The Block Magazine
The Block Magazine
Contributing Editor: Mary-Jo Dionne
- Rodos Kouzina
- Saint Street Grill
- Excuses, Excuses
- Oh, the places
- Rosa’s Cucina Italiana
Issue: Volume 1, Issue 2
Maybe I’m a sucker for a man who calls me “beautiful”. Maybe I’ve rented Shirley Valentine too many times. Maybe Michael Savvis just knows how to run a restaurant. My guess is it’s a little of the first two and a lot of the last that makes a trip to Rodos Kouzina an absolute must.
Restaurateur Michael Savvis came to Canada at age 17 knowing almost no English, and climbed the ranks of the restaurant business quite unintentionally. “It just came naturally to me,” he laughs. “I went from bus boy to waiter to maitre d’, to eventually running my own restaurants.” His menu quotes a Harvard study declaring the Greek diet the secret to a long, healthy life, which, if you watch him dance between tables, chatting animatedly and topping up glasses, you wouldn’t dispute.
Countless photos of the Savvis family on the island of Rhodes give the restaurant that shrine-of-one’s-life feel. Mouthwatering Mediterranean fare may be on the menu, but love, stories, and pride are on Michael’s walls. Every mural of the startlingly blue Aegean Sea convinces that you have transcended geography when you step through the doorway.
My date and I were sated on caper cream and dill salmon, chicken souvlaki, and enough baklava to make us feel like “before” pictures in a weight loss ad. But then Michael came over and assured me I was “beautiful”, my boyfriend was “beautiful”, and as a couple we were “beautiful”. And, like the incredible food he serves, I ate it up. (After all, compliments are hard to come by today, so consume them like ouzo shooters while you can.)
All in all, it was, as far as Friday nights go, well, beautiful.
Rodos Kouzina Mediterranean Grille
221 Ioco Road, Port Moody, 604-469-1150
Saint Street Grill
Issue: Volume 2 Issue 5
There are certain words whose overuse ultimately softens the impact of their meaning. As someone who suffers from claustrophobia, for example, I am sensitive to how many small spaces are described as “claustrophobic”. Trust me, my inside voice says, a broken-down elevator packed with a dozen people, that’s claustrophobic. This Yaletown condo, simply small.
On a recent visit to Port Moody’s much-touted hot spot, the award-winning Saint Street Grill, I am reminded yet again of a word forced to pay the price for overuse. With décor that can only be described as upscale lavish meets garage-sale chic and dim golden lighting reminiscent of a 1940s’ mobster’s jazz club, the Saint Street Grill oozes it: Ambiance. A stack of ornate frames – sans art – sits propped in a pile à la installation piece. A shattered plate is affixed disjointedly to the wall, shard by shard. A random wooden pig is suspended from the ceiling.
But the brainchild of co-owners Il Giardino alum Jay Smith and Ross Edwards is more than just “first date friendly”, as Jay puts it. (“After you’ve asked what the person does for a living and where they were born, if it gets awkward you can always say: ‘Is that a pig on the ceiling?”) Chef Paul Stephen’s unexpected plates have garnered the restaurant its fair share of regulars. The grilled Caesar salad is a romaine heart with shaved asiago and herb puff pastry. The vegetable and goat cheese terrine comes with divine apricot chutney. The pesto gnocchi is topped with Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes. And patrons don’t seem to mind when friendly servers like Pavlina talk them into the crème brulée. But if enjoying palette-pleasing fare on a candle-lit backdrop of dialogue-sparking décor isn’t enough to satisfy you, Jay and Ross are also avid supporters of an array of local charities. Making them – at the risk of using one of those words again – quite cool.Saint Street Grill, 2510 St.John’s Street, Port Moody, 604.937.7477
Excuses, Excuses: Three women who live without them
Issue: Volume 2 Issue 4
Right around Halloween, I received a forwarded email nearly a dozen times. The subject? Why dogs hate their owners. A quick click revealed the sender thought I might relate to those disillusioned folks who believe dressing their dog like a princess, ghost, or George Bush is a good idea. Looking at my sleeping canine curled in his Roots hoody, I knew the sender was right. But after the fifth time I saw it in my list of new mail, I grew weary: Who am I, that so many friends feel I need to see this?
Not long after, a similar flurry of activity made its way to my account. Only this time, instead of being concerned I was on the receiving end of an e-intervention for crazy dog-ladies, its message was somewhat more profound.
