Traveling Table: Vancouver

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February 5th, 2010

Tastingtable.com Original Article

In Vancouver, the city’s best bartenders have gone solo, establishing restaurants where the fare is as good as the cocktails. Here, our favorite spots to imbibe (and avoid the crowds) during the Olympics:

The Diamond Three heads are better than one at this second-floor watering hole, a joint project from a trio of top bartenders. Drinks are categorized by potency–we love the “refreshing,” gingery Buck Buck Mule–and are paired with izakaya-inspired snacks, like the pickled eggs and beet salad with soy mayo and panko for dipping. 6 Powell St.; di6mond.com

Pourhouse Jay Jones left his post at Voya last year to open this nostalgic spot, where plush booths counter the room’s centerpiece: a handsome 22-seat bar made from salvaged fir. Let Jones make you a custom drink, or try the Gold Fashioned (pictured), a twist on the classic, made with bourbon, bitters, maple syrup and fortified wine. 162 Water St.; 604-568-7022 or pourhousevancouver.com

Bao Bei In Chinatown, former Chambar bartender (and onetime trapeze artist) Tannis Ling’s 50-seater serves up grandmother-worthy Shanghaiese and Taiwanese dishes–like beef noodle soup and xiao long bao–as well as what Ling terms “evolved Chinese food” (read: not fusion). The cocktails adhere to classic recipes made with quality ingredients: Ling’s must-order drink, a piƱa colada, combines fresh pineapple, coconut reduction, aged rum and lime juice. 163 Keefer St.; 604-688-0876 or bao-bei.ca

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