Mother’s Day is com­ing and now is the time to make that brunch reservation to avoid that drug­store shop of shame.

The Georgia Straight - - Contents - > BY GAIL JOHN­SON

Mother’s Day is this Sun­day (May 13), peo­ple, and the last thing you want to do is end up at a drug­store find­ing a last-minute gift. Now is the time to fig­ure out where you’re go­ing to take Mom for a mem­o­rable meal. Here are a few op­tions to show her you care over a de­li­cious din­ner or brunch.

UMAMI MOMMY Ma gets her pick of gy­ozas (pork or chili-shrimp tep­pan or let­tuce-wrapped crispy-chicken taco) as just one part of the cel­e­bra­tory din­ner ($60 for two) at Gy­oza Bar (622 West Pen­der Street). The meal also in­cludes a “bao board” with maple­gar­lic chicken or soy-gar­lic ten­der­loin­beef skew­ers, Korean spiced pork rib, or miso-baked “scal­lop dy­na­mite” and more. For dessert—drum roll, please—a plat­ter with mochi ice cream (frozen treats con­sist­ing of ice cream wrapped in var­i­ous flavours of rice dough) and green-tea cheese­cake. At Mi­nami (1118 Main­land Street), the Mother’s Day Pre­mium Zen lunch ($45) fea­tures eight sea­sonal kobachi (“small bowl”) items, such as Fraser Val­ley miso- dongpo (sweet, soy­braised) pork belly with tog­a­rashi chichar­ron (spice blend), and miso- sakekasu (sake lees) king salmon with mar­i­nated Ja­panese egg­plant, as well as aburi (flame­seared) sushi and green-tea opera cake for dessert. Din­ner cen­tres on chef Seigo Naka­mura’s pre­mium sashimi plat­ter ($40 per per­son). MAMA MIA Be one of the first in town to visit the newly opened So­pra Sotto Pizze­ria (1510 Com­mer­cial Drive) in the heart of Lit­tle Italy. Choose tagli­atelle with truf­fle, sausage, and mixed mush­rooms (it sounds so much more divine in Ital­ian: tagli­atelle con funghi, sal­s­ic­cia, e tartuffo) or penne with prawns and zuc­chini as part of a three-course meal ($35) that ends with tiramisu or torta della nonna (lemon cus­tard with al­monds and pine nuts in short­bread crust). Cibo Trat­to­ria (900 Sey­mour Street) is of­fer­ing its reg­u­lar menu for brunch and din­ner as well as an evening four­course prix fixe ($ 65). For the lat­ter, pick a primi: prosciutto-and­mas­car­pone ravi­oli made with beet dough and served with net­tle-an­dal­mond pesto and Parme­san fon­due (yes, please) or pre­served-lemon tagli­atelle with dried tomato, arugula, chili, gar­lic, and olive oil. Se­condi choices are bi­son ten­der­loin with braised kale, crispy-roasted mush­room po­lenta with as­para­gus salad, and pan-seared hal­ibut with spring-pea risotto.

THE PIE’S THE LIMIT There’s noth­ing wrong with pizza for Mother’s Day, given the qual­ity of pies you can find in Van­cou­ver. The tiny, cozy Cor­duroy Pie Com­pany (758 West 16th Av­enue) nails it with crazy-good com­bos like ba­con and Brus­sels sprouts with ca­pers and roasted onions or cured pork, roasted but­ter­nut squash, and pars­ley-wal­nut pesto with Parme­san and goat cheese. (Plus, beer on tap.) Mom re­ally gets a break over din­ner at Rocky Moun­tain Flat­bread (4186 Main Street and 1876 West 1st Av­enue): the kids get to go off and make their own pies, rolling the dough and all, so she can sip wine and have an ac­tual con­ver­sa­tion with her part­ner. That’s from 5 to 7 p. m.; the rest of the day, she gets a free, warm dou­ble- chocolate brownie with her meal.

QUEEN MOM Brunch and din­ner both come in ex­trav­a­gant East-meets-west buf­fet form at Boule­vard Kitchen & Oys­ter Bar (845 Bur­rard Street) in the Sut­ton Place Ho­tel ($ 80 for adults, $35 for kids). Look for mi­mosa trol­ley ser­vice and seafood se­lec­tions such as smoked steel­head trout and al­ba­core tataki dur­ing the day; evening op­tions in­clude sta­tions with carved prime strip loin, roasted leg of lamb, and porchetta, as well as oth­ers serv­ing up clam chow­der, West Coast paella, and smoked sable­fish. At the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Van­cou­ver, YEW Seafood + Bar (791 West Ge­or­gia Street) sets up sev­eral wow- cal­i­bre carv­ing sta­tions for its Mother’s Day brunch ($99 for adults, $50 for chil­dren aged six to 12, $25 for those un­der five): beef Welling­ton, salt-baked salmon, porchetta with fen­nel slaw, and chorizo-and-b.c.- clam pasta. Then there are raw-seafood and oys­ter bars, prawn hash, and cheese and char­cu­terie boards with hon­ey­comb, house-made pick­les, Mediter­ranean olives, pecan bread, and more, all along­side tra­di­tional dishes like salmon Benny and French toast. Retro desserts in­clude Grandma’s old-fash­ioned chocolate cake, straw­berry short­cake, caramelized ap­ple pie, tri­fle, pecan­car­amel tart, and ba­nanas Foster with house-made ice creams.

En­joy penne con­gam­berie zuc­chini at So­pra Sotto on Com­mer­cial Drive.

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