The email contained a video clip of father-son duo, Dick and Ricky Hoyt. Together, the Hoyts compete in family-bonding feats like the Ironman. Short of a Shitzu dressed as Darth Vader, there’s nothing as touching as watching a dad and son cross the finishline after a grueling day on a punishing course. Unless – as is the case for Ricky – the son has cerebral palsy and, confined to a wheelchair, is physically transported by dad for the entire race: Tugged in a dingy for the 4km swim, buckled into a seat on Dick’s bike for the 180km ride, and pushed in his chair for the 42km marathon. Each time I read the subject Incredible dad and son, I chose to accept the message as an opportunity to relive my initial astonishment.
Hoyts or no Hoyts in our in-box, at this time of year we are faced with reevaluating our own priorities. While it’s refreshing to list resolutions that don’t pertain to looking great in a bikini, noble ambitions don’t guarantee the goal-setter won’t eventually derail. Be it running a marathon, starting an RRSP, or learning Urdū, statistics show most people eventually throw in the proverbial towel. When the clock strikes midnight, we would be wise to identify the culprit that has prevented us from succeeding before. The painful part of the act of pinpointing culpability, however, is that frequently the guilty one is little old us. Well, little old us and a long list of excuses: Kids to get to soccer, knees that creak, Law & Order re-runs to watch.
The downside of learning about the Hoyts is we begin to hear how lame those excuses sound. The upside is we become aware of people around us who are already embracing their version of Hoytism. Coquitlam’s Lilo Ljubisic, for example, has been on the podium an astounding 19 times for international wins in discuss, shot put, and goalball, setting world records along the way. While familiar with the feeling of medals around her neck, she’s also a recognized trailblazer and self-professed “squeaky wheel” when it comes to equalizing the playing field for athletes with disabilities. Named one of Canada’s Top 20 Most Influential Women In Sport and one of the country’s Top 100 Most Successful Women, Lilo currently serves as the first woman Chair of any International Paralympic Committee as Chairperson of the Athletes Commission. While hers is an oft-heard voice on a global scale, the irony is that for all her ability to see ways to turn wrong into right, Lilo actually can’t see at all.
Born sighted, a misdiagnosed childhood illness resulted in the eventual loss of her vision. But that sizeable setback hasn’t stopped her. “Years ago, I would show up at local all-comers tournaments. The event organizers would tell me I wasn’t welcome,” she recalls. “That kind of rejection marked me; it served as the impetus for me to make change.” When playwright George Bernard Shaw observed that successful people don’t find the circumstances they want, so much as create them, he was describing the world’s Lilos. “I have bruises all over my body from hitting barriers. But once I broke through those, I could look back and see there was a hole. Now, 20 years later, there’s no trace there was ever a wall there.”
It could be argued that this willingness to turn hurdles into opportunities is the predominant commonality among those who embrace an excuse-free lifestyle. As author Gina Mollicone-Long writes in her book The Secret of Successful Failing: “We have been conditioned to focus on avoiding failure rather than learn from it. We spend countless hours analyzing why we failed instead of analyzing how our failure can help us. We focus on the obstacle instead of the solution.”
Named by BC Business Magazine as one of the province’s “life shifters”, Barb Stegemann would put the reinvention matriarch Madonna to shame. Local businesswoman, motivational speaker, columnist, and author of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen: A woman’s guide to living and leading in an illogical world, Barb is a multi-achiever whose positive outlook, inspired by stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius, is simple: Everyone and everything is brought to you for a reason. Either to teach you or to bear. “It’s about being accountable,” she says. “Don’t blame parents, teachers, government. You have to see the lesson in your challenges.”
Born with a severe hearing impairment and raised by a single mom on welfare, Barb knows hardship. (While it sounds like a grandparent’s cliché, she really does remember walking to school sockless in the winter.) “When you’re raised below the poverty level and the wolves are at the door, the gift you learn is the importance of a strong work ethic. And my hearing impairment taught me to study body language, to see what people are really saying. Both challenges taught me empathy.” And it’s an empathy she exudes daily. When a close friend was wounded in Afghanistan, Barb realized a renewed sense of obligation to leading an active life, “If he has to work that hard just to move his hand, I have no right not join him on that journey.” It all comes back to Aurelius, she elaborates: “All we have is today. So why wouldn’t we stretch ourselves to greatness?”
