With or Without Reservations

The following article was written by Roslyne Buchanan and published in the fall 2018 issue of Food & Wine Trails magazine.

Known for its exceptional take on fresh and local Okanagan cuisine in its vibrant and comfortable setting, RauDZ Regional Table traditionally didn’t want to force patrons to make reservations. The only reservations guests had about that casual approach was when they wanted to plan their own special night out, or when they wanted to showcase this local gem to out-of-town guests. The team at RauDZ listened; now reservations can easily be made online or by calling the restaurant directly. Open Thursday to Monday at 5 pm, RauDZ is happy to address guests’ concerns and now confirms “reservations are accepted, and walk-ins are always welcomed.”

These days, the choice is yours to walk in on impulse to enjoy RauDZ and/or mastermind your special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries, in advance. I’ll drink to that!

Liquid Chefs & the Cocktail Program

Speaking of drinks, RauDZ has always had a strong cocktail program, which dates back to the days when BC bar industry legend, Gerry Jobe, led the team. Over the years, the liquid chefs at RauDZ have continued to be a creative force in the cocktail field, snapping up awards in competitions. Leveraging the Okanagan’s bounty into the best field-to-glass drinks, with house-made fruit purées, reductions, freshly harvested lavender, thyme, mint and whatever else is fresh and seasonal, is a fine art at RauDZ. Try a RauDZ Caesar that adds house-made beef stock, hot sauce, horseradish and pickled carrot with Illichmann’s sausage. Or Martinis, Gin Mules and Sangrias that highlight seasonal fruit! Ask your server for selections of Barrel-Aged Cocktails — classic cocktails that have been aged for five-plus weeks in charred American Oak barrels. It’s a local field trip even to peruse the list! You’ll find recipes for a selection of these cocktails in the Twilight chapter of The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking by Chef Rod Butters. Naturally, whenever possible, regional distilleries, wineries, breweries and cideries are the stars.

On the topic of local producers, RauDZ is creating its own private label gin in collaboration with long-time distillery partner Okanagan Spirits. RauDZ’s private label gin will be poured exclusively in the restaurant this fall. This special recipe, developed with RauDZ’s own talented Liquid Chefs, is formulated as cucumber-forward with florals in the background to complement RauDZ cocktails and menus. It is 100 per cent local, of course! It contains mock orange, a native BC shrub, hand foraged by Okanagan Spirits’ Tyler Dyck from Poplar Point, at the foot of Knox Mountain. Additionally, Orris Root — the rootstock of an iris — adds a violet floral note perfect for gin and tonics. It doesn’t get more fresh and local.