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Wickaninish Inn, Tofino, Vancouver Island


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Had dinner at the Pointe Restaurant in the Wickaninnish Inn, a Relaix and Chateaux property. The Inn is located near the town of Tofino on the western side of Vancouver Island. We were actually staying in Ucluelet which is a 25 minute drive from the Inn. If you click on the link below and then click on the photo of the resort, you can see the restaurant in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Our waiter said that during the storm season, waves will crash onto the rocks and windows of the restaurant.


The Wickinnanish Inn's website is http://www.wickinn.com/

Chef Jim Garraway's Signature Menu on the night we dined there (and our ratings) was:

Smoked Salmon and Caper Wonton Pouch w/Apricot and Chervil Salsa "outstanding"

Warmed Octopus Antipasto Potato Cannelloni w/Balsamic Syrup, Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Sole and Tiger Prawn Mousse Roulade w/Organic Pea Shoots, Citrus Puree, Sevruga Caviar "would have been great w/just the Sevruga Caviar served. A so-so dish"

Seared Fois Gras w/Apple Fondant, Housemade Duck Prosciutto and Fresh Herbs "outstanding" (but then we have rarely been disappointed by any seared fois gras.)

Saskatoon Berry Ice "WOW" Had never had Saskatoon Berry anything, we loved the flavor

Veal Rack Confit w/Savory Tuile Box, Celery Root Mash, Black Plum Jus "just incredible" The only confit we had ever had was duck. The Veal w/the celery root mash was divine.

Gianduja Mousse w/White Chocolate Espresso Sauce "good"

Jack Daniel's Chocolate Pyramid in a frozen cherry shooter "very good"

The Pointe IMO is a must dine when in the Tofino/Ucluelet area of Vancouver Island.

$90 Canadian, $140 Can w/wine pairings (a glass for each course picked by the chef)

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Glad that you enjoyed your visit to the Wick.

However, we were there last fall and Jim Garroway had as I was told left by then. I am a bit perplexed by your menu references. Did the chef come back?

Their website makes reference to Mike Chevin's "team" that I don't know.

Where did you stay in Ucluelet? We are off there come October.

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However, we were there last fall and Jim Garroway had as I was told left by then.  I am a bit perplexed by your menu references.  Did the chef come back?

Where did you stay in Ucluelet?  We are off there come October.

We stayed at a B&B (modern home) called Ocean’s Edge. It is a good walk outside of Ucluelet, but doable for walking to/from dinner. Bill & Susan are extremely nice. Bill used to be a ranger w/the nearby national park, he (for a fee) will take you on a educational hike (well worthwhile).


I apologize about the confusion, I should have stated that our Pointe dining occurred last summer.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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  • 2 years later...

I haven't been to Wickaninish recently but have been to Long Beach Lodge Resort and have nothing but raves for the experience. The accomodation was spectacular and the food amazing. I had the best Dungeness Crab I have eaten in my entire life and have on good authority (my dining partner) that the rack of lamb was equally good. Also, the fellow I went with had been to Wickininish several times and he is a HUGE convert to the Long Beach Lodge

I plan to go back every opportunity I get and have recommended it to many of my friends

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I was at the Wick in 2002 when Long Beach Lodge had just opened. Though I was there to write about the Wick, I made a point of taking a close look at LBL. There was a palpable energy about the place that really appealed to me. Were I to go there on vacation, I'd book at LBL rather than the Wick.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Now that "Tofino" has headed south to more exotic climes...St. Lucia I think...we have lost of one our "resident" posters on what is happening in and around the area.

We have not stayed at the LBLR but have visted annually, usually for lunch, since it opened. Beautiful physical structure especially in their great room. The view of the surf rolling into Cox Bay is different and soothing from that afforded by the Wick and Chesterman Beach.

Personally I would opt for the Wick [last stayed June of '05, last there for lunch Oct of '05] over the LBLR but to each his own.

Wasn't Lisa Aheir [sp?] the first chef at the LBLR before moving on to SOBO?

Edited by merlin (log)
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Hello from St. Lucia,

Miss you all a ton, but had to weigh in. First let me state that I did use to work at the Wick and love every inch of it (hard to believe an employee of 4 plus years could say that, but all you have to do is visit the Caribbean and you will know what I mean - haha).

