(Pluvio restaurant + rooms/Instagram)

Air Canada has just unveiled their list of Canada’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants for 2019, and two of them may look familiar to Vancouver Islanders!

Ucluelet’s Pluvio placed number 4 in the rankings, while Nowhere *a restaurant in Victoria earned the number 5 spot on their list.

See also: 3 Vancouver Island eateries listed among contenders for top 10 best new restaurants in Canada

To come up with nominees for this prestigious annual ranking,  Air Canada sent one writer on a month long cross-Canada anonymous dining expedition based on the recommendations of a diverse new panel of food experts.

“Air Canada is proud to champion Canada’s innovative food and drink scene for the 18th year running,” says Andy Shibata, Managing Director, Brand, Air Canada.

“By celebrating the diverse culinary creativity on display across Canada, we are sharing unique experiences with both Canadians and an international audience while helping them to explore the country.”

Here’s what the food critic had to say about the two new Vancouver Island finds:

Pluvio restaurant + rooms (Ucluelet): Glowing Douglas-fir tables made from the same tree, rock candles and rustic earthenware set the tone in this west-coast dining room.

Thanks to the chef’s Wickaninnish Inn pedigree, expect to see local ingredients elevated in dishes like fermented strawberries paired with miso-glazed foie gras and shortbread.

Nowhere * a restaurant (Victoria): Mind-boggling food is coming out of Nowhere, a spot hidden inside an urban mini-mall’s courtyard.

The menu is all about sustainable seafood and plant-forward dishes from rockfish with morels, sea asparagus and green garlic to eggplant- and cheese-stuffed mezzaluna pasta to a swoon-worthy pork ragù.

Back in August, Air Canada released a list of nominees for its annual ‘Best New Restaurant’ list. It featured a third island establishment – House of Boateng in Victoria – which didn’t make the cut for the final list.

Here’s the full list of top 10 Best New Restaurants in Canada:

  1. ARVI – Quebec City, QC
  2. Como Taperia – Vancouver, BC
  3. Donna’s – Toronto, ON
  4. Pluvio – Ucluelet, BC
  5. Nowhere *a restaurant – Victoria, BC
  6. Dreyfus – Toronto, ON
  7. Wayfarer Oyster House – Whitehorse, YT
  8. Pastel – Montreal, QC
  9. Dispatch – St. Catharines, ON
  10. Ten – Toronto, ON