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No. 20


FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS of their long-running “chapter” tasting menu, which changed every six weeks, AnnaLena principals Jeff Parr and Mike Robbins recently introduced what they call an “evolving” tasting menu, freeing up the kitchen to respond in real time to ingredient availability. Diners can still expect the virtues that have allowed AnnaLena to flourish in a previously cursed Kitsilano storefront. First and foremost is Robbins’ always creative cooking, showcased in dishes such as fruits de mer in a beautifully balanced dill vin blanc sauce, or the signature oyster crowned with apple-jalapeño mignonette and shaved foie gras. And despite the sophistication of what’s on the plate, the room remains relaxed and playful, decorated with Lego sculptures, Star Wars memorabilia and other charming bric-a-brac. Wine director Reverie Beall bolsters the fun factor with delicious, hard-to-find wines from small producers, while cocktails deftly straddle the divide between tradition and modern experimentation.

Togarashi Gnocco Frito.
Togarashi Gnocco Frito.
The customer favourite is, unquestionably, the torn bread brushed with confit garlic oil.

Photography by Allison Kuhl

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