Behind their storefront's wood sign and bright red door, Jimmy Flynn's Celtic Snug's bartenders pour cold pints of Guinness to complement hearty Irish stews, seafood, and meat crafted fresh daily. Each morning, chefs whip up black pudding for traditional Irish breakfasts and then use Guinness to enhance the flavours of later day offerings such as bison burgers and barbecue pulled pork sandwiches. In addition to draft brews, Jimmy's crew can also fill glasses with local and international red and white wines.
Creamy textured walls, Celtic-themed paintings, and panoramic views of the White Rock Harbour wrap around the eatery's cozy confines. The dining room also hosts occasional performances from live musicians and special events such as whisky tastings with James Joyce's ghost.
Pearl on the Rock, a AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurant, presents contemporary Pacific cuisine in a well-appointed dining room with spectacular views of Semiahmoo Bay. The inventive menu binds a harmonious marriage between land and sea with seafaring items such as Qualicum Bay scallops ($28.95), bolstered to daring levels of decadence by mushroom risotto and brown-butter cauliflower puree. The weekend brunch menu also boasts multifarious fare with items such as the pancetta and cheddar omelette ($12.95), with house-made bacon, farmhouse cheddar, organic greens, and hollandaise sauce. The restaurant participates in the Ocean Wise initiative, serving sustainable seafood while protecting the sea's tasty resources and mermaid farm industry. To supplement its creative culinary creations, Pearl boasts a 625-bottle wine list that has been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
The crafty chefs at Organic Connections' beachfront cafe placate hunger cries with fresh, organic items crafted into the menu's offerings of vegan, vegetarian, and live cuisine. Dining duos can split piping soups, such as a daily special or a classic borscht, a hearty blend of cooked beats and veggies that, like Mrs. Potato Head's cocktail attire, is capped in sour cream. Seasoned pumpkin and sunflower seeds sprinkle over the signature salad, priming palates for entrees such as a traditional red-quinoa bowl packed with nutrients and slathered in a mild curry sauce. Food artisans pile a rice-bowl special high with seasoned organic rice that sings its flavours alongside freshly steamed vegetables and a daily sauce. Though not included in today's Groupon, patrons can sip selections of organic juices and smoothies. Live music dances through the air on the weekends, and guests can belt out menu orders in three-part harmony on open-mic nights each Friday.
Situated cozily within their beachfront fortification, the culinary virtuosos at Iguana's Beach Grill shell out hearty platters of pub grub anointed with a Southwest American twist. The kitchen's bacon-and-cheddar burger (an $11 value) spans the cavernous gap between two bun halves with a succulent, beefy bridge. Meanwhile, the crab-and-gouda dip ($11) blends snow-crab meat with a mighty triumvirate of smoked gouda, aged parmesan, and cream cheese and arrives with an entourage of pita chips for dipping. Freshly plucked fruits of the sea play a starring role in main dishes, such as the portabella ravioli ($17), setting garlic prawns afloat on top of whole-wheat pasta, portabella mushrooms, ricotta, and roasted red-pepper pesto cream. Diners can relax on the beachfront restaurant's heated patio, ideally located for tossing table scraps to vagrant mermaids, or swing by on a Friday or Saturday night for live entertainment.
Deluxe Beach Restaurant whips up a menu brimming with international options running the gamut from small plates and pastas to surf 'n' turf. Plunge tongue-first into a single-serving vat of apple-smoked cheddar broccolini soup with tomato bruschetta ($9) before taming a troupe of tiger prawns with pancetta ($15). Grilled beef tenderloin with filo-wrapped mashed potatoes ($29) and an optional shiitake port demi peppercorn sauce ($5) argue compellingly for terrestrial proteins, but patrons may prefer to ransack fabled undersea orchards with the lobster, ricotta, and pear ravioli in champagne-shallot cream sauce ($33). This Groupon can also be applied toward a three-course prix fixe menu ($40), or Alex Trebek's favourite potent potables from the extensive wine list, including Cupcake's 2009 chardonnay and Avalon's 2008 cabernet sauvignon. Deluxe Beach Restaurant's modern décor allows diners to eat elegantly on the upstairs ocean-view level, or browse the beach surface from the main level's cocktail lounge and outdoor patio.
In the dining room, the rhythmic pounding of a bodhrán hand drum mingles with the joyful melodies of a tin flute, flooding every inch of the space with an ebullience punctuated by onlookers’ clapping hands and tapping feet. The diners have left the feasts spread across their tables mostly untouched, their attention glued to the band in the midst of their lively song. Such moments aren't a rarity at Donegal's Irish House, but are an almost nightly occurrence at the jovial eatery that brings locals together to make new friends and share in internationally inspired meals.
Champions of fostering an atmosphere of community and friendship, the affable staff goes out of its way to make guests feel welcome, thanks to attentive service and an ever-changing calendar of events that keep inviting guests back. On select evenings, patrons can convene at Donegal's to watch a Canucks game or to see local bands. As guests chat and mingle in the dining room, the kitchen buzzes with chefs concocting Irish standards such as shepherd's pie and international cuisine that includes perogies and sausage, jambalaya, and butter chicken. Donegal's signature dish remains the whopping blarney stone burger, a 7.5-pound charbroiled Canadian beef patty that gets its eater a commemorative T-shirt and a place on the wall of fame if it's eaten within two hours with no help. Unsuccessful competitors, meanwhile, find their snapshot displayed on the wall of shame, under the most personal entry from their dream journals.