February 22, 2010 | 2010 Olympics >
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Taking over the red brick Roundhouse community centre for the Vancouver Winter Games is Casa Italia, and hearing about some decent food sampling – I headed down to Yaletown to check things out.
One of the more impressive Olympic pavilions, the Italian house offers air hockey, Italian lottery tickets, clothing and merchandise and even a cool art exhibition of retro-looking chairs, vases and sports gear.
As for the food, I happened to be there at lunchtime which is when they dish up free tastings of wine, delicious parmigiano reggiano, salami and bruschetta. Benissimo!!
Trendy Yaletown itself, offers some of Vancouver’s best restaurants, including the Italian celeb-hangout, Cioppino’s. For oysters and hearty chowders, try laidback Rodney’s Oyster House, or for West Coast and Asian fusion, head to Goldfish Pacific Kitchen or Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar. After dinner, the neighbourhood’s hip lounges come to life. Some, like the Keg, Earls and the Opus Hotel (where U2 recently stayed) offer view-tastic rooftop lounges.
It seems every whim is catered to in Yaletown. Salons are springing up devoted solely to eyebrows or blowdrys as well as full-service spas. And pampered pooches even have their own bakeries and spas. One quirky venue I love is the Raw Canvas Café on Hamilton Street. Customers can express their artistic streak by paying for a canvas, then, armed with a set of oil paints – produce their masterpiece.