Dine Around Thompson Okanagan 2016 final days

If you move quickly, you might still find some seating available at one of the many restaurants participating in this great initiative of the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA) and Wines of British Columbia. (And now BC Craft Brewers Guild.) Renamed and expanded to include menus paired with craft beer and spirits as well as wine, Dine Around Thompson Okanagan has been a huge success right from its launch on January 20.

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Allison Markin, Canadian Wine Tourism (All She Wrote), checks out Ricardo’s menu with Chef Ricardo Scebba and Sue Miller

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 Sage Hills Vineyard pairs with Ricardo’s for the Dine Around launch

Says Christina Ferreira, coordinator (Impact Events), “In speaking with restaurants they all say that Dine Around has helped get people in their doors and they are thankful that the program is in place as January had a very slow start.”

Ian Tostenson, President/CEO BCRFA adds, “Consumers also appreciate it provides the opportunity to sip, savour and save with these delicious three course menus for such incredible prices. Many residents take the opportunity to get out to restaurants that are favourites and others they may never have visited. It’s a win win for the consumer and our member restaurants.”

Visitors, too, get a chance to leverage their travel budget and try a few more restaurants. More than 50 restaurants throughout the Thompson Okanagan are featuring a three course menu for $15, $25, $35 or $45 with suggested BC VQA wine pairings or BC Craft Beer or spirits pairings. Guests can visit the participating restaurants and ask for their Dine Around menu. Reservations are encouraged, though, as more than 4000 people take in the festival during the two and half weeks. A list of participating restaurants and menus can be viewed online at www.okwineanddine.ca.

 

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Team at Blu Saffron, Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, prepare their appetizer

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This year’s Dine Around includes pairings with craft beer and Tree Brewing Institute offers pizza

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Okanagan College Culinary Arts students prepare as guests gather

My husband Mark and I took the opportunity to grab a day of skiing at Apex Mountain Resort and made early dinner reservations in Penticton at the participating Villa Rosa Ristorante Italiano. Carving a few turns in a bit of powder and enjoying some of the best snow the area has seen in years made us feel like we’d worked for our special, carbo-rich feast.

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 At Apex Mountain Resort, Mark enjoys blue skies while skiing for his Dine Around meal

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We opted for Villa Rosa’s $25 per person three-course menu. There were great BC wine pairing suggestions for each course, however, this time we opted for a classic Italian wine to accompany our meal. Villa Rosa also had a $35 per person menu, which looked great, too.

 

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Bread served first

The Appetizer course offered two choices, a salad or a soup so we took the divide and conquer approach.

 

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Zuppa del Giorno (Beef Barley)

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Classic Caesar Salad with housemade dressing

Entree presented four unique pastas. Again, we ordered two different ones so we could experience more of the menu.

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Linguine with Smoked Salmon 

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Spaghetti Bolognese

For Dessert, you could select from a variety of Gelato flavours. You guessed it, we selected two so we could share.

 

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Gelato (daily flavours)

We truly enjoyed our meal and loved the value pricing after Christmas and New Year’s splurges. Perhaps this week, we’ll try to book dinner in Kelowna at another participating restaurant and grab a few runs at Big White Ski Resort to work up the appetite.

 

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Okanagan College Culinary students serve dessert at the Dine Around launch

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Maverick Estate Winery and Dirty Laundry Vineyard serve wine as local musician entertains

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 “More Than Burnt Toast” Food blogger Val Harrison captures a Dine Around launch appetizer

Roslyne Buchanan

About Roslyne Buchanan

A freelance writer based above BC’s Naramata Bench, Roslyne Buchanan is a regular contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine and blog.hellobc.com. After retiring from The City of Calgary as communications strategist in environmental and safety management 2009, she returned to Penticton where her journalism career began as a Herald reporter/photographer. Even back then folks she met on her news beat commented she was like an official ambassador for the Okanagan. She is perpetually enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. She is convinced she has found the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Her writing is supported by a proven track record of career progression and achievements in strategic marketing, communications, editing, media relations, event planning, relationship building, business development, fund development and supervisory leadership. She has worked in non-profit, educational, governmental, tourism, and private sectors. While not an army brat, her family moved across Canada while she was growing up and her parents taught her how to find the beauty in whatever location she finds herself. Born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, she has lived in Crooked River and Regina, Saskatchewan; Fort Churchill and Winnipeg, Manitoba; Ottawa, Ontario; Hull, Quebec; Calgary and Olds, Alberta; and Nelson and Penticton, British Columbia. While Canadian by birth, she prides herself in having a global perspective and is thrilled when she gets the opportunity to travel to experience how the locals live and to learn about people, new things and vistas. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at www.rozsmallfry.com and/or follow her on twitter @RozDB

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