Wednesday, May 30, 2007

And The Winner of the Best New Restaurant of the Year is...

Nu! Though the news of this is certainly not new. Here are photos from the EnRoute Air Canada Magazine 2006 award ceremony/press release/cocktail party in that I was invited to way back in November that I have talked about in other posts. Vancouver was well represented by Nu, in first place, and Rare, placed at No. 5. I was a much bigger fan of Rare, personally, but now that patio season has rolled around again, I will probably find myself at Nu again. Though I do hope they have some time to mix things up a little and rework their menu. Their stuff is exciting and fun the first couple of times, but I want to see new (haha, sorry, I just can't stop) things from them. I have not had a chance to re-visit Rare, after their (sous?) chef Quang Dang left. The party was a great time though, and my first media event resulting from this blog, so this was all quite exciting for me. I was once frenetically invited to talk on CBC Radio, but wound up missing out on that opportunity unfortunately. The event organizers for the EnRoute Magazine event, in an attempt to be coy about who won, sent out the invite to the event with the address and yet not the name of the restaurant. Nu had an opportunity to show off their game at this event in the form of neverending cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, including one of their most talked about signature items - a little fried oyster impaled on beer-filled pipet. This is meant to squeeze the cold beer right into the hot little oyster as it goes into your mouth. I'm happy enough with a dry, crispy, salty battered oyster without the beer, myself, but it's certainly fun to try.

Crispy Oyster with Granville Island Lager Injection

Ginger Beer Cocktail - this is a really nice cocktail that I have ordered a few times at Nu. Lots of interesting things happening in it, with the spicy ginger beer and the muddled mint.

Beet Chip with Creme Fraiche

Tuna Tartare

Lobster Bisque. I think I enjoyed this little cup of soup the most out of the bunch of nibblies that came out. These were all labour intensive hors d'oeuvres incidentally. Almost all of them required the serving staff to come back and grab the serving vessel, utensil, or lab equipment it came with. I'm not too sure about this trend. The little cups or chinese spoons do make for beautiful presentation, and opens up a variety of foods that would not otherwise be able to be served in this format, and the staff were quickly swooping in to collect them, so you weren't left trying to find a place for the little things, but I quite enjoy the more old-fashioned idea of being creative with various edible carriers.

This is me getting on TV! And yes, a coworker confirmed for me the next day that he saw me on the news.

My Favourite Part of Nu's Decor - the Neon Chandelier

Harry Kambolis accepting Best New Restaurant in Canada for Nu

Tim of Rare which made No. 5 in the Top Ten New Restaurants in Canada. A very friendly guy and I hope all goes well for his new restaurant. I haven't heard anything about Metro since chatting with him about this at this event in November, but I'll look out for it. There is a slew of new restaurants I want to try these days, and it sounds like some of them have had enough time to get into their groove.

Nu's Kitchen

The Busy Bar (note the lovely cocktails ready to go, and Jamie Maw)

Duck Rillette with Cranberry Jelly, and a stubby pretzel to eat it with

Drunk and hungry for something more substantial, I tottered along the seawall until I found myself at Fiddlehead Joe's. I posted about my lovely experience there before, and I was truly pleasantly surprised by the place. Below are the photos from this again. For more details, see my Christmas post.

Beet Panna Cotta, Fiddlehead Joe's

Meringue in Chocolate Chili Sauce

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