B.C. Wine Culture

The Dine Around menu at Ex Nihilo Vineyards. Joanne Sasvari photo

Restaurant festival serves up great food, fine wine and excellent bargains

With its dreary weather and scary bills, January can feel an awful lot like penance for all the fun times of the holiday season. But it doesn’t have to be, not when there’s the Thompson Okanagan Dine Around to enjoy.

From January 15 to February 2, dozens of restaurants from Osoyoos to Vernon to Kamloops and as far afield as Prince George are offering three-course prix fixe lunches and dinners, with optional Wines of British Columbia pairings. Depending on the establishment, prices range from $15 to $55 for food, plus extra for wine, which is a bargain no matter how you slice it.

Savoury ramen is an appetizer on the Dine Around menu at Waterfront Wines in Kelowna. Joanne Sasvari photo

The fact that some of the best restaurants in the region—no, in the province—are on the list just makes it so much more appealing.

This is your opportunity to check out restaurants you’ve never experienced. For instance, if you have yet to discover all the deliciousness that’s going on in Lake Country, you can hit winery restaurants like Block 50 (at 50th Parallel Estate), Chaos Bistro (at Ex Nihilo Vineyards) and The Garden Bistro at O’Rourke Peak Cellars. The wine pairings, needless to say, are on point.

A selection of desserts – including the carrot cake fritters – on the DineAround menu at the Train Station Pub in Kelowna. Joanne Sasvari photo

It’s also your chance to go back to old favourites you might not have revisited in a while. Options range from upscale eateries like Waterfront Wines, where chef Mark Filatow offers his savoury gourmet take on ramen and other dishes, to casual joints like the Train Station Pub, where the carrot cake fritters are a revelation in dessert options.

Beet salad on the Dine Around menu at the Garden Bistro at O’Rourke Peak Cellars. Joanne Sasvari photo

Deconstructed “pumpkin pie” on the Dine Around menu at the Garden Bistro at O’Rourke Peak Cellars. Joanne Sasvari photo

Most of the participating restaurants are in and around Kelowna, but the event has grown significantly this year and includes restaurants throughout the Okanagan, such as The Bear, the Fish, the Root and the Berry at Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos and Time Winery & Kitchen in Penticton, as well as four in Kamloops and three in Prince George.

And should you be coming from out of town, or just wish to have a second glass of that great Pinot Noir, a handful of hotels are also offering special rates during the festival. They are: Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna and, also in Kelowna, the Eldorado Resort, which includes both the historic Hotel Eldorado and Manteo.

Pan-roasted ling cod on the Dine Around menu at Block One at 50th Parallel Estate. Joanne Sasvari photo

Smoked gouda cappelletti on the Dine Around menu at Block One at 50th Parallel Estate. Joanne Sasvari photo

Thompson Okanagan Dine Around is presented by the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association, the Wines of British Columbia and Tourism Kelowna.

For more information, visit dinearound.ca.

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