This classic pub may be updated for the modern diner, but it's recipes seem like they would have been a favorite of sailors and their pet parrots centuries ago. People visit this Port Moody Bar for authentic, time-tested seafood dishes made with fresh ingredients, which range from handheld treats like the Oyster Po' Boy, to more inventive items, including Thai Curry mussels simmered in a housemade curry sauce.
It's safe to say all living things like food, but maybe not as much as Chef Victor Bongo does. Recently transplanted from Africa, a young Victor worked as a dishwasher, but the siren call of the culinary scene lured him. He navigated from one kitchen to another, learning to cook, achieving the position of head chef, and eventually studying with three-star Michelin Chef Edmund Liew-On.
Today, Chef Bongo helms Daniel's Restaurant, where he puts his considerable talents to work blending internationally beloved spices into local seasonal and organic ingredients. He places pan-seared scallops into seas of pureed parsnips or submerges bison filet mignon in blueberry-port-wine sauce. His culinary ministrations earned his new restaurant the accolades of local press, including Straight.com's 2012 Golden Plate award for Best New Restaurant Outside Vancouver.
A cozy picture of Tudor revivalist design, the lakeside Hart House Restaurant purveys creative menus full of exquisite dinner, lunch, and brunch delicacies lauded for their casual elegance. Sophisticated dishes include seared salmon with saffron fennel puree and beef tenderloin. During warmer months, guests can enjoy creative fare on the patio with a Pimm's Cup or a local wine before cracking into a vanilla bean cr?me br?l?e.
Seasonal events celebrate fresh, local fare. Hart House's glass-walled lakeside cottage, sprawling green backyard, and second-storey private rooms also make it an ideal location for business meetings, weddings, and reenactments of The English Patient.
A vivid mural covers a corner of Baci Ristorante, colouring the wall in European street scenes that, when paired with a menu of rich pastas and fine wines, evokes the spirit of Italy. Live music and dancing furthers the convivial atmosphere wherein guests can thumb through a large menu of Italian favourites at lunch or dinner. In addition to à la carte pizzas, seafood dishes, and appetizers, Baci Ristorante creates prix fixe group menus that sate larger parties or a single hungry strongman on his night off.
Every year Delta Burnaby Hotel, a AAA Four Diamond hotel and Green Key recipient, beckons guests into its conference centre’s 7,500-square-foot grand villa ballroom for an eclectic wine-tasting event. Twelve British Columbia–based wineries invite guests to sample their vine-based tastes, complemented by hors d’oeuvres crafted by chefs Dan Craig, Morgan Lechner, and Ian Thompson, and live entertainment to flatter ears and eyeballs. Guests engage to win silent-auction prizes including stays in the hotel, gift certificates to local restaurants, home-improvement products, and tickets to see the mime symphony. Partial proceeds from the event go to Habitat for Humanity. Parking is free for the event.
Up a long, wooded road in Burnaby Mountain Park, Horizons Restaurant waits, its towering wraparound windows granting spectacular views of budding rose gardens, stately Japanese totem poles, and Vancouver below. These surroundings absorb visitors so completely that only when their dishes arrive—wafting up the garlic and herbs of Executive Chef John Garrett’s innovative West Coast–inspired dishes—can they tear their eyes away. Chef Garrett grills BC seafood and steaks on an alder-wood barbecue, pairing the meats with locally sourced produce and accentuating sauces. When discussing his food philosophy with reporters from Dine Out Vancouver, the culinary artist put it plainly: "start with freshest ingredients, prepare them simply to enhance their natural flavors, and let those flavors shine through."
Once plates have been cleared and glasses have been drained, satisfied guests stroll past the gardens and pristine lakeshores of Burnaby Mountain Park. Forests of lush trees and winding trails make the park an ideal landscape for taking long nature hikes or burying leftover crème brûlée in the ground for later.