Summer has finally arrived albeit a day too late for my visitors to enjoy it but they are having their own amazing summer in the UK so I don't feel too bad for them.
I have been doing a lot of home cooking in the past week and as a result have several things to report on. I ate a fair amount of wheat during my guest's stay the week before, mainly because it's convenient and, well, it tastes really good, whatever form it is in. Especially impossible to resist in the form of warm freshly baked crusty white loaf with butter served at the Arms Reach Bistro when I was starving hungry. I think this may be my favourite restaurant in North Van. It's located in a very picturesque corner of Deep Cove (yes it is as lovely as it sounds) and is casual yet smart, gourmet yet simple and basically heaven. It's small but perfectly formed and they have an outdoor space too complete with blankets should you get a bit nippy. My mum and I shared the beef carpaccio which was sliced thinner than an oxygen molecule resulting in it literally melting in my mouth. This dish was phenomenal and I will order it next time. I could easily have eaten 2 or 3 potions..but then the bread arrived and my focus turned to that. I chose mussels for my main and was very happy. They were huge and plump and served in a spicy chorizo sauce. I merrily dipped piece after piece of bread in the tasty broth while thinking that it is SO worth whatever repercussions I experience tomorrow from the wheat. Everyone else's meals were equally delicious and top notch and we left feeling thoroughly satisfied and with smiles all around. It seems I am not the only fan of this place and so it's recommended to book ahead if you are planning to eat there on a weekend, especially a summer weekend and parking in the Cove is notoriously bad so be prepared to park and walk a bit or spend some serious trolling time in the main street and 2 parking lots.
The other wheat laced indulgence I had during their stay was a raspberry beer from Belgium that I discovered at a restaurant in West Bank in the Okanagan. It was offered as a beer float on the dessert menu and the server suggested I just have the beer as I couldn't have the ice cream part. It was fantastic and was a very good dessert substitute. The colour was appealing, the bottle had a champagne style popping cork and, most importantly, it tasted amazing! Click here for a review.
I kept thinking about for a couple of days after and decided I need to share my findings with others and wondered where I would find this import. I walked to the mall 10 mins from my house at Westview and casually popped in to the BC Liquor Store and lo and behold, they stocked it! I picked up 2 bottles to share with my friends at the BBQ I hosted.....and more on that in the next post.