Sunday, January 14, 2007

About Town - Lombardo's

We were long overdue for another viewing of Casino Royale. The first time around was from the second row on opening night and I barely made it out of the theatre with my head spinning from trying to focus on the screen. Since that night, I'd been yearning to return for an encore performance from the latest Bond, Daniel Craig. *shameless drooling*

For our pre-theatre dinner, we dropped into to the newly opened Lombardo's Pizzeria around the corner from the Paramount Theatre. Once a regular at their Commercial Drive location (but, not since the mid 90's), we had great expectations.

The four of us shared a large Classico Calzone (tomatoes, two kinds of cheese, salami and ham) and a couple of salads. Service was very pleasant and the food was good, but not exceptional. The lack of artwork and decor on the walls (although soon to arrive) not only felt cold and uninviting, but made for very poor acoustics, especially at our table tucked away in the corner under the balcony. It was near impossible to converse with our friends without shouting across the table and our hideaway seemed to suck up all the surrounding babble like a vacuum.

Given that Lombardo's is conveniently located next to the Paramount, a prix fixe menu would be a nice option for theatre-goers who need to dine and dash (because sitting in the front row is no way to watch a film). I have faith that once they iron out the kinks and find their groove, it could be a very haute spot indeed.

Lombardo's Pizzeria & Ristorante
970 Smithe Street
Vancouver, BC

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Meal to Remember

We recently received an email from our dear friend, Mat in Switzerland, who reminisced about his sojourn in Vancouver. During Mat's stay with us we had some great times, but one of the most memorable would be of a time where eight of us broke bread together over a fourteen course Mediterranean potluck dinner that began at seven in the evening with the last morsel consumed sometime after two o'clock in the morning!

The Spanish in Jesee must have escaped him because he clearly didn't serve us tapas, which was what everyone expected (according to the menu). The seven dishes that he had prepared (some up to a week in advance) were of epic portions and by the end of the evening we felt much like French geese days before the big slaughter.

Although there was also much wine consumed, it was impossible to feel more than a light buzz with our tummies bursting at the seams. If memory serves me right, we went into hibernation later that morning.

Tapas and Wine Tasting
Chez Mongeot

On Saturday, the twelfth of January Two thousand and two

moroccan olives, extra virgin olive oil crostini
Vino de Jerez, Spain

Ensalada Morisca à la Jesee
finely diced tomatoes, sweet onions, radishes, carrots, cucumbers,
italian parsley, mint, lemon & olive oil dressing

Chorizo con Preves Torrads
chorizo sausage, grilled red peppers, roasted potatoes, saffron aoli

Gambas al Ajillo
sautéed jumbo shrimp, garlic and more garlic
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, Portugal

scallops, prawns, squid, catch of the day,
jalapeño peppers, sweet onions, citrus marinade
Freixenet Cava, Spain

Tripa de Res
spicy stew of beef tripe, fresh bacon, bay leaves, saffron sofraguit
Mongeot Rioja 2000

Lombo Assado
roasted pork loin, pimento sauce
Cabernet Franc 1999, Calona Artist Series, BC

Lengua de Cerdo con al Caparras
slow-cooked pork tongue, caper sauce
Undurraga Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Chile

Eggplant Parmigiana
classic Italian served with herbed polenta
Ecco Domani 1999 Merlot, Italy

Polvo à Terceirence
tender octopus, tomato and beer reduction
Peju Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Moelas Refogadas
braised chicken gizzards Portuguese style
Quinta du Cachão 1999, Portugal

Baked Stuffed Apples
Taylor’s Fladgate Reserve Port, Portugal

French Brie with Fresh Fruit
served with vanilla yogurt sauce
Madeira, Portugal

Sorbetto del Limone
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, Spain

Sunday, January 07, 2007

War Paint

I remember when M·A·C Cosmetics first made its 1985 début in Toronto. I had just moved from Vancouver the year before, shortly after I graduated from the now defunct Yvon Bourgeois School of Makeup Artistry. Back in the 80's there wasn't much freelance work available on the Westcoast. Since T.O. was so avant-garde, many of us Vancouverites eventually found our way there in search of a job in the industry where we lived and breathed fashion.

M·A·C was all the rage amongst make-up artists and my über big, hammered silver finish tackle box was filled with every colour one could think of! Is it not every girl's dream to have her very own portable "makeover in a box"? A very convenient accessory for those unexpected sleepovers! *wink*

Twenty-two years later, I am still using M·A·C and although the product quality is lesser, since Estée Lauder purchased the company in 1997, I do admire their flair for keeping it fresh and keeping us hooked.

I was truly magnetized by this photo and applaud the diversity of models they use to represent their philosophy, "All ages, all races, all sexes."

Because I have been out of the industry for nearly two decades, I was unaware of the worldwide boycott by professional make-up artists against the M·A·C and Estée Lauder companies for their unscrupulous business practices with regards to contract undercutting. Has M·A·C become a corporation who is solely concerned with attaining maximum profits while rendering those artists who have made them the icon they are today, faceless?

With all the money they have donated to ACT through the sales of their Viva Glam lipsticks and sponsorship of the annual Fashion Cares fundraising gala, it leaves one in a moral dilemma.

Monday, January 01, 2007


*Note: This version of "My Funny Valentine" is wicked.

Fresh off the boat from a pre-New Year's celebration on Bowen, I started preparing our home for the year end festivities, when I came across this CD hidden amongst our monster collection...Big Muff: Music from the Aural Exciter. We had forgotten all about this yard sale find and at first glance, it appeared to be some sort of porn for the ears.

We were not disappointed, as it turned out to be some very cool and funky electronic jazz that was perfectly suited for the celebration along with cava and
Gambas al Ajillo at midnight.

Happy 2007 to all!