Three Restaurants to Check Out During Dine Out Vancouver

WildTale Dine Out Selecteions (Photo Credit: Tara Lee)

Over 300 delicious establishments are participating in this year’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival (January 18 to February 3, 2019). This wealth of restaurants means that, over the course of 17 days, you can affordably sample a wide variety of cuisines and styles of dining from all that the city has to offer.

I had the opportunity to preview the menus of three restaurants that are well worth checking out. Your palate will thank you!

Jamjar Folk Lebanese Food

Located in the sleek South Granville neighbourhood, Jamjar (1488 West 11th Avenue) is a cozy space offering home-style Lebanese cooking ($35 dinner menu for Dine Out). Their name comes from the jars of addictive dips that they sell to their customers.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

You’ll get to sample them with a first course that consists of hummus mohammara, sweet potato hummus, and assorted pickles (e.g. cauliflower, carrot). The colours of this course are vibrantly appealing.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

The next course, a raw beet salad with arak raisins, roasted walnuts, and a sumac yogurt dressing is lovely, with a great play with textures.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

For mains, there’s a choice between braised lamb shank with roasted green freekah, shankleesh, chermoula mint pesto, and almonds; Pacific cod wrapped in grape leaves served with kale samkeh harra and butter beans; and eggplant rolls, black bean broth, and za’atar roasted tomatoes. Out of the three, I particularly enjoyed the lamb shank, which was wonderfully tender. The eggplant was also deliciously aromatic.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

The culimination of the menu is the snoud al sitt, an Arabic keshta served with spiced caramelized apples. Encased in light, flakey phyllo, it was an ethereal dish. Jamjar’s menu will appeal to those with a variety of eating requirements/preferences (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free).


Both locations of WildTale (165 West 2nd Avenue; 1079 Mainland Street) are participating in this year’s Dine Out, offering a menu of incredible value ($45). I visited their new location in Olympic Village and was really impressed by the interiors, with its dark wood paneling and gorgeous vintage-style tin ceilings. It has the feel of an invitingly swanky supper club. WildTale, owned and operated by the same group behind the Flying Pig (the Olympic Village location is part of Dine Out), is so popular due to its accessible menu and consistent showcasing of fresh ingredients.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

You will definitely leave the restaurant satisfied and very full. The appetizer choices are creamy butternut squash coconut curry soup; Dungeneses crab and baby shrimp cake with pickled fennel salad, lemon and dill aioli; and venison carpaccio with watercress, parmesan, and horseradish. While they were all excellent, the latter was perfectly executed. Don’t forget to sample the accompanying grilled bread.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

The main course offers a selection between herb crusted BC sturgeon, with maple glazed golden beets, carrots, cauliflower and boursin cheese purée; a AAA California cut beef striploin with lobster, mashed potatoes, charred broccolini, and cabernet jus; and jumbo tiger prawn pappardelle with crispy pancetta, black olives, roasted tomatoes, white anchovy, and garlic bread crumbs. If you’re craving well-executed surf and turf, definitely go for the steak and lobster, a combo that really can’t be beat.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Lemon and rum cheesecake with cherry compote is a classic dessert with a slight twist. Silky forkfuls cap off a great meal.

Verre Restaurant

In December, Verre (550 Denman Street) opened in picturesque Coal Harbour to great anticipation. Internationally acclaimed chef Liam Breen had returned to Vancouver and launched a seductive and sophisticated French/Mediterranean menu.

Photo sourced from Verre Restaurant

The glass walled room is utterly gorgeous, doing full justice to its Vancouver-side location. Previous restaurants in this space felt cold; however, Verre exudes modern style while feeling warm and inviting. Greenery accents and an eye-catching smoked glass and black marble bar really finish off the interiors. It exudes a boutique feel, perfect for cocktails and eats, or an intimate dinner with a date, friends, or family.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

The Dine Out menu ($45) is equally as impressive. The amuse bouche is an earthy mushroom and black truffle duxelle. You then can choose between a seafood soup with prawns, mussels, and clams or a beet and chevre salad.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Pork ragu tajarin or gnocchi arrabiata with parmesan is the next course before moving onto either duck cassoulet or lingcod with beurre blanc and fingerling potatoes. Chef Liam’s cooking is confident, with a delicate attention to flavour combination, technique, and the quality of ingredients.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Both desserts (key lime tarte with vanilla meringue and chocolate crème brulée with salted rosemary caramel were divine. You’ll be fighting over the last tastes of each.

Further information about each of the restaurants can be found on the Dine Out Vancouver website.

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