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.
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).
All of Mona Pizza locations adhere to a three-part formula for pizza-tastiness: dough made fresh daily, secret sauce made with imported spices and three types of vine-ripened tomatoes, and a unique blend of never-frozen cheeses. Since opening its first location in 1995, the pizza chain has used this high-quality foundation to build pies ranging from the classic meat lover to the tandoori chicken pizza. Along with pizzas and pastas, patrons can nosh non-Italian eats such as whole-wheat napkins or gyros served with housemade tzatziki sauce.
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.
Seasonal 56 Restaurant's chef Adrian Beaty values the work of Fraser Valley's local farmers and producers so much that he often invites them to the restaurant to examine their craft or collaborate with them on new menu items. These interactions result in regularly changing seasonal menus featuring local ingredients including grains, root vegetables, duck, and lamb from nearby farmers and butchers such as Glorious Organics and Thiessen Farms. The eatery also employs knowledgeable servers that can expound on menu items such as locally crafted cheeses from Agassiz Farm House and Milner Valley Cheese. In keeping with the focus on access to local ingredients and merchants, Seasonal 56 Restaurant also offers Gumboot dinners that consist of family-style fixed-course meals featuring a guest producer, who contributes a special ingredient to each dish and leaves heartfelt love letters under each plate. Additionally, the restaurant’s proximity to its featured wineries, breweries, and farms enables diners to visit the source of their meal's components. The restaurant's retail section offers house-made seasonal fare, which diners can pick up to eat at home or feed their pet snowmen.
Scanning Del Pollo's cozy dining room, it's not unlikely you'll see a few sombreros speckled throughout the largely hatless group of guests. That’s because waiters crown birthday celebrants with the classic Mexican cap, adding an air of unpretentious fun and festivity to the room. The cooks, however, make no such distinctions—they serve their authentic Mexican cuisine to everyone no matter their day of birth. These chefs fill sizzling fajitas with prawns tossed in house sauce, wrap flour tortillas around char-grilled AAA sirloin steak marinated with chipotle peppers, and whip up a Mexican poutine with achiote sauce, jalapeños, and a three-cheese blend. In addition to classic Mexican dishes, they whip up calamari with housemade tzatziki sauce and a New Orleans–style jambalaya comprised of chorizo sausage, scallops, and veggies. Bartenders complement the kitchen’s creations with a wealth of soft drinks, beers, shooters, and sangria, as well as specialty cocktails and margaritas. The soft glow from wall lamps, flatscreen TVs, and Christmas lights strung from the ceiling illuminate the live musicians who grace Del Pollo's stage.