Happier Than a Pig In….

 

So.  Lots to tell you.

I figure if you’re a follower of this blog, we be besties now.  Meaning, I should probably be straight up with you already and tell you why I’ve been MIA for the last little while.  Life has taken a turn for the interesting over the last few months, and I’ve found myself in the middle of a divorce from my lovely husband. And yes, he’s still lovely, and always will be. Without divulging too much information, for your sake as much as mine, believe me, I’ll just say that I’m a firm believer in seeking out one’s happiness, and this new road I’m embarking on is going to lead me to just that.  So, if you PLEASE : no “I’m so sorry”s!  I simply can’t hear that sentence one more godforsaken time!  No one died!  I assure you, we’re both still alive and well.  Just alive and well and living in different cities.

Which brings me to my next bout of news.  I’ve decided to move back to my hometown of Vancouver, BC, the city of my support system, my fondest memories, my family, my friends, my favorite bartenders… Basically my place of refuge.  Although I adore Los Angeles, I’m a Canadian girl at heart, and it was time to get back to my roots.  And lord have I missed this city.  And if I do say so myself, I believe it may have missed me back.

But really, this isn’t about me.  This entry belongs to the latest object of my affection (or obsession), a restaurant that has slipped its way into one of my top ten favorites in this beautiful rainy city with one singular meal.  It’s called The Flying Pig, and it makes me oh so very happy.

The Flying Pig is smack dab in the middle of Yaletown, Vancouver’s trendy Soho-esque area teeming with the kind of pretty people who like to dress their dogs in clothes. But don’t let that deter you.  This is a restaurant worth checking out, even if they don’t take reservations and make you wait a rather obscene amount of time for a table. But the good news is, like all good things, the wait’s worth it. The ladies and I (or The Wives, as we are known to one another. Someone once equated our group of six to a “pack of loud, drunken, beautiful Barbies” but we’re still on the fence with that moniker, however accurate) headed there on a Saturday night at the early hour of 6 o’clock to ensure we ate before midnight. But after a mere half an hour we were seated and ready to rumble. One of my favorite things about TFP– we’re so close, we give each other acronyms!– is its open concept-style room, large communal wooden tables, a big welcoming bar, huge window looking into the kitchen to take in all the action, even old oak barrels scattered around the room to rest your drink on during that pesky wait. It’s loud and comforting and friendly, just like us wives.

Owned and operated by cuties John Crook and Eric Heck, it’s a place that prides itself in all things local and seasonal, which is to say what you’ll be eating will be fresh, sustainable, and just delicious. Bonus? John Crook trained with pastry god Francois Payard, so you best be saving room for dessert after dinner. We decided to go sharesies so we could try more stuff (we may be Barbies but we’re Barbies who pig out), and with a menu offering delectables like in-house smoked salmon samplers, skillet roasted beef filets with lobster mashed potatoes, and short rib macaroni, why on earth wouldn’t you?  Some of our favorites:

Beet and arugula salad with whipped chèvre and apple walnut dressing

Pan roasted halibut with broccoli rabe and beans with pancetta

Gorgeous veal piccata with parmesan risotto in a caper brown butter sauce

Brussel sprouts fried crisp with lemon and parmesan

...and a stupidly good maple sugar pie with walnut ice cream

 

Wanna know the piece de resistance? You can even sign up for a cooking class (your house or theirs) to learn how to cook this food at home for your lucky little friends!  That’s right, veal piccata and sugar pie any time you want, without the wait for a table!

But to be honest, sometimes the wait just makes the food taste better. Or, much more likely, they’re just better at cooking than I am. Either way, TFP?  Get ready to see more of the JBS.

(And no, I’m not telling you what that middle initial stands for….)

 

XO