By Elianna Lev, www.eliannalev.com
As someone who’s been living and writing about Vancouver for nearly a decade, I am never surprised by how often the city surprises me. Yet, I don’t think I’ve ever experience so much element of wonder than I did in one evening spent on the whimsical Secret Supper Soiree. The event is organized by Swallow Tail Supper Club and is part of the Dine Out Vancouver event series.
The main element of this night is, you guessed it, surprise, so I’m not going to reveal too much. What I will say is this: The minute you step on the trolley that takes you to three secret pop-up restaurant locations throughout the night, be prepared to start guessing.
The first location we visited is the last place you’d expect to eat a meal. All I can say, and I’m choosing my words carefully here, is that it didn’t lack history, kitsch, charm or things to marvel at…and potentially break.
We were served two courses ・crab wraps and trout head or Portobello mushroom stuffed with thyme, parsley, radishes and truffle oil. They were paired with the first of four libations, Le Vieux Pin, a tangy 2009 Blanc. (We were told all the wines being served that evening weren’t available in Vancouver for purchase. Oh la la.)
Next we were taken across town to our second secret location. Guests spent the whole ride guessing where we could be off to next. Turned out locations #2 was also filled with historic and fragile artifacts ・just in a different context. Here we were served caramelized onion quiche and stuffed rolled beef on bread that had taken 18 hours to rise. Each course was paired with beautiful white and red wine, by Pentage and Les Brottiers, respectably.
After we were done, we hopped aboard our carriage only to be taken to higher altitudes and warmer temperatures. The final destination was a real marvel ・a place where you’re surrounded by foliage and feathered friends. There, we were served our final canapés -prosciutto-wrapped zucchini and a spiced brownie, paired with a Quails Gate port.
Seeing and eating my way through these spots throughout Vancouver at night only made me realize how little I know about the city I love -and how it never fails to surprise me.
Elianna Lev is a writer, broadcaster and media consultant. Though originally from Toronto, she quickly morphed into a Westcoaster after her first visit to Vancouver, eight years ago. (The mountains had her at hello.) She plans to make it her homebase, forever.