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By Brittany Tiplady When I call Paul Grunberg for our interview it’s obvious that he’s in the throws of a lunch rush. “I’m so sorry, can I call you back in 45 minutes? 30 minutes?” he asks, raising his voice amongst the fray of voices, and dishes clanging. Less than half an hour later, we resume. I’ve been doing this job for a while, and I’ve gotten used to the usual shtick when interviewing a very busy person; it can be frustrating at worst, and tricky at best to capture the attention of your subject when their entrepreneur brain is focused elsewhere. I expected to have to fight for Grunberg’s attention over the phone, but to my surprise he was warm and pleasant and delightfully attentive. Much like his restaurants. If you’ve ever been to one of Grunberg’s establishments, you’ll agree that it’s fair to say the man is kind…

By Brittany Tiplady If you’re looking for seasonal, colourful, Italian cuisine in the Fraser Valley, the heart of Langley has a true hidden gem: The OSSO Lunchroom is a rustic, Italian break to your day, serving up fabulous lunch and dinner plates. Helmed by the acclaimed executive chef and owner Sean Bone, the chalkboard menu is always budding with options suitable for various palates and preferences. It’s nearly impossible to decide one item: the options for soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas and desserts seem to be endless. The space is warm and inviting; the decor is somewhat reminiscent of a rustic kitchen or dining area that could be found in a Tuscan villa. “Our vision for the restaurant was to have a modest beginning, based on Italian cuisine. Providing food made from scratch using as much local product as we could, from the ground to your plate,” says Chef Bone.…

By Kathy Mak Dried pasta is one of the most popular staples in home pantries around the world. While it may seem like a basic food – made with flour and water – there’s far more to dried pasta than you think.  Specifically, artisan-style dried pasta crafted from traditional methods is higher in quality, flavour and is better for you, as I learned from North Vancouver’s Ingrain Pastificio. What it boils down to is that their artisan pasta offers a better textured, more flavourful, highly digestible pasta with greater nutritional values. Behind an understated storefront in Parkgate Village, near Deep Cove, you’ll find the welcoming contemporary pasta-centric eatery, Ingrain, where stellar dishes are abundant and pastas are all house-made on premise by Head Chef Erick Kauko and his team. Ingrain is considered the only manufacturer of slow dried, traditional pasta in the Lower Mainland and one of a few on…

By Nikki Hillman You’ll know Rocco’s is passionate about supporting local as soon as you enter the store. The seating area is dominated by two, long wooden tables, built by a company directly across the street, who salvaged fallen trees from within the area. These tables foster traditional Italian family dining and, if you’ve visited Italy, you will be familiar with this concept – and Rocco’s is definitely about family. The store is managed by Andy and Jana Mollica (a retired Air Canada employee) and their trusted employee, general manager and chef, Pat Toynbee. Stop by on a weekday afternoon and you could be entertained by their adorable children as they munch on pepperoni sticks from behind the deli glass. Rocco’s opened in August of 2015 and has quickly become the go-to place for coffee, meats, cheeses and treats. Most of the pastries are made in store; try a café…

By Kristi Alexandra The River Market is thriving with multicultural cuisines, and really is a bon marché of sorts. From Hainanese poultry to European sweet treats, the River Market is a hot bed of gastronomic discovery, so you can live the life of a travelling gourmand without the pricey plane ticket. Bon appetite… or should we say bon voyage? Italian Aa a country built on its reputation for personal pleasure, it’s no secret Italians pride themselves on their indulgences. Those “indulgences” include fine cheeses, cured meats and, of course, gelato. Grab a made-to-order Italian sandwich at the La Grotta Del Formaggio’s deli counter inside Donald’s Market, along with some plum olives, and enjoy it as a picnic at the adjacent Pier Park. A scoop of Tre Galli Gelato’s homemade lemon gelato in a waffle cone will transport your tastebuds to Florence. Thai Fitting that traditional Thai coastal cuisine should be…

By Sheliza Mitha & The City of Coquitlam The temperate climate of BC’s Lower Mainland makes it especially easy to enjoy impromptu (and planned) barbecues and picnics – particularly in the warmer months of spring, summer and early fall. So, why not take it easy on yourself and enjoy the weather… and let someone else (preferably an expert!) do all the prep work? Enter Coquitlam’s array of specialty and multicultural delis, where you’ll find everything from authentic Italian salami and street food to Eastern European delights and even some flavourful Persian treats and meat. Here are just a few Coquitlam delis (in alphabetical order) where you can pop in and grab what you need for a quick and delicious meal: Euro Food Tri-City Deli & Catering 1-555 North Road Tucked away in Coquitlam’s North Road, this eclectic deli features most anything one could imagine from Central, Eastern and Northern Europe.…

By Sheliza Mitha For those who love coffee, there is nothing quite as satisfying and soul replenishing as an authentically-Italian cup of joe (whether it’s an Americano, cappuccino, latte, etc.). In Coquitlam’s Austin Heights, a veritable foodie hub, you’ll find the GianCarlo Deli – the perfect place to get your Italian caffeine fix, and then some. A few short blocks away are more tempting Italian old-world traditions and flavours at the acclaimed Golden Boot Caffe and Jimoco Café and Pasta. I ventured to Austin Heights in search of traditional Italian fare – and that’s just what I got, in many different forms. My self-guided tour of Italy kicked off with a smooth latte at GianCarlo’s, where I perused the neatly stacked shelves of pasta, sauces, imported biscuits, crackers, juices and more. The morning I was there, the owner was busily making homemade lasagne noodles in the kitchen at the back…

By Tim Pawsey Foodies have long known that the stretch of Hastings Street which runs east from Boundary Road (known as Burnaby Heights) is home to a wealth of myriad flavours. A reviewer once cheekily suggested that The Pear Tree was one of downtown Vancouver’s best dining destinations. (It’s not downtown and never has been, but just sports a certain sophistication that makes it feel that way.) Over the years, Pear Tree owners Stephanie and Scott Jaeger have won accolades for being very polished, cutting edge, and serving with casual flair in contemporary but comfortable surroundings. Scott’s regionally driven plates features the likes of pan roasted Lois Lake Steelhead salmon, served with pomme Dauphine and butternut squash, or twice cooked ‘Berkshire’ pork belly with white bean Cassoulet. Also firmly locally focused, Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria features VPN certified Neapolitan pizza (by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana ) and down to earth, truly…