Posts Tagged ‘Yew restaurant


City of metrosexuals

I knew when I left the pad last night I was making a mistake. But the man they call Wingy would not be denied, and so what was supposed to be just an hour-long outing turned into an all-evening affair. It started like this: the downtown location (there are three of them) of Blo, situated on the second floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, was having a “Bro Blo” promotion. Blo is an innovative styling service that specializes in a blow-dry-set, no cutting or colouring involved, thus preparing your hair for a night on the town. Wingy was already there, a big cheesy grin on his face and his Jewfro wet, when I arrived. I was introduced to Kristy (or is that Christie?) Gunn, my stylist. Following a hair wash and scalp massage, Miss Gunn blow-dried my hair while we discussed the styling racket. Blo, open just over a year, is still enjoying success, particularly among groups of women who like to stop in on their way out for the evening, but hadn’t quite caught on, even in this city of metrosexuals. (Guys are a lot different in Vancouver than Edmonton, where a lot of them are “rig-workers”–i.e., oil industry types, she said.) Maybe it was the neon-pink decor, which even hardened metros might find a little scary. Even scarier was what Wingy said to me later: “There’s no one else I could have come here and done this with.” Uhm, that’s reassuring.

Anyway, I get ahead of myself. Drinks at the Yew Restaurant next door followed, along with a chat with the Blo inner circle, owner Judy Brooks, her daughter Devon (Devin?), token dude Val Litwin. Also met Samantha, manager or Yew. She’s married now and, like everyone who has made the leap from singledom to domesticity, was happy to talk about her dating experiences when she learned I write for Lavalife. Apparently, Yew is starting a new bar menu aimed at singles who don’t want to get food stuck in their teeth, if I got the details right.

Wingy was on it, I don’t think there was one person I exchanged cards with who didn’t already have one of his. In his chatting he’d discovered another happening in town, the opening of a new Japanese restaurant. It had been ages since Wingy and I had an evening like this, and so it was that half an hour later we were shoulder to shoulder with a flood of people at Miku. I have to say, the owners went all out; a traditional Japanese blessing ceremony, taiko drumming, and a red-hot, jumping jazz trio. I could’ve done without the 7-minute promotional video depicting the imported Japanese staff disembarking from an airplane and into a waiting limo as though they were the arrival of the G-7 leaders but hey, that’s just me.

It was so packed inside (the high-ceilinged interior is all whites and blues, very modern to go along with restaurant’s fusion theme–sushi made with seared fish and French sauces) that snagging the odd morsel of food proved to be quite a challenge. However, I got to meet three of the Smart Cookies (a group of Vancouver women who have written a book about how they turned around their debt-ridden financial situations) and ran into co-worker Cheryl (or as Wingy called her, “Sharon”) and her friend Jen M. The four of us ended up at the usual spot, Bin 942, which has changed alarmingly in decor and staff since the last time Wingy and I stopped by for a bite.

The Bin was as far as “Sharon” and Jen came; they left for their respective homes and Wingy struck out on our own, heading towards the Commodore to see songwriter John Hiatt. On the way we stopped in at the Space Bar, a place neither of us had ever been. With its murals of astrological signs and white furniture, it was space-y enough I suppose, though the lack of customers gave the name an unwanted double meaning. (To be fair, it was only Tuesday night.) We struck up a conversation with the bartender, originally from Lithuania (I don’t know why I find that detail interesting) before going on our way. The Hiatt concert was perfect, in that we walked in mid-way, I heard three songs I wanted to hear, and we left. I think Wingy’s parting words were, “Are you sure you don’t want to come to that winemaker’s dinner tomorrow night?”

Considering I’m up at six in the morning writing this because I can’t sleep due to my hungover state, I think the answer to that one is… well, we’ll see.


When a date is not a date

img_5696.jpgWhen is a date not a date? Regular readers of this blog, both of you, will recall that part of my mandate for six months is to go against my natural instincts and not pursue. Hand-in-hand with this policy is the idea to avoid dating, or at least traditional dating scenarios. Naturally, some slips are unavoidable. So when I called Lucinda, the paralegal I’d met at last week’s Beyond restaurant anniversary party, I rationalized that, though I was breaking with my policy of non-pursuit, I wasn’t asking her out on a date, i.e. a dinner and a movie. I was just asking her come along to a social event, the opening of a new restaurant called Yew in the Four Seasons Hotel. Besides, we’d only spent one drunken evening in each other’s company at a couple of bars—I didn’t even know if I liked her.   

I guess the first indication of incompatibility came a few minutes into the event. I noted, in what I thought was a light-hearted manner, that another partygoer was wearing a dress with a similar colour scheme (black-and-white) to Lucinda’s. “No, she isn’t,” she snapped.  Perhaps, without meaning to, I’d hit a nerve. However, a little while later we’re standing at the bar and she’s talking to my friend Emma, whom I’ve just introduced. Suddenly Lucinda sees someone she knows and, in the midst of her conversation with Emma, turns around to talk to the new, more exciting (to her mind) person. My favourite moment of doom came a little bit later, when I asked to see the pictures  on her camera Lucinda had just been showing to someone else. It turns out she’d been showing them shots of her parents’ house, a ritzy, wedding cake-like domicile, after some Hollywood set designers had made it over to look like a fairytale castle for a movie. I said, again in what I thought was a convivial if not flirtatious manner, “When am I going to get invited over there for dinner?” “Never,” she said. 

The other shoe dropped with a decisive thud a few minutes later, when a friend of mine told me she’d asked Lucinda if she and I were on a date. The dear girl had replied “No”—or, perhaps, “Never!” I have to admit, for all my hemming-and-hawing, it’s one thing to decide for yourself that you’re not on a date, and another to hear your date doesn’t consider it a date either. Wah-wah.

img_5708.jpg Left: Two happy foodies at Yew.

 The Yew opening itself was fun-ish, though filled with a number of sharply-dressed lawyer types. I felt underdressed, which didn’t do a lot for my social confidence, but I drowned my anxiety with food and drink. The West Coast-style grub included an oyster, mac-and-cheese, and chorizo-and-scallop-skewer stations, and the libations included abundant helpings of bubbly and specialty cocktails like the ginger-y Navan Spice. The space itself is ultra-modern—features include the usual open kitchen, as well as a separate glassed-in room serving as wine cellar and semi-private dining area—and, as someone pointed out, very Vegas-y. A tree motif serves as a not wholly convincing tie-in to nature and with the space’s previous incarnation as a garden terrace lounge. For eye-candy and photo-ops, a girl dressed as a mermaid reclined on a table and greeted folks as they entered. Inside, a number of towering models in deep-red, almost scarlet, dresses mingled with us mere mortals.  

In conclusion, I would have to say my “non-date” has done nothing to deter me from my course of non-pursuit. Although, with New Year’s Eve breathing down my neck, my attitude on this could change any second. Or by the next blog.

August 2020

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