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We may live in cities with parks, plazas and collective spaces, but how often do we use them?  And how?

The Annual Parisan White Dinner

The Annual Parisan White Dinner

That was the question on local bon-vivants and urbanscape explorers Rob MacDonald and Scott Hawthorn’s minds, when they created the “Eat Alfresco Vancouver” concept.  Inspired by Paris’s annual White Dinners, an event held usually in June, as summer sets into the City of Lights, Eat Alfresco also presents guests with a date and theme, but withholds the secret location.  It is announced only the night before the soiree.

The Vancouver Approach

The setting right in Yaletown's Heart: we transported our food + blankets in eoin's silver bike trailer
The setting right in Yaletown’s Heart: we transported our food + blankets in eoin’s silver bike trailer

As 7 p.m. approached on Wednesday August 26, a group of almost fifty of us filed into the plaza right at the intersection of Davie St. and Mainland in the heart of Yaletown for the 3rd eat_alfresco dinner this summer.

Sharing food + conversations

Sharing food + conversations

Here, instead of a motley crew of skateboarders or little dogs more at home in their Louis Vuitton carriers than on the street; we were greeted with a sleek, snaking, accordion-like, low shelf table – actually four low “softwalls” connected together – by Vancouver darlings, Molo Design.

Food (and sipped discreetly, wine) was plentiful

Food (and sipped discreetly, wine) was plentiful

The white tables were adorned with some fresh flowers and lots of food.  So much food that I worried if the paper tables would hold – thankfully, they didn’t collapse all night long!

A sampling of food

A sampling of food

local designers Steven + Jane Cox, I love Jane's stylish feather hat.

local designers Steven + Jane Cox, I love Jane's stylish feather hat.

And so the night proceeded with this eclectic group of strangers and new friends in a redefined urban setting.

candle-lit dusk

candle-lit dusk

Curious passers-by definitely gawked, but that did not deter us from sampling home-made deliciousness; everything from olive stuffed roast lamb, thanks to Melody li of Bouchon for 2 ; a delicious mint, kalamata olive and macedonian feta with pasta salad, cumin spiced cauliflower and plenty of sweet treats including fruit-topped meringues and decadent brownies.  Local restaurant Brown’s Social Club even added to the feast, stopping by with some appetizers – as though we needed more!!!

Molo Design's soft-wall "tables"

Molo Design's soft-wall "tables"

At the end of the night, with the tables folded up, our plates and cutlery stashed in our individual bags, the square looked forlorn and quiet,  awaiting its transformation for another al fresco night.

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