The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn

November 13, 2011 


The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn PO 250 Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 Telephone: 800-333-4604 Web: | Facebook | Twitter


The People


Charles McDiarmid, Managing Director
Warren Barr, Executive Chef
David Sider, Restaurant Chef
Jamie Wilson, Sous Chef
Martin Dean, Junior Sous Chef
Adrian Gatt, Food & Beverage Administration Manager
Daniel Vogel Food and Beverage Service Manager

About The Pointe Restaurant

Wickaninnish Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property since 1997, overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a rocky point on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast, near the eclectic town of Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park. Two contemporary cedar buildings, set against a backdrop of ancient rainforest, boast an extensive local art collection (complemented by the neighbouring wood carving shed), and all rooms and suites offer ocean or beach views, gas fireplace, soaker tub and individual balcony. Uncompromising service, including a Clefs d’Or Concierge team, is a standard. The sole resort on Chesterman Beach, Tofino’s longest at 2.5km/1.5mi, the Inn is home to naturally-inspired treatments at its intimate Ancient Cedars Spa and refined West Coast cuisine at award-winning The Pointe Restaurant. Surveying the panoramic vistas from the westernmost point of Tofino’s idyllic Chesterman Beach, The Pointe Restaurant’s inspired West Coast cuisine and attentive service come gift-wrapped with 240 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, surrounding islands and wildlife. Much of the fresh seafood is fished from the very waters overlooked by The Pointe, and a longstanding focus on locally sourced,  high quality ingredients is evident. Dinner is offered on a seasonal à la carte menu, but for the best of the best, try Chef Warren Barr’s weekly tasting menu. Daily brunch is a true treat and a favourite with local Tofitians. Out of the ordinary desserts reflect an innovative Pastry program where most everything – from bread to butter to scrumptious chocolate croissants are house made. An extensive wine list, recognized yearly by Wine Spectator magazine, showcases BC’s finest selections with a broad range of international bottlings.  Over 100 Scotch Whiskies and a creative cocktail menu can be savoured in the comfortable On the Rocks Lounge. A true taste of Rustic Elegance On Nature’s Edge – and the West Coast’s best views – are on the menu at Wickaninnish Inn and The Pointe Restaurant.


Member, Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Best Resort Dining Wine Spectator, Best of Award of Excellence (July 2011) Travel + Leisure Magazine, T+L World’s Best Awards, #1 in Canada 91.67 Andrew Harper’s Reader’s Survey, #7 International Hideaway out of 1,000 Inns (October 2011) Sunday Times Travel (London Times), 100 Best Hotels in the World, #1 in North America (October 2011)


A Weekend At The Wickaninnish, Or “How To Slow Down In 3 Days”

I’ve put together a short video of our recent trip up to The Wickaninnish Inn (watch above). We were there for the annual food and wine festival, an event that I’ve been likening to the sort of fun you’d expect hobbits to get up to by virtue of its leafy, outdoors location and its complete absence of pretense and formality. Joie, Prospect, Nichol, Burrowing Owl, Elephant Island and many other BC wineries were in attendance, plus some great breweries like VI and Longwood out of Nanaimo, as well as Sidney’s Sea Cider ciderhouse (all thirsts suitably quenched). The booth fare was the best that I can recall.

The Wick, as per usual, made for a flawless stay. We had the good fortune of dining at The Pointe restaurant two evenings in a row (including a Road 13 winemaker’s dinner). It had been over two years since I’d eaten here, and on this trip I felt more familiar with the restaurant than ever before. I was also able to spend some time getting to know the two chefs. I’d been corresponding with executive chef John Waller and restaurant chef Nick Nutting for the past eight months as they are part of the Island contingent for the Chefs’ Table Society’s new cookbook (finished and soon to be printed!). As a consequence of these exchanges, I’ve had the ever-frustrating honour of having to salivate over their always creative recipes, and left very much pining for a food-centric Tofitian sojourn.

I wasn’t disappointed. Their cooking was mature and calculating (phenomenal saddle of lamb with natural jus and boulangere potato); obviously confident even when delicate (hot smoked arctic char wading contentedly in a shallow pool of elephant garlic soup, emboldened with beurre noisette and flashes of hazelnut); and grounded in but not imprisoned by the region (citrus-blasted rockfish ceviche with fresh rhubarb and orange). All top drawer. as talent was a test these boys never had to take.

View an interview with them below:

The Wickaninnish Chefs

We stayed pretty close to the Inn for most of the weekend. Visits to SOBO and the skatepark were our only real adventures out aside from the food and wine festival and beachcombing.

It was nice to have a holiday (sans kids), however short it may have been. Sigh…