CHAMPCAR/CART: Kika's guide to dining in Vancouver

Hi - here's my list for the Monson Indy Vancouver - What a great city ! Thanks for the help Steve,Veronique, Patty, Hal & Germaine. ;-) Kika Il Giardino di Umberto (Over $40.00) Downtown 1382 Hornby St. (Pacific St.), Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1W5 ...

Hi - here's my list for the Monson Indy Vancouver - What a great city ! Thanks for the help Steve,Veronique, Patty, Hal & Germaine. ;-) Kika

Il Giardino di Umberto (Over $40.00) Downtown 1382 Hornby St. (Pacific St.), Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1W5 (604) 669-2422 Sublime food with pasta and game bias served to a trendy and casually smart thirty-something clientele. Weekend reservations are essential, especially for the superlative vine-trailed outside terrace. Here you will see Derrick Walker, Gil de Ferran, Tim Mayer, Christian Fittipaldi and many more."... This restaurant with its sharply angled entrance hall begins the process of moving you closer to Tuscany. Beautifully tiled floors, walls the color of burnt sienna, artwork galore and an outdoors garden patio that makes dining outdoors so magical. All green and lush, perfect for romance. Food is high-end but comfortable...." Critic's Choice. While it might be nice to "move in and marry the chef" of this Italian set in a Downtown heritage house with a "gorgeous, rustic Tuscan interior", a "seductive summertime afternoon on the patio" reveling in "exceptional" food is a nice consolation; moreover, now that service is "back on top", some "feel guilty leaving only a 20 percent gratuity" Reindeer, game birds, ostrich.. In one of the city's most extensive wine lists, by no means limited to Italian, you can nevertheless find good bottles within a reasonable budget. PRIVATE ROOMS (25-27).

The William Tell: (Over $40.00) 765 Beatty Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2M4. Telephone: (604) 688-3504. If you only flight home on Monday, try the Sunday night buffet. Committed to Fine Dining for more than 35 years in Vancouver Hosted by Award-Winning Restaurateur Erwin Doebeli Swiss-Continental Menu Created by Executive Chef Todd Konrad Continuously chosen as One of Canada's Finest Dining Establishments Situated in the Core of Vancouver's Entertainment Centre in the Georgian Court Hotel. Silver plates and embossed linen napkins adorn each table. Swiss specialties include sautéed veal sweetbreads with red onion marmalade and marsala sauce, pickled herring with apples and a special cheese fondue, pickled herring with apples, and Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (thinly sliced veal with mushrooms in a light white wine sauce). A bar-and-bistro area caters to a more casual crowd. Reserve in advance for the all-you-can-eat Swiss Farmer's Buffet on Sunday nights. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. Casual dress.

Bishop's (Over $40.00) **** $$$$$ Bishop's 2183 W. 4th Ave. Vancouver, Phone: 604/738-2025 ... - Andretti Wines on the wine list - ""Bishop's is John Bishop personified: everything about the restaurant has the man's stamp on it but in the most un-egotistical way. Thoughtful, sincere, and unassuming yet an unswerving perfectionist, John Bishop is a consummate host who, in ten years of business, has placed his brand of understated West Coast cuisine firmly on the map...." NW Palate. John Bishop established this restaurant as a favorite in 1985 by serving West Coast Continental cuisine with an emphasis on organic produce and British Columbia seafood. Medallions of venison, smoked Alaskan black cod, or roasted duck breast with dried fruit and ginger may be on the seasonal menu. The small white rooms--there only ornament some splashy expressionist paintings--are favored by Robert De Niro, Glenn Close, Richard Gere, and other stars when they're on location in Vancouver. Definitely suits and a place to be seen, perhaps next to a movie star or two... The desserts were out of this world, smooth, tasty, succulent, great stuff. So, what do we say? First, the prices are equal to the highest in town, and given both that and the reputation of the restaurant one must expect perfection. A good range of wines by the glass, an outstanding range of wines by the half-bottle and quite a few modestly priced. Dinner only. . AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential.

