October 29th, 2012. Ruben’s Chocolates   

ruben's chocolates - port moody

ruben’s chocolates – port moody

 

Ruben’s Chocolates on Brew Street in the Sutterbrook complex of Port Moody has always been on my radar, but blame that being close often puts things off I’d never actually even been inside the place!  I guess the other reason for that is that they always seem to be closed when I get the urge 😛

ruben's chocolates - port moody

ruben’s chocolates – port moody

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a warm little establishment with gelato and an assortment of artistic chocolates, cupcakes and a few other sweets.

ruben's chocolates - port moody

ruben’s chocolates – port moody

 

 

 

 

I was surprised to see that they actually had a real chocolate “wheel” behind the counter!  I knew then and there that I must try a hot chocolate!

ruben's chocolates - port moody

ruben’s chocolates – port moody

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mixture of the melted chocolate and steamed milk, I have to say…I was slightly disappointed as I would have liked to taste more richness and chocolatey-ness from my beverage..but it did have that great authentic feel to it and at least it wasn’t the watery kind of hot chocolate you get at most places.

ruben's chocolates - port moody

ruben’s chocolates – port moody

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all it’s a nice little chocolate shop and I would definitely come for another visit and hopefully try some goodies 😀

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August 22nd, 2011.  Foodie Weekend: Day 3

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

 

 

  The most anticipated dinner of this fab weekend!  Okay, technically, this is a Monday…but it still counts as part of the Foodie Weekend! 

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

 

 

  Hawksworth Restaurant is one of Vancouver’s newest jewels.  Part of the newly renovated Rosewood Hotel Georgia, it’s downtown chic at it’s finest.  I was soooooo tempted to as for a tour of the suites…!  But yeah, back to the restaurant….small space, but gorgeous!  It’s split up into 3 sections: bar, communal table and smaller tables.  very efficient space.  Lovely deco, great atmosphere.  Everything just seemed to have this glitter about it  🙂

  Special Situations Dan going all Double-Oh-Seven and getting the night started with this gorgeous looking Martini

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

  My mocktail of the night is the Blueberry Lavender: pure blueberry juice, lemon, lavender and sparkling water.  Subtle, light, fragrant…such a beautiful drink!

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Agreeing to go out on a limb I agreed to ordering the sweetbreads as one of our starters.  With a name like Maple Bacon Sweetbreads….how can I say no?  With black truffle, kohlrabi and preserved lemons.  Savory crispy, just enough mapley sweet, garbanzo beans and a beautiful foam…I was pleasantly delighted!

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Appetizer #2: 48-Hour Beef Shortrib with black pepper jam, honeydew, green papaya salad, peanut & Thai basil.  Super tender beef, peppery jam, and though I’m not a huge fan of honey dew or papaya…but, boy did they go well with the protien!

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

   

  

 

  More appetizers?  Why, yes please, keep ’em coming!  Oyama Prosciutto & Apricot Panzanella with smoked buttermilk dots, fennel, mizuna and chili.  Buttery prosciutto, the slight tang+bite+sweetness from the radish (?) shavings, sweet syrupy apricot drizzle, the slight bitterness from the greens and those beautiful creamy dots of smoked buttermilk….piled high on a thin wooden board..this was just gorgeous mosaic of flavors.

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

  Finally, the piece de resistance!  Fois Gras atop green apple gelee, candied walnuts, duck fat cotton candy and a basket of brioche.  Instant foodgasm!!  The fois gras was the smoothest most airy ‘gras I’ve ever had!  The luxurious texture downplayed the richness so that it wasn’t too heavy.  The apple gelee?  Se refreshing.  The candied walnuts provided the perfect texture contrast.  But by far the best thing…the duck fat cotton candy!  Who comes up with such an amazing invention??  Sweet like cotton candy, yet with a savory undertone and fatty silky texture.  Absolute heaven!!

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

  

  Following the mind-blowing duck fat cotton candy was our first main dish, Yarrow Meadows Duck Breast with confit leg, pea tendrils, deep fried enoki mushrooms, and a 5 spice broth.  Super juicy duck breast, perfectly cooked pea tendrils, and how can you not love crispy enoki mushrooms?  The 5 spice broth gave great flavor to the dish and really upped the ante.  Delicious!

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

  Our final entree was the Olive Oil Poached Spring Salmon which came with eggplant caviar, Indian cucumber and cilantro.  The salmon was perfectly flake-off-your-fork tender, the curried cucumbers were brought a delightful flavor contrast and the translucent crispy fried wonton skins (?) were such fun to eat with our fingers as we enjoyed the various flavors of the meal.

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

  Dessert time!!  When we heard “fresh in-house made Macarons“…..there was no questions about it.  We HAD to have them!  This no-brainer paid off, because the were excellent!  Beautifully airy nearly merangue-like cookies with a flavorful cool pop of flavor of jammy cream sandwiched in the middle.  Beautiful!!

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

 

  The other dessert on hand was this Yogurt Panna Cotta with a grapefruit sorbet a airy crispy meringue, gelee, and fresh fruit.  Sweet, but not over powering, light, airy, different textures and a beautiful marriage of acid, sweet, silky, refreshing…one of the best desserts of my life and a fantastic finish to this meal!

hawksworth restaurant

hawksworth restaurant

 

 

  I can honestly say, this is one of the best meals of my life!  Service was great, the space is just beautifully done, the food is not only creative with unexpected elements, but also amazingly executed.  I loved everything about this experience ♥

May 27th, 2011. Delicious Pizza in Edmonton!

