Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Extra Special Bitter

Roadside recharge.

Excellent "Cajun" salmon jerky at the bizarre Old Country Market in Coombs. Peter asked if they had any salmon jerky that wasn't sweet, and they pointed at this. (Always a challenge to find jerky of any kind that won't give you diabetes.)

How could I resist? From New Brunswick and a total score. 

Her Majesty, Cathedral Grove.

FINALLY! Found these at a gas station in Port Alberni. I'd been dying to try them but the only way to get them in the US is by trading a firstborn, and I haven't had one of those handy. 

Anyway, over the last 25 years I forgot that Ruffles have the appeal of freeze-dried ice cream, or something else one might eat in space. All-Dressed is like cheddar and sour cream chips coated with barbecue dust and vinegar crystals. These would be crack to people who like ketchup, whoever they are.

Tofino, at long last. 

Dinner at Pointe in The Wickaninnish. We were early and had a couple snacks in the bar, along with a Tofino Brewing Company Pale Ale and a mean pour of Blue Mountain bubbles from the Okanagan. 

Fish fritters with a kiddy cup of mayonnaise and some hot sauce they ferment here. The condiments were delicious; the fritters were not. The spell of permanent youth lends cake batter and cookie dough their charms, but nobody has ever admired a medium-rare fritter. 

Forgot to photograph this easily forgettable halibut ceviche, which was basically what you'd get if you ordered halibut ceviche through room service at an airport hotel in, like, Ras al-Khaimah. The fish had been cured into latex, and a dozen halved grape tomatoes lent it a sassy-lady-on-a-diet aesthetic. It tasted like microwaved shakshouka made with egg whites.

The dining room is made for storm-watching.


German potato salad with corned veal and dill oil. Amusing bouches right and left. Why were we eating this? Very random. 

Local trout crudo with (terrific) pickled rhubarb. Oh, I had trouble with this guy. The sauce was snotty and viscous, as if thickened with natto. I ate mine  on bread, which I'm sure further convinced the staff that I'm an idiot. (Because I also ordered a bottle of Verdicchio Marchigiano from the mostly Canadian list.) 

Black cod with green strawberry purée and horseradish crème fraîche.  

Before and after Peter salted the albacore tartare. Desecrated with such elegance! 

Mushroom parfait (oyster mushrooms ruined by a truffle oil "emulsion") overwhelmed the albacore. Mushroom pappadum-thing on top. Black garlic sauce and dabs of hemlock aioli. 

More bread because hunger. 

Then some real food arrived. Tofino salmon. 


The watercress purée was so heavily spiked with white pepper, I thought it tasted like spit. The salmon was good but Peter makes it a million times better. Mashed potatoes filled the void where potato chips languished.  

We were technically done by now, but still peckish. Ordered the non-local scallops from Quadra Island because our server was very enthusiastic about them. They came with a pointless uni emulsion- the uni is from Digby Island. 

She offered to split the plate- we didn't ask for this- but she didn't mention the surcharge.

And that is a major gripe of mine. Not punishable with death by bad tipping; just irksome. When you're willing to shell out cash for good food, it doesn't mean you don't know the value of good money. So... I didn't suffer the usual guilt of  leaving anything uneaten, and I didn't finish the chocolate thing they presented with the bill. 

We had quick tastes of two WA rosés back in the room, just to wash away the memory of the weird Unsworth Pinot Gris I ordered at the end of dinner.

It was interesting to re-taste the W.T. Vintners Celilo "Parasol" again after our first encounter with it on day one at Sushi Kashiba. At the time, I thought it was ninja-sharp. Tonight it tasted like unpasteurized sake, and Peter nailed it by comparing the smell to a peaty Scotch. 

Kerloo's rosé- 100% Grenache- thought I would love this- but, in what is beginning to look like my new bad habit, I did not. 

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