September 27, 2022
Bar Gobo in Vancouver, on June 2, 2021.DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail Identify: Bar Gobo

Bar Gobo in Vancouver, on June 2, 2021.DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

  • Identify: Bar Gobo
  • Location: 237 Union St., Vancouver
  • Telephone: 604-423-5400
  • Web site: bargobo.com
  • Delicacies: Wine Bar, West Coast
  • Costs: Snacks, $6 to $60; Dinner for the Desk (when out there), $45 an individual
  • Extra Data: Open Tues. to Sat., 4 – 10 pm; street-side patio (climate dependent); reservations really helpful (exploretock.com)

The thrill is wolfish. Indoor eating is again, the province is reopening and we’re all racing out to satisfy previous pals on new patios which might be spreading throughout Vancouver like wild raspberry bushes.

Earlier than diving headlong into all issues vibrant and glossy, I’d prefer to have fun the newest addition to a household of eating places led by government chef Andrea Carlson that nourished my darkish days of hibernation and fed me so many moments of pleasure.

Bar Gobo is a small, bare-boned, 14-seat wine bar that quietly sprouted in Chinatown final summer season as an offshoot of the long-lasting Burdock & Co on Important Road (gobo is Japanese for burdock).

House owners Ms. Carlson, Kevin Bismanis and Gabriella Meyer initially meant to show the area right into a liquor-licensed enlargement of their improbable noodle bar at Harvest Neighborhood Meals, a number of doorways down.

The noodles bought nixed when alternative knocked: Peter Van de Reep, the CAPS 2020 BC Sommelier of the Yr, got here aboard as bar supervisor, in order that they as an alternative made it a everlasting dwelling for Burdock & Co’s pure wine and disco dumpling pop-ups.

I didn’t go instantly as a result of they primarily served snacks and a circuit breaker was no time for grazing. The uncommon jail break was valuable and reserved for feasting.

However when Bar Gobo featured a extra compelling three-course prix fixe in the course of the Dine Out pageant in February, I rushed to make a web based reservation.

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The uncooked room – with its naked partitions, concrete flooring and a single inexperienced plant breaking apart a lone row of glass-divided plywood banquettes – felt austere.

However the meals, cooked singled-handedly by Neil Hillbrandt (a long-time sous chef from Burdock) in an open, sliver-sized kitchen with no hood vents, was course after course of gasp-inducing magnificence.

Albacore tuna tartare with preserved bergamot citrus and potato chips.DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

We had perfumed albacore tuna tartare folded with crunchy bits of peppery radish and creamy lemon juice infused with preserved bergamot rind. The dressing was so fragrant I wished to dab it on my neck.

There have been the fatty, moist duck rillettes topped with briny twigs of sea asparagus and juicy pickled rutabaga. On the aspect have been completely skinny and crispy house-fried potato chips and a dark-orange marmalade that exploded with sunshine and heat spice.

There was additionally beef bourguignon, cooked classically thick and wealthy, set in a foamy pool of potato espuma. And celeriac risotto topped with a crunchy walnut crumb that tingled with koji-fermented Sichuan peppercorns.

The meals, designed in collaboration with Ms. Carlson, was all so gorgeously textured, aromatic and knock-your-socks-off scrumptious that I virtually felt unhealthy for Mr. Van de Reep and his continually evolving number of uncommon wines, which begin with natural manufacturing as a naked minimal however are usually not beholden to strict natural-wine requirements.

We had some nice pairings, together with a creamy but recent Domaine de La Pepière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, which went properly with all the things. And the service was glorious.

However I didn’t bow at his ft till he blew us away with a sweetly effervescent J.J. Prum Gracher Himmelreich riesling that was revelatory by itself after which erupted into the herbaceous excessive heavens with desserts – thyme-syrup drizzled strawberry meringue and chocolate custard spiked with bay leaf.

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It’s laborious to high a transcendent food-and-wine expertise, however Bar Gobo saved intriguing.

The couple sitting subsequent to us that night time had simply returned from the primary half of a Bar Gobo with Lobe Studio Date Evening Expertise. And, to be trustworthy, they seemed slightly dazed.

“I’m undecided what that was,” the gentleman defined. “It’s a must to do it to know.”

So I instantly booked a $200 bundle – it comes with a $60 voucher for Bar Gobo and a one-way Uber journey, which takes you from the Strathcona studio to Bar Gobo for dinner – for 3 weeks later.

Lobe is North America’s first immersive spatial sound studio that makes use of 4SOUND expertise, at the side of vibrotranducers, for a musical expertise that actually strikes.

It’s certainly tough to elucidate this meditative sound expertise shortly, so let’s simply say that the ground trembled, the partitions shook and in a tilt-a-whirl yr when cultural outings have been restricted, it was a pitch-perfect different to dinner and a present.

After the sound expertise, an Uber driver delivered us to Bar Gobo, the place we snacked on icy oysters with fermented carrot French dressing, wobbly tofu custard drenched in sesame, maple and bonito flakes and a giant pot of mussels bathed in fermented-tomato dashi with schmaltz croutons.

Mussels with fermented tomato dashi and brioche croutons.DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

These are among the snacks at the moment featured on the Bar Gobo menu. As a lot as I’d prefer to see Bar Gobo’s prix fixe menu return (and it would), the small plates supply a very good excuse to drop in additional casually once I’m selecting up my weekly native produce pack from Harvest.

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When you’ve by no means had the pleasure, it’s time to deal with your self.

The $38 Neighborhood-Supported Agriculture baggage, chock filled with wonderful greens, knobby sunchokes, vibrant herbs, fruits, shoots and delectable little surprises resembling feathery fiddleheads, have been round for a number of years. However gross sales skyrocketed in the course of the early days of the pandemic, from 40 to 400 per week, supporting small, natural farms after they wanted it most.

They outclass the common CSA as they don’t require a subscription, are run year-round, are thoughtfully curated from the bounty of six to 10 farms and include terrific recipe options (as a result of tempura isn’t all the time the very first thing that involves most pandemic-addled minds when introduced with a bunch of garlic scapes).

These harvest baggage reignited my ardour for dwelling cooking and fuelled so many scrumptious meals, I can’t reward them sufficient.

Bar Gobo’s snack menu additionally helps to tell apart it from Burdock & Co, which lately switched from family-style service to a five-course tasting menu, now served on a lushly renovated backyard patio.

Each time I’ve been to Burdock, Ms. Carlson has launched me to one thing wild and fantastic – koji (which she started fermenting lengthy earlier than it grew to become fashionable), wild-arctic sourdough, begonia-petal ice.

Just a few weeks in the past, it was an exquisitely aromatic Nootka rose honey, which she served with spot prawns and grown-up chocolate s’mores, elevated by toasted vanilla marshmallow and burdock root gelato.

This honey – infused with the buds of a wild native bristly rose picked earlier than they bloom – is the nectar of B.C. It was so good, I ordered a small bowl on the aspect.

And it’s an ideal instance of the distinctive creativity that sparkles from the entire eating places in Ms. Carlson’s orbit.