Twenty-one restaurants in three days: That's my record. I'm not a competitive eater (if I were, that record would be 21 hot dogs in three minutes); I'm a semiprofessional one (I write about food for a living). I often find myself in an unfamiliar city, charged with the task of visiting as many bars and restaurants as possible in one weekend.
My latest trip took me to Vancouver, where more than 150 restaurants (including a handful from jet-setting superstar chefs) have opened in the past year. This surge can certainly be linked to the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games, but it's also a testament to a dining culture that's moving beyond the authentic Asian restaurants it has long been famous for. Today, Vancouver is dominated by understated Italian spots with an extra-large devotion to local, seasonal ingredients, and upscale Asian food matched with equally impressive cocktails. My plan: to hit all the best new placesin just one weekend.