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Dine Out Vancouver - Where would you go?

Reservations for this event can be made starting next Monday, so I was wondering if any of you Chowhounds have a recommendation for the places that are offering the prix-fixe menu. I don't recognize too many of the restaurants, which is why I am hoping for a little guidance.

Thanks for the input!

Here is the list:
Cobre
Dockside Restaurant
Beyond Restaurant
Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
Central Kitchen
CinCin Ristorante + Bar
Coast
CRU
Glowbal Grill
Goldfish Pacific
Italian Kitchen
Joe Fortes
O'Doul's Restaurant
Players Chophouse
Saltaire
Sanafir
The Fish House in Stanley Park
The Smoking Dog
Burgoo Lonsdale
Burgoo Main
Burgoo West 10th
Trattoria Italian Kitchen
Figmint Restaurant and Lounge
Chambar
West Restaurant + Bar
Showcase Restaurant and Bar
Provence Marinaside
Elixir Bistro
Hamilton Street Grill

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Cobre Restaurants
52 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E7, CA

Trattoria Italian Kitchen
1850 4th Avenue West, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M3, CA

Hamilton Street Grill
1009 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2R9, CA

CinCin Ristorante + Bar
1154 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1B5, CA

O'Doul's Restaurant & Bar
1300 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5, CA

Sanafir
1026 Granville St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L5, CA

Italian Kitchen
, Vernon, BC V1T, CA

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  1. That list is actually a list of a local food PR company's clients for Dine Out 2009. The list of 207 restaurants for 2010 will not be released until the 19th when you can start making reservations.

    2 Replies
    1. re: peter.v

      I was going to ask how you'd gotten the list! I'm eagerly awaiting the 19th, after which I'm sure there will be a good thread on here about favourite choices. :)

      1. re: aliz

        Thanks! I knew I could count on you to set me straight.

    2. What is Dine Out Vancouver? It sounds to me like it could be Toronto's version of Summerlicious or Winterlicious.

      I'm going to be in Vancouver next week. Is this something I can participate in? Or does it officially start later in the month?

      any clarification would be appreciated!

      1 Reply
      1. re: lyndak

        It's an event that runs Monday, April 26th - Thursday, May 6th. The list is up as of today and resos are going like crazy...!

        http://www.tourismvancouver.com/visit...

      2. Does anybody else think it is bull...that the restaurant list came out this morning and West is already "booked out" according to opentable...so annoying!

        17 Replies
        1. re: yuyu

          I checked at lunch time and there were early and late seatings available at West...by the time I checked with my SO after work, they were all booked out. I don't think its bull, I just think there are some people who are more dedicated than we are...

          1. re: lunchslut

            I booked a table at West on Sunday aftenoon, not even knowing it was Dine Out week. Was just coming to town for a few days and wanted to go there.

            What is odd is that I was also trying to book into Chambar and it has no tables available for the entire two weeks...

            1. re: Dan G

              Yeah, the bookings just go quickly for some restaurants... I got a reso for 4 at West at 7:30pm on a weekday, so there were bookings available in that "prime time" window, but I was on the site with my coffee yesterday before 8:00am. Actually, I changed it to an earlier day at lunch so there must have been some reasonable times available then. I think the event is shortened this year, though, which makes it tougher. Isn't it usually a full two weeks?

              As for Chambar, I don't know what the deal is - maybe they aren't doing online reservations and you have to call? Or maybe the bookings were just gone quickly...?

              Dan G, I don't know if you mean this Sunday or next, but I think the event doesn't start until the 26th, which is Monday. If you're just in town for a few days and wanted an enjoyable West meal, that might be just as well if you don't have to deal with the "Dine Out" crowd. These places can get a little crowded during this time of year...

              1. re: aliz

                no, I meant that on Sunday afternoon - so the day before DO was announced - I made my booking for a time that turned out to be in DO week (May 2 evening) and there were lots of tables open (at least on opentable).

                Just a fluke that I end up being in yvr during that time period, but it means I get a deal at some restaurants I would be going to anyway (so far also booked into db bistro, and cibo though it isn't participating...need one more to complete my visit, thinking of cobre...)

                1. re: Dan G

                  It's been stated so many times before, but I believe most restos keep some reservations for people who call -- that is, they're not all available on Open Table. I always call if there is an apparent lack (to be honest, I like to talk to a human, call me old school).

              2. re: Dan G

                I would definately call Chambar and speak to a person to confirm they have no availability before giving up. Their computer system that connects to OpenTable is often "down", especially when the restaurant is closed, for some reason.

                1. re: islandgirl

                  i didnt call but a friend did and got a really late reso 9pm on a weekday on the day they announced the list of resto. think some regulars knew they were on dine out prior.
                  imho, surprised that chambar is still so successful considering they haven't changed much at all so many years after opening. think it is more hype than substance. still i go there at least twice a year for as long as they have been open. why do people like chambar??

