Wine and dine at Vancouver Magazine's Big Night 2016

Vancouver Magazine hosts its 12th annual Big Night event on February 5, 2016. During this excusive culinary soiree, the winning chefs from this year’s Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards will be preparing delicious dishes to match top wines from the 2016 International Wine Competition. Food and travel blogger Diana Chan of Foodology gives us the low-down on the 10 participating restaurants.

Hawksworth Restaurant

1
750-669 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B4

Chef David Hawksworth and his team receive an array of awards year after year by serving up exceptional contemporary cuisine. Located right on the ground floor of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the elegant restaurant entices diners with a beautiful dining room that’s bursting with style and sophistication. I usually come for lunch and you can’t go wrong with their steak and egg, or their classic eggs Benedict.

Vij's

2
3106 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W2

Vij’s has been spicing up the Vancouver culinary scene since 1994 with its outstanding dishes, including the infamous wine-marinated lamb popsicles. By blending Indian spices and cooking techniques with fresh local produce, these talented chefs give customers a unique experience that has them coming back for more. You’re bound to see long line-ups out the front door of the restaurant, with typical wait times of up to an hour or more. With crowds showing up on a nightly basis, servers make sure to pass out little bites and appetizers to those waiting in the queue.

Cactus Club Cafe

3
357 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1R2

This casual fine dining restaurant originated on the West Coast of B.C. and has since expanded across the country. With Chef Rob Feenie, Canada’s first Iron Chef America Champion, spearheading the culinary team, the comforting menu appeals to a large audience. Whether it’s a burger, steak or the tuna stack, there’s always something to drool over. My go-to item is Rob’s hunter chicken, which is very juicy and tender.

Prestons Restaurant + Lounge

4
1177 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6E 2P4

Located in Coal Harbour, Prestons serves a rotating selection of dishes prepared with local and seasonal produce, which keeps the menu fresh and innovative. As it’s situated close to the downtown financial district, they offer express lunch specials that will fit right into your lunch break. If you’re looking to taste the best of what B.C. has to offer, give the Salt Spring Island mussels a try, or the 48-hour beef short ribs.

CinCin Ristorante & Bar

5
2-1154 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1B2

When it comes to Italian cuisine, CinCin has been a local favourite for more 25 years. The contemporary Italian menu and wine pairings have captivated locals as well as celebrities visiting Vancouver. Take a careful look around the dimly lit dining room and perhaps you’ll spot someone famous. Don’t forget to finish your meal with some dessert.

Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar

6
1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4

Blue Water Café is the place to go for seafood in Vancouver. Executive chef Frank Pabst puts together a delectable menu with amazing pieces of carefully selected fish. The raw seafood bar, led by Raw Bar chef Masaaki Kudo, features clean and pure flavours as well as detailed preparation. All of their seafood is sustainable with the Ocean Wise stamp of approval to ensure it is ethically sourced.

Tableau Bar Bistro

7
1181 Melville St, Vancouver, BC V6E 0A3

Nestled inside the Loden Hotel close to Coal Harbour, Tableau Bar and Bistro is known for its traditional French bistro fare. The interior combines Old World elements with modern touches, and the French-inspired menu blends the classic culinary flavours of Paris with the use of fresh West Coast ingredients. Mushrooms on toast or the steak tartare are both great ways to start your meal.

Au Comptoir

8
2278 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6K 1N8

Au Comptoir is a classic Parisian cafe in Kitsilano. Once you walk inside, you’ll notice a distinct decor that gives the restaurant a Parisian vibe. I come here for breakfast to indulge in a cappuccino and a croque madam. The service is attentive and you will definitely notice the difference in their food compared to other French restaurants in town.

Miku Japanese Restaurant

9
70-200 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4

You can’t get any more West Coast than the fresh sushi and scenic views at Miku. The glass-walled dining room and outdoor patio overlook the beautiful Vancouver waterfront and the surrounding North Shore Mountains. I recommend ordering a lot of aburi sushi, especially the aburi salmon oshi sushi. Once you eat that, no other sushi will compare. Even simple items such as the Nutrigreens farm tofu salad are awesome. If there was ever a place to really #treatyoself, it would be Miku.

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