Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival begins today! It will run from January 15th till January 31st, 2016. The festival takes over the city with 17 days of culinary events, prix fixe,
three-course menus at 288 restaurants (at $20, $30 or $40 CAD price points).
The Donnelly Group has a few of their locations participating in Dine Out Vancouver at the $20 price point.
- The Lamplighter
- Clough Club
- The Bimini
- The Blackbird
- The Butcher & Bullock
- Library Square
- The New Oxford
- Granville Room
- The Three Brits
All have similar menus, but each restaurant has a different entree unique to their restaurant.
Donnelly’s Food Director – Alvin Pillay, Bar & Beverage Director – Trevor Kallies, and Beer Ambassador – Liam Peyton put together a good $20 menu with additional alcohol pairings. I went on a media preview of their menus at 4 locations to get a sense of what they will be presenting diners for Dine Out Vancouver.
The New Oxford
The New Oxford is located right in Yaletown and was the first stop of the night.
I love this space to just gather with a few friends and have a drink. We started off with 2 of the appetizers from all the $20 menus.
Curried Parsnip Soup has roasted apples, brown butter, honey yogurt and some chives.
I was surprised by the size of the soup, it’s pretty substantial. It had a good amount of aromatics in the soup and was delicious.
It is paired with Volcanic Hills Pinot Gris if you wanted to pay a little bit more for the pairing.
Winter Salad has red beets, romaine lettuce, grilled onion, parsley, mint, buttermilk sumac dressing, pita bread and black sesame. The salad was quite simple compared to the soup but I personally preferred this a little bit more. I’m just not a soup person, but I love fresh veggies with a nice crunch.
The salad is paired with 50th Parallel Riesling.
The Blackbird Public House
Our next stop was The BlackBird Public House where we would enjoy a variety of entrees across all their restaurants participating in Dine Out Vancouver.
Bangers & Mash has pork shoulder sausages, blue cheese mash, bacon onion gravy, crispy onions, and arugula. The full entrée is a bit bigger with 2 sausages. This was my favourite entrée out of the bunch as the textures and flavours were pretty good. The creamy potatoes with the crisp onion and all that gravy! You can’t go wrong.
The Bangers & Mash is paired with the Tinhorn Creek Merlot.
Mac & Cheese has cavatappi pasta, parmesan, Quebec cheese curds, roasted bell peppers and a garlic gremolata. It also comes with a side salad too, which isn’t pictured. A decent amount of creaminess of the mac & cheese. You can add bacon or mushrooms to it for an additional $2.
Salmon & Yam Chips can be found at the Three Brits and The New Oxford location. It has Parallel 49 Gypsy Ruby Ale batter, baked yams and a caper lemon tartar sauce. I thought this dish was a tad dry.
Octopus Bolognese has pacific octopus, pork shoulder, spaghettini, and charred caper garlic bread. It is paired with the Okanagan Crush Pad Narrative Red. The bolognese was very delicious! I would recommend it.
Slow Braised Beef Short Rib can be found the the Butcher and Bullock menu. It has parmesan and sea salted fries, garlic spinach and a red wine demi. It is paired with Gehringer Cabernet Merlot. I didn’t get a chance to taste this since it was gobbled up pretty quickly by the group.
Chicken Pot Pie is on the Lamplighter’s dine out menu. It has free run chicken, root veggies, butter pastry and surrounded by kale salad.
You will definitely have to look into their different menus to see which one suits you and your friends best. The portion sizes are pretty good for a $20 3 course menu.
Our next stop was at the Lamplighter to enjoy some dessert. I’ve actually never been to the Lamplighter but the Donnelly Group seems to have really turned this place around.
They have pinball machines, pool, arcade games and trivia nights. This place looks like a lot of fun.
S’more Jar has scotch caramel, chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallows. It was good especially paired with the Glenlivet Founders Reserve.
Next stop was the Clough Club, which is right next door to Lamplighter. The Clough Club has a different menu for Dine Out but it is also $20.
They crank out some awesome cocktails in this cute space.
Ice Cream Sandwich has double chocolate cookies salted caramel, and mint chocolate ice cream. It is paired with 33 Acres Of Darkness Black Lager. It was messy to eat since the cookie was on the harder side. Would have been a bit better if it was softer.
With so many options for Dine Out Vancouver, there’s lots to explore. Choose your restaurants wisely. With the Donnelly Group locations, the atmosphere does vary, so when you are making reservations, you probably don’t want to be taking your parents to The Lamplighter. The locations are generally better for those who are younger who want a lively fun atmosphere. The menu is only $20 and the portion sizes are pretty good. I’ve been to a few $20 dine outs in the past and you do get good value at their locations.
Foodology Disclaimer: I was invited by Donnelly Group to the Dine Out Preview Tour and my meal was comped. All thoughts are my own.