Belly in my belly.

A foodie trip to East Van promised to delight and delighted, I am.

Linner at the Red Wagon at Nanaimo and Hastings was indulgence. Crispy pork belly confit, grilled tomato, salsa verde, home fried potatoes and a few slices of rye. Just be prepared to wait up to an hour to get your foot in the door. Totally worth it – and besides, a few doors down, you’ll find Moccia.

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Featuring local, artisan meats, sausage and salami, Moccia Urbani makes a killer bacon and a salami sliced so thin, you can eat them like potato chips. Tonight, I got to try out the Sicilian (fennel and lemon) and the Toscano fig. Both delicious (especially accompanied by a gin martini), if not so different, but so fresh and crispy.

Next, it was off to Italiabakery at Hastings and Renfrew. Tastings of Colomba de Pasqua (sweet italian easter bread in the shape of a dove), fresh olive oil, balsamic reduction, and St. Honore soaked in rum, with vanilla custard… crazy yum. Limoncello puff and raspberry ricotta cannoli await for dessert tonight. Bosa at Boundary and Kootenay also had a few fresh ingredients in store, including gorgonzola walnut ravioli, cherry bocconcini and focaccia. A little basil, heirloom tomatoes, French olive oil from my summer trip to Paris, a drizzle of Italia’s balsamic reduction, and a bit of spicy thai basil and a simple, fresh dinner.

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