Lumière ***** $$$$$ 2551 West Broadway Phone (bet. Balsam & Trafalgar Sts.), Vancouver, BC, V6K 2E9 (604) 739-8185 . "Nobody makes more exciting meals" than Rob Feenie according to fans of this "minimalist", "cutting-edge" West Side French; while a few quibble over "unbelievable prices", devotees delight in "excellent" and "imaginative" cuisine that achieves "perfection" "without attitude" -- "this place rules!" Modern. Right there up front with its truly delightful presentation of all dishes, and its contemporary blending of tastes.. The room is plain, smart, with excellent service, and fully patronized. Yet, the style and cooking deserve much better. The serried ranks of tables in a square room are cold; the acoustics not good; in fact despite the excellence of the service, the atmosphere is stuffy. - Salmon in potato feuilleté and a mild curry sauce, vegetable and sausage-stuffed rabbit loin in a succulent jus, scallops, salmon sashimi, a fascinatingly arranged special salad with the light materials available for your fingers, held in a crust of bread like a Japanese flower arrangement. More recently, the chef's tasting menu included lobster bisque with prawns, rare seared yellow-fin tuna with scallops, bean sprouts, coriander; glazed Fraser Valley rabbit with gemelli, four vegetables, thyme and garlic jus and foie gras; roasted venison medallions compote of pineapple chutney and Madeira black pepper jus; chaource with champagne grapes and dried fruit and pecan bread; organic apple sorbet with baked jus; dark balruna with rum and butter chestnuts; espresso cake; baked banana and coffee ice cream -- your choice for $70. . The execution is superb, mouth-watering, a joy to behold. Wines of excellent quality, including some attention-getting B.C. vintages. D. Nightly except closed Mondays.

Le Crocodile (Over $40.00) 100-909 Burrard St. Vancouver, British Columbia Phone: 604/669-4298. Chef Michael Jacob serves well cooked, simple food in a roomy location on Smithe Street off Burrard. His Alsatian background shines with the caramel-sweet onion tart. Anything that involves innards is superb, and even such old standards as duck à l'orange are worth ordering. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. Closed Sun. No lunch Sat. "Chef Michel Jacob deserves knighthood" for the "impeccable" styling of his "superior" cuisine at this "top-notch" Classic French, where the "rich and indulgent food" is "always a great experience"; such "perfection" includes "wines to match" and "superb" service, and if some sense a "lack of humility" that's "dangerously close to pretentious", the majority just swoons "magnifique!"

Chartwell **** $$$$$$+ (Over $40.00) 791 W. Georgia St. in Four Seasons Hotel above Pacific Centre Vancouver, Phone: 604/689-9333(604) 844-6715 Named after Sir Winston Churchill's country home (a painting of which hangs over the green marble fireplace), the flagship dining room at the Four Seasons hotel has floor-to-ceiling rich wood paneling and deep leather chairs that help create a perfect setting for the city's top spot for a power lunch. What's the "definition of fine dining?" -- this "exceptional" Downtown Continental--Pacific Northwest gem is a stellar example; rated No. 1 overall in this Survey, a meal here is "luxury personified"; indulge in "sublime", "imaginative" cuisine (courtesy of recently arrived chef Douglas Anderson), perfectly paired with "fine vintages" and "impeccably" served by a "personable" staff in a "lush and plush" room; though "you'll spend plenty", this "formal" "celebration" is "worth every penny." Chartwell is quietly, assuredly and classically inventive with Asian international influences. Selected for praise in the Paris gourmet magazine Saveur Mai 95 and by Gourmet magazine readers 97. …. The room, as indicated by the Churchillian name, is comfy masculine elegance, club style, a little stuffy for some, the service superb and assured, which some guests are not. High roller business groups can spoil what is naturally a quiet refined ambience.

Grouse Mountain - 8 miles N at 6400 Nancy Greene Way (Top of Capilano Rd) in N Vancouver. Phone 986-6378. If this is your first time in town, make sure you go to Grouse Mountain. Great View. An adventure just 20 minutes from downtown, the skyride takes you to the 3700-foot apex for a fantastic view. As one of Greater Vancouver's best vantage points, the North Shore's Grouse Mountain provides a stunning view for skiers and tourists. Visitors are able to take the Skyride to the Peak Chalet and enjoy casual or fine dining cuisine The Skyride is complimentary with advance dinner reservation. 2 Restaurants - The Grouse Nest or the Mountain Bistro. The Nest is a fine dinner experience for lunch or dinner - seafood specialties. Open daily for lunch 11am-2pm and dinner 5pm-9:30pm. For the last 3 years, every time you ask for an expresso coffee - the machine just broke!!! Also, was kind of cool up in the mountain, bring a jacket.

