Vancouver Date Idea: Chowing Down Together at a Seafood Boil

Sourced from YEW

Sourced from YEW

My boyfriend grew up in Nova Scotia where his family throws community parties for their small town. We attended one last winter and I loved how everyone was in the kitchen, feasting on home-cooked rustic food, chatting, and having an overall great time together.

Inspired by this East coast tradition, a few restaurants in the city are hosting seafood boils that would make for a fun and tasty night out (as long as you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with good food).

YEW seafood + bar

Following its popular and sold-out spot prawn boils, YEW seafood + bar (Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, 791 West Georgia Street) will be holding three summer crab and lobster boils on July 10, 17, and 24.

You and your date will be seated at a stunning communal table for fourteen guests. You’ll each get your own cute bib (a sign that the night is going to involve serious, no holds barred gorging).

Photo credit: Tara Lee

Photo credit: Tara Lee

Enjoy some first sips of refreshing summer sangria before moving onto a salad with little gem lettuce, green goddess dressing, avocado, almonds, and fromage frais.

Photo credit: Tara Lee

Photo credit: Tara Lee

Make sure to save room for the main event: steamed Dungeness crab and lobster, accompanied by grilled asparagus, steamed potatoes, summer green and yellow beans, heirloom tomato confit, two kinds of aioli (garlic chili and lemon and lime), as well as brioche loaves with kelp and Vancouver Island sea salt butter.

The seafood is literally poured onto butcher’s paper on the table, which makes for an incredibly interactive and unpretentious dinner.

Shot from the Spot Prawn Boil; Photo credit: Tara Lee

Shot from the Spot Prawn Boil; Photo credit: Tara Lee

Sometimes dates can be stressful and uptight (“I need to chew daintily”; “Is there food in my teeth”?), but these seafood boils allow both of you to relax and be yourselves. Just grab a nearby claw and dig in. It’s messy, but who cares? It’s delicious. As a bonus, there’ll be other people around to chat with if conversation gets awkward or stalls.

At the point where you don’t think you can eat anymore, the restaurant will bring out a last course of summer fruit pie, served with vanilla ice cream.

Photo credit: Tara Lee

Photo credit: Tara Lee

Tickets are $89 per person (plus transaction fee) and are available on-line.

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Also popular are Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar’s (Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard Street) Sunday Seafood boils. Running every Sunday until August 28, these communal dinners will take place on the restaurant’s charming street-side patio.

Sourced from Boulevard

Sourced from Boulevard

The evening will begin with Haywire’s “The Bub,” sparkling wine, before you and your date help yourselves to grilled romaine heart salad with crispy egg, marinated tomatoes, and Old Bay buttermilk dressing, and then a bounty of seafood (Dungeness crab, clams, mussels, crawfish, jumbo prawns), potatoes, and corn. Drawn garlic butter, spicy remoulade, green goddess sauce, and crumbled chorizo sofrito will amp up the flavours. Bacon cornbread will also accompany the seafood served on butcher’s paper.

Sourced from Boulevard

Sourced from Boulevard

You and your date will finish your meal with BC blueberry pie with lemon curd and yogurt sorbet.

Tickets are $59 per person (plus beverages, tax, and gratuity), based on a minimum of two guests, and are available on-line.

WildTale Coastal Grill

Fabulous Sunday lobster suppers are an on-going feature at WildTale (1079 Mainland Street).

Sourced from WildTale Instagram

Sourced from WildTale Instagram

Dinners start at 4pm, with a menu featuring classic seafood chowder with freshly baked rolls, steamed PEI mussels, green salad with house dressing, coleslaw, potato salad, and, of course, fresh steamed lobster. For dessert, choose between chocolate mousse, ice cream, mixed berry shortcake, and freshly baked pie (oh, the dilemma).

Reserve at 604-428-9211 for a 1 lb lobster ($50 per person) or a 1.5 lb one ($60 per person).

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