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Top 5 Restaurants in Vancouver: Mo Jessa's Guide
As President of Earls Restaurants, Mo Jessa eats out a lot. Staying on top of what's happening at his 65 restaurants fills up much of his dining schedule but he still finds time to explore new places and return to his old favourites.
As President of Earls Restaurants, Mo Jessa eats out a lot. Staying on top of what's happening at his 65 restaurants fills up much of his dining schedule but he still finds time to explore new places and return to his old favourites. Here's his list.
Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 West Georgia St.
Having spent his entire career in the Earls organization (he started as a junior prep cook in Calgary), Mo knows a good restaurant when he sees one. He wastes no time in listing Hawksworth as one of his favourite restaurants in Vancouver. His family chose it for a recent birthday celebration and Mo finds it a "really elegant experience". "You can taste it. Just an small appetizer is probably 2 or 3 hours worth of work in that kitchen with the way it's prepared. The chef (David Hawksworth) has done some incredible innovations. They do a great job".
Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, 1133 & 1129 Hamilton Street
Another of Mo's favourite restaurants in helmed by the celebrated chef Pino Posteraro. Cioppino's, a perennial award winner, is serving "the best elevated Italian food in the city".
Homer St. Cafe and Bar, 898 Homer St.
A big part of Mo's responsibilities is to keep up on trends in the dining scene so when a new restaurant opens, he'll try it out. He's become a fan of the recently opened Homer St. Cafe. "I just love the design of the place, it's that European bistro feel. The food is really quite inspired. They do a roast of the day, it's really simple but quite elegant." In addition to the daily roast "there's actually a dish where they serve you fried chicken skin. Can you imagine the decadence of that?"
Jambo Grill, 3219 Kingsway
"My favourites are the ethnic foods" Mo says, and there's passion in his voice when he describes going back again and again to Jambo Grill (3219 Kingsway, ). "It reminds me of my childhood food. Dishes like fried cassava or shish kabob just melt in your mouth. It's very very good". "There's a masala dish where it's cold fish that's marinated and then baked with all kinds of Indian herbs and spices and I just take down the whole fish".
Simbas Grill, 825 Denman St.
If he wants to be "completely satiated," Mo will go to Simbas on Deman "because it's flavours that I grew up with." Flavours that the Tanzanian-born Jessa clearly relishes.
Look out for more "five faves" coming soon to the Vancouver Observer, and add your list in the comment section below. Bon appetit!