Diva at the Met (Over $40.00) 645 Howe St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/602-7788. This multithread restaurant at the Metropolitan Hotel opened in 1996 and quickly scooped up a fistful of awards. Presentation of the innovative contemporary cuisine is as appealing as the art deco decor. The menu changes seasonally, but top creations from the open kitchen have included smoked Alaska black cod and porcini-crusted veal loin steak. The after-theater crowd heads here for late-evening snacks and desserts: prawn tempura, vegetable chips, fresh sorbets, and Stilton cheesecake are available until midnight. The creative weekend brunches are also popular. AE, DC, MC, V.

La Ventana Restaurant : 162 Water Street - 604-682-8667. Spaniard Fernando Garcia has brought his romance with food to La Ventana Restaurant. The tapas are meant to be shared: succulent pimientos de piquillo. Red peppers stuffed with seafood and topped with lobster sauce or dainty croquetas, deep fried with a creamy center and served aioli, We recommend ordering two of the cazuela de setas to avoid a lover's quarrel over the last mushroom sauteed in garlic, shallot and olive oil. Located in one of the oldest Gastown buildings, La Ventana's huge fir beams, exposed brick, brass and glass accents and colorful art lend an upscale atmosphere. If you like Spanish food, this place is for you. I had a very nice dinner here -

Death by Chocolate: 1001 Denman Street 604-899-2462 - You will be invited to watch your dessert being designed in front of your amazed eyes. With names like French Affair, Hot and Sticky, Skinny Dip, Between the Sheets, and, of course, Death by Chocolate, you will be sure to find something to seduce your sweetheart. If I still have room for dessert, I will try this place. Open until midnight! " C " (Over $40.00) 1600 Howe St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/681-1164. Its marina-side location overlooking False Creek makes a perfect setting for this seafood restaurant. Opened in 1997 to high expectations, C appears to have met, or exceeded, most of them in a "refreshingly cool, minimalist", glassed-in space looking out over a "spectacular" vista, "stretch your taste buds" and revel in Robert Clark's "simply fabulous", "sumptuous", "truly innovative" creations; the service is equally "fantastic", so get in on this "wonderful adventure.". Danish chef Soren Fakstorp trained in Europe and worked in Asia before coming to Canada, and his experience shows in his innovative approach to seafood, from the salmon grilled in wasabi to the monkfish tournedos with seared foie gras.. The dinner menu is adventurous, if more formal, although there is a well displayed raw bar including oysters, marinated scallops, gravlax, sashimi, and Russian, Iranian and B.C. caviar. You might think that the wealth of delectable and unusual ingredients might make for hasty and unpleasant marriages - as so often happens when chefs try too hard. Not here. Mind you, you must enter a conversation with your knowledgeable waiter, because not all is clear -- sushi rice tofu; gazpacho with ceviche, for example. Try the fresh water striped bass, soya bean, and candied conch and kumquat ragout. Crisp scallop and ahi tuna spring roll. Grilled eggplant with tamarind and fig vinaigrette. How about something with nauc cham? Poached Nova Scotia lobster with lemongrass, lime, coconut cream, bamboo shoots, roasted eggplant, lotus roots,and crisp sweet rice cake. Lobster tail sashimi, Quebec foie gras, Russian caviar tasting .There is a matchless wine list, well presented on the menu, with careful suggestions for each course and now a full range of premium sakes -- AND TEAS. . AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential

