My week long birthday celebrations have been an extravaganza of eating and drinking as well as spending lots of time with my favourite people. But this post is all about the food. The fresh, local, fabulous food.
My own personal feeding frenzy started at a local hangout called The August Jack. A friend told me about this spot a few weeks ago and since then I admit I’ve become a little obsessed. The atmosphere is so cozy and welcoming that I feel like I could show up in my pyjamas and nobody would bat an eyelash. It’s the kind of bar you can sit at alone and not feel a) out of place b) like you don’t have any friends or c) that you’re looking for someone to pick you up. It’s comfy, friendly and is becoming my version of Cheers (without Cliff and with amazing food). I spent Friday and Sunday night there happily eating and drinking the evening away and Sunday, especially, was an overindulgent feast (thanks Sam!). My friend, Sam had another restaurant picked out for my b-day dinner but since I had spent the afternoon dreaming of The August Jack’s popcorn, doused in truffle oil and topped with freshly grated parmesan, I convinced him to take me there instead.
Our meal started with chunks of melt in your mouth Ahi tuna tossed in peanut sauce and accompanied with house made crostini. Next were beautiful Vancouver Island oysters on the half shell, then pan-fried oysters covered in crunchy seaweed, followed by the most sublime mussels in a paprika rose sauce. Perfectly done pesto halibut was our entrée and, the grand finale, a goat cheese cheesecake with house-made raspberry sorbet. The combo of heavy, sharp cheesecake and light, sweet sorbet was perfection and I happily rolled all the way home.
My next binge was lunch at Fresh, Local, Wild food truck. Their seafood poutine has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and rightly so. It’s the most spectacular poutine in the world. Yes, Montreal, the world! Crispy hand-cut fries, covered in a light seafood broth containing good size chunks of fresh BC salmon, mussels, halibut, onion and little chunks of double-smoked bacon. Nirvana. That’s all I have to say.
The final dinner to end my week of overindulgence was at my fave restaurant, Chambar. The ambience at Chambar transports me directly to Europe. When I see the exposed brick walls, high wooden beamed ceilings, red leather banquets and palm trees, I want to move in and live their forever and ever. And then, there’s the food. We started with pan-fried, perfectly done octopus, washed down with Chambar’s own amber ale. My taste buds fell in love. The main course was moule Congolaise, with tomato, coconut milk and cilantro. I have this dish every time I go to Chambar. I know they have an outstanding menu and I should probably try something else at least once but I can’t imagine wanting anything more than the giant pot of steaming mussels with perfectly salted frites and homemade mayo. Our magnificent meal ended with our waiter bringing over a platter with Happy Birthday written in chocolate, along with pistachios covered in dark chocolate and a stack of coconut squares. Bliss.
It’s been an amazing week of eating, drinking, laughing, catching up with good friends and being completely spoiled.
Today, however, reality is back and I’ve downed a green smoothie for breakfast and am going out for my first run in over a week.
The party, officially, is over…..until, of course, next year.