Lined end-to-end, there are enough bookmarks, bumper stickers, and fridge magnets spouting serif-scripted inspirations to make it to the moon and back. Yet most of us discount the messages as touchy-feely fluff. Sure, we’ve all played some variation of the twisted game: If you had a year to live, how would you spend it?, providing answers that include: Lie on the couch and eat chocolate while watching Law & Order re-runs. But how many of us really live like today is all there is?
Port Coquitlam’s Karen Frank does. Diagnosed at 36 with cancer of the peritoneum, Karen faced immediate extensive surgery or a prognosis that she might not be alive one year later. Not a twisted game, but a twisted reality, Karen made the decision to do incredible things. And only months later, Karen signed up to compete in the Ironman, no small feat for a newbie triathlete recovering from life-saving surgery. “My niece and nephews play video games,” she laughs. “And when things aren’t going well for them, they just hit ‘re-start’. I want to show them that in life, there is no ‘restart’ button. You have to keep going forward.”
Four years later, Karen isn’t only cancer-free, she’s a regular on the Ironman circuit, having gained something of a following; those who know she represents the Everywoman. “When I am on the course, I hear strangers yell: ‘Look! It’s Karen Frank!’ I think because it’s been a struggle, yet I keep coming back.” With a strict cut-off time of midnight, completing is a race against the clock. And while Karen has yet to finish in the allotted time – this year she was a mere 18 minutes shy – she will be trying again this year. If she doesn’t finish on time, will she be back in 2008? “There’s no question. Of course.”
When Karen was appropriately presented with the IronSpirit Award for most exemplifying the sprit of Ironman, event organizers blasted her theme song over the speakers like a rock ‘n roll mantra – a tribute to both her outlook and her penchant for BonJovi: It’s my life / It’s now or never / I ain’t gonna live forever / I just want to live while I’m alive…
This eye-on-the-prize determination, they’ve all got it: Lilo, Barb, Karen. “I have a tenacious personality,” Lilo warns. “Maybe it’s because I have a tenacious condition. But the truth is, most people won’t scratch 1% of their potential. If you tell me you don’t have time, I have to ask you: What are your priorities? We say what is important to us. And then we watch TV every night.”
As Mollicone-Long writes, “If we can (master) the art of learning from our failures, then we will find we can literally direct our life exactly as we want it… We need to unlearn our old habits and replace them with new, more empowering habits.” Sick, poor, or just a crazy dog-lady, only we can decide what labels we will or will not accept. It doesn’t matter whether we find inspiration in BonJovi’s lyrics, a philosopher’s insight, or an email about a very special father and son. As for me, I quite like being a crazy dog-lady. But I should probably cut back on the Law & Order.
Oh, the places she’s been
Issue: Volume 1 Issue 3
Most people have that one friend who just seems to be able to pull it all off. At a charity ball, she can be Jackie O. with a little black dress and a strand of pearls. When you all head out to watch a pal’s baseball game, she can throw together that jaunty Kate I’m-so-cute-it-almost-hurts Hudson brand of casual. And when the possé meets at said friend’s pad for a dinner party, she’s transformed yet again, phone-booth style, into a home-making maven that could rival any east-coast high-society hostess, cardigan flung over her shoulders and all. While underneath the cable-knit she really hasn’t changed (she’s still the gal you once unsuccessfully snorted beer with at college), on the outside… that girl can pull anything off. And rather than stab needles into a voodoo doll bearing her uncanny likeness, we simply settle for being in a constant state of awe.
Well, if cities were friends and friends were cities, that friend who can pull it all off would, of course be the Tri-Cities. Oh sure, a map of the area might reveal clusters of geographic shapes labeled with the words Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Belcarra, and Anmore. However, rent a movie or two this weekend or stumble upon a hit series while you’re flipping, and you might do a double-take at that same map. As more and more production companies make the decision to bring their scripts to life on Tri-Cities’ soil, more and more corners of the earth (sorry, make that galaxy) are successfully being represented here.
Like the friend who can be Jackie, Kate, or Martha depending on the occasion, the Tri-Cities has successfully pulled off its own seemingly effortless alter-identities: Afghanistan, Alaska, Arkansas, China, Germany, Kansas, Manhattan, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Seattle, and a non-earthly planet here and there.