Villa del Lupo, (Over $40.00) 869 Hamilton St (688-7436). Set in the "old-world warmth" of a "gracious, elegant" 1890s house, this "romantic" Downtown "treasure" offers an "intimate" experience that's "like eating in a beautiful home"; voted the No. 1 Italian fine dining spot in Vancouver, it "sets the standard for greatness" with a "brilliant", "winning menu", "excellent wine service" and a "fantastic" staff; this "real find" is "pure magic." Ask the top chefs in town where they go for Italian, and Villa del Lupo is the answer more often than not. Country-house-elegant decor sets a romantic tone, but come prepared to roll up your sleeves and mop up the sauce with a chunk of crusty bread. Rabbit braised with Pinot Grigio and braised lamb osso buco in a sauce of tomatoes, red wine, cinnamon, and lemon are favorites here. Authentic, high-quality food in a renovated country house ­ unfussy and elegant ­ on the eastern edge of downtown midway between the new library and Yaletown: there's not a better osso bucco in Vancouver. It has been called Vancouver's best restaurant. Recommended for a treat. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. No lunch.

A Kettle of Fish (Over $40.00)900 Pacific Blvd.Vancouver, British Columbia Phone: 604/682-6661. Since opening in 1979, this family-run restaurant at the northeast end of Burrard Bridge has attracted a strong following. The gardenlike interior, with plants and fig trees, is quiet and cool. The menu varies daily according to market availability, but there are generally 15 kinds of fresh seafood that are either grilled, sautéed, poached, barbecued, or blackened Cajun-style. The British Columbia salmon and the seafood combo plate are always good choices. AE, DC, MC, V. No lunch weekends. The wine list is informative, by the way, and excellently arranged. To sum up, there are good possibilities here and the food should be outstanding.

Quattro on Fourth **** $$$$$ Italian 2611 W. 4th Ave. Vancouver, Phone: 604/734-4444. This northern Italian restaurant in Kitsilano shot to stardom quickly. A mosaic floor, mustard-color walls with stark-green-and-mauve stenciled borders, cherry-stained tables, and a wraparound covered porch for alfresco dining enhance the Mediterranean atmosphere. Mushroom lovers usually jump at the Portobello fusilli, but if you can't make up your mind, there is the combinazione (a plate for two with the five most popular pastas and sauces). The gelato trio is a perfect topper. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. When Quattro opened under the superb direction of Mario Corsi it was an eye and taste bud opener, and it still is. Quattro was the first Italian restaurant to show what modern Italian food could be like, inventive, tasty, reliable, beautifully served, light when you want it light, and the family was the first to put high quality homemade pasts into its restaurants. Caffè de Medici (Over $40.00) 109-1025 Robson St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/669-9322."Five Vancouver restaurants and one on Vancouver Island have joined some "distinguished" company. The California based non profit Distinguished Restaurants of North America, Monday named the Five Sails (in the Pan Pacific Hotel), Bishops, Caffe de Medici, Imperial Seafood Restaurant, Chartwell (in the Four Seasons Hotel), and The Harbor House (in Sooke) as "exemplifying the highest quality standards in all aspects of the dining experience"...." Archibald Rollo - The Vancouver Sun. Caffe de Medici Restaurant is a proud recipient of the DiRoNA Award 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996. This elegant restaurant has ornate molded ceilings, portraits of the Medici family, and a courtly, peaceful atmosphere. Although an enticing antipasto table sits in the center of the room, the risotto with frutta di mare (seafood) is also a worthwhile appetizer. You can try the rack of lamb in a mint, mustard, and vermouth sauce, and any of the pastas is a safe bet. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. No lunch weekends.

Raincity Grill 1193 Denman St. Vancouver, BC Tel: (604) 685-7337 Fax: (604) 685-7362 .A stunning location by the beach, an acclaimed regional kitchen; all that, and the city's best wine list. That was the verdict of Vancouver Magazine's critics, whose votes earned Raincity Grill a tie for the Best Wine List Gold Medal, and a solo victory for Best Wine by the Glass. One critic expressed appreciation for the extensive wines-by-the-glass list, which includes a selection of over 100, in these colorful terms: "it's just so civilized to match the food from course to course without having to front for the full monty put a visit to the Raincity Grill on your agenda! To do so is to experience the true Pacific Northwest, and one of Vancouver's most popular culinary venues. Located at scenic English Bay, neighboring Stanley Park, this contemporary 'grill' boast not only the imaginative ever-changing menu by Chef Scott Kidd, but also a wine list that continues to win a variety of awards.. The setting, with candlelit tables, balloon-back chairs, cushioned banquettes, and enormous flower arrangements, is very sophisticated. All the same, it plays second fiddle to a creative, fresh weekly menu that highlights the best regional seafood, meats, and produce.. Reservations essential.

