Posts tagged ‘vancouver’

September 26, 2011

The Great Dessert Search, Edition No. 3: Crème Brûlée Shooter from Glowbal

VANCOUVER — How can you make custard with a burnt sugar top even better? Add an ounce of liquor, in the form of Crème de Cacao and Bailey’s, and you will find yourself with more than a few repeat visitors.

Creme Brulee Shooter - Glowbal Vancouver

Glowbal's signature dessert shooter is $8 worth of bliss.

That’s what’s happened with the dessert shooter at Glowbal, a Yaletown spot that’s known for its beautiful patrons and dependable food. Residents in Vancouver’s hip neighbourhood drop into Glowbal for Sunday brunch and weekend dinners, with the seafood choices changing often and usually being the highlight of the entrée selections. One of restaurant’s signature offerings, though, has nothing to do with what comes on a plate. It’s the restaurant’s signature Crème Brûlée Shooter, which I first tried in 2005 and have kept coming back for since.

The drink is usually served from Thursdays to Saturdays, with the kitchen preparing the custard and the bar staff the shot of liquor. Each serving of custard is placed on top of the liquor in a two-ounce glass. Once prepared, the glasses are slid into a refrigerator until Vancouverites come asking.

MORE GREAT DESSERTS: GRANDMA LAMBE’S APPLE PIES

When served, diners are given a dessert spoon to crack the burnt sugar and to swirl the custard around in the liquor before throwing it back. It’s absolutely marvellous, a ticklish and decadent sensation for the mouth.

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August 9, 2011

Ensemble an incredible achievement for Vancouver’s ‘Top Chef’

Christopher Cho at Ensemble

Bar manager Christopher Cho keeps the drinks and the good times coming at Ensemble.

VANCOUVER — On the night of the Vancouver riots, while everyone else in the city was consumed with what might catch fire, the staff at the city’s most talked about new restaurant were worried about what might float away. The restaurant in a building that’s been called “cursed” suffered a freak flood that bar manager Christopher Cho said left the dining room covered in three inches of water and forced the restaurant to close for two weeks.

“We were called down there early in the morning and when I first heard about it I thought that one of the rioters had smashed in some windows or something,” said Cho. Turns out, a water heater tank had burst, giving the restaurant reason to re-decorate early in its life.

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May 12, 2011

In a battle of Vienna vs. Vancouver, both win

St. Stephen's CathedralVIENNA — Vienna or Vancouver? What’s the better city? They duel annually for the distinction of the world’s best metropolis to call home. Vienna this year topped the Mercer Index for Top Quality of Life while Vancouver was named The Economist’s Most Liveable City in the world.

I lived in Vancouver for five years (and intend to return to my home there one day) and I just got back from a four-day stay in Vienna. Picking a winner would be difficult. This is Ali vs. Fraser, or Halle vs. J-Lo, or Dom vs. Cristal.

Vancouver wins on scenery, hands-down. Vienna, from what I could tell, comes out on top in standard of living.

Vancouver is a little better on its overall food scene, but Vienna has Steirereck, one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Vancouver has mountains, Vienna palaces. Vancouver has the Shangri-La, Vienna has the new Sofitel, with the hot Le Loft restaurant at the top. Vancouver has Stanley Park, Vienna has the historic village of Grinzig and the forest surrounding it. Vancouver has Granville Island, Vienna the Naschmarkt. And you can go on and on.

When it comes down to it, though, there’s a reason people find these two cities to be so terrific: The atmosphere. In Vancouver, you head to English Bay, Third Beach or the seawall on Coal Harbour and you instantly escape. Vienna relaxes you with its wide streets, friendly people and truly amazing modern art installations, many of which will make you to smile.

Of course, it also has more history than any North American city, with ruins dating to Roman times and churches as old as the 13th century. The art collection from the former Hapsburg empire is loaded with great works, including Vermeers, Rembrandts, Raphaels, van Goghs and Titians. There’s also Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss,” a treasured painting that holds the viewer’s gaze with its beauty and intricate details. The 103-year-old painting is at Belvedere Palace, which boasts a number of other great works.

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