There are some things that go together, such as rain and Vancouver, bad driving and Richmond or $2 million dollars for a run-down shack in Pt. Grey. Well, those things might make one question why they live here, but they indeed related to one another. When it comes to cultured activities (if you want to call it that), the combination of a art, food and wine is seemingly a natural match. With that in mind, Viv and I checked out Art, Eat and Sip on Granville Island during the DOV festival.
Our registration point and first stop was at the Granville Island Hotel or more specifically, Dockside Restaurant. We were treated to something a bit different with made-to-order Chili Squid. There was a dedicated chef preparing the squid in small batches that ensured optimum freshness and food integrity. Hence, the little bits of crunchy batter stayed crunchy while the peppers, garlic and seasoning were aromatic being hot from the pan. The squid itself was tender, yet still retaining an appealing chewiness. This was probably the best bite of the night.
After the squid, we ended up at Granville Island Brewing for 2 beer pairings. The first consisted of their signature IPA paired with Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel from ChocolaTas. This worked in our opinion as the creamy and sweet chocolate balanced out the hoppiness of the crisp IPA. Next, we had a Taco topped with cremini mushroom, flank steak, cilantro slaw and tomato jalapeno salsa. It was paired with the Hey Day Hefeweizen. As much as the hef was light and tasty with clove notes, it was completely overshadowed by the spiciness of the taco. We weren't really sure what they were intending, but my guess is the hef was supposed to cool the spiciness? Anyways, the taco was pretty good being spicy as mentioned as well as sporting tender slices of beef and a good amount of acidity.
Finally fulfilling the "art" portion of the event, we made the short walk to the Barbara Arnold Artist Studio featuring a selection of her work. There was an interesting array of textured art that displayed a 3D-effect. This was an interesting way to distract us from food and drink. However, it wasn't long before we turned our focus back to eating as The Lemon Square had set up shop right in the studio. If you haven't had this little sweet morsel before, be prepared for an impactful zing from the lemon balanced out by the buttery crust underneath. If you eat more than one, it does get a bit sweet, but still good in my opinion.
The drinking continued at Liberty Wine Merchants where we were able to sample 2 wines accompanied by little bites from Terra Breads. I sampled the Picpoul de Pinet which was somewhat fruity and floral with some zing to it. Apparently it is one of their best sellers and is reasonably-priced. As for the red, it was the Monterail Costières De Nîmes. This was pretty smooth with only some bite at the end. From Liberty Wine, we headed over to Liberty Distillery for some more booze in the form of a cocktail called the Basford (Endeavour Gin, rosemary-grapefruit cordial and fresh lemon juice). Although this was fruity and bright, the gin was pretty potent. My little taste of their Truth Vodka yielded even more strong results. They are not playing around here with their spirits...
Back to the food, we turned the corner and paid Off the Tracks Espresso Bar & Bistro. There, we were served their locally roasted Espresso paired with Carrot Cake. But before I dug into it, we had the Slow-Cooked Chorizo & Yam Tacos. As evidenced in the picture, the taco was generously filled with soft and slightly spicy chorizo and sweet yams. Sweet and moist, the carrot cake went well with the strong espresso that had a vinegary finish. The boozing continued at our next stop - Artisan Sake Maker. They paired the Junmai Nama with 2 little bites including Paillot de Chevre and SakeKasu Bon Bon. As much as Sake can be pretty strong, this one was fairly light and fruity. The goat's cheese and cocoa dusted truffle didn't hurt things either.
One last art stop was at Studio 13 Fine Art featuring the works of Alice Rich. As clearly illustrated in the picture, her abstract works are colourful and striking. We were able to peruse the gallery while sipping on a choice of red or white wine with cheese, grapes and other little snacks. We ended the night at New Leaf Creative Solutions where Bon Macaron set up shop. By the end of the night, they were running low in variety, but we were still able to sample a few Macarons. I've tried their Goat Cheese & Fig in the past and decided to stick to the familiar. Sweet and not overly gamy, the macaron featured a lightly crisp shell yielding a soft interior. So this was the end of a 3-hour walking tour of the lesser-known spots on Granville Island. As much as there wasn't a whole lot of food, there was an equal amount of alcohol. So one's enjoyment will depend on expectations.
- Highlights spots I would've never known about
- Good for socializing
- For those who don't drink, probably not the event for you