So, what’s the deal? And most importantly, what’s the appeal? As Port Moody’s Film Production Coordinator, Devin Jain, explains: “The Tri-Cities offers a wide variety of locations within a small geographical area. We offer nature settings, country roads, small town settings, and modern buildings.” Elizabeth Keurvorst, Port Moody’s Manager of Cultural Services goes on to say that within the Tri-Cities there is tremendous opportunity for cross-over when it comes to locations. “The feature Alien vs. Predator Two is set to go to camera in both Port Moody and Port Coquitlam in the next couple weeks.” Evidence that production companies have access to a variety of environments within close proximity.
But the implication shouldn’t be that these crews are coming in from afar and infiltrating day-to-day life in the Tri-Cities. Coquitlam Film Coordinator, Mariette Pilon, laughs when she relays a story about being on set when someone drove by and yelled to the crew: “Go back to L.A!” The irony, she explains, is that she would estimate 99% of the people working on any given set in the Tri-Cities are locals. “There are roughly 1,500 Tri-Cities’ residents employed by the industry. And this doesn’t include the ones on contract: the actors, the extras, the techies. These are your neighbours. They buy homes here, they pay taxes here, they send their kids to school here. And then they get told to ‘Go back to L.A.’”
It’s not just the 1,500 people whose paycheques come directly from the studios who are positively impacted by the increase in locally-shot productions. On a large scale, Mariette sites the example of New Zealand. “For the first time, Agriculture is taking a backseat to Tourism as the country’s number one industry. And the reason can be attributed to a native filmmaker who returned to his own country to make his little movie, The Lord of the Rings.”
After the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Towers and subsequent drop in tourism, officials felt the best way to quash fears and to renew interest was to make the city visible. It was agreed the way to achieve this would be through film. As such, their post-9/11 policy is that city costs are waived for filmmaking. This means: no charge for the use of parks, the police force, or parking. “Can you imagine, free parking in New York City?” Mariette laughs. “In fact, this policy is what helped cement the creation of shows like CSI: New York.”
The idea of ‘place as celebrity’ isn’t relegated to pulsing urban centers like New York (although who hasn’t rushed to find the Seinfeld restaurant on a trip to Manhattan?). The only time Coquitlam ever ‘played’ Coquitlam was on a 1999 episode of Stargate SG1 during a dream sequence filmed at the Fire Hall on Mariner Way. The station continues to get Stargate-a-philes from as far away as England who stop by for a photo-op.
While the big picture economic impact is impressive albeit immeasurable, there’s also no denying the affect on the local merchant as well. Perhaps Jay Reyburn, owner of Port Moody’s Lone Cypress Gallery and Gallery Bistro on the oft-shot Clarke Street says it best: “When the director yells ‘Cut!’, the crew is in here buying art and sipping lattés.” He goes on to emphasize: “They have always been very fair to those of us whose business may be impacted by their sets.” And Jay should know; he’s seen a film crew or two. “This place has been a sheriff’s office in the movie Alaska, it’s been used in Dead Zone, the X-Files, you name it.” Should you rent the big-name-studded feature We Don’t Live Here Anymore starring Six-Feet-Under’s Peter Krause, Laura Dern, and Naomi Watts, set in Smalltown, USA, it’s Jay’s bistro, (prior to the days of Jay’s bistro) where the dysfunctional friends meet at lunch. Said to be the set for over two dozen movies and series, of Clarke Street Jay adds: “I’ve been told by location managers that there’s no street quite like it.”
If there’s no street quite like Clarke, perhaps there’s no hospital like Riverview. If you ever find yourself tasked with knowing what the most filmed location in Canada is, keep the answer “Riverview Hospital” in your back pocket. Film Liaison for the Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services (Accommodations and Real Estate Services), Barb Faerge explains: “The buildings of Riverview Hospital lend themselves to a lot of diversity. Brick exteriors like these are hard to find.” As such, those exteriors have portrayed a Chinese prison in Romeo Must Die, Washington D.C.-based edifices in the Morgan Freeman thriller Along Came a Spider, and Manhattan’s Central Park in the Holiday cult classic Elf.
