Day Tripping to Granville Island for Gallo Mussels

On Sunday we took the twins to our favourite place in the city, Granville Island. Unlike the brave souls who engage in the blood sport of finding a parking spot on Granville Island, we park a block away and walk down to the Market.

The Entrance to Granville Island
The Entrance to Granville Island

Although we often like to go to Granville Island to soak up the ambiance, yesterday’s foray was purposeful in its nature. We were headed to the Lobster Man to see what kind of fab West coast Mussels they had in their tanks for us.

Granville Island The Lobster Man
Granville Island The Lobster Man

Upon our arrival we were not disappointed.  A lovely bin of the Gallo Mussels awaited us. Gallo Mussels, long grown in Europe and eastern Canada, they are now cultured in the cool, clean coastal waters of BC and and available year round, this mussel’s delicate flavor is a great compliment to any of your seafood recipes.

Granville Island The Lobster Man's Gallo Mussels
Granville Island The Lobster Man's Gallo Mussels

And what I consider a genius marketing move that all retailers should consider, The Lobster Man tells you how to prepare the food they are selling you!! So if you are unsure of how to cook mussels, they hand you a sheet of paper with a variety of ways to prepare their product. Pure genius I say.

Granville Island The Lobster Man Mussel Instructions
Granville Island The Lobster Man Mussel Instructions

My Sweetheart decided to try the Mussels with shallots and wine. A simple preparation; into our Lagostina dutch oven my Sweetheart poured about a cup and a half of white wine, a couple of finely chopped shallots, a bunch of basil and a pinch of cayenne. She let that boil gently for the required five minutes and then left it to simmer until it had reduced to about a half cup (all of measurements are approximate seeing as our girls have hidden our measuring cups in their toy box).

After the sauce was reduced she scooped in a dollop of butter and let it melt. Then she dumped in the mussels (after very carefully washing them under fresh, cold water). The recipe calls for 4 pounds of mussels to feed three people. My Sweetie bought 2 lbs and that was plenty for the two of us.

Clap the lid on the pot, reduce the heat to medium and let them cook for 8-10 minutes. In the middle of that cook time, pull the lid off the pot and give the mussels a quick stir. Put the lid back and let them cook until they pop open, usually within the estimated time. If some of the mussels do not open, throw them out. Otherwise, enjoy!!

Cooked Gallo Mussels
Cooked Gallo Mussels

And although it was close to ten o’clock last night when we ate dinner (both babies were up all evening screaming like someone was stabbing them with a spoon) the mussels were an absolute delicious delight. Their meat was in fact plump and sweet and delicious. This dish was much easier to prepare than we ever thought it would be. Like I said, handing someone a recipe along with your product is pure genius.


  1. Sounds like a great recipe and a fun day! I love Granville Island too…One reason I’m reluctant to move out of Vancouver. Did you know that it takes 4 hours of cooking to cook all the alcohol out of wine? Learned about that recently! I’ll have to try your recipe after the pregnancy and when the wee baby is bottle fed. Great article, Stacey!

  2. We love heading out to Granville Island too…except recent trips have made us a bit scared as cars bomb thru crosswalks and us bike riders better beware!! You have inspired me to try mussels next time we head down there…recipe sounds awesome.

  3. LOVE Granville Island! Alas, I am allergic to shellfish… BUT… we always make a stop at Lees Doughnuts (make sure to time it for when their glazed ones are fresh and warm… YUUUUUMMM) and we always get some fresh pasta and a loaf (or two) of fresh bread too. Next time you guys head down, you should let us know. We could do a group outting, perhaps a picnic lunc togheter?

  4. I have heard that the revitalized New Westminster Quay is going to be a pretty cool place as well. On par with Granville Island? Stay tuned for my blog post on the New West Quay! Love to do a group trip to Granville Island.

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