Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vegetarian Dining Goes Upscale in Vancity

Image from www.dinehere.ca 

I have been vegetarian a long time, more than 15 years. Yikes...I'm old. But that's not what this post is about... As I was saying, there are a lot of us vegetarians on the Wet Coast and yet, it is not until this year that restauranteurs have cottoned on to the idea that we might like to eat really good food. Raised on farmer's markets filled with quince, chioggia beets and fennel, at most dining establishments vegetarians are faced with nothing but pasta primavera.

In Vancouver, a vegetarian can get by a lot easier than in other cities but seriously, if I have to see one more uninspired pizza or veggie burger I am gonna lose it. I like The Naam as much as any other Vancouverite but I am not looking for gooey, homestyle food all the time. So imagine my excitement when I notice that the old Italian red sauce joint on Main St has been replaced with a stylish acorn.

The Acorn is unusual in that it treats us crazy vegetarian folk like actual foodies. When I visited a while back with my two foodie pals, we dined on unbelievable house made gnocchi, luscious haloumi and the most delicious kale caesar. The space is lovely and while not cheap, it won't break the bank either. Chef Brian Skinner comes by his new Nordic-looking plates honesty, he did a stint at Best-Restaurant-in-the-World, Noma. I loved it and will be sure to go back. 

However, one restaurant does not a movement make. How about three? Enter Heirloom on South Granville and The Parker in Gastown. Chef Georgia Morley at Heirloom was a personal chef to Mr Lululemon himself and at The Parker, Corner Suite Bistro alums Chef Jason Leizert and cocktail maestro Steve de la Cruz are getting together to make some hip, veggie music to my ears. I am heading to The Parker this weekend and will update this post with my thoughts.

What a concept, making unbelievable food that just so happens to be vegetarian? Here is one trend I hope becomes permanent.


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