Vancouver (Day Three)

March 29th, 2015 § 0 comments

A Vancouver treat. The best breakfast, a response to Rain City weather, is available at Congeee Noodle House on Broadway in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. For HG: A steaming bowl of congee (rice porridge–also known as “jook”) containing plump prawns, Chinese mushrooms, gingko nuts and chopped parsley. Plus a portion of shrimp dumplings in a spicy sauce. Accompanied by hot tea, of course. For BSK: Congee with sea scallops and a rice crepe enclosing barbecued pork. Thus fortified, the duo were off to Vancouver Art Gallery to view the art museum’s always exciting special exhibitions. On this occasion there was an exhibition of contemporary Chinese artists. Extraordinary on-site works. The most memorable was Ai Weiwei’s monumental sculpture fashioned from hundreds of wooden stools. Also viewed the Pearlman collection, a dazzling array of modern European masterpieces purchased by New Yorkers Henry and Rose Pearlman during the 1940’s and 50’s. Some 24 works by Cezanne including 16 watercolors. Also, splendid works by Soutine and Modigliani among others. Dinner with Jamie S. and chic and soigné Karen St. John at the opening night of AnnaLena Restaurant on Cypress Avenue. Stark, beautiful (but very noisy space). Shared very good small plates including roasted cauliflower salad with sprouted lentils, cashews, pea shoots, buttermilk dressing, chili “threads”; buttermilk fried chicken with horseradish maple aioli and salt and vinegar chicken skins (a nice touch); spinach and asiago ravioli with baby arugula, tomato compote and “pangratatto” (?); southern fried sweetbreads with onion jam (this was only error as thick crust was not appropriate for delicate sweetbreads); inventive dessert of chocolate creme brûlée, honey, salted caramel ice cream and chocolate “dust.” Lovely contemporary food. AnnaLena will be perfect when the noise problem is solved and a lighter hand is used in their fried food.

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