Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vancouver Visits and Restaurant and a Book Recommendation

So far, here in Vancouver, when the apartment hasn't been full of young parents and!or their little ones, I've mostly been alternating between reading and napping. Not particularly exciting material for the blog, but I do have a few photos to share from Nana's Brag Book (some of you may already have seen these on Instagram) as well as a Vancouver restaurant recommendation and a book title to insist you read. 

First, the photos 
My grandson, appreciating his new blanket (clever me, giving it to him on the only rainy weekend this summer!)
His big sister liked hers as well!
Such fun getting these cousins together, but I'm glad we only had one to babysit overnight! We managed very well though, thanks to Eloise's easy nature, her reasonable nighttime feeding schedule, some teamwork strategies honed over four kids' worth of nighttime feelings and that good old 21st- century baby-wrangling technology: white noise on the iPad. 

All fun and games with the wee ones, then. On to the restaurant for your Vancouver list...

Paul and I walked over the bridge to Vancouver KidsBooks yesterday, a wonderful place to browse, although dangerous to the credit card. On the way back, I realized we were just in time for an early seating at Au Comptoir. Casual French dining (even the menus are partly  en français), in a room that could conceivably have been lifted from somewhere in the 10th arr. (I.e. traditional enough but with an innovative edge). Badoit water on offer, Cafés Richard china. . . And all the servers with accents that had us slipping into our own French, reciprocating accents, if you will.
We kept the meal fairly simple, opting for a velvety, cold velouté of fresh green peas. Perfection.

And then I had sablefish with ratatouille (rolled inside thinly sliced zucchini). The sablefish had the lightest crispness to its outside--a wonderful contrast to the buttery smoothness of its flesh. I order sablefish (often called black cod although it isn't really cod) fairly often and I've never tasted this finish--so good!
Paul was heavily influenced by the Paris/French vibe and ordered the magret de canard (duck breast). 

On a bed of kaleand accompanied by blocks of compressed scalloped potatoes. Garnish of cooked cherries, thin slices of beet, and a beet purée.

Then instead of dessert or coffee, we topped our meal off with this view, on the way home

And the book recommendation? I'll write more about this soon on my book blog (I'm almost caught up there, having recently posted on a great Parisian mystery series), but meanwhile I have to tell you how important I think Atul Gawande's Being Mortal is for anyone who thinks that she or a loved one might become ill or old or, let's get to it, die in the next 5 or 20 or 30 years... Gawande, a surgeon himself, talks about how poorly Medicine has done with allowing us to live as fully and comfortably as possible in illness and old age; instead, efforts have been directed to fending off death, with the resultant hospitalization and medicalization often obscuring our hopes and desires for our last days. His narrative is thoughtful, honest, thoroughly engaging, sobering and inspiring and illuminating. Despite its somber topic, I read the book in three days and I've now pressed it on Pater .... And you!

Lunch with my daughter soon while Granddad babysits her two-- wish him luck, wish me a yummy lunch, and I wish you a Happy Tuesday!






  1. Hi Frances- I absolutely adore your baby blankets!!! I have been knitting since I was 5 years old and find it a wonderful, meditative thing to do! Would you mind sharing what size needles you use and how many stitches you cast on to get the size? Thanks so much (and keep posting, please :))!!! Johanna

    1. Hello Johanna, gold to meet another knitter-from-childhood here. I've made four of these blankets now and have had much enjoyment choosing the colour combinations. The pattern is a Purl Bee one called Super Eqsy Baby Blanket and you can find it here: http://www.purlbee.com/2008/05/24/whits-knits-super-easy-baby-blanket/

  2. Adorable babies ,a grown up little girl,their blankets,yummy meals and great photos(especially sunset with a green dot :-))
    It's early thursday here,so I hope Pater has a peaceful babysitting and you two great lunch.
    I write down the book,it must be emotional

    1. Sorry,I'm really on vacation :-) ,it's early wednesday :-) actually!

    2. Thanks! Everything went very well yesterday. Happy Wednesday! ;-)

  3. That dinner, that view, sublime.

  4. Beautiful and delicious food. Those sweet baby faces steal the show.


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