But Riverview’s contribution to the bizz doesn’t stop at exteriors. As Barb says, “It’s a film-friendly location. Ample parking in an isolated environment. And a vast number of wide hallways and empty rooms.” In fact, Riverview Hospital is the setting for the upscale New York apartment in Elf, not to mention a host of police squad rooms, morgues, high-end labs, and most recently, an execution chamber. While the list of Riverview-set productions is long, some examples of features and series are Afghan Knights (Coquitlam stars as Afghanistan), Battlestar Galactica (Coquitlam stars as a Cylon hospital on a foreign planet), Blade (Coquitlam stars as both Chicago and Germany), and Just Cause (Coquitlam stars as the Florida Everglades).
And if there’s no street quite like Clarke and no hospital quite like Riverview, perhaps there’s no lake quite like Buntzen. “We have seen a significant increase in filming here. It’s such a varied setting,” says Buntzen Lake Recreation Area Warden, Norm Breault. “You can turn Buntzen Lake into any geographical area.” Which is basically what has been done. Even Lake Placid in the movie of the same name is actually, yup, Buntzen. And for all of you who can’t sleep when you think of the unfortunate demise of young Jason Voorhees at Camp Crystal Lake that fateful Friday the 13th decades ago, well, good luck sleeping now. Buntzen Lake is the infamous Crystal Lake in the Friday the 13th offshoot, Freddy vs. Jason. As well, in the soon-to-be-released Shooter, Mark Wahlberg and Danny Glover will convince audiences that Buntzen is somewhere in Pennsylvania. And for those who pen your social calendar around re-runs of the X-Files, you’ll likely feel a sentimental twinge knowing that the forested area in the opening sequence is none other than the wilderness of Buntzen. Of the lake’s ability to take on the role of so many locales, perhaps Norm’s autographed photo of a hockey-masked clad Jason says it best: “I’ll always call Buntzen Lake home,” signed: “Jason”. Hmmmm, if the prone-to-violence Jason himself buys Buntzen’s authenticity, who’s going to argue?
But it’s not just these usual suspects that are worth a swivel-neck for the chance to see an A-lister. The places ‘we have been’ are dotted Tri-Cities-wide. Port Moody’s Ioco Road’s charming Pleasantside Convenience was the backdrop to one of the memorable scenes in improv-guru Christopher Guest’s mockumentary Best In Show. (Who could forget North Carolina’s hound-loving Harlan Pepper as he boards his motor home in front of his ‘tackle shop’, en route to the esteemed Mayflower dog show?) Coquitlam’s City Hall has been Seattle law offices in The Accidental Witness, the Kansas State Legislature in The Amber Alert Story, and a Vancouver Courtroom in DaVinci’s Inquest. And Anmore’s Little Wood Lodge proprietor Leigh Ann Littlewood has also seen her fair share of filming. In an episode of The Twilight Zone, her cozy inn was an upscale Colorado home. And an obvious example of the Tri-Cities’ ability to pull off any look is in the story Leigh Ann relays about the German crew filming a fast-food ad. “The entire crew flew over from Germany to film the commercial here because they felt our lodge looked like an authentic German lodge. Then, the ad aired in Germany.”
In addition to being points of interest for when the Cape Breton cousins come into town, there is perhaps no one who enjoys the benefits of the Tri-Cities’ film connection like our local thespians. As actor Brad Williams explains, “When you’re on the set from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., being five minutes from home is great. In a 72-hour period this week, I worked on one feature that took place outside Philadelphia, shot on Clarke Street, and one in a courtroom in ‘Anytown, USA’ shot at Riverview.” And, because of a woman like Mariette Pilon who liaises between the production companies and School District 43, students are also subjected to opportunities they would not typically have access to. The students of Port Moody’s Heritage Woods Secondary, for example, were involved in various capacities on the set of the teen movie John Tucker Must Die. “These kids got paid for their involvement,” says Mariette. “For some of them, their first paycheques are from 20th Century Fox! There is a misconception that Hollywood careers are unattainable. That there is a wall between ‘us’ and ‘them’. What I try to impart on the students is that with anything, the wall only exists in their minds. Once they dissolve it, dreams are more attainable.”
There is a certain irony that this region, a growing magnet to all things film-related, was once a retreat for icons of Old Hollywood. Port Coquitlam’s charming residential nook, the ultra-serene River Springs, today boasts streets called “Gable”, “Flynn”, and “Elizabeth” named for Clark, Errol, and Ms. Taylor, who would fly to a rural-at-the-time fishing lodge on the shore of the Upper Coquitlam River to escape the pressures of the industry. In 2005, that same shore was used as the site of a Kansas car crash in an episode of Smallville.
