It’s foodies’ most favourite time of the year, Dine Out Vancouver! For those who don’t know, Dine Out is an annual event wherein participating restaurants have set menus for three course meals at various prices ($18, $28, $38). These prices are a bargain for most restaurants considering you get an appetizer, main entree, and dessert. This year, the event goes on from January 18-February 2. I for one take this as an opportunity to try out restaurants that would otherwise be slightly out of my last-semester-of-university-student budget.
First up, Dan and I checked out a place that’s been on my must try list for a while now—Raw Canvas. This cozy little place situated in the heart of Yaletown is perfect for your inner artsy-fartsy waiting to come out because you get to dine and paint!
For $38, their Dine Out is well worth it considering the average price of their smallest canvas alone is $55!
Going with a partner is perfect because you can order one of each appetizer and share! The Artisan cheese Tasting plate which came with three cheeses—Riopelle, Marechal, and a three year aged gouda was the perfect match to the Charcuterie Tasting plate filled with delicious slices of Pheasant and Pistachio terrine, Prov. Saucisson sec sausage, Czech beer salami. In the middle were tasty extras like pickles, figs, almonds, olives, tomatoes, and mustard. They also serve a healthy bowl of french baguette on the side for you to experiment different combinations of cheese and meat on.
My personal favourites were the Riopelle + figs + almonds and Czech beer salami + mustard + mustard + tomato. We also paired our meal with the recommended wine (Poplar Grove Chardonnay and Monster Vineyard Red Eye blend) that they have special for Dine Out.
The dessert, gelato accompanied with Port wine poured on top, was the perfect cap to the meal. We yummied it up quite quickly as we couldn’t wait to get painting!
As mentioned earlier, part of the Raw Canvas experience is suiting up in a paint splattered smock and going to town on a blank canvas (pardon the blurry picture, argh!). They provide all the art supplies, all you have to do is bring your creativity! I was stressing out about what I wanted to paint. Eventually, I took the advice of one of the lovely staff and “just went in their thinking abstract”. It’s definitely more fun to just splatter paint without any care in the world!
Below is our final product, you can guess who did what. Raw Canvas is an awesome place to go with tons of friends or perfect for a date night. We were quite proud of ourselves in the end and had tons of fun!
Raw Canvas is located at:
1046 Hamilton Street
Continuing on my “extended” birthday adventures, Krissy and Faye took me to Hapa Izakaya for some Japanese eats. With it being one of Vancouver’s first gorgeous days this season, we sat on their sunny Yaletown patio to properly enjoy the weather.
Words that came to mind to describe Hapa Izakaya’s atmosphere would be sleek, modern, and lively. Because many of their menu items are tapas and share plates, I recommend coming with a group of friends to really get the most out of it.
With Hapa’s trusty allergy sheet in hand (Faye is allergic to dairy, shellfish AND usually eats a vegan diet!) here’s what we ordered:
The best item hands down was the Ebi Mayo. In addition, I loved that the beef short ribs were topped with sesame chili sauce, which added flavour without it being overwhelmingly spicy. The Karaage was tender and really good as well! Next time, I would probably branch out and order the Bintoro and other tuna dishes (which at this point I still have a weird thing with not liking tuna).
So that’s all for this lovely casual Yaletown Japanese joint, which I highly recommend if you’re in the area. Happy food adventuring!
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