While most local markets are bustling on the weekends, Main Street Station Farmers Market offers fresh fare for midweek menus, open every Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Just steps from Pacific Central Station, the market’s size is deceiving at first, as the number and diversity of vendors is not apparent at first glance. But spend a few minutes here and wander down the stretch of merchants. You’ll be delighted by what you find and leave with a deeper appreciation for British Columbia’s bounty.
In August, produce stands will be piled high with apricots, blackberries, turnips, peppers, raspberries, melons, and summer squash (among much, much more). The variety is astounding: there are types of cucumbers and tomatoes you never knew existed; myriad cheeses for all tastes from Little Qualicum Cheesework; vegan pates from Pâté Pastiche; and refreshing popsicles handcrafted from seasonal fruit at Nice Pops. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself rubbing shoulders with the city’s local chefs, who often peruse the markets for ingredients and inspiration for their daily menus as well.
Campagnolo owner and chef Robert Belcham may be one of them, as he and his team take this celebration of harvest to new heights. The restaurant is partnering with the Main Street Farmers Market and Masi Wines to present the Midsummer Night Dinner, a feast celebrating August’s peak season produce. The annual event will be held next Wednesday, August 6. With over a dozen dishes created with the freshest ingredients from Crisp Organics, Cropthorne Farms, Maan Farms, Shalefield Organic Gardens, and Solefood Farms, paired with a fabulous selection of Masi wine (a white, a rosé, and a red), this is some fine local dining.
“Without those farmers, we couldn’t have a restaurant,” says Belcham, and what wonderful way to celebrate their efforts. While the menu will be a surprise—based on whatever is available that day (although diners can expect to see one or two pasta dishes, it is an Italian restaurant after all)—this is exactly the draw, and well worth the $79 price, which includes tax, gratuity, and wine. A toast then, to midsummer mastery.