Hungry for a new foodie-venture? Vancouver USA’s dining scene has thrived and blossomed into a notable phenomenon that’s celebrated all October with Dine the Couve.
The culinary event spans the entire month and brings together 27 restaurants that range from the city’s fine dining destinations to brewpubs and pizza places. Three for $23 specials are the main draw, which offer visitors an exclusive menu of three special items at a steal-of-a-deal price. Select breweries also offer $3 brew deals, which can’t be missed.
The area’s food scene has grown considerably in recent years. Chefs eager to start their own restaurants in an up-and-coming location have helped establish Vancouver as a new dining destination for accessible, delicious meals.
Chef Paul Klitsie owned and operated Fratelli in Portland’s Pearl District for 15 years before relocating to downtown Vancouver to open Willem’s on Main in 2013. The upscale rustic Northwest- and Italian- inspired bistro is a dining month favorite.
This year, the cozy eatery will offer a baby spinach salad with sweet onions, roasted hazelnuts and warm bacon mustard dressing. Alternatively, guests can opt for creamy polenta with house made Merguez sausage and basil crème fraiche. For the main course, look for fettucine with slow-cooked meat ragu or sautéed spätzli with oven roasted root vegetables and house made romesco sauce. Of course, the best is saved for last, a tasty crème brulee.
While Willem’s on Main is one of many restaurants anchoring Vancouver USA’s downtown food scene, a epicurean trail made of delicious dishes and pints of craft beer now stretches across the city. This year alone, nearly a dozen of the dining month participants are found in culinary clusters around the city
In East Vancouver, celebrity chef BJ Smith opened Smokehouse Provisions at The Mill plaza a year ago alongside neighboring Dine the Couve participants Ben’s Bottle Shop and Portland expats Rally Pizza. For Dine the Couve, the barbecue hot spot will offer a choice of seven different meat dishes along with deviled eggs or oyster shooters. Dessert is a tough choice between fried pies and smoked chocolate pudding.
Notably, several of this year’s participants have just opened in Vancouver in the last few months, which gives patrons the chance to try what is truly fresh on the scene. For an introduction to the newest additions during Dine the Couve, try the taco sampler plates and piloncillo cookies at Little Conejo, an Oaxacan-inspired taqueria and mezcal bar in downtown. Or, head north towards Hazel Dell to enjoy the shrimp scampi flatbread and craft cocktails at Sixth Avenue Bistro.
Of course, don’t miss the $3 craft beer pours offered at Dine the Couve’s five participating breweries and taprooms. Doomsday Brewing Safe House plans to offer a ‘Pain in the Mash’ barley wine, while Fortside Brewing says it will give drinkers the choice between their Couve A’licious Brown Ale or Fortside IPA.
Dine the Couve runs the entire month of October. See the complete list of participating restaurants and their menus at www.visitvancouverusa.com/dinethecouve.