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Nov 3, 2008 10:10 AM

Nose to tail Vancouver

I'll be visiting Vancouver for a few days and was wondering if there's any restaurants in the philosophy of nose to tail eating (ie, Incanto, St. Johns). The closest I could find with a quick google search was Chow but I've had a look at their menu and it doesn't look that spectacular, but it doesn't look terrible either.

I will have a car so I'm not bound to any area.

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  1. Chow is a pretty good restaurant - they have a excellent prix fixe deal. The chef (JC Poirier) has been quoted stating his restaurant does nose-to-tail. I have seen sausages, etc on the menu. That's probably where the other bits end up.

    1. I suggest Fuel. They're literally 'nose to tail'; they bring in whole organic sides of pork, butcher them in the front window facing the street, and use the whole thing. They make their own sausage, salami, prosciutto, bacon... and the standard of cooking is excellent. If you like to watch a kitchen at work, ask for seats at the 'kitchen bar'.

      The only thing I don't like about Fuel is their website; it's screamingly painful. Don't let it put you off.

      But if by 'nose-the-tail' you mean a place that has lots of offal and marrow on the menu... hmmm. Nothing immediately springs to mind.

      4 Replies
      1. re: HKDave

        Something Chinese maybe? The easiest place around Seattle to find pork snout, tail, ears, and uteri is a California/Chinese grocery chain. Some of those parts are available for take out (red cooked), along with whole roasted ducks.

        1. re: paulj

          The Chinese certainly know how to use it all. There are lots of places that serve offal, etc here.

          Another 'western' option is So.cial at Le Magazin. They are a restaurant that has a custom butcher-deli that is open to the public as part of their operation. They serve (and off-sell) house-made sausages, charcuterie and terrines. I'm not sure if they use the whole beast, though.

          I just noticed that well-respected chef Romy Prasad has just joined So.cial as exec-chef.

          1. re: fmed

            Thanks for the Fuel suggestion, they seem to have an interesting albeit non-offal menu. I'm trying to find something non-Asian to balance out all the Asian places I'm looking to visit :) The Prix fixe at Chow really looks decent and since I'm flying out at 8pm the earlier time for that menu works well for me.

            Had a look at So.cial, looks like a nice menu too, anyone try their charcuterie platter?

            1. re: slingshotz

              I have purchased charcuterie from the deli. Very good. (Some pics of a visit a while back now...)

      2. Last time I was at Salt we ordred bull's tongue from the British Butchers. It was fabulous. I don't think that Salt is embracing the Nose to Tail philosophy ala St John, but they do a bit of offal.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sueflay

          Salt sources much of their meats from artisinal charcutiers...they are now making their own house-made stuff, though and along with the sister restaurants Irish Heather, Salty Tongue, Shebeen, could very well be doing nose-to-tail. The excellent chef Colleen McClean (formerly of now-defunct Rare, one of my favourite places in this town) is making it in-house at the Heather.

          1. re: fmed

            Colleen is no longer at the Irish Heather.
            Scroll down the page after the bit on Diva.

        2. I believe Fuel restaurant is doing their Whole Hog Dinner's, are they not? Call them. If they are, that is pretty much exactly what you're looking for (if I understand you correctly).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cancuk

            It ran from Oct 20-25 this year. Sounds like the ticket, but alas.

            1. re: fmed

              Yeah I saw that too and was sad when I looked at the date. I guess I'll have to try and remember that event for next year.

          2. Just got back from my trip to Vancouver and had to do a write up for Chow Restaurant. I decided to try this place out as they had the early prix fixe deal from 5-6 and since my flight was leaving at 9, I figured the earlier time would work well. For some reason the open table reservation system said they were completely booked except for a 5:45 slot. It was a Sat so I figured that's probably true. So I finished all my food shopping trips early and decided to go to the restaurant early to see if anyone canceled and opened up an earlier spot. To my surprise the place was almost empty at 5:15, at first I thought oh noes this isn't a good sign but I went in anyways. The server was excellent and explained the prix fixe menu along with other items and then the one special....braised, marinated veal cheeks with scallop over jerusalem artichoke mash. I couldn't resist and abandoned the prix fixe and ordered the special along with the housemade sausage over lentils. All I can say is WOW, the veal cheeks were melt in mouth tender and the scallop was cooked to perfection but I would have been fine with an extra piece of cheek in place of the scallop :) That dish made the second dish pale in comparison, not that the second dish was anything less than excellent but the first was just that sublime.

            Service was excellent and since it wasn't too busy, I chatted with the waiter for a bit. He was passionate about the dishes and explained the special nicely. I noticed that all the servers were well trained in explaining the dishes to the other diners and quite attentive (something I haven't had in Calgary for a while). The surprise at the end of the meal was the bill, it came out to less than the prix fixe menu, but I skipped dessert as none of them took my fancy. It was nice to see the restaurant list all their suppliers and try to keep everything local and fresh as possible. I'll definitely head back there the next time I'm in Vancouver.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slingshotz

              Thanks for the report slingshotz.

              Chow, while not really under the radar by any means, doesn't seem to get the same amount of attention as the likes of Fuel, Gastropod, etc. Good to see you had what sounds like an excellent meal there.

              It's not even 10am here and you have me hankerin' for some cheeks.