BeachHouse 150-25th Street - West Vancouver Just off Marine Drive on Dundarave Beach: Phone: 604.922.1414. The Beach House Restaurant, with its one-of-a-kind West Vancouver beachfront location, offers unobstructed water views from every table and an ever-changing menu displaying the best in eclectic West Coast - Pacific Rim cuisine. Chef Sonny Mendoza displays his creative, culinary talent using only the freshest local, seasonal ingredients. One of the nicest features at The Beach House is that you get a good water view from nearly every table in the restaurant regardless whether you eat inside or on the outdoor patio. The menu offers a wide range of selections from the elegant salmon tartar with lemon, dill and capers with olive crostinis to the more hearty entree of Danish back ribs with gingered mandarin glaze and potato mash. Seafood is quite naturally given the emphasis and the presence of wine expert Ken Brooks means plenty of good selections on the wine list. ~ City Food"...At long last, a beach, a pier, a view, and a restaurant that are well worth a trip from just about anywhere." ~ Mia Stainsby, Vancouver Sun. Reservations Recommended Five Sails (Over $40.00) Pan Pacific Hotel, 300-999 Canada Pl. Vancouver, Phone: 604/891-2892 . A special-occasion restaurant at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Five Sails has a stunning panoramic view of Canada Place, Lions Gate Bridge, and the lights of the North Shore across the inlet. Austrian chef Ernst Dorfler has a special flair for presentation, from the swan-shape butter served with breads early in the meal to the chocolate ice cream bonbon served at the end. The broad-reaching, seasonally changing Pacific Northwest menu displays fresh fish and seafood and often lists caramelized swordfish, ahi in red Thai curry vinaigrette, terrine of duck, and old favorites like medallions of British Columbia salmon or lamb from Salt Spring Island. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. No lunch.

Imperial Chinese Seafood (Over $40.00) 355 Burrard St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/688-8191 . This elegant Cantonese restaurant in the Art Deco Marine Building has two-story floor-to-ceiling windows with stupendous views of Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains across Coal Harbor. Any dish with lobster, crab, or shrimp from the live tanks is recommended, as is the dim sum, served from 11 to 2:30. Portions tend to be small and pricey (especially the abalone, shark's fin, and bird's-nest delicacies) but never fail to please. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential.

Le Gavroche (Over $40.00) 1616 Alberni St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/685-3924 This charming, somewhat formal turn-of-the-century house, with an open fireplace and an upstairs terrace, has been a French restaurant for more than 20 years. The classic French cooking, lightened--but by no means reduced--to contemporary cuisine, includes such simple dishes as smoked salmon with potato galette and more complex offerings such as grilled pork tenderloin with calvados and Stilton sauce. The excellent 30-page wine list stresses Bordeaux. Tables by the front window promise views of mountains and water. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. No lunch weekends.

Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House (30-$40) 777 Thurlow St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/669-1940. Set up: Restaurant/Downstairs & upstairs bar/Patio.- Andretti Wines on the wine list - "... Fame of downtown oyster bar and meeting place now exceeds that of the pioneer lifeguard it was named after. In the past couple of years has evolved into home of some very decent cooking, particularly strong on seafood. ..." Vancouver Village Reserve a table on the second-floor balcony at this seafood hot spot to take in the view of the broad wall murals, the mounted blue marlins, and, most especially, the ever-entertaining boy-meets-girl scene at the bar downstairs. The complex takes in a piano bar, bistro, oyster bar, and rooftop patio, but the menus and the extensive wine list largely overlap. The signature tiger shrimp and diver scallops, or cedar-plank-roasted salmon smoked with vanilla tea are tasty and filling but often overlooked in favor of the reasonably priced blue-plate special. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential for restaurant.

