Signature dish

The Magic Flute

…and now for something completely different: three 27-meter-high, fire-spewing dragons, mythical creatures, dozens of stunt artists, massive puppets, the Queen of the Night and a watery stage. What is it? It’s Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” as interpreted in David Pountney’s grand-scale production for the Bregenz Opera Festival. And now you don’t even have to travel to Austria to behold this magical, mind-blowing spectacle, because you can see it during a special engagement showing at the Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas.

Pountney’s “The Magic Flute” will show at the Liberty at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Tickets are $18.50 per person or $15 for children and seniors. The running time is two hours and forty minutes, presented in two acts. The production is not rated for content, and is sung in German with English subtitles. This is part of the Liberty Theater’s “Event Cinema” series, which includes ballets and operas, concerts, classic movies, plays, and documentary films. Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman,” is the next opera in this series and will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12. Wine and beer is available to purchase in the lobby during all showings. To learn more, visit

Big Horn Brass

Vocalist Shirley Nanette

The holiday season is swinging into the ‘Couve with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra‘s popular Big Horn Brass concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, at the newly renovated and quite spectacular Lloyd Auditorium. The renowned brass ensemble always strikes the right notes as they play some of the world’s greatest holiday music—and you’ll hear an even bigger, merrier sound this year with special guest vocalist Shirley Nanette.

The Big Horn Brass is a 16-member ensemble that spreads its sparkling brass tones through an toe-tapping mix of holiday favorites. From traditional carols to popular songs, this concert will warm the hearts of young and old. In addition to new selections and arrangements, the Big Horn Brass will offer a new musical adaptation of Clement Moore’s classic poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” composed by Anthony DiLorenzo, narrated by Shirley Nanette, and accompanied by a video featuring the illustrations of Cheryl Harness.

This year’s concert will also include Stevie Wonder’s “Someday at Christmas,” “White Christmas,” by Irving Berlin, “Wassail Song” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Carol of the Bells,” by Mikail Leontovich, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and other carols played in the Big Horn Brass style.

Lloyd Auditorium is located on the campus of the Washington School for the Deaf at 611 Grand Blvd. in Vancouver. All proceeds from the concert benefit the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $25 for adults or $10 for students and are available at

Wine & Jazz Festival

The North Bank’s much-anticipated Wine & Jazz Festival is coming to Esther Short Park from Thursday, Aug. 21, through Sunday, Aug. 24. This year’s festival features Grammy-winning jazz, blues, pop, and gospel bands, including: Blind Boys of Alabama, Lee Ritenour, Don McLean, Stanley Jordan, Coco Montoya, Heritage Blues Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dan Brubeck Quartet—plus local and regional jazz bands. The festival also features 200 wines, fine art and crafts, local restaurants and exhibitors.

The festival kicks off with a free Jazz Education Night on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. All ages are welcome and there’s no charge to come and listen to—and learn about—this truly American art form. Additional festival hours are from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24. Tickets are $20 on Friday, $25 on Saturday or Sunday, or $60 for a three-day pass. The Wine & Jazz Festival is a family-friendly, all-ages event. Kids 12 and younger are free with a paid adult. Outside food and beverages are not permitted. Purchase tickets at or pay at the gate. For more details, contact the festival office at 360-906-0441 or

Bone’s Burger

Bones Burger

photo by sheri byrd

Bone’s BBQ and Burger Bar in Battle Ground Village has become known and loved for speciality meat dishes, from traditional steaks and chops to their chicken Marsala, duck breast and gourmet macaroni and blue cheese.

“We’re honored that guests have thought of us as a special occasion restaurant,” owner Dennis Pavlina said. “We just want to go beyond that, so we’ve added a new bar menu, offering burgers most people can’t get anywhere else.”

The new bar menu features a host of specialty burgers including brisket, bison, elk, pulled pork, ahi tuna and kangaroo.

“The cranberry cream cheese burger has been especially popular,” Pavlina said.

My scrumptious signature Bone’s Burger came with a generous lean ground beef patty, caramelized onions, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon. The onions were just sweet enough to offset the mouth-watering tang of the blue cheese.

Bone’s fits right into the neighborhood life created by design in Battle Ground Village.

One of the original tenants, Bone’s has been serving clients who walk in from the Village, as well those driving in from around Clark County and Portland, since 2009.

“We just love the community feel of this location,” said Pavlina.

The menu assures diners that ingredients are local whenever possible, and Pavlina says he and the staff gather as many ingredients as they can from the Village’s own Saturday farmer’s market each week. From jalapenos to corn, mixed greens to berries, they try to find a use for whatever the local farmers are selling.

Bone’s BBQ and Burger Bar

1207 S.E. Rasmussen Blvd, Suite 130, Battle Ground

Low Bar Lounge

Low Bar Burger & Jo-Jo’s

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photos by mary preiser potts

Eye-catching, skilled, yet unpretentious illustrations appear on both the website and the menu at Low Bar in downtown Vancouver. It’s not surprising to discover that bar owner Claire Ghormley is also the artist. Creativity and a focus on conscious ingredients, she says, elevates Low Bar to “dive bar with classy comfort food.”

So here’s the lowdown on the Low Bar Burger. It wears the signature dish crown because almost everything on it is made from scratch. Beginning with a sweet potato brioche bun that soaks up the tangy juices from house-made pickles and pickled onions to the creamy garlic aioli that holds everything together. Melted local cheese (cheddar, gruyere, bleu or chevre) tops a natural beef patty made from whole chuck roast that is cubed, spiced and ground fresh daily in-house. At $6 a la carte for lunch and $8 paired with jo-jo’s for dinner, the cost-benefit of this burger is clear.

The side of jo-jo’s may play second fiddle, but they deserve their own mention. Whole potatoes are wedged, dredged and fried in a pressure fryer that is, apparently, a secret weapon in Low Bar’s kitchen. The result is a perfectly cooked potato wedge with crispy fried chicken satisfaction. You may even decide to skip the ketchup.

Low Bar Lounge

809 Washington St., Vancouver