Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 18th - Joey's Wine Bar - Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards After Party

I was very lucky to have an invitation to attend the after-party of the Vancouver Magazine Annual Restaurant Awards.  D's work was a sponsor of the party so I squeezed in.  Yay!  We were greeted at the door with a Sofia Blanc de Blancs mini bubbly.  Very sweet.  Can see the potential of this becoming the next girls' party drink to replace Smirnoff Lemonades or Bacardi Breezers.

It was held at the nicest of the Joey Tomato's chain in the Financial district.  I heard from someone at the party that they were planning on re-vamping all the locations to this same level.  The area was, pardon the pun, just parched for a proper Wine Bar.  There was a specific line up of wine for this party but their Wine Vault looked extensive and their wine bar was impressively equipped for a couple dozen by the glass stations which is thrilling for me!

Upstairs in the mezzanine, they were having a bit of a blind wine taste.  I made the mistake of starting the evening with a big Syrah so I knew I would flop so I just went up to watch.

The restaurant provided all the nibbles that were floating around as well, there were dips of Tsatsiki and a Aubergine and Smoked Trout on the tables with fresh chips.  The chips were served in these adorable mini fry baskets.  It was while grabbing a big Taro Root chip that I spotted Rob Feenie, a local 'celebrity chef' and Iron Chef winner.  I tried to take his photo but I took so long that I started to look like a stalker so I left it.

My favourite nibbles for the evening were the Dungeness Crab Spring Rolls.  They were piping hot no matter where in the serving circuit I caught them.  I'm not sure how they did that.  As well, they did this awesome little thing for their Tuna and Mango snack.  They took the standard 'disposable' wooden chopsticks that are attached at the top and left them attached and so the pinching held the Tuna.  Brilliant!

One cute little taster was this little Frito Parmesan with Herbed Goat Cheese. These are a lot easier than it looks and your guests will be excited if you choose to copy.  All you need to do is put a little mound of fresh 'REAL' grated Parmesan Cheese in a dry non-stick pan on medium heat.  When it is melted and just as it starts to brown, place it in a form to cool. 

They also had mini Chicken Corn dogs and Korean BBQ tacos where the Taco was soft flour wrapper like you would get with mushu pork. The Korea tacos looked amazing. 
Waterbrook Columbia Valley Melage Noir 2007

Dessert were a Mini Burnt, Salted Caramel Ice Cream cones and Mini Raspberry Tart.  I skipped the tart because I kept chasing the Spring Roll until we left.  I did try the ice cream and the 'burn' was pretty dominant.  It was only described as salted so I wonder if it were not intentionally meant to be so smoky. Still it was nice on its warm little cone similar taste and texture to a fortune cookie.
So I did not really get to see this place in 'real' action but from what I saw I would come back.  The staff were super efficient and friendly.  The wine staff were well trained and kept things moving and glasses restocked constantly.  The place was bright yet warm.  The location is right in the middle of the financial district which has a big gap for a nicer drinking hole that doesn't look and smell like a drinking hole.

Joey's Wine Bar
507 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V7X
(604) 915-5639

Joey's (Bentall Centre) on Urbanspoon

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