Tojo's (30-$40) 202-777 W. Broadway Vancouver, British Columbia Phone: 604/872-8050. Hidekazu Tojo is a sushi-making legend here, with more than 2,000 special preparations stored in his creative mind. His handsome blond-wood tatami rooms, on the second floor of a modern green-glass tower on West Broadway, provide the proper ambience for intimate dining, but Tojo's 10-seat sushi bar stands as the centerpiece. With Tojo presiding, it offers a convivial ringside seat for watching the creation of edible art. Although tempura and teriyaki dinners will satisfy, the seasonal menu is more exciting. In fall, ask for dobin mushi, a soup made from pine mushrooms. In spring, try salad made from scallops and pink cherry blossoms. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. Closed Sun. No lunch.

Zefferelli's Spaghetti House (30-$40) 1136 Robson St. Vancouver-Phone: 604/687-0655 . As you might guess from the name, spaghetti, penne, fusilli, tortellini, and fettuccine dressed in creative but subtle sauces--from smoked salmon, wild mushrooms, feta cheese, and tomato sauce to traditional meat sauce--play first string at Zefferelli's, but the antipasto table, grilled prawns, and chicken with shiitake mushrooms are strong competitors. Done up in forest green, mustard, and persimmon, the trendy, somewhat rushed dining room has an open kitchen at one end and a wall of windows overlooking busy Robson Street at the other. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. No lunch weekends. CinCin Ristorante, (30-$40) 1154 Robson St (688-7338).Category: Mediterranean. Description: Wood-burning oven and rotisserie figure largely. A well-coiffed crowd for fancy entrees, pasta and pizzas. - Andretti Wines on the wine list - "A celebrity haunt downtown, with food that merits the high prices and includes top-grade homemade pastas and desserts. It has a pleasant ambience with wood-burning oven and view over the open kitchen. Step inside this Mediterranean "hangout" on Robson Street and get "energized" by the "electric" ambiance fueled by the "in crowd" having "fun" in the "inviting" "Tuscan-style" setting; savour "innovative" fare from the "aromatic" wood-fired grill, accompanied by an "amazing" wine selection; all in all, it's an "enjoyable package."

Seasons in the Park (30-$40) Queen Elizabeth Park, 33rd Ave. and Cambie St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/874-8008. TOP TEN Gourmet Magazine AE, MC, V. Reservations essential. "... folks can dine here and see the city, the mountains and the gentle greenery of Queen Elizabeth Park all around; one of my favorite places to be when its drizzling; me inside, mind you. Pierre Delacôte continues to create comfort food with an uptown flair; desserts are legendary, starter-soups and fresh grills are always outstanding." by Jurgen GotheLifestyles . Rated "...One of Vancouver's 10 best restaurants..." by John Hinterberger, Vancouver Times Seasons, in Queen Elizabeth Park, has a commanding view over the park gardens to the city lights and the mountains beyond. A comfortable room with lots of light wood and white tablecloths is matched with a conservative Continental menu, including such standards as herb-crusted sea bass and comfit of muscovy duck. This is a very popular choice with the weekend brunch crowd.

ALLEGRO CAFE - Downtown -G-1 888 Nelson St. (bet. Hornby & Howe Sts.), Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2H1 (604) 683-8485 . A "favourite spot for lawyers" sited near the courthouse, this lively, "quirky hidden gem" "almost sparkles" with "excellent", "creative" Mediterranean fare at a "reasonable price" and martinis that regulars consider "a must"; most agree this is a "really fun place" but caution the "New Yorkish" environment is "too noisy for intimate" dining

Piccolo Mondo Ristorante (Over $40.00) 850 Thurlow St. Vancouver, Phone: 604/688-1633. Pricey but excellent food and an award-winning selection of Italian wines. The award-winning wine cellar stocks more than 3,000 bottles (450 varieties) .Soft candlelight, elegantly set tables, bountiful flower arrangements, and fine European antiques create a fairly formal atmosphere at this intimate northern Italian restaurant on a quiet street a block off Robson. Start with a goat cheese tart with tomato, prosciutto, and basil, and follow up with the classic osso buco or the linguine tossed with smoked Alaskan cod, capers, and red onions.. AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. Closed Sun. No lunch weekends.

