Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pair Bistro for an Earth Day meal of BC's best foods

Earth Day is a great occasion to celebrate the best foods British Columbia has to offer and one of the restaurants featuring BC bounty is Pair Bistro in Point Grey-Kitsilano.

So to enjoy Earth Day with local harvest - and to live up to my own 24 hours newspaper column - we walked over to Pair on Tuesday.

Pair has an exclusively BC wine list - something that would have been unthinkable maybe 10 years ago and almost undrinkable 20 years ago, with a few exceptions.

And it's a good list, with several wines by the glass - something every Vancouver restaurant should be doing but isn't.

My wife Shirley had a 2006 Van Westen viognier for $10.50, a very floral, fragrant wine from Naramata that I had not tasted before and was tempted to steal away.

I had a Blackwood Lane chardonnay for $9.50 from the Langley-based winery that sources grapes from the Okanagan but also has vines in the Fraser Valley. It's a tasty wine but may be a bit pricey for the value.

We started with Effingham Inlet oysters - an excellent, accessible choice that went well with both wines.

For my main I picked the special, Queen Charlotte Island tuna with julienned fennel and watercress. It was cooked perfectly and delicious.

I matched it well with a glass of 2006 Church & State sauvignon blanc for $10, recommended by proprietor Janis Hodgins, who was also one of our servers. [I really like owners who serve food - it keeps them in touch with customers and shows a commitment to their establishment. And I didn't know she was an owner till the end of our meal.]

Shirley had a favourite from the regular menu, Peace River bison ribs. It's a hearty meal that comes with cornbread and bbq sauce. She had a glass of Gary Oaks Fetish - a cabernet franc, merlot blend - for $11.

We had a side of assorted sauteed BC mushrooms to go with our meals - absolutely wonderful!

BC has an amazing assortment of foods available and Pair Bistro does an admirable job providing a huge number of choices for a small restaurant.

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