It's the best time of year for foodies, with the 11th annual Dine Out Vancouver promotion now expanding to 240 restaurants in the Lower Mainland, including at least nine in Burnaby.
Running from Jan. 18 to Feb. 3, the promotion allows restaurants to fill their tables at a time when people don't normally go out for a meal and it allows diners some great deals at places they might not normally be able to afford.
Restaurants have the option of offering three-course meals at the $18, $28 or $38 price points, and in Burnaby, at least nine restaurants are giving it a shot, with six at the $28 level, one at the $18 level and two at the $38 level.
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown general manager Ed Jaskula gave the Burnaby NOW a sneak peek at its $28 Dine Out Vancouver menu, which will be on offer at the Reflect Social Dining + Lounge, starting this Friday. Executive chef Tong Lim and Josie Lindgrin, the Hilton's director of outlets, worked with Jaskula to put together the sumptuous meals on the menu. There are three appetizers diners can choose from and having tried all three, it won't be an easy choice. The sambal squid features calamari cooked with sambal sauce, lemongrass, onion and garlic, and it packs a nice spicy kick. Lindgrin has worked hard to pair up each dish with an appropriate wine and the Jackson-Triggs Riesling, for $9 a glass more, is a great choice.
We also tried the cher-moula prawns, which use the chermoula spice from Morocco to give the dish a different kind of kick.
"For people who want spicy toned down a bit, this is a great choice," said Lim, who added that squeezing a little lime on the prawns tones the dish down even more.
The third appetizer is a butter lettuce salad, which explodes with flavour because of the dried berries, apple dressing and chevre cheese that accompanies it. Paired with the Blasted Church rose at $9 a glass more, it gives salad a good name.
If you love seafood, the miso-glazed pan-roasted Pacific salmon, served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes, is to-die-for.
If meat is your fancy, the top sirloin of beef, served in a stilton jus and with seasonal vegetables and potatoes, is a great pick. If pasta is your fancy, the gemelli pasta, served with a fire-roasted tomato sauce, onions, garlic, capers, olives and grape tomatoes, is a favourite for vegetarians and pasta lovers.
Our third and final course is dessert and the German chocolate cake is divine. The last dessert choice is the vanilla crème brulee, and when paired with a Jackson-Triggs ries-ling ice wine at $15 a glass more, it's the best way to end a perfect meal.
"We're hoping our Dine Out menu really captures the imagination of diners who want to see what we're all about," said Lindgrin. "We're always trying to offer great food at affordable prices and I think we've done that with our Dine Out menu."
The Reflect Social Dining + Lounge is located at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown at 6083 McKay Ave. For more information, go to www.hilton. com.
For more information on all the restaurants involved with Dine Out Vancouver, go to www. dineoutvancouver.com.