1760 Riverside Lane, Courtenay, Vancouver Island
We arrived: having just flown across to the island from Vancouver, and were keen to fuel up before an afternoon of mountain biking.
We chose here because: it's well known for using Vancouver Island produce, and is in an old heritage building that's a lovingly-restored example of the arts and crafts architecture that marked Courtenay's post WWII expansion.
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Our first impression was: the low ceiling with exposed beams, stained windows and an open fireplace gave Locals a ski lodge feel. We were seated outside, beside wheel burrows filled with flowers, fig trees and a lawn with a couple of black rabbits.
We started with: Comox Valley greek yoghurt with seasonal berries.
The highlight was: a pan-seared fillet of West Coast halibut with shallots and smoked pork belly on baked cheese polenta. The first of many seafood meals on the island.
Dessert was: a rhubarb buttermilk cake with hot chocolate vanilla gelato and oat crumble wafer.
Come here if: worth the ferry or plane over from the mainland for the halibut alone.
The bill: about $300 for seven people, including a 20 per cent tip.