Last weekend, I headed over to the Sunshine Coast with a couple of girlfriends that I’ve known since I was only 6 years old. We grew up together in the small Northern town of Terrace, BC, and were going to visit another great friend of ours for a baby shower and meet her 3-week old sweet little girl. We managed to find an idyllic cottage to stay in for a couple of nights, and on the last evening of our visit, we were determined to find some decent food for dinner.
Venturing out on a Sunday evening in the town of Gibsons, BC, we thought we’d be able to easily find a restaurant that would be able to seat us. After trying to get into everything from Smitty’s Oyster House (service at the entrance was terrible) to Sweetwater Bistro to Sushi Nagomi (which felt too hot and didn’t have any windows on such a beautiful evening), we made our way over to the fine dining Chasters Restaurants in the Bonniebrook Lodge. This was based on a recommendation by the gracious host at Sweetwater (definitely a quaint little bistro that I would love to visit on my next trip over).
Upon arrival, we wandered up the staircase and onto the large, beautiful patio overlooking the ocean, where we were seated in a corner to the front. It was still quite warm out at 7 PM, and there was an umbrella keeping us mostly in the shade for the majority of our meal. The three of us settled in and ordered a couple of glasses of wine while listening to our server, who also appeared to be the owner, tell us more about the menu and the daily specials. The food all looked so divine, and we definitely all had a bit of indecision over what choices to make.
We started off our meal with warm bread, served with a roasted red pepper tapenade and I knew immediately upon hearing the description that I had to try the soup special of the day.
It was a mushroom soup, topped with creme fraiche and truffle oil – it sounded rich and heavenly, and like a perfect start to my meal. Although that almost seemed like enough to fill me up (well, at least temporarily), it was only the beginning…
As the three of us continued to catch up on each other’s lives (they both live in Victoria and we don’t see each other often enough), our entrees were brought to the table. Starting with mine, the seafood trio, with luscious scallops, Atlantic salmon, and cod. This was all served over a delicious saffron orzo, with snap peas, asparagus, seasonal carrot puree, and a shellfish bique.
One of my girlfriend’s was craving iron, so she decided to go with the 6 ounce Char-grilled AAA Beef Tenderloin steak. It was served with a multi-layered potato pave, asparagus, the seasonal carrot puree (which we both loved), and a red wine jus. Based on the sounds of approval that everyone made during the meal, I’d have to say each dish was an overall success! Plus, I didn’t manage to sneak in a couple of tastes as well.
Last of all, my other girlfriend had the Honey Glazed Duck Breast. This looked divine, as it was topped with fresh raspberries and blueberries, and also came with the potato pave, snap peas, and asparagus, along with a celeriac puree and spiced berry jus. The owner told us that it may just be one of the best dishes that she could ever eat, and although I didn’t taste any myself, my friend did say that she couldn’t really argue with that description!
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience, and were well sated when heading back to our cottage at Swallow Hill. Once there we had some licorice root tea and went to bed early with our stomachs pleasantly filled. Next time I head over to the Sunshine Coast, I definitely want to check out the rooms at Bonniebrook Lodge as well!