Monday, April 28, 2008

Figmint of my Imagination

If asked, I will deny that I work in retail. As a kitchen designer, I'm in more of a service industry. But we have a showroom, and the showroom needs to be staffed, even on Saturday. I started a tradition about 5 years ago. Whenever I work Saturdays, I treat myself to a big breakfast so I don't have to leave the showroom for lunch. This is a story of one such Saturday ...

My story actually begins on Friday. The folk at Figmint Lounge & Restaurant in the Plaza 500 Hotel were launching their new cocktail menu and I managed to snag an invite. In addition to relaxing after a tough week of work, this was a great opportunity to support one of the businesses in our neighborhood. The Canada Line construction has been dragging on for 2 years now. I think we all needed a drink!

My choices for the evening were the Rosso, Sherry and Pinot Noir, while J opted for Brut & Prosecco. What did I like about the new menu? It would have been really easy to simply adopt the same classics that many other bars have on the menu. Instead, these are some fresh takes on the classics. General Manager Alain Canuel has incorporated fresh ingredients and his excellent wine programme into a really unique collection of drinks. Our favorites? The Rosso and the Brut. Gotta go find us some ginger liqueur!

I don't get to take Skytrain all that often, so when I work weekends I try to do the "green" thing. It also gives me a chance to explore some of the neighbourhoods on my way into the office.  There are some real gems in Vancouver.  At Commercial Station I was pleased to discover the new Ethical Bean kiosk. "Green" thing #2! I'm really surprised that they've been able to get right into the station and that nobody else has thought of it already. They're located right at the top of the stairs from the Millenium Line side. If they're not rolling in dough within a month there's something seriously wrong ... and its not going to be their coffee.

Onto breakfast ... Recently I've discovered the Hash at Figmint and having just been there the night before it seemed a good choice. The Hash: Corned Beef, Chorizo Sausage and Potato Hash with Toasted Brioche, Hollandaise and Poached Eggs. Add yet another coffee (49th Parallel Roasters) and the Globe & Mail and Saturdays at the office are almost bearable.

UPDATE (February 2011):  Regretably, Figmint is now closed.  The Plaza 500 has been taken over by the Indigo Hotel Group and will be converted into a boutique hotel.  No word on a new restaurant, but one is almost guaranteed.

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