Is it too early to get excited about Dine Out?
Vancouver’s annual restaurant fest returns for its 12th year this Jan. 17-Feb. 2. Organizers have just released details on some new twists.
The largest festival of its kind in Canada, Dine Out transforms the city into a moveable feast, as hundreds of restaurants offer prix fixe menus priced at $18, $28 or $38. It’s a unique opportunity to sample some of the city’s top restaurants, from old favourites to up-and-comers, at discount prices. Not to mention during the dark, rainy days of January, Dine Out lends some food-filled excitement to the post-holiday grind.
For 2014, organizers have opted to expand the Dine Out events lineup, the growing list of food- and drink-themed satellite events that many consider the best part of the festival. New this year will be a unique brunch crawl, an edible progressive that will take diners through Vancouver’s distinct culinary neighbourhoods.
Also on tap is a snowshoe expedition on North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain with a culinary twist. After trekking through the snow and alpine forests high above the city, participants will warm up over a traditional fondue at the lodge. Finally, the 2014 Dine Out will introduce a high-brow, foodie-narrated event dubbed the Six Course Discourse: six, rapid-fire courses paired with presentations by passionate local foodies.
Past favourite events returning for another go-round are Plated Paired at the Public Market (a private, after-hours feast at Granville Island’s Public Market), Street Food City (a food cart extravaganza), Secret Supper Soiree (where diners are whisked to secret dinner locations aboard a trolley) and Act I, Eat 1 (dinner-and-theatre pairings). Tickets for all events go on sale December 5.
Meanwhile, the official restaurant lineup and corresponding menus will not be disclosed until Jan. 6, when reservations open (though American Express cardholders can get a sneak preview starting Jan. 3).
Also back for another year is the hotel component of Dine Out. Many festival-goers don’t realize that just as restaurants offer discount menus, Vancouver hotels offer discount rooms at fixed $78, $108 and $138 price points during Dine Out.
For more updates on events in Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.