Do Not ?Disturb

A steak lover’s wine, an esthete’s 
juicer and a breakfast cure for 
the hangover blues

The Expert: Steve Schmietenknop, bar and wine manager, Gotham Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar

The Dish: 17-ounce New York strip loin of Canadian Prime Beef

The Pairing: Macauley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, $166 list 

I chose this wine because of the natural marriage between a well-marbled prime steak and California Cabernets. The suggested serving is medium rare, and that nicely complements the balance and acidity of the Macauley. Being a steak house, our wine list comprises mainly big reds that can cut through, stand up to or pair easily with the beef. The Macauley has weight but not so much that all you taste is a big fruit bomb. The wine’s layers are comprised of black cherry and espresso, and have a great mineral aspect that delivers the terroir of the vineyard. 

Many Napa Valley Cabernets are great wines; however, every now and then you come across a spectacular vintage and a winemaker who places their heart and soul into their wines. Such is the case with Macauley. I love all the layers that get exposed from when the wine hits your palate to the extended finish several minutes later. I would decant this wine for at least 45 minutes before starting to enjoy it. However, wines are made to drink upon release these days, and the best way to let a wine breathe is to give it mouth-to-mouth. – as told to Alexandra Barrow l

After a holiday season of overindulgence, resolving to maintain a healthier lifestyle is atop many New Year’s to-do lists. And with the Alessi Juicy Salif Citrus squeezer displayed prominently on your kitchen counter, this resolution might (just might) make it past month’s end. Designed by Philippe Starck and once displayed in New York’s MoMA, the three-legged aluminum juicer is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Half sculpture and half appliance, it’s a design that will definitely have your guests talking. And bonus for you: it’s simple to operate and easy to clean. $128, – A.B. l

For those nursing a hangover, or simply craving comfort food, check out Vancouver’s La Brasserie and its new Sunday brunch menu. We’re big fans of the French-inspired Croque Madame. A bit complicated for fuzzy brains, perhaps, but here goes: Sauce Mornay made with 

Gruyère cheese is combined with porchetta ham and sandwiched between two slices of brioche. The sandwich is then dipped in egg, fried until golden brown, topped with shredded Gruyère and broiled. Add one poached egg and about 1/3 cup of Choron sauce 
et voilà! $14, labrasserie – A.B. n

Two women reflect on life after divorce. 
Plus an old sound made new and the 
definitive guide to drinking in Vancouver

Mrs. Dexter and Her Daily Vancouver’s Arts Club gets a national premiere in the form of award-winning playwright Joanna McClelland Glass’s new work, Mrs. Dexter and Her Daily (co-produced by the National Arts Centre English Theatre). Glass’s story chronicles the relationship between Rosedale matron Mrs. Dexter (Fiona Reid) and her maid Peggy (Nicola Cavendish). Dexter is getting a divorce and the two women must part ways; as they prepare for their new separate lives, the women reflect on time together and a friendship neither one expected. The Saskatoon-born Glass traces inspiration for the piece back to the late ’90s, when she befriended her Nova Scotia housekeeper while living in Toronto. Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, Stanley Theatre,

The Great Lake Swimmers Toronto indie rockers the Great Lake Swimmers bring their rural-tinged sound to the West Coast later this month after a tour of Europe and China. Last year the group released their fourth full-length studio album, Lost Channels, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize. Tony Dekker, lead singer and songwriter, continues to create haunting, sombre ballads that emit an otherworldly atmosphere – a sound that recalls “After the Gold Rush”-era Neil Young. Victoria, Jan. 27; Vancouver, Jan. 29; Prince George, Jan. 30;

Drinking Vancouver: 100+ Great Bars in the City and Beyond BCBusiness contributor John Lee was born in St. Albans, England, but since the early ’90s has called B.C. home – when he is, indeed, home. The prolific travel writer has penned five Lonely Planet guides dedicated to B.C. and Vancouver, and just before Christmas saw the release of a book celebrating his other abiding passion: drinking. Drinking Vancouver: 100+ Great Bars in the City and Beyond features reviews and recommendations of Lotusland’s most reputable establishments, as well as some prominent drinking holes in Victoria and the 
Okanagan. Helpfully, for those who get lost on 
their pub-crawl, the book 
also contains maps of 11 
Vancouver neighbourhoods. 
TouchWood Editions, 

