Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Only one Vancouver Island restaurant cracks Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2023

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Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants just announced their 2023 honourees and BC is all over the prestigious list! 

However, of the 18 BC eateries that made this year’s list, Pluvio is the only one representing Vancouver Island.

Nestled in Ucluelet, Pluvio restaurant + rooms is a true gem and this isn’t the first time their dining room’s culinary prowess has been recognized. This year they made #33 on the list, where in 2022, they found themselves positioned at #37.

Husband and wife duo, Warren Barr and Lily Verney-Downey, opened Pluvio in April of 2019 and instantly made a name for themselves. 

The Sous Chef of Pluvio is Victoria expat Kevin Griffiths, who is a well known musician and used to be the frontman of local indie-rockers Saltwater Cowboy until he got the job in Ucluelet and had to quit the band.


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Barr is the brains in the kitchen and he makes sure to use “hyper-seasonal” ingredients in a menu that is constantly changing depending on what is available locally. 

Everything is foraged and farmed nearby, including Pluvios citruses and truffles. Patrons can expect dishes such as tuna lettuce wraps with charred cucumber made with local finger lime, crispy potato, lime-leaf emulsion and preserved vegetables. 

Past menus have also included grilled grass-fed boneless beef short rib with cheesy beef pie, caramelized onion, chewy beets and kvass jus.

According to food reviewer Alex Chen, Pluvio’s overnight guests always get priority for reservations in the dining room, but if one can, Chef Barr’s chef’s table is the best spot in the house to experience a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience. 

Poached sablefish, charred leek, miso relish, horseradish cream (Pluvio)

“The best representation of our coast. A sense of place and beautiful food,” said Chen.

The #1 restaurant in Canada in 2023 on this list was Mon Lapin in Montreal, Quebec. 

The other BC eateries included on the list this year were:

  • #3 – Published on Main (last year they were #1)
  • #6 – St. Lawrence 
  • #9 – AnnaLena 
  • #10 – Kissa Tanto 
  • #20 – Hawksworth 
  • #27 – L’Abattoir 
  • #43 – Boulevard 
  • #44 – Mott 32 
  • #51 – Oca Pastificio
  • #52 – Masayoshi 
  • #54 – Bearfoot Bistro 
  • #66 – Wild