This is certainly one of the world’s greatest walking cities. Guided by appetite and a love of observation, I began the day in Stanley Park. Along the seawalls, past swan nests, six miles later, through a dreamy urban park.
Lunch at Shanghai “Bistro” on Alberni. Pretty remarkable and subtle food: Pressed, fried tofu strips (yuba) stuffed with mushrooms, carrots, and bamboo followed by thin noodles in a delicate peanut sauce. Among the best Chinese meals I have ever had due to the precision and quality.
At night: Return to Gastown for dinner at Boneta. Big, open kitchen, high ceilings, in a terrific, old brick building in an area better known lately for its speed and crack cocaine addicts on the sidewalks than its food. The dinner was a $35 prix fixe as it is “Dine Around” week. Duck rillettes, pork belly, chocolate financier. Extraordinary flavors and impressive restraint. A kind of rare simplicity–a chef who knows when to stop and whose trust in his skill and confidence in his ingredients were there on the plate. Not Boston by about 4000 miles.