Just back from a weekend in Ucluelet/Tofino. We spent the first two nights at the Blackrock Oceanfront resort which was a beautiful place with rooms looking out directly on the ocean. The Wild Pacific Trail is right at your doorstep. For our third night we drove up to Tofino and stayed at the Weigh West Resort....more dated but very convenient. Walking along Chesterman Beach was a highlight. Now for the food....:-). As we arrived quite late on Friday, our only option was the appy menu at the Float Lounge at Blackrock. It apparently shares the same kitchen as the Fetch Restaurant. I'm not sure if it's because we arrived as the kitchen was closing, but our food was served luckwarm. We shared the Duck Confit Poutine, the Pemberton Beef Sliders and the Crispy Calamari. The beef sliders were very tasty but the other two dishes definitely suffered from lack of freshness. The beef sliders did go nicely with some dark chocolate porter ale.
The next night we went to Norwood's for dinner. We shared the Grilled Pacific Octopus and Seared Baja Scallop on Truffle Potato Puree, Sweet Ginger Chili Sauce, Leek Hay and Micro Greens....delicious. The octopus was perfectly tender with a nice char and the scallop (2) was large and beautifully seared. Next up was the Sticky Braised Pemberton Meadows Short Rib with Kennebec Fries. These were very tender but perhaps a bit too sweet for our tastes. Finally, we shared the catch of the day which was a prociutto wrapped ling cod with a quinoa side. This was well executed but maybe ling cod is just not my favorite fish as I was a little underwhelmed with the dish. For dessert we headed back to Fetch and had the bread pudding with Bourbon sauce and pecans...quite nice.
The next day we headed up to Tofino. I debated between lunch at Tacofino or SOBO. As Tacofino is here in Vancouver now (haven't had a chance to try them yet though), we opted to go to SOBO. We had the signature polenta fries which was perfectly crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. We also had the special beef brisket sandwich (wasn't keen on the flavoring for the bisket) and the killer fish tacos. I remember having fish tacos from the Feastro truck on the sunshine coast last year and unfortunately, the one here at SOBO paled in comparison....too much chopped up fruit I thought . For dinner, we went to the Spotted Bear Bistro. We shared the tuna tartare appetizer which was served in a jar with an avacado cream puree on top. The tartare was perfectly seasoned. It had a hint of anchovy flavouring which might have come from some Vietnamese fish sauce. It was delicious served with some toasted baguette slices. Next up we had the shepherd's pie made with slow-cooked lamb shoulder, creamed peas and a mashed potato topping....best I've had in long time!! We also had the pasta which was the slow cooked beef short ribs with tomato chillies, arugula, pappardelle and fresh grana padano. I didn't enjoy the flavors here....pappardelle too thick and sauce too runny. The banana bread pudding french toast for dessert was delicious though. I believe this is also on their brunch menu.
Was tempted to go out on a wild mushroom forage as I've heard the area is prime for chanterelles and pine mushrooms.....alas, not enough time and I'm not so confident of my mushroom identification skills!!
Spotted Bear Bistro
120 Fourth, Tofino, BC V0R2Z0, CA
Thanks for the report!
We loved Norwood's as well and are looking forward to returning given the chance...
Too bad you missed out on dinner at Fetch, it was just as good as Norwood's I thought...in fact after eating dinner there we also decided to eat brunch and lunch there on two separate days - all equally delicious!
Not much for Chanterelles in that 'hood and it's easy to get lost without a GPS-the weather hasn't been prime for Pines and that's putting it mildly.
Haven't eaten in @ Black Rock but have eaten their catered products-outstanding in every way.
Too bad you missed the Floathouse-food isn't exceptional but the atmosphere is 100% WCVI-eh!?
re: Sam Salmon
I was in the same locale from Thanksgiving Week-end until Oct 24th. I usually pick up my chanterelles from Beaches Grocery in the same parking lot as Tacofino but only once, just before we left, did I locate them. We had good weather but all the rain prior to our arrival may have made it tough on the pickers. Nevertheless, I fried what I could find and they were delicious.
We returned to Edmonton yesterday and I miss the area already....................
re: Bob Mac
Bob Mac, I look forward to reading your posts each year. I did follow your advise and hit the Beaches Grocery on our last day. They did have lovely looking chanterelles at $10.99/lb picked by local pickers, they said. Alas, we had no kitchen at Weigh West. Black Rock had a full kitchen and they would have been great pan fried in the morning if we had them a few days earlier!!! Next time....:-)