                  1. re: betterthanbourdain

                    I'm a fan of Chambar. It has a good balance of food and ambiance. It is also pretty consistent - I've never had a bad meal there.

                    1. re: fmed

                      i agree never a bad meal but never a 'wow'; meal there either,
                      still probably the best mussel in town.
                      last meal (5 months) the frites were cold and not crispy ....personally i like to see some more changes to their menu. but i guess its hard to change a winning concept
                      used to go regularly when they opened. and still do a few of times a year.

            2. re: yuyu

              yep that's crap about West! I was informed that I should have booked online even though I called right when the restaurant first opened on the 19th

              1. re: cookygirl77

                Did people know that DO was going to be starting? If so, why not plan ahead. And there may be a lot of people like me who booked West (or somewhere else) with no idea that there was any special event, especially if they are coming from out of town (like me).

                1. re: Dan G

                  Dine Out was pushed out because of the Owelympics so I think people may have been taken a little bit by surprise.

                  1. re: Dan G

                    I did plan ahead. That's why I called West, Chambar, Refinery, Db Bistro and a few others. I booked a reso at all places except West who was sold out by the time they opened that Monday. They are obviously very popular! Next year I will try booking online as that begins at midnight.

                    1. re: cookygirl77

                      I'm not sure what yo umean by "booking online because that begins at midnight". Through Opentable, you can book whenever you want.

                      1. re: Dan G

                        Nope, the dates were blocked until midnight, you must have gotten lucky.

                      2. re: cookygirl77

                        Let me know if you still want a reservation for West. I actually have two that I may be giving up.

                        May 4th at 10pm I can give up for sure if you want it.... The other one is April 30 at 8 pm but would have to check if I'm still going. Both reservations are for 2.

                    2. re: cookygirl77

                      just curious if anyone had a favorable or memorable meal recently?
                      last i was there i wasn't impressed to want to rush back there.

                  2. sorry for the late reply. prob too late now to be much help. off that initla list i suppose chambar and west are the obvious...
                    from the updated i add:
                    la'tro buca
                    db moderne bistro
                    market by jean george
                    C's
                    kirin has fresh lobster for dine out.

                    but they are more or less all booked for prime time
                    so maybe try

                    cobre nuevo latino
                    blue watre
                    cru
                    sanafir, $18 dineout menu
                    showcase, though i havent been in many years now so i cant vouch sincerly on this
                    il giardino, normally not worth it but its dine out
                    Octopus Garden
                    Oru (new at the Fairmont, never been)
                    The Flying Tiger

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                    Flying Tiger
                    2958 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6K1R4, CA

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: betterthanbourdain

                      I'm not seeing Blue Water on the "DIne Out" restaurant list - am I missing something?

                      1. re: KGill

                        ur right it's not there. not sure if they were on this year or not.
                        but i believe they were last year. the OP list was based from last year dine out.
                        Blue Water is owned and managed by the same group at West, Cincin, Araxi...
                        maybe Blue Water is busy and doesnt need extra diners..

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                        Araxi Restaurant + Bar
                        4222 Village Square, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, CA

                    2. Wow, so disappointing. With excellent BBQ hot spots in this city like Memphis Blues and several other places to get amazing ribs like Ouisi Bistro or The Reef you can't really call yourself a bbq place if your bbq is way below average. You can not represent your restaurant by putting your famous ribs as the highlight on your dine out menu when they taste like wood scraps wrapped in leather and spicy burnt fat.
                      The starter course option was 'soup or salad'..thats all it said.
                      So we both went with the salad since we were having the 'famous' ribs...
                      When the salad came there was a slice of tomato and 10 peices of lettuce drenched in Kraft mango dressing.
                      Then came the famous ribs. (the only bbq option besides a pulled pork sandwich) There were about 6 pork ribs totally dried to the bone, one small baked potato full of sour cream and a small bowl of 'creamy corn' which was corn drenched in some kind of mayo sauce stirred up. My brother said that the ribs you buy pre made from Safeway tasted better.
                      The final course was a piece of very soggy apple pie in the middle of a large dinner plate.
                      The service was terrible. No check to see how we liked our food and no drink refills.
                      Too bad.
                      There are so many other much better options I am sure of it! Try Mi Bistro and bar in the 18$ category. Amazing value and quality.

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                      Migz Bbq On Broadway
                      2884W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K2G7, CA

                      The Ouisi Bistro
                      3014 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H3J8, CA

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Born.Mine.Die

                        Which restaurant are you reviewing BMD? (it's not obvious from your post) Is this about Migz?

                        1. re: Born.Mine.Die

                          thanks for the report. good to know. didnt have migz on my radar. now can most likely take it off my list.

                          the OP did ask about prix fixe menu. i know that Lumiere is having one in conjunction with DOV.
                          http://www.lumiere.ca/events/apr-26-m...

                          just wondering if anyone got a good suggestion or report on a the DOV?
                          only been to a few, but nothing stands out worth recommending. would love to hear others feelings and opinions re DOV.

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                          Lumiere
                          2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA