Six places to feast on wild mushrooms in Vancouver

This mushroom and rabbit dish is part of La Buca's game and wild mushroom festival.

This mushroom and rabbit dish is part of La Buca’s game and wild mushroom festival.

Chanterelles, porcinis, matsutake pines—if this is music to your ears, rejoice! It’s mushroom season in British Columbia.

In Vancouver, there are myriad way to enjoy the fungi that grows wild in the province’s forests. First you need to decide whether or not you want to get your boots dirty.

An edible mushroom found on a Swallow Tail tour. | Photo from Swallow Tail's Facebook page.

An edible mushroom found on a Swallow Tail tour. | Photo from Swallow Tail’s Facebook page.

Mushroom foraging

If you’re looking for adventure, check out Swallow Tail culinary tours. The local company offers mushroom-hunting walks through a rainforest that’s easily accessible from the city. The tours run on weekends from September to about November 16, or until the first frost.

An experienced guide leads the stroll that focuses on how to identify wild mushrooms that are safe to eat such as angel wings (above) and lobster varieties, and gives tips on the best way to cook them. Participants then get to enjoy a light lunch focused on the fungi.

The two-hour tour costs $39 per person, and it’s kid-friendly.

The kitchen at Siena Restaurant. | Siena website photo.

The kitchen at Siena Restaurant. | Siena website photo.

Siena’s fall mushroom festival

If you’re heading to a performance at the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver’s South Granville area, you can get your mushroom fix at nearby Siena Restaurant.

The trattoria is offering a $34 fall mushroom prix-fixe menu through October 26. Start with a crimini and oyster mushroom soup or chanterelles on brioche. For the main course, there’s a choice of three dishes: grilled lamb sirloin with morel mushrooms, roasted free-range chicken with a lobster mushroom masala, or porcini ravioli with Portobello mushroom confit.

Even dessert involves fungi: it’s a white chocolate and black truffle panna cotta.

A mushroom and rabbit dish at La Buca restaurant.

A mushroom and rabbit dish at La Buca restaurant.

 Andrey Durbach’s game and wild mushroom festival

Every year, talented local chef Andrey Durbach holds a game and wild mushroom festival at his restaurants. This year, he’s offering different options at all four of his properties, which highlight the best of hunting and gathering season through November 2. Expect red dear, wild boar, and elk alongside porcini, black trumpet, and other mushrooms.

The Italian La Buca on Vancouver’s west side is offering a three- or four-course set menu for $52 and $60 respectively. Highlights include mustard-and-black pepper crusted elk carpaccio, taglierini with butter, sage, truffle, and porcini secchi, grilled venison, and osso buco with wild mushroom risotto.

At the intimate French bistro Pied-a-Terre in Cambie Village, a three-course menu goes for $52. Choices include elk tartare or a wild mushroom tart to start, trout with shiitake and shimeji mushrooms or braised rabbit as a main, and port and Stilton or chocolate passion fruit tart to end.

Downtown, the Sardine Can (a Spanish tapas bar) and the Abbey (a casual British gastropub) will both offer game and mushrooms specials on their fresh sheets.

Oh, and if you want to take home a souvenir of your fabulous B.C. mushrooms meals, pick up a copy of Bill Jones’s The Deerholme Mushroom Book: From Foraging to Feasting (Touchwood).

With this Vancouver Island author’s cookbook, you can have fun with fungi in your kitchen back home, too.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.