On Canada’s Best New Restaurants and the World’s Most Expensive Whisky

Slow roasted Rossdown Farm Chicken with Boudin Blanc Agnolotti, Jerk Spiced Carrot, Rosemary Chicken Jus | Opening menu at Pluvio, Spring 2019

The Intelligence Brief is our weekly compendium of food and drink news sourced from outlets all over the world.

What’s old is new again! How some bartenders are reviving the smoked cocktail.

Not at all related to Halloween, ghost restaurants are an actual thing and are mainly a result of the spooky (read: unaffordable) rising costs of rent in the city.

“One way to capitalize on meal delivery services is to open so-called “ghost restaurants” within existing bricks-and-mortar kitchens. This strategy means that new restaurant brands and menus are created that operate exclusively in the virtual world, and they provide a way for owners to open new virtual outlets without having any added lease costs.”

A bottle of 1926 Macallan scotch whisky just sold for $1.9 million USD, making it the most expensive bottle of wine or spirits ever auctioned.

Distilled in 1926, the highly coveted bottle comes from cask number 263. Of the 40 bottles drawn from the cask, only 14 were given the Fine and Rare Label that Thursday’s auction item bore. “The electricity in the auction room was palpable,” said Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist Jonny Fowle in a statement. “There were cheers when the hammer fell on the Macallan Fine and Rare 1926, in what has to be one of the most exciting moments in the history of whisky sales.”

This week in food and podcasts, the folks at MotherJones interview mathematical biologist Irakli Loladze about the impact of client change on some of our healthiest crops.

Eater provides some historical context for our country’s fondness for milk sold in a bag. It’s an eastern thing…

One man’s mission to create a pepper that ranks even hotter than the Carolina Reaper.

If you’re looking for a breakfast indulgence, head on over the Botanist at Fairmont Pac Rim and try the brioche french toast with dulce de leche on their new brunch menu.

A detailed historical explanation of how and why we drink wine out of wine glasses.

“With advancements in glass making, particularly relatively transparent glass around 800 BC and then mold-blowing around 50 AD in Rome, glass cups slowly began to become more and more popular among those who could afford them. The most affluent also went beyond glass to even sometimes jewel encrusted gold and silver goblets for their wine containers of choice. As for the riff-raff, for most of more modern history they used things like containers made of clay, wood, or leather for their imbibing.”

Jesse McCleery of Galiano’s Pilgrimme on childhood memories of food, first foraging experiences and autumn flavours in the restaurant.

Eating via Instagram honours this week go to Victoria’s @agriusrestaurant and their schnitzel grilled cheese sandos:

We can’t wait for Beta5’s new coffee and cream puff cafe to open!

We eat first with our eyes but QuanJuDe is looking to address the other four senses as Canada’s first 5D restaurant set to open at Cambie and 12th next month.

And speaking of new openings, Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba opened a second location a their soupless ramen restaurant in North Van.

This week in food and innovation: the city of Toronto has figured out how to harness the biogas from food waste to power their local garbage trucks.

Moldy oldies get a makeover as artist Kathleen Ryan creates oversized sculptures of mold-covered fruit made out of gemstones.

For this week’s Vancouver edition of The Dishes, La Taqueria co-owner Marcelo Ramirez shares his favourite spots to eat and drink around town.

For the Islandist edition of The Dishes, we ask the same questions to Boom + Batten chef Sam Harris, who maps out his personal guide to Victoria’s varied deliciousness.

Big congrats to three BC restaurants for cracking the top 5 of Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants list. Vancouver’s very own Como Taperia took second place, while Ucluelet’s Pluvio and Victoria’s Nowhere took the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

Recently released cookbook Cedar + Salt is a a delicious celebration of everything Vancouver Island has to offer.

Sailing the open seas just got a bit more fun now that BC Ferries are offering beer and wine on board.

Looking for work in the industry? Check out who’s hiring!

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