, and brush slow-smoked ribs with cranberry barbecue sauce. To the delight of their late-rising customers, the kitchen team makes breakfast until 3 p.m. on weekends, serving up generous helpings of blueberry-mango french toast and sizzling steak skillets. The kitchen staff also happily serves up gluten-free options throughout the day. Guests who aren't seated near the action still get a show of their own, thanks to guacamole made tableside from fresh avocados, cilantro, and jalapenos. And while patrons dine, they can also enjoy the eatery's aquatic-themed decor, including frog statues, fish tanks, and even the arcade classic Frogger.
At three locations across Vancouver, Samz Neighbourhood Pub invites patrons to hobnob with friends and enjoy a menu of classic pub favourites. As TVs broadcast UFC events and Vancouver Canucks’ slumber parties, cooks dish up everything from fish ’n’ chips and chorizo mac ’n’ cheese to pierogies stuffed with cheese and potato. Among more than a dozen burgers and sandwiches, the salmon burger—stacked with tartar sauce, pickles, and onion—stands out as an uncommon option.
Il Corsaro transports the flavours of Northern Italy onto sun-tinged menus for both lunch and dinner. The mixed antipasto for two ($13.95 for lunch, $17.95 for dinner) samples sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, prosciutto and salami, bocconcini cheese, and olives for a motley medley paralleled only by the original cast of Degrassi. Lunch crams gustatory explosions into midday fare such as the meatball panini ($7.95) and the vegetariano frittata ($9.95). Dinner entrees highlight veal variations, including the house specialty veal saltimbocca, layering veal with prosciutto and mozzarella, sautéed in liquefied Mediterranean sunbeams and a garlic-white-wine sauce ($16.95 for lunch, $19.95 for dinner). The wine list surveys Italian selections ($5.95+/glass, $21.95+/bottle), as well as classic martinis ($7.25).
A healthier pizza. It may seem like a hefty challenge, but so far, Freshslice has been so successful with the idea that the business has grown to include more than 60 locations. Another part of what makes their pizzas special is their specialty Feast Pizzas that come piled high with toppings. The Super Hawaiian Feast is sweet and savory with bacon, ham and pineapple, and the Garlic Lover Feast features a classic sausage and mushroom pairing. You can also design your own pizza from scratch, choosing between regular or thin crust and picking a sauce from zesty tomato, creamy white garlic, or pesto. Freshslice also offers delivery as well as pre-assembled take-n’-bake pizzas, so diners can cook their meals at home or see what it’s like to toss a pizza with the toppings already on it.