Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vancouver: Raw Canvas on Hamilton Street - Day 1

After Chinatown, we went to downtown, hoping to find some shops open but for some reason almost everything closes around 7pm on a Friday. Not the best since we had no idea where to go and not having 3G in Canada meant that we couldn't go on our phones. I think that was the first time I was reminded I'm actually out of the country :P

Arrived in Gastown which reminded me off Gaslamp is San Diego.

Saw this cool steam-engine powered clock. Only one of the few in the world.

Steam coming out from the top.

Since there wasn't much besides restaurants and a few bars in Gastown, we decided to check out Yaletown in downtown Vancouver, specifically Hamilton Street. The street is lined with restaurants for the whole length of the street and we decided to check out this wine bar we stumbled upon.

Raw Canvas
1046 Hamilton St
Vancouver, BC V6B

Outside of Raw Canvas. Very small place.

Not a big place with a few big communal tables, small tables near the entrance, and few seats at the bar area.

Now the reason the place is small and why it is called Raw Canvas is because it is actually a wine bar and artist studio combined. On the menu, you can actually buy canvas & paint, head over to the back and let your creativity flow, maybe after you've had a glass or two. Very cool idea.

Lots of people. There are people to help you out if you don't know what you are doing but I saw several paintings that were quite good!

Of course for me, wine is the main focus here :]

The wine/drinks menu.

For the first glass, opted for the Emiliana Eco Balance 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. A lot more fruity than your typical cab! Quite smooth as well.

Here's Diana posing very very happily with her customized drink made by the bartender. Lots of fruit juices went into this vodka mixed drink haha. Forgot to take a picture of the white Connie had... oh well.

We also ordered a sampler plate to go with our wines. It came with (from left to right): Piave Vecchio cheese, dried apricot, Parrano gouda, organic walnuts, elk & juniper salami, and fig & walnut wine spread. It also came with a bowl of baguettes.

For $15, it's pretty expensive for a sampler, but the Piave Vecchio, elk & juniper salami, and the fig & walnut wine spread were definitely good eats. I'm now a fan of Piave, which is a kinda of hard cheese with a very nutty flavor. Elk salami was surprisingly good. Not much gaminess and not as fatty as typical salami. The sweet fig spread is just as good as it sounds.

Went for the Trio 2008, which is a syrah and tempranillo blend from Spain. Being a syrah, it definitely packs a more intense aroma and you can taste a hint of spice from tempranillo grapes.

Diana's second drink: another customized drink from the bartender. Don't remember what was in there but again, very fruity.

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Where we called home for the next two nights (and Michael for one night). I love Priceline haha.

For the first day, we ended up going all over downtown, from one end of it (our hotel) to the edge (Gastown and Chinatown). Favorite ended up being Yaletown with Hamilton Street since it was the liveliest part of DT and with all the restaurants there, definitely seems like the place to be.