Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tofino has more good eats than the amazing Sobo and The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn

Tofino is our go to place for family relaxation.  We love the drive there, the beaches, forest, rain, fog, sun and the food.  It seems crazy that a place so remote has such great food but everyone there is into food.  I’ve said lots about our favourites; Sobo and The Pointe Restaurant, but I have to mention a couple of others.  We like Shelter, the food is good (kind of Cactus Club food) the bar is hopping and the deck is a great place to spend a nice evening.  Next time though, we’re planning to skip Shelter in favour of The Spotted Bear, it had a good buzz among the local foodies.  We also heard that Norwoods in Ucluelet is worth a visit so it’s on our radar as well.
We love 3 places at the Live to Surf Plaza; Tacofino’s Orange Truck makes the best lunch. My favourite is the Tuna Ta-Taco, seared albacore with wasabi-ginger mayo, cabbage, mango salsa and seaweed salad.  David’s is the Fish Taco, Tempura cod with  chipotle mayo, cabbage and salsa fresca, and Rachel’s is the Pork Gringa, spicy pork in a grilled tortilla with melted cheese, sour cream and mango salso.  Add a Lime-Mint Freshie and you have an awesome lunch for about $10 (if you can eat just 1). 

We also love the Wildside Grill, me for the halibut and chips, David for the oyster burger. Rachel tries something different every time and this time she had the fish taco.  It  was good but we think Tacofino, across the parking lot makes the better fish taco.  BTW, Wildside servings are generous.  I can’t finish 2 pieces of halibut and chips.  Last but not least at Live to Surf is Chocolate Tofino, don't leave the lot without stopping in if you are a chocolate lover.  You'll thank me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sobo is my favourite place to eat in Tofino

Every trip we try to fit a lunch and a dinner. Once we ate there 3 times in 24hrs, the friendly staff thought that was pretty funny.  This trip we arrived right on time for lunch.  I always have Polenta Fries and Cornmeal Crusted Oysters and they were perfect.  Rachel had Roti with Thai Chicken and David had the Smoked Salmon Chowder. 

We had dinner our final night in Tofino.  We started with Humpback Shrimp; spicy shrimp with blue cheese on a butter lettuce leaf, simply delicious. 

 David and I had the Grilled Oysters in Miso Mayo with Salmon Bacon.  Next to Tojo’s they are the best I’ve eaten.  Rachel had a Duck Confit Pizza and gave it a thumbs up. 

Sobo has a great BC wine list. It looks a bit like my wine cellar.  Over the years we’ve worked our way through most of the menu and never been disappointed. We couldn’t manage dessert this time but the Key Lime Pie is a winner and David says the Brownies are the best he’s ever eaten.  If you go to Tofino, don't miss the chance to eat at Sobo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Birthday dinner at The Pointe Restaurant at The Wickaninnish Inn is one of those meals you remember for a long time.

Birthdays gifts and husbands become harder after 25 years. The last few years I’ve been able to impress with free or nearly free events that made the perfect birthday gift.  This year I struggled.  We’d been working a lot and needed a complete retreat from work, noise, people; city life.  Tofino offers all that and is our favourite place. To my joy I found a room at the Wickaninnish Inn available. It was like a miracle that felt perfect as soon as it was booked.  It's hard to talk about the Wick without talking about wood.  It's everywhere and it's beautiful.  There's a resident woodcarver with a shack down the beach.  You feel part of the forest here.  Birthday morning dawns a perfect Sunday in Tofino and father and daughter are off to kayak to Meares Island, hike the old growth while I spent the morning at the spa.  Every visit there starts with a foot soak in giant copper tubs outside listening to the surf just through the trees.   The Pointe Restaurant at Wickaninnish is a place for special occasions.  It has the most beautiful setting that further blurs the line between the ocean, forest and inn.  Guests have first dibs on the primo seats.  Guests like us. So our evening is spent on the edge of the ocean with the best sunset view in the world.  Champagne primed the pallet for the amuse bouche of curried yellow lentils and raita, both perfect to prime us and ease us into the wine list and menu.

The kitchen was happy to answer our many questions and this menu deserved the questions, it was very interesting.  Potato encrusted oysters were on the menu and so was Fairview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc.  Now I happen to know that Bill Eggert made that wine for oysters so some decisions were almost made for me and I was happy with the results.

For a main course the combination of sockeye salmon with glazed eggplant and oysters and compressed apple pear was something neither David nor I could resist and it didn’t disappoint.

Rachel had the halibut with a raita and potato gnocchi and gave it a big thumbs up.  Pronounced the best halibut tasted this year.

The cheese selection, much like the wine has been given a lot of thought and really is impressive.   We had the most beautifully presented cheese plate I’ve ever seen.   Chef Nicholas Nutting has the knowledge and creativity to make the most of the bounty available to him.   The Wickaninnish and The Pointe aren’t for the faint of wallet but it is magnificent.    If you want to get away from hectic and need  a chance to focus on life Tofino is a great place to go and The Wickaninnish Inn is near perfection.

A special thank you to Angel in the spa and Jason who helped make our dinner evening so much fun.  I can't wait to go  back.