Autumn dining in Vancouver goes well beyond sipping on pumpkin spice lattes; rather, fall eating and drinking is about a shift in the palate toward deeper, more robust flavours and the celebration of harvested local ingredients. At this time of year, the farmers markets showcase an array of produce, like beets, squashes, Brussels sprouts, and apples, which also creatively appear on the menus of restaurants across the city.
Here are some autumnal offerings to keep you warm and cosseted:
Sourced from Bar Gobo; radicchio and coronation grape salad
Burdock & Co. has cultivated a devoted following for its attentive shift with the seasons. Chef Andrea Carlson recently won Chef of the Year in the 2020 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant due to her impressive commitment to local ingredients. Currently, the restaurant is offering a changing five-course set menu that highlights the best of nearby producers. Expect lovely dishes, like cauliflower cake with uni-garlic mascarpone or duck breast with puy lentil ragout, Maiitake mushrooms, and chestnut.
The newest sibling of Burdock & Co. and Harvest Community Foods, Bar Gobo (237 Union Street) is a charming wine bar with snacks that stay true to Carlson's cooking ethos. Case in point: a radicchio and coronation grape salad with creamy parmesan dressing. The grapes, briefly available during late summer and early fall, are a uniquely BC-created hybrid.
Photo Credit: The French Table
Those anticipating the arrival of chanterelle season can find numerous dishes that incorporate this much fêted mushroom at The French Table (3916 Main Street). Over the next couple of weeks, drop by for creations like pan-seared beef tenderloin with chanterelle cream sauce, sautéed chanterelles with garlic butter on croutons, and marinated roast leg of lamb with sautéed chanterelles.
If you're looking for a more casual (and vegetarian) way to get your mushroom fix, Beetbox (1074 Davie Street) has a mushroom bowl, with fried oyster mushrooms, asparagus, peas, baby kale, and Buddha sauce, that's sure to be a hearty, earthy combination of your favourite ingredients and flavours.
Sourced from CIBO; roasted beet and ricotta-stuffed mezzaluna
Italian cuisine lends itself particularly well to autumnal eating, with its simple focus on the seasonality and locale of ingredients. And the cooler temperatures are always a good excuse for a plate of well-executed pasta. CIBO Trattoria (900 Seymour Street) has a host of elegantly rustic pastas to choose from, such as mezzaluna stuffed with roasted beet and ricotta and finished with brown butter and poppyseeds; and cannelloni with wild mushrooms, mascarpone, béchamel, and parmigiano reggiano.
Sourced from Trattoria; forno baked gnocchi bolognese
If you have a yearning for the wonderfully classic, Trattoria (1850 West 4th Avenue) features a forno baked gnocchi bolognese with crème fraîche and basil, as well as comforting dishes like fusilli lunghi with pancetta, wild mushrooms, and oregano cream. Sister restaurant Italian Kitchen (860 Burrard) also showcases much that is fall-inspired, including a burnt rosemary lamb rack, with truffled polenta, eggplant involtini (roll-ups), pine nut praline, and balsamic jus.
Sourced from Main Street Brewing
Raise a glass to the change in the seasons with Main Street Brewing (261 East 7th Avenue) and its two new exciting fall beers that also highlight local ingredients, like autumn hops and honey. The Screaming Sasquatch Fresh Hop Tart IPA features Fraser Valley malt and BC Sasquatch hops, with an array of bright fruit flavours, such as mango, pomelo, sweet citrus, and tangerine. The other, The Road Less Traveled, is part of a collaboration with Slackwater Brewing in Penticton and Elias Honey in North Vancouver. Its flavour profile has elements of sweetness (from the honey), as well as anise, gooseberry, tamarind, and sauvignon blanc.
Sourced from The Victor; pumpkin sour
If you're curious how pumpkin translates in a cocktail form, visit The Victor (Parq Vancouver, 39 Smithe Street) to sip and sample the Pumpkin Sour, a seasonal concoction of Oakheart spiced rum, lemon juice, pumpkin syrup, egg white, and anise – all garnished with liquorice allsorts.
Sourced from Cardero's
But, of course, a meal isn't complete without the indulgence of a fall dessert. Pumpkin inspired treats can be found at many establishments, including Cardero's (1583 Coal Harbour Quay), with a very satisfying pumpkin cheesecake with Chantilly cream and caramel sauce, and Gotham Steakhouse and Bar (615 Seymour Street), with a pumpkin cheesecake, spiced with cinnamon, as well as ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, with a gingersnap crumb crust.
And finally, in ode to the apple harvest, The Five Sails (999 Canada Place) has a stunning douceur de pomme verte, composed of sable Breton, confit apples, white chocolate passion fruit, vanilla mousse, and vanilla crème anglaise. Fall eating is definitely to be savoured in Vancouver!
Content courtesy of Tourism Vancouver
Hero image sourced from The Five Sails
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