Going to Kelowna in September. Any recommendations for some good local chow? We'll be on an expense account, so any price range is good. Thanks bunches!!
Kelowna (one of the most beautiful places on earth) is also British Columbia's wine country. In particular Ice Wine. The best of which is not cheap, like US $40 to 50 and worth it when comparing to excellent Austrian and German. You should visit a winery, Quail's Gate, Inniskillin, any of a number of them. B. C. also has very good white wine such as chardonnay. To the best of my knowledge there is not a Great restaurant in Kelowna, the closest would be Lumiere 250 miles southwest in Vancouver. (If you go you have to reserve three or four weeks in advance for Friday or Saturday.) But this is a resort area that if you have never been will fall in love with.
I agree with the previous post in that Kelowna is the most beautiful place on earth, but he must not have been lately for the food. The patio at Quail's Gate Winery offers some innovative and well prepared food by Chef Grant De'Montrai and is a must. But even better is the newly opened Fresco which is run by Rodney Butters and his wife who have cooked at some of BC's best restaurants including the Wick in Tofino. As a Vancouverite and someone who has also lived in Kelowna, this is the type of restaurant that my friends and I have driven to Kelowna for the day just for a meal.
I'm in Kelowna now (checking out the food for an article, in fact). Leaving for dinner at Fresco shortly, but I will quickly mention a couple of nice surprises here: the Terrace at Mission Hill Winery, great snacks/light lunch stuff. I had little goat cheese crostini with salt-cured capers and oven-roasted tomatoes--very nice, esp. since I've found otherwise that the missing link in Okanagan food is the bread, which is often terrible. I also had a great meal at the Harvest Golf Club (yes, a golf club)--fantastic halibut with golden beets, pea shoots, pea coulis, and mashed potatoes, plus a salad with duck confit and a good dessert. That said, the best things I've eaten in the Okanagan have been Red Haven peaches from farm stands. They're amazing.
I'll update about Fresco after I've been there!.
In Kelowna try Bouchons Bistro.
In Penticton try Amante Bistro.
Anything else will be a step below?
For the most part, the Okanagan is a tourist trap and its restaurants reflect that fact. If you want reasonable quality food & service, then you have a very large selection. Just be prepared for fine mediocre food.
Bouchons is now on our "must do" list for our annual wine trip to B.C. Amante is a brand new establishment. I am concerned that it will not survive in Penticton. The locals will just not "get it".
For old boys expense account italian, try La Bussola in Kelowna. This used to be a top notch traditional italian family run restaurant, but the original owners seem to have lost the edge and now seem to be simply going through the paces. This used to be on our "must do" list but has fallen off.