Posts with tag "cocktails"

Lise Watier and Wine Tasting

This is not your usual food and wine blog post but it does reflect my other beloved combination: makeup and wine. The Lise Watier 40th Anniversary celebration at UVA Wine Bar was an intimate event to talk about their company and products with a wine and cheese tasting session.  I’ve always liked UVA Wine Bar for their cocktails (ask for Evelyn or Mark!), the small intimate room, and outstanding PR & Customer Service (I complained about them on Twitter once and they responded back asap…total respect for that). So with all this in mind, I thought it was too good of an opportunity to  miss out.

The Lise Watier team was in town to celebrate with local Vancouver medias and bloggers the 40th anniversary of the company.

In addition, other highlights were the Fall collection Millésime reveal and the overview of Lise Watier best sellers that marked the history throughout the last 40 years.  Some of their best sellers include their Professional Correctors, Waterproof Eyeliner (which I use and love), lipstick and crayon, and the Neige Eau de toilette.  At the event, they also announced about a new eCommerce site and a focus on expanding to the United States.  All around fantastic news for this reputable Canadian company.

As part of the evening, attendees had the chance to do a quick makeover with one of the makeup artists.  Of course, I went in to get my face done and came out with a new one (kidding).

We also got very generous swag of their Millesime collection: Duo Shadow and Glitter, Rouge Gourmand, Eyeshadow Quartet, eye crayon, and a wine glass (how fitting)

I’ve been using the eyeshadow quartet and it’s really amazing.  Even after a few hours, it still stays on as if you just freshly applied it.

Now on to the good stuff…the WINE! We had tastings of some pretty stellar bottles (my below scribbles from the orientation and tasting):

Mission Hill S.L.C. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – An excellent white blend which is creamy and smooth on the palate. Quite fruity with a hint of honey. It definitely pairs well with fish, seafood, and chicken.

La Stella Fortissimo – Another excellent local wine. It’s a harmonious blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and cabernet franc. It’s deep full bodied red with a strong cherries presence and hints of chocolate and coffee. A good wine to bring to a cheese tasting

Cassini Cellars Syrah – This syrah is deep and intense with flavours that are more oaky, peppery, and spices-y (is that a word?)

It was a fun, well organized, intimate affair.  We were all very spoiled, had a fun time…..and I’ll probably be visiting UVA Wine Bar very soon and making myself very comfy at the bar.

UVA Wine Bar
900 Seymour St in Moda Hotel
Uva Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Bittered Sling Bistro

Bittered Sling Bistro is the brainchild of Kale & Nori’s Lauren Mote and Chef Jonathan Chovancek. It’s a cocktail food pairing competition which brings together this city’s most talented and popular bartenders together. The bartenders must create cocktails that best suits each dish of a set menu and the guests then judge the dinner.

Before the actual dinner, we are greeted in the beautiful magnificent foyer of Legacy Liquor Store (one of the best looking liquor stores in town!). We are handed with a cocktail created by Lauren and nibbled on a few hors d’oeuvres freshly made on the spot by Jonathan. The hors d’oeuvres of the night were spiced nettle crisps with black garlic, radish and and sheep milk feta then a delicate spoonful of black chickpea puree with sesame, yogurt and mint

It was an interactive and entertaining affair with the charming Lauren as hostess.  She introduced the liquor choice for the dinner was Okanagan Spirits. The effervescent and talented Evelyn Chick of UVA Wine Bar was our bartender of the night.

Side note: I lost my notes on the cocktails :-( but I do vividly recall that I felt her cocktails paired well with each dish.

The first dish that paired was the unique fiddlehead, chorizo pork belly, and pickled red mustard sabayon

As with any good pork belly, it was tender, moist, and melted in your mouth.  I think it was my first time trying fiddlehead and it’s actually a pretty hearty side dish vegetable.

The second dish of the night was the delectable halibut in smoky west coast dashi with wild rice, roasted mushroom, and quinoa crust.

