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Restaurants & Bars 1

Tofino Report

anewton | Apr 10, 2009 09:42 AM

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. We had a lovely time in Tofino and ate well. We were there for only 1 1/2 days, but I think we made the most of it.

Tuesday: Lunch. Arrived in Tofino in the early afternoon. Following a beach walk and check-in at our hotel, we headed into town and ate at SoBo. Food and service were good, though the ambience was a bit cafeteria like. Wife and I split: 1) Killer Fish taco. Lots of good fruit...blueberries, kiwi, guava maybe? Good tangy flavour. Liked the blue corn taco shell. Hard to share! Came with a very fresh salad. 2) Shrimp Pizza. Enjoyed the combo of local shrimp and barely melted goat cheese. Crust was thin, crispy, almost of a 'flatbread' type. Good flavour.
We washed this down with a beer from Cannery Brewery (out of Penticton).

Tuesday: late dinner at Shelter. Because we had eaten lunch at 4:30, we were not very hungry for dinner. Arrived at Shelter at around 9:30 and were surprised to find it was a local bar scene, with multiple televisions playing the hockey game (accompanied by hoots and hollers from young locals). We were seated in a quieter part of the restaurant, thankfully. Wife and I shared the Chop Chop salad, with local greens, spiced roasted pecans, radishes, goat cheese, apples, and some other things I cannot remember. Good salad. We also shared the calamari, which was breaded and deep fried and served with jalapenos and pimentos and roasted sweet peppers and a lime chipotle mayo. We had the yam fries as well, also served with chipotle mayo (although it was a different mayo from the calamari). Well prepared pub grub is how I would describe our meal at Shelter. They have a much more upscale menu, but we were really in the mood for a snack. Nice building, nice interior decor. Friendly service.

Wednesday: Coffee at Cafe Vincente. Decent, but nothing to write home about.
Breakfast: Wife and I shared a cinnamon bun and a (still-warm) bran muffin. Decent baking.
Lunch: the Pointe at Wikanninish Inn. Lovely meal. Incredible room. We were seated at a window table overlooking waves crashing onto rocks. Very dramatic. Wife had a salad featuring local arugula, saltspring island blue cheese, Van Isle apples, local hazelnuts. It was delicious (I slipped in a few bites). She then had a papperdelle alla carbonara made with Sloping Hills bacon (the papperdelle itself, we were told, was imported from Italy). Lots of creamy, bacon-y flavour. I had the grilled sockeye salmon (wild, of course) served over a winter endive salad that had been tossed in a dressing of "bacon vinaigrette" and thin slices of egg. My salmon was cooked perfectly, with deliciously crisp skin. The combination of bacon, egg, and endive went well together. Wife and I shared a half-bottle of Kettle Valley reserve Pinot Noir 2005, which complimented both of our mains.
Service was polite and friendly, though our server disappeared for a good 10 minutes at one point, which was strange considering that there was only 1 other party in the restaurant at the time (she later explained that she was looking for our wine, which is understandable given that the restaurant boasts a fairly deep list).
We did not order desert but chef prepared a little petits-four made with Michel Cluizet dark chocolate, cranberries, and nuts. It was sort of like dark chocolate bark, and there was enough of it for each of us to have a fulfilling bite.

Before we left Tofino, we stopped at "Chocolate Tofino". The proprietor/chocolatier was in the store, and he had us sample a delicious truffle made with dark chocolate, lavender, and honey. It had a very nuanced flavour and a long, floral finish. A perfect way to end our mini-jaunt to Tofino. (And of course we brought back some 'mementos' from Chocolate Tofino for the road).

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