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

 

 

  I made a stopover for a weekend in Edmonton before heading into Vancouver.  I figured I desereved a mini vacation before getting back into real life and I also wanted to spend some time with Nabil since I’d never really been able to support him in his military career for the last couple years.

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

 

 

 

 

 

  He planned for us to have dinner at Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria, which he claimed to be the best pizza in Edmonton.  Well, I love pizza..so I’ll be the judge of that!  The huge wood-fired bell oven fills the space with an incredibley delicious warmth and aroma of fresh baked dough layered with fresh tomato sauce, meats, herbs, etc.  What a wonderful welcome!  I was in love as soon as I walked in…Let the eating begin!!

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  They have gelato up at the front of the restaurant..and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have an Italian float!!  San Pellegrino Limonata and Green Tea Gelato.

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

 

 

 

 

 

  Started off with an appetizer of Roasted Kalamata Olives.  Marinated, oven-roasted olives with oregano, feta and spicy olive oil serrved with traingles of toasty bread.  I loooooove olives!! And these were the perfect balance of salty and briney with the great fresh pat of feta.  The spicy olive oil made it even more yummy! 

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

 

  We chose..okay, let me backtrack, I chose (hahaha!) the Siciliana.  Italian sausage, Italian ham and baked prosciutto.  Where to start?  The crust was perfection!  Not too thin, not soggy on the bottom, perfect char.  The meats were full of hearty flavor, the cheese had a clean, smooth taste and texture and the pasta sauce was so, so fresh!  I loved that the pizza was filling, yet light, savory and fresh.  What difference fresh ingredients make!

 

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Basil Mojito.  Limoncello liqueur, soda, fresh basil leaves and a lime wedge.  Refreshing!  Cool! 

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

famoso neopolitan pizzeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Panna Cotta.  With fresh blueberries and lemon zest.  Oh, the panna cotta was great!!  slippery sliding down the throat and the lemon zest brought that POP to the panna cotta canvas.  The blueberries were ripe and not too tart

 

  A wonderful way to start the weekend in Edmonton!

Yerba Buena – LES

October 25, 2011

February 24th, 2011. Dessert at Yerba Buena LES

yerbe buena - les

yerbe buena - les

After eating amazing baos I wandered into Yerba Buena looking for some dessert.  The whole staff insisted that I had to try the Panqueque: dulce de leche crepe, spiced pumpkin seeds and pistachio.  I have to say, I loved the sticky caramelly dulce de leche inside the slightly crispy crepe and the pumpkin seeds gave just the right earthy contrast to the sweetness.  The ice cream was also a nice cool compliment to the sweetness.

Bella Gelateria

August 20, 2010

July 1st, 2010. Canada Day, 2010: Vancouver 

bella gelateria

bella gelateria

  After our dim sum lunch we burned it off by walking around downtown.  We figured we may as well walk over to the Olympic Flame.  Downtown was packed!  It was nearly as full as it was during the Olympics and at the waterfront where the flame was it was pretty crazy with all the radio station and tv broadcast tents, live music, food carts and street performers.  The aroma of corndogs, smokies & mini donuts filled the air while we heard all sorts of sounds coming from every direction!  It was like a contest to see what could grab a person’s attention best.  A huge stage at the end of the bay with a local artist and band, in the plaza several radio and broadcast tents with weather girl turned local celebrity Tamara Taggart in one of them and projeted onto a jumbo screen.  Where to look and what to see!

bella gelateria

bella gelateria

  We wandered over to the Olympic torch, which was having a revival since the fervor of the actual Olympic Games had ended.  There was also what looked like a huge lego orca whale standing on it’s tail to the side, which many people were taking a picture in front of.  We then wandered into the Vancouver Convention Centre for a respite from all the ruckus outside.

 

bella gelateria

bella gelateria

  As we left the convention centre we happened to bump righ into Bella Gelateria, the new big name in town for gelato!  I wouldn’t have even paid much attention to it, just thinking it was another gelato place, if not for having just read Sherman’s review of it on his blog!  Apparantly this stuff is premium..so of course Rachel and I had to try it out! 

bella gelateria

bella gelateria

  It is definitely quite classy inside.  We can even see the equipment they use and have a glimpse of the back kitchen where the magic happens!  And you know what?  James Coleridge himself, the proprietor and gelateer (yes, i made up a word) was at the shop behind the counter.  Cool!  I’m not for certain, but who else could it be?  He definitely wasn’t just one of the staff who scoops gelato into cups!  I went to the website prior to writing this post.  The story of Bella Gelateria is quite romantic and sweet.

bella gelateria

bella gelateria

  After some consideration we chose a cup of the Pineapple and the Nougat/Torrone.  Yummy & pillowy!  The pineapple was especially refreshing and as you can see from the picture the fibrous pineapple can actually be seen!  It was very fruity.  The Torrone was lightly nutty and the nougats were deightful!  We enjoyed our little side trip 🙂