The fish was flaky and delicate.  The whole plate seemed just so healthy and fresh with each bite.

And of course to cap off the night, there was dessert

It was a sweet and tart dessert of preserved quince, caramelized, lemon meringue, maple granola caramel.

Though out the night, Evelyn would talk about her inspiration for the drink and why she picked certain elements to match with the dish.  After we finished noshing on our dessert, we each got a mini survey and rated how well the cocktails paired with the food.

On April 30, the blackbox finale competition was held at Ginger 62. After months of dinners and drinks, the announced finalists were the creme of the crop of Vancouver bartending:

Grant Sceney, The Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver BC
Gerry Jobe, Raudz Regional Table, Kelowna BC
Jay Jones, Market by Jean-Georges and The Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver BC
David Wolowidnyk, West Restaurant, Vancouver BC
Evelyn Chick, UVA Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, Vancouver BC
Danielle Tatarin, The Keefer Bar

There was the blackbox showdown rounds where the bartenders had a mysterious ‘blackbox’/black paper wrapped liquor to choose from a table of ingredients and bitters. Then it came to the grand finale between Evelyn and Gerry!  By the end of the series and the night, Gerry of Raudz Regional Table came out victorious!

The second series of this competition starts soon! So better book your spot to have an intimate cocktail food pairing dinner with your favourite bartender.

Kale and Nori – Bittered Sling Bistro

Legacy Liquor Store

Ginger 62
1219 Granville St
Ginger Sixty Two ( 62 ) on Urbanspoon

The Cascade Room

The Cascade Room is THE place to go to be seen in the SOMA area.  People think you can only lounge and bar hop in downtown but the East side can hold its own.  The Cascade Room is undoubtedly the scene of local hipsters and scenesters.  It’s a casual restaurant that seems to have gotten the right formula in making it the quintessential neighborhood joint: good beer list, eclectic selection of cocktails, decent food, and friendly good looking staff.  Plus on occasion I may have inadvertently twirted (tweet+flirted) with whomever is behind their twitter account.

I’ve been to Cascade numerous times now: going on random unsuccessful first dates, catching the Olympics Opening, watching a Canucks’ game and more.  And soon, I do want to try to pop by and check out their Monday Quiz Night.

The below are a couple of dishes I had the last time I was at the restaurant.  One side dish I recommend getting as a starter is the polenta fries which are thick, hot, has touch of spice and crispy served with spicy curried mayo dip.  As much as I do like their fries, it’s hit and miss because there have been times when I found the fries to be salty.  But they are good starters to have with a drink or beer.

My friend and I first shared a large plate of fresh Wild Rocket Salad (sorry no pictures were taken).  The salad was mixed with cucumber, sweet red peppers, roasted pecans, Grana Padano, and mustard vinaigrette.

We also ordered the Mushroom Pizza

It’s a medium pizza of roasted mushrooms, pesto, edam & goat’s cheese, topped with fresh spinach.  It’s a simple nice thin crust pizza with light flavours.  I liked that even with the pesto and cheeses it wasn’t too greasy and messy.  The thin crust was more the chewy side but I can’t critique too much as Cascade is not like a fancy Italian restaurant.
I think they serve one of the most generous cheese platters around
It’s large platter of three cheese selections with stewed figs, toasted nuts, with apple slices & crostini.  That night we had brie, blue cheese, and edam (I think).  At this point, I’ve had my fair share of cocktails and the cheese platter helped prevent further intoxication.  I loved the sticky stewed figs and seemed to go well with all the cheeses.
I like the Cascade over it’s sister neighbor, Habit, because of the folks and atmosphere.  Even though it’s not a kitschy lounge or a fancy fine dining establish, what it has in spades is atmosphere.  When you walk in during a busy night, there seems to be that buzz in the air and you can see people having a good time.  Aside from taking a date here, it’s fun times observing other first dates unravel in front of you.
The Cascade Room
2616 Main St
Cascade Room on Urbanspoon