Wick is still amazing - Andrew Springett in the kitchen is one of the best in BC, rooms constantly get upgraded, only real Concierges in town (ahem), located on a great beach and with it being the only resort on the beach it is never that busy, even in the height of summer.

Long Beach Lodge is very good! Expect the Wick without all the extra service - if thats what you want. Can't comment on the food, haven't eaten there in a long time, but understand the kitchen was doing a very good job. Beach is smaller than Chesterman's and also hosts Pacific Sands resort (family resort), and a new development called Longboard (could be wrong on this name, but same developer has just purchased the Weigh West Resort). Yes, Lisa Ahier of SOBO fame was the original chef at LBL.

Otherwise the area is still amazing. People visiting this area have to realize that its not just the Wick or LBL - both are different products for different people - nothing wrong with that - its just that as long as you try to compare apples to oranges you will never make sense of it. For a small community such as Tofino, we should all be thrilled that we have as many options as the Wickaninnish Inn, Long Beach Lodge, Pacific Sands Resort, Middle Beach Lodge etc - that all provide something for somebody. As a general rule, if your pocketbook dictates a certain style of accomodation, go with the best you can afford and enjoy it - so much great accomodation and food in one very tiny area - very lucky for all who visit.

Wish I was there for the Food and Wine Festival this weekend. Merlin, great to 'hear' from you - its a wild one down here in St. Lucia!!!

Until next time......


Edited by tofino (log)
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Speaking of Tofino and Wickaninnish, has anyone ever been to the Wickaninnish Restaurant owned by Oak Bay Marine Group. I go fishing once a year with a bunch of guys at the Canadian Princess in Uclulet. We also take their bus over to the restaurant at least once each trip. It is an attempt at fine dining, but nothing seems too adventurous. I enjoyed decent fish and a spectacular view. I would like to try something with a little more pizzaz but I don't think I could convince my fellow fishermen!


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LOL...I apparently "spoke" too soon.

Good to "hear" from you as well Chris and that you are keeping track of thinks going on up here via eGullet

We are back to Tofino come October.

All the best

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We used to go to the Wickanninish Restaurant when we visited the area. Unfortunately now that we usually venture west after Cdn. Thanksgiving it and the adjoining Parks Canada Interpretative Centre are closed.

I fondly recollect the beautiful view and eagles. One nite during dinner we saw an eagle plunge into the ocean sinkings its talons into a fish. It was unable to take flight.

Good thing the foundation is solid as anyone who was not right up to the windows left there seats and came over to watch.

It essentially "swam" over to a rock, pulled its "dinner" up onto the same and ate as we returned to our meals.

Our experience was that the dining was very "hit and miss" but pretty good the last couple of times we were there. Mind you, as you suggested the view is spectacular.

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We usually stop at the Wick. restaurant for lunch when we go to Long Beach. the food is so/so, but the view and the rest (after that drive) are great. Then it's off to Middle Beach Lodge for accomodations and supper at the Wickaninish Inn. Fabulous.

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The great thing about the Wick is that it created competition in the Tofino restaurant scene. I think the food/service/view (if you can get a table before the sun goes down) is great, but these days there is far better value elsewhere. LBL indeed, isn't as fancy, but has a great location and better value food and accomadation. Also, with restaurants like Rain Coast, Shelter and the Schooner (actually a nice restaurant these days and not just the restaurant with the boat), I hardly have time to hit the Wick for any more than a cocktail.

Of note - Sobo in the botanical garden for lunch - catering truck extraordinaire - fantastic food!

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Long Beach Lodge has had it's challenges incorporating into the community there in Tofino.

--------fencing off the beach to all but the paying guests may have contributed greatly to that.-------that and some agressive clear cutting etc.

Beyond local politics however the place is ok. We felt like we were staying in a drywalled, developers rec. room, surrounded by builder (not designer) grade design features and a lot of noise from other rooms in and around our wing of the building.

The best food around there must certainly be at Sobo, although we have been impressed by Shelter a time or two as well. The Wick hosts the only true professional wait staff in the area and it is a very TIGHT ship. I personally would consider going all the way up the peninsula to Ucluelet and stay or eat or both at Tauca Lea. The place is cool, but you can really enjoy a pretty righteus dining experience in their Boat Basin dining room. Quite confidence in there service and food.