VIJ'S (Indian) West Side- 1480 W. 11th Ave. (bet. Granville & Hemlock Sts.), Vancouver, BC, V6H 1L1 (604) 736-6664 . Vikram Vij is the "personable" host at this expanded Westsider, which continues to win converts with its "truly innovative" Indian--Pacific Northwest "fusion" of "flavours that excite, surprise and beguile", "impeccably" served; although a few fuss about portions that are "not always filling", everyone else concentrates on showing up early "to avoid the lineup"; N.B. no reservations. Boathouse"... Fresh fish, great views, fun casual dining..." Critic's Choice. "...Waterfront views, spacious decks and fresh tastes from the sea..." WHERE, Vancouver

Bridges 1696 Duranleau Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. V6H 3R9 To Reserve: (604) 687.4400 . Bridges is nestled on the water's edge of Granville Island, just five minutes from downtown Vancouver, Canada. Four unique dining experiences - The Restaurant, Bistro Wine Bar, the Pub and outdoors on the Dock - all combine unparalleled water, mountain and city views with award-winning food, served by friendly, knowledgeable staff. "... dishes from its award-winning kitchen are served with incomparable views of water and mountains..." WHERE, Vancouver "...Market fresh ingredients prepared with style - casual and relaxing..." Critic's Choice

Cannery East Side- 2205 Commissioner St. (Victoria Dr.), Vancouver, BC, V5L 1A4 (604) 254-9606. Cleverly housed in a faux cannery, this "tradition" on the East Side affords harbour views that are especially "wonderful on a stormy night"; expect "numerous selections" of "fresh" seafood "superbly prepared" (the salmon gets notable praise); some detractors, however, cite "overpriced", "small portions" of "disappointing" fish. "... on Vancouver's harbourfront. Exceptional views of the mountains and ocean..." WHERE, Vancouver. "...For over 25 years the Cannerry has been serving up first-class seafood. From traditionally prepared fresh halibut to steamed Chilean seabass with ginger sauce, Chef Couton delights..." Critic's Choice

Griffin's. Located at 900 W. Georgia St. Phone (604) 662-1900. This saloon-style restaurant blends the warmth and tradition of old-world Italy with contemporary flare. The open kitchen prepares cuisine using only fresh, regional ingredients. Popular crowd-pleasers include smoked salmon, chicken pasta al pesto and baked Pacific cod. Sunday brunch offered. Reservations required.

NEW IN THE LIST .....

Kirin Mandarin Restaurant : Location: 102-1166 Alberni St., Vancouver. Phone: 682-8833 .Category: Mandarin. Price Range: $$/$$$

Circolo: Location: 1116 Mainland Street, Vancouver. Phone: 687-1116 . Category: Italian/Mediterranean . Description: Italian, French, and a little bit of New York in the steak offerings at this high-end Umberto Menghi restaurant. Awesome wine list. Set up: Restaurant/ bar/Patio. Price Range: $$$

Blue Water Café & Rah bar: Location: 1095 Hamilton St., Vancouver. Phone: 688-7338. Category: Seafood. Description: Lots of seafood, steak and oyster bar in a newly opened restaurant. Set up: Restaurant/ bar/Patio. Price Range: $$$

Cioppinno's Mediterranean Grill : Location: 1133 Hamilton St, Vancouver . Phone: 688-7466 . Category: Mediterranean Grill . Description: Gorgeous contemporary looks. Power scene. Lovely, light-handed dishes verging on French. Set up: Restaurant/ bar/Patio. Price Range: $$$

Cardero's: Location: 1583 Coal Harbour Quay (north foot of Cardero St.) Vancouver. Phone: 669-7666 . Description: Shaked, shingled, suspended over the water. The food schmecks - fish, chops, pasta, pizza, burgers and nicely cooked entrees. Set up: Restaurant/ bar/Patio. Price Range: $$

La Terrazza: Location: 1088 Cambie St., Vancouver. Phone: 899-4449 . Category: Italian/Mediterranean . Description: Knock-out looks, intelligent and friendly staff, fabulous food. What more? Set up: Restaurant/ bar. Price Range: $$$

Ciao Kika

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Christian Fittipaldi , Robert Clark