So while a map of the area might reveal clusters of geographic shapes labeled with the words Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Belcarra, and Anmore, the truth behind the Tri-Cities is that when it gets right down to it, in pearls or in jeans, we are among the fortunate few who can pull it all off.
Issue: Volume 2, Issue 4
If ever you find yourself in the hot seat on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, stumped when asked about the breakfast rituals of a far-away country’s inhabitants, be sure you have the right “lifeline” waiting by the phone at home. In particular, be sure that lifeline is world-travelling brunch King, Craig. One of those rare people known simply by a single name (think: Madonna, Cher, Pink) Craig – of Craig’s Café – is the one-named foodie icon of the Tri-Cities.
When you step into Craig’s, like Dorothy who hears: “You’re not in Kansas anymore,” so too is there a suspicion you might not be in Coquitlam anymore. Traffic buzz is replaced by Crosby, Stills, and Nash playing softly in the background and happy eaters uttering delightful murmurs in the foreground. While Craig’s is everything that exemplifies come-as-you-are casual, there’s a sense that someone’s vision eight years before has panned out exactly as planned. After visiting – and eating in – over 45 countries, Craig and wife Sharon opened the café as a way to fill what they saw as a void in the community’s culinary offerings. Craig’s own collection of framed black and white photography lines the rust-coloured walls of the rectangular room, visually sharing tales from distant locals like Nepal, India, and Utah.
While today’s special is the “Whatever Craig Wants” Omelette made from free-run eggs, other selections include Bennies ranging from traditional to adventurous, Golden Harvest Pancakes packed with goodies like walnuts and sunflower seeds, and olive-oil pan-fried red potatoes. Those who can’t finish the generous helpings are left contributing to Craig’s Children’s Wish Foundation fund. (Well-fed guests have raised $7,000 to date.) While a sign on the wall claims: “Good food takes time,” the service is speedy and the meal – in my case, the Mushroom Benny with homemade hollandaise – better than simply “good”.
Thanks to Firefighter Gourmet Foods – a food line launched by Craig and his firefighter buddy Jeff – patrons can take home favourites like the pancake mix, organic coffees, and Kapow Hot Sauce. All can be picked up (the food, not the firefighter) at Craig’s.Craig’s Café, 1046A Austin Avenue, Coquitlam, 604.936.4141
Rosa’s Cucina Italiana
Issue: Volume 1, Issue 3
Perhaps adult-film star Ron Jeremy said it best when he wrote: “I haven’t had this much fun since my last movie,” on a photo that hangs at Rosa’s Cucina. At first glance, the hoards of people in line outside Rosa’s look less like hungry foodies awaiting noodles and more like determined Dead Heads awaiting concert tickets. While seeing a favourite band isn’t the reward at the end of the wait, seeing their photo might be. Ozzy Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, Mark Messier, and Cheers’ sometimes-you-want-to-go-where-everybody-knows-your-name Norm are just a sprinkling of celebs Rosa has served. “When George Wendt walked in, I yelled: ‘Hey Norm, there’s no running tab here!’” she laughs.
She leans in to tell us: “A Lion and an Eskimo just left.” Taking a moment to piece together that she isn’t referring to a wayward jungle feline or using archaic verbiage for a person of Inuit descent, I realize she means patrons of the CFL variety. Her dishes include Italian-fare like platefuls of pasta that would feed the Lion, the Eskimo, and both their teams. A firecracker who can debate with politicians and playfully confront athletes, what Rosa takes most seriously is the legacy of her mom’s recipes.
I spot a sign that reads: “The problem with Italian food is that 3 or 4 days later, you’re hungry again.” And we try not to feel too badly for those waiting outside for a table in the 42-seater, while we savour Caesar salad, prawns Sambuca, spinach-stuffed manicotti, spaghetti Riviera, and a slice of very sharable Tiramisu. As we leave, a member of this year’s Stanley Cup-winning team writes a note for Rosa. (Add another photo to the wall.) While admittedly I am in a somewhat different line of work than Ron Jeremy, I agree that I too haven’t had this much fun in a while.
Rosa’s Cucina, 2331 Clarke Street, Port Moody, 604.939.7500 (But don’t bother trying to get a reservation. “I would even make Jimmy Pattison wait in line. Just like everybody else!”)