advertisement

As Berkeley’s Chez Panisse was to California cuisine, so is Sooke Harbour House to the cuisine of Canada’s West Coast. Sinclair and Frederique Philip’s cozy, art-filled clapboard restaurant is one of the places that first tried to define what local and regional really is—and 35 years after it first opened, is still doing it better than everyone else. Chef Olivier Kienast has recently returned from a sabbatical spent farming and foraging, and is back in the kitchen cooking with renewed energy. Expect creative and complex dishes of locally farmed, fished, and foraged food flavored with exotic combinations of herbs from the vast gardens: eucalyptus-scented crab consommé, house-made sausage, local seaweed, tender little gnocchi with fennel fronds, all paired with an exceptional list of largely BC wines. Note that Sooke Harbour House is located in the small town of Sooke, about a half-hour drive from Victoria, so you may want to book one of its guestrooms for an overnight stay.