---------that said; the region's finest can often be experienced at the Clayoqaut Wilderness Resort when they are operating and our favorite place to stay as a couple has always been the Middle Beach Lodge.

---------if you have a family outing planned, than the Pacific Sands is just brilliant.

----------just my .02CDN worth.

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Last August we had another family event at the Wick. Private dining room. For son's Bar Mitzvah celebration. A long distance Bar Mitzvah indeed with service at Western Wall in Jerusalem a month before.

As previously had inlaw's 50th anniversary dinner in same room several years back, the Wick again did not disappoint. Good food and wine. 40 people.

And "Tofino" (Chris) was our "official photographer", taking great pictures too.

Further update on Pacific Sands - their new "villas" are outstanding. Great accomodation and terrific views of the coast. Very large and spacious. A far cry from the old Pacific Sands which was getting shabby. But villas are expensive. Way more private than Long Beach Lodge but PS continues to lack any dining facilities or bar. Not even breakfast.

In the 13 years of going in August (since marrying into a large family that has been going there for 30 years), Tofino has grown up and offers a range of diining and accomodation that improves every year.

Of note was the appearance of several freelance chefs who would prepare dinner at your accomodations (like the full kitchen in Pacific Sands' villas). An interesting service I might consider if there were fewer of us (30+ each year).

And one other tip. Buy a cheap ($35 cdn) wetsuit at Costco if you are considering entering the water. Otherwise the water is way too cold.

I am looking forward to our August visit, wetsuit in hand.

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We were at the Wick in mid-May for a birthday and it was,

as I recall it from previous visits, superb. I miss the ocean

sounds they used to pump in, though. Can't remember what

we had but it was all great. The kitchen prepared a selection

of desserts in lieu of a birthday cake and it was incredible.

Our waiter confirmed that Sarah McLachlan lives just down

the beach and comes in regularly.

We stayed in the new addition and were pleasantly pleased

they didn't mow down the forest when they built on to it. Love

the new coffee bar on the beach.

Have also stayed and eaten at the Long Beach Lodge; in fact

wrote about it for a big US food mag, with particular emphasis

on Lisa Ahier. When it came out she was gone. Was my face red.

Was bummed that we left early Tuesday and weren't able to

check out Sobo. Next time.

Ate sushi on the deck at Tough City and were disappointed the

quality appeared to have slipped. The views are still fantastic, though.

Have also stayed and eaten at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, twice.

The first time was when they first opened and the chef had just a

fire to cook over (in the tented area). I never knew what incredible

things could be done over an open flame...

I would love to live in Tofino but I hear the real estate would give

Vancouver a run for its money. Sounds like you can live and earn

enough, though, to move to St. Lucia???! I must have missed the

entry that explained Tofino had moved to the Caribbean. What a dream!

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Actually, its not at all what it appears - haha! As most of you know my wife and I were Managers at the Wick, and left there after 4 plus years to try and get into a smaller property. We were hired by a property in St. Lucia to open up a new high end luxury 24 suite property. St. Lucia is stunning and the people are some of the nicest and caring we have ever met!!

However the project is experiencing some delays, and the owners would like us to be involved with both properties now (totalling over 75 rooms - which is the same size as the Wick) and as such have opted to leave and head back to North America. It is a special project here and when it is finished it will be world class, but too big for where we want to be at this stage in our careers.

So we will be returning to Canada in July for parts unknown (if you hear of anyone needing a couple of managers let us know - haha) with no where to live or a car to drive and only fond memories of our time in St. Lucia!

Some of you may have seen the June issue of Edible BC where I did a little article!

Hope all are well, see you all again soon!

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Hey Tofino,

Relax and enjoy the food and wine boom in BC.

There are NO shortages of opportunities here in BC for skilled managers such as yourselves.

Pick a resort or city venue and welcome back to the flock!

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Feedbag you and others will be happy to know that my buddy Dorian Christie (of Acme sushi fame in Nanaimo) is now holding fort at Tough City Sushi - actually it is his first day on friday and this lucky F$%$@$ finally gets out of camp at Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts after 28....15+ hour days in a row!

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