Events & Celebrations

Coquille: Summer, Seafood, Patio

Is it just me, or does this Summer season seem a lot shorter than the previous years? It seems like only yesterday when I was heading to the beach or watching the Canada Day fireworks display. My goodness, where has the time gone? As I sit here in this coffee shop people watching and finding inspiration for my upcoming blog posts, I felt it fitting for me to reflect and draw attention to the three things in Vancouver that epitomizes the ideal evening. On a hot day surrounded by the warmth of the sun, nothing beats the combination of summer, delicious seafood, and an amazing patio with the people you love spending time with.

It’s Patio Season

Picture this: Blue skies, a gentle breeze, the odd gull calling, and you’ve just taken a leisurely stroll down the historic streets of Gastown. You’re passing by the various gift shops, furniture stores, cafes, and are in need of a place to sit and grab a drink to quench your thirst – maybe even to recharge over some small plates. Just a few blocks from the iconic Steam Clock and adjacent to Gassy Jack’s statue emerges an eatery situated on a corner with an amazing view of the Hotel Europe, Vancouver’s “flatiron” landmark. This eatery, my friends, is Coquille – one of Vancouver’s best seafood restaurants (definitely the best in Gastown, in my humble opinion). On this summer day, you’re welcomed by an open patio with a view to bask in the surroundings anywhere you sit. This is patio season, and it’s still on!

Happy Hour Is Still In

Suppose you’re meandering the bustling streets of Gastown, carefully making your way down the brick sidewalks and you’re looking to recharge. The happy hour specials from Coquille is quite the enticing option if you’re a lover of fresh seafood. From the hours of 3pm to 6pm, a visit to Coquille will see fresh oysters at half price, grilled octopus skewers for cheap, and drink specials on their signature cocktails, craft beers, wines, and more! Don’t believe me? Have a look at their menu and you tell me why this place isn’t worth the visit.

With all this in mind, I believe that the Coquille patio is worth the visit – especially when the countdown to Autumn is upon us. Unlike the other patios that dot Vancouver’s dining landscape, this particular one gives you an intimate look into the historic gateway of our city yet still capturing the feel of the waterfront. Whether you’re starting your visit through Gastown or wrapping it up, the food at this eatery is both fresh and delicious, and staff are happy to welcome you whether you’re dressed formally or casually. 

Events & Celebrations

Dine Out Vancouver 2019

Since 2002, it has been a tradition for Vancouverites to venture out from their abodes and set foot in restaurants across the Lower Mainland. “What might be so enticing?”, you ask? Dine Out Vancouver, of course! For those of you readers who have not heard of this event, it is undoubtedly the ultimate adventure for foodies and casual diners alike. Hosted by Tourism Vancouver, the list of restaurants who have been participating over the years continue to snowball as they are challenged to present an array of culinary delights in reasonable and enticing set menus. Although some diners prefer their order a-la-carte, Dine Out provides an opportunity for you to get the most value through a set menu of entrées, mains, and desserts. Believe it or not, this year brings together more than 200 restaurants, craft breweries, wineries and more as they collaborate in this exciting endeavour!

Dine With Coquille

As Vancouver’s fastest growing seafood restaurant and one of the best in Gastown, our friends over at Coquille are taking part in Dine Out for the first time this year! Their nautical-inspired restaurant will be welcoming diners throughout the day by offering two menu options – one for lunch, the other for dinner. If you have a hungering for seafood and shellfishes, this is an opportunity you do not want to pass on!

Their lunch menu is priced at a reasonable $35 and features options such as oysters, ceviches, and octopus; but for a more exquisite experience, visit during the dinner hours and try their $45 set menu – an elaborate dance of the ocean’s harvest. For a complete list of what is featured on their menus alongside the wine pairings their connoisseurs have created, visit their Dine Out listing HERE.

Romance At L’Abattoir

There is nothing more romantic about Vancouver than dining in the heart of historic Gastown over a candlelit dinner in a 19th century building. This is what you would come to expect in one of Vancouver’s top restaurants – L’Abattoir.

