We just returned from three fabulous days at the Sonora Resort, a luxury fishing and outdoors destination just north of Desolation Sound. I would recomment it to anyone who wants to exlpore the scenic glories of this part of BC (whether you fish or not), although it is a major cash investment (in the range of an upscale cruise, when one includes the cost of transportation by helicopter or floatpland from Vancouver).
The point here, however, is to send along our reactions to the food, which has improved markedly since we were last at the Resort and since Terry Pichor took over the kitchen. For starters, food, drink and house wines are included in the cost of the lodging. The house wines are BC standards (you can pay for the better stuff), but the bar stocks premium liquor and has a bartender (former investment banker Jordan) who could keep up with any of the well known barkeeps in Vancouver. There is a nice breakfast each morning (particularly for those who get up very early to fish for salmon) and a generous selection of upscale sandwiches, salads, pastas, etc. at lunch (plus barbecues prepared for groups of fishermen and others on excusionhs).
Dinner consists of a lenghy testing menu and a bistro menu for those who have smaller appetites or may be looking for their own choices, but the focus in on the tasting menu. We went for the that menu on two out of three of our nights at the resort (they rotate daily, repeating after three days), with excellent results. Highlights were salads prepared with beautiful local produce, a variety of dishes made with local spot prawns, mussels and lobster. Pichor also has mastered foie gra, has a delicate touch with salmon and produces some excellent desserts. We had requested local oysters in advance of our visit and each night had a six each, usually three different varieties (as good as anything available in Vancouver). The real highlight was a dinner of steamed local dunginess crab -- a huge, whole crab each, literally taken from the water before it went to the kitchen then simply served with clarified butter (they store all of their local shellfish in special compartments at the fishing dock so as to let the seafood continue to live in its habitat until just before it needs to be prepared .
Sonora is owned by the folks who run London Drugs. They are earning their Relais & Chateaux endorsement and while the Resort is not a food destination as such, it sure is well worth a detour.
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