STOP the presses . . . I have great news.
Unless you love seafood like I do, it's possible you won't think it's worth stopping newspaper production over, but I do get excited when a restaurant goes Ocean Wise (especially when it's on the North Shore).
Dundarave Fish Market is the latest to make the leap to an officially ocean-friendly menu - applause for owners Joanne and Ken Laderoute, and their executive chef Lawrence Phillips. It's not an easy or inexpensive adjustment, and anyone who's had their Riptide Squid or Crackin' Crabcakes knows the food is already delicious. We do need to take more care with our seafood though; overfishing is the biggest threat to our oceans today.
Ocean Wise is the Vancouver Aquarium program that helps consumers feel good about their seafood choices. The program works directly with restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers ensuring that they have the most current scientific information regarding seafood, and it helps them make ocean-friendly buying decisions.
In order to join the Ocean Wise program, a restaurant has to remove or replace one unsustainable item on their menu and to highlight the sustainable options with the Ocean Wise logo.
The eatery has to commit to removing or replacing unsustainable items at a suggested rate of one item every six months until a completely "clean" menu has been reached or until it is not feasible to go any further. It can be tough - sustainable alternatives might be seasonal, far more expensive, or not available at all. The end game is worth it though: to have sustainable, ocean-friendly options clearly identified for diners so they can make that choice. According to the Ocean Wise website, the "logo next to a menu or seafood item is an assurance that the item is a good choice for keeping ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come."
Dundarave Fish Market's menu now includes 15 ocean-friendly dishes, with more to come. Try panko oysters or tuna tataki to start, cedar-plank salmon or smoked black cod risotto, fish and chips, or one of the signature entrees.
See you there! The Dundarave Fish Market is at 2423 Marine Dr., West Vancouver; dundaravefishmarket. com/604-922-1155.
. . .
Kudos as well to the North Shore Rotary for their North Shore Wine & Food Festival at Park Royal on Saturday night. The evening - which turned the north mall into a boulevard - included great strolling, sipping and sampling opportunities. I didn't get to try everything, but among my favourite bites: the fusilli tartufate dished up by Mangia e Bevi, the cool chocolate mousse cake by CC Violin, and of course, the decadent To Die For Banana Bread by Erin Ireland (psst .
. . the bread is now available at Save-On-Foods at Park and Tilford).
More than 120 wines, from wine regions around the world were available for sampling. One that had guests talking? Vino Cacao, chocolate-infused red and white wines from Bordeaux.
I won't lie, I was skeptical, but it's delicious. It's available at Everything Wine.
The real winners from the evening, of course are The North Shore Schizophrenia Society, the North Shore Youth Safe House and the rotary's humanitarian and community programs, which will all benefit from the proceeds.
Mark it down on the calendar for next year.
Deana Lancaster has been writing about food and wine for 12 years, and worked in restaurants for more than a decade before that. She is passionate about good food. Follow her on twitter @deanal or send her an email, to firstname.lastname@example.org.