Best Vancouver Island 2012
May 1, 2012
GOLD: SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE
Silver: The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn | Bronze: Stone Soup Inn | Honourable Mentions: Amusé Bistro & Sobo
Local, regional, sustainable—Sinclair and Frédérique Philip began the mantra, and they still hold fast to their principles. It’s impossible to top Sooke’s worship of surroundings in that oceanside room. Pork and rabbit from nearby farms, toothsome Dungeness crab, and extraordinary salads and vegetables from the garden—the Philips offer the total package of intelligence, commitment, and artistry. The Wickaninnish’s rustic, elegant Pointe (Silver) also speaks exquisitely to its place, said our judges. And chef Nick Nutting “shows continued strength and confidence, with a cooking style that never overpowers or is overly precious.” Stone Soup (Bronze) runs the Cowichan Valley gamut with brilliantly seasonal farmhouse dinners Thursday to Saturday; dedicated forager and chef Brock Windsor crafts hyper-regional menus paired with wines from grapes and other varietals grown locally. Honourable Mentions to Amusé Bistro (new and bigger digs at Unsworth Vineyards will give chef Brad Boisvert more space in the garden and the kitchen to work his local-ingredients voodoo) and Sobo, a temple to sustainable bohemian sophistication.