Also taking part in Dine Out this year, this restaurant features only a dinner menu, but priced at a very reasonable $45. Perhaps you will start your meal off with an albacore tuna crudo, or a warm terrine of smoked pork jowl before moving over to the lamb sirloin main course. Whatever tickles your taste buds – surf, turf, or vegetarian – the experience at L’Abattoir is sure to satisfy all your dining needs. Each dish from appetizers to dessert will also have a proper wine pairing, so be sure to ask your servers about it! For a complete view of their menu, click HERE

Regardless of where you choose to dine, I am a huge fan of Dine Out Vancouver and definitely look forward to it every year. Since it was first introduced to this city, the list of participants has grown. The only hard part, now, is deciding where to eat and what to order. Good luck making up your mind, my epicurious friends!

Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival begins on January 18th to February 3rd, 2019. For event tickets and all other information, visit here.

Events & Celebrations

Looking For Gift Ideas?

It is hard to believe how quickly Christmas has come and gone, but no one said the season of giving has to end on Boxing Day! Whether you are celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or some other special occasion, finding the right gift for the right person is always important! (Hint: Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us fast!)

A Gift Fit For A Foodie

With that in mind, here is my proposal should you be on the lookout for a terrific gift idea for your seafood-loving-epicurious-food-loving friend (try saying that 10 times in a row): the magnificent Coquille gift card

coquille-gift-card

No, you are not dreaming! Our lovely friends at Coquille are now actively taking orders on gift cards of up to $300 in value. The best part? You don’t even have to leave your home to do it! All orders are processed online and can be either mailed to the lucky recipient with a special message written, or (should you really want to add the personal touch) have it picked up at the restaurant at your convenience so you can hand deliver it yourself. One thing to note, however, is that the value of these cards start at $50 and increase by increments of 50 up to the stated $300 maximum.

Seafood Platters Galore

Deciding on the “right” amount is something you ought to consider – naturally, right? So if your foodie friend is big on seafood, I would like to divert your attention to the seafood platters available at Coquille. Yes, there are other amazing appetizers and entrées, too, but I deliberately chose to highlight these platters because they provide a perfect sample of all the fresh seafood options from the bar and, given the selectable values on the gift cards, your friend can be treated to these amazing ensembles:

Sailor’s Platter (serves 2-3) $60

6 oysters, 2 jumbo shrimp, crudo, scallops, crab legs, clams & mussels

Captain’s Platter (serves 3-4) $110

8 oysters, 4 jumbo shrimp, crudo, scallops, crab legs, lobster tail, ceviche, clams & mussels

Admiral’s Platter (serves 5-6) $175

12 oysters, 8 jumbo shrimp, crudo, scallops, crab legs, lobster tail, ceviche, clams & mussels

Whoever is the lucky recipient to your gift, I am sure they will have an amazing time while dining. I have eaten at Coquille several times and the food just keeps getting better and better. Without a doubt, they are quickly becoming one of Gastown’s best restaurants, and I am confident that your lucky friend will agree once they have had a chance to use the awesome gift card you send them!

Events & Celebrations

SKOOKUM: A Festival of Music, Food, and Art

As our beloved summer season slowly begins to pave the way for autumn, I would like to think that Vancouverites always manage to find a way to make the most out of the situation. Although the weather has not been as sweltering as the heat wave we experienced back in July/August, at least the haze of smoke has dissipated, right? I am always trying to find ways to look for the silver lining as we transition toward the rainy season, and I think I found it!

Are you ready for a last Summer 2018 hurrah? Are you ready for a final get-together with your friends to celebrate the outdoors before the umbrellas are brought out? If so, I encourage you to grab tickets to the SKOOKUM Festival – a weekend filled with music, food, and the arts. Working with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and located on the traditional and unceded territory of Vancouver’s beautiful and majestic Stanley Park, the SKOOKUM festival is a weekend filled with good eats, fun, and a host of musical legends.

Truffles Fine Foods and Coquille

Building on my previous blog post on reasons why you should check out Coquille in Gastown, I was delighted to learn that their culinary talent will be present at the festival amongst a whole list of other food vendors! I wish I would be able to disclose what seafood and westcoast treats they will be serving up, but even I am not entitled to those secrets. The only solution to this mystery is buying tickets and paying them a visit! That being said, there are tons of other food vendors present at SKOOKUM, too. From food trucks, to burgers and pizza – cheeses to gelato and donuts. Whatever tickles your fancy, there is bound to be something for you to eat, drink, and be merry. Here’s another secret I will let you in on: Truffles Fine Foods is also catering at the event! So, if you haven’t had a chance to visit us at our locations, this would be the perfect opportunity!

A Rocking Musical Lineup

What is a festival without live music? Not a festival, that is for sure. If food is not a good enough reason for you to attend SKOOKUM, what about an awesome lineup of performers? Check out this schedule and I dare you to tell me that it is not rocking enough for you. Performing live to all festival attendees are award-winning bands and artists including Milky Chance, XAmbassadors, Hey Ocean, The Arkells, Mother Mother, and my personal favourite, The Killers. Needless to say, concert organizers were not messing around when they planned this event!

The Arts and After Dark

Another wonderful aspect to Vancouver and local festivals alike is our vibrant art scene. On location will also be an Art Pavilion showcasing and selling various crafts made by our talented local artists, so be sure to show them some love, too! If you haven’t partied hard enough, there are several events happening after dark, too. Hosted at the Imperial, Rickshaw, Guilt & Co. (to name a few), there will be other events taking place to ensure that your night of fun continues on throughout the night.
So, have I convinced you to check out the SKOOKUM festival yet? Is this enough reason to close off Summer 2018 with a group of friends? I hope so! It will take place September 7 to 9 and tickets can be found on the event website. See you there!

Photo credits: SKOOKUM Festival.

Industry News

Reasons To Visit Coquille

If there is one common thing Vancouverites love reading on the internet, it would be lists – lists about the top places to visit for vacation, top places for dates, best activities for the season, or even the best places to eat in town. The food scene in our lovely city, as we know it, is very competitive. To decide on a cuisine, let alone which restaurant to dine at, can often be a painstaking, indecisive process accompanied with FOMO (fear of missing out) if our meals fail to satisfy our cravings. I will admit that I have been in this situation several times and if you are an epicurious foodie with a robust palate, I am sure you can relate.

Few months ago, Truffles Fine Foods welcomed to Vancouver a new seafood restaurant to the historic Gastown community. After learning of the menu and Happy Hour specials they offered, it was a no-brainer that a visit to said restaurant was imminent. Since their official opening, I have had the opportunity to visit Coquille on a few occasions and I think I am hooked (no pun intended). Keeping true to the lists we all enjoy, here are my top reasons of why I think you should visit (or dare I even say, revisit) Coquille:

Dining In Comfort

I get asked by friends what type of attire is best suited for Coquille. Formal? Semi formal? Casual? Honestly, it is what makes you feel comfortable! Since the restaurant itself is situated in the heart of a popular tourist destination, there is bound to be a variety of visitors who dress however which way they want. That being said, I am a huge fan of smart casual, but at the end of the day, wear what makes you feel comfortable!

Amazing Maritime Décor

The décor of Coquille is one of the true hidden gems of Vancouver when it comes to interior design. Everything within the restaurant reflects the nautical theme if you look carefully enough. As I sat there sipping on a cocktail and observing my surroundings, I noticed the fish scales along the walls, the wooden floorboards similar to the decks of old steamships, the occasional portholes, and comfortable booths with brass light fixtures – very much like those from ocean liners at the turn of the century. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming which sets the perfect tone as I prepared myself for my next culinary adventure.

The Best Seafood In Town

Coquille lets me be me and the ambiance has already prepared me for my culinary journey, which leads me to my third reason for why this restaurant is a must-visit: the food. Yes, the food! Coquille prides itself on the fine seafood it serves, the very freshest of fresh, and the latest creations of the culinary industry. Have you had sea urchin with burrata cheese before? Or jellyfish alongside your freshly shucked clams and oysters? Thinking about their menu gets me excited because it is just that good! Need I say more?

 
So, if you are ever looking to treat yourself to something new and arguably the best seafood in town, I firmly believe Coquille is the restaurant that will address any cravings you have – from food to cocktails. Still not convinced? Then check them out! They are located at 181 Carrall St. in Gastown, Vancouver.