Pollyannas who search for the silver lining of 
every dark cloud have obviously never spent 
a soggy winter on the West Coast. By 
January, inspirational linings be damned, 
Vancouverites have stopped looking up at 
the sky altogether, keeping their heads down and (preferably) covered. Sometimes the only ray of sunshine in an otherwise leaden season is a pair of warm, dry boots, soft gloves, a wide-brimmed hat or a colourful and cheerful umbrella. 
– Steven Schelling

for him 

The Umbrella Shop’s Vancouver-made Brick Road Trim Euro Umbrella, $79.95, theumbrella​

Geox waterproof leather Londra ankle boot, $225,

Bailey Hats Curtis fedora, $85,

for her 

North Vancouver’s Cheeky Umbrella Sizzle, $44, cheeky​

Geox waterproof leather Cruz boot, $325,

Holt Renfrew house label leather gloves, $115,

Perfect weather, a languid pace (did we mention world-class golf?) – Lanai is the insider’s Hawaiian island of choice 
by Charlene Rooke

I have a friend who won’t go to Hawaii. She made a girlhood pledge that it would remain virgin territory until her honeymoon, so at 40 she’s travelled the world and is still waiting to get lei’d. Having been to nearly all the Hawaiian islands, I have two pieces of advice: Go to Lanai, now. And go with somebody you adore, because there’s almost nothing to do but love the one you’re with.

The 360-square-kilometre, privately owned Lanai was bought by U.S. industrialist James Dole in 1922 and became the planet’s biggest pineapple plantation. When Dole’s new parent company Castle & Cook started growing real estate values instead of spiky bromeliads about 20 years ago, it built a beachside resort and a cosy hill-country lodge, turning Lanai’s white-sand crescents from best-kept Maui day-trip secret to global jet-set destination. 

Hawaiian mythology holds that the island was occupied by man-eating spirits until the son of a chief, banished there, defeated them. I was prepared to take my chances when I went to Lanai with a new boyfriend who – hair slicked and wearing an orchid lei and an L.A. smirk – looked like a Blue Hawaii-era Elvis as we disembarked the ferry at Manele harbour.

Lanai is more pines than palms, with brown fields of pineapple-plant stubs and hilly terrain that turns lush and green along the manicured fairways of its two highly rated golf courses, the Challenge at Manele Bay and the Experience at Koele. But there would be no golf for us; romance and golf don’t mix, a fact confirmed by my starter marriage and later by a haggard-looking woman we encountered in the gift shop. Her sun visor might as well have been emblazoned “golf widow.” Watching us giggle over kitschy souvenirs, she said hopefully, “Please tell me you two are on your honeymoon.” 

“Even better,” the BF replied. “We’re having uncommitted fun.” I resisted the urge to kick him. 

Instead, I picked up a gun. Maybe target shooting is an odd thing to do with a loved one, but the island’s Lanai Pines is a slick range with an elaborate clay-pigeon course – wicked good fun on a cloudy day. The “pineapple of my eye” almost, but not quite, pierced a perfect target to win me a coveted crystal pineapple trophy. 

Oh, we tried to stay not busy, really we did. Told there was a quaint movie theatre in Lanai “City” (pop: 3,000), I called, only to get a recorded message saying it was closed “for lack of a movie.” Perfect: room service. One day the restless BF went for a two-hour horseback ride, returning breathless and bragging of a view all the way to the nearby island of Molokai. But for the most part, afternoons went by in a blur of bottomless lemonade, chilled towels and fruit kebabs delivered by helpful beach and pool attendants. 

Did I mention Lanai is mostly privately owned? Meaning that while Four Seasons staff is spoiling you, you might find backpackers pitching a tent or a few savvy Maui families picnicking right beside you on the beach. It’s an authentic reminder of what a sun holiday used to be, before shopping malls, celebrity-chef restaurants and parrot bars gave them a bad name. Lanai is an island that seduces you, a fresh reminder of how it feels to fall in love. n 

My Secret PlaceWho: Simon Jackson, founder and chair, Spirit Bear Youth Coalition Where: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Why: Yellowstone is a magical space where I first discovered my passion for bears while on a family camping trip at age seven; I still try to get there once a year with family. Yellowstone’s beauty is something that cannot be described – more of a feeling that lingers in one’s soul. Whenever I visit, I feel I can break free from my BlackBerry and politics and, through photographing its diverse wealth of animals, recharge for the year ahead. l