Fishworks in North Vancouver: A Review

Despite living in North Vancouver for many years, we ate at Fishworks for the first time this past Sunday. Fishworks was created to fill a void for great seafood on the North Shore and embraces timeless dishes with a contemporary feel. The menu had lots of amazing options.

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I dined on the tuna tataki and the Fishworks Bouillabaisse. I’m a sucker for a good bouillabaisse and I am so glad that this did not disappoint. I find it’s ether a dish that disappoints or it’s lovely! At Fishworks, the portions were huge, I couldn’t even finish! Neither could Ianiv finish his carbonara!

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Date night logo not good kids

Our service at the restaurant was great, though we ended up closing up the place. We arrived at 8:30 and were told the kitchen closed at 9, though I wasn’t warned about that when reserving. I was actually surprised to find the restaurant empty so early! Any idea why this could be?!

The only downside to the night for me was a really terrible martini! I did not enjoy the olives at all (they tasted like soap?!), so as a ‘dirty’ martini, the whole drink was ruined for me. 

The Active Mama Restaurant Review Guide names Fishworks as date-night worthy(heart) and a girls night contender (martini), but not a kid-friendly choice. Though I’m all for taking kids to nice restaurants, they have to really enjoy seafood to come with you here!

91 Lonsdale Avenue
North Vancouver

The Lobby at the Pinnacle at the Pier: Girls Night and Beyond!

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This week, I met up with a group of girlfriends for a much needed Girls Night at The Lobby Restaurant at Pinnacle at the Pier.

Girls nights don’t happen nearly often enough, but when they do, we often do them in North Vancouver to keep it simple for everyone to get there. We often struggle to find a place that can accommodate up to a dozen people at once, so we were happy that our party size was not an issue at The Lobby at the Pinnacle at the Pier.

We were seated in the lounge section of the restaurant at a booth / chair area with about 4 tables pushed together. Our Girls Night was on a Thursday, so we sadly missed the live music, but that could be fun for a future date night! (Update: saw the live music on a subsequent visit – amazing!)

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We shared a bunch of appetizers for our group, including the Charcuterie and Artisan Cheese platter (lovely assortment), the mussels in a white wine sauce and some calamari, which were fried up with some jalapeños, which I quite enjoyed. The dinner menu was impressive, offering an assortment of simple fare such as cod & chips and striploin to more adventurous fare such as the beet gnocchi I had for dinner! The gnocchi were super tender and delicious with the kale – a simple but fresh dinner, I loved it!

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Now, while we had great things to say about the food, our service was not perfect. We struggled to get the attention of the servers and were rarely asked if we needed anything – more menus, drink orders, food. I don’t know if this is typical of the restaurant, but it wasn’t a great first impression for many of us. So, aside from that, I had a very positive experience!

Update (June 2015): We’ve since been a second time for a girls night and had fantastic service, so I’m glad to see that a new service manager has transformed The Lobby for the better!! I had an amazing meal my second visit of the tuna tataki (great spice on the crust) and the seafood chowder (very light and refreshing). We always had a server on hand to refill glasses unprompted and who was very attentive overall. 

Beyond Girls Night at The Lobby Restaurant

I had the opportunity to visit The Lobby Restaurant for breakfast and found the menu quite extensive and the hours extremely flexible for kids. The breakfast menu begins at 6:30 daily, with a weekend brunch option at 11am. Given that most restaurants don’t offer an early breakfast option, I’m excited to find somewhere new to take the kids very soon! Hello, chocolate pancakes! Although not listed on their website, they offer a simple kids menu throughout the day. I could see taking the kids here so we could enjoy some finer dining, or having a date night to enjoy a multi-course dinner. I’m a bit of a sucker for a taster menu, and I noticed online that they offer a 3-course dinner menu!

Despite inattentive service, The Lobby at the Pinnacle at the Pier receives a triple check from my new Active Mama Restaurant Guide. 

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Introducing the Active Mama Restaurant Review Guide:

It came to mind that perhaps I should begin building out a series of resources on local eateries – the best for families, for date nights and for girls nights. So, you’ll now see a little logo in my review posts that will show up to 3 icons indicating if they are family-friendly (thumbs up), date-night worthy (heart), or a girls night contender (martini).

Over time, I plan to put together a list of my favourites for each category (as well as further break-downs like lunch spots or food types) and build out a list of top spots in North (and West) Vancouver. 

Disclosure: we were given some complimentary items as part of the girls night party. All reviews are my own. 

Lynn Valley Optometry is Great for Kids

A couple of years ago, I decided to switch to a new optometrist. I have a really difficult time finding new glasses and had previously tried two optometrist / eyewear stores that I was kind of unhappy with. After checking out Lynn Valley Optometry with my family during one of the Lynn Valley Village community events, I decided to give them a shot.

I have had great experiences with Dr. Shajani and the entire staff, and have been extremely pleased with their selection of frames and lenses. In particular, I have been pleased with the instruments in place for eye health assessments and in their advice on issues from dry eyes to laser eye treatments. My kids have been seeing Dr. Alison Leung, who does a surprisingly thorough assessment for young children, including our initial assessment when Damien was 1 year old. Both kids actually enjoyed the process.

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In our last visit, both kids walked out with toys and with free sunglasses, and they’re pretty styling sunglasses! They honestly put mine to shame. Here they are enjoying their shades in the kids play room:

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Who can resist these sunglasses? I mean really, I want a pair!!

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Family Photos: November 2012 Edition

We met with Sarah again for some more wonderful family portraits this November. My goal was to get some family photos that we could frame on our wall, as soon as Damien could sit. Well, he began solidly sitting just a couple of days before our photoshoot! 

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Despite the fact that Aiden was less-than-cooperative during the shoot (he was very tired and very much a 3-year-old), Sarah managed to capture some beautiful moments with our family. We did the photoshoot down by the Shipbuilders Yard in North Vancouver, doing some outdoor shots in the sun and also some indoor shots, since I wanted some sweater-free poses of the boys for our wall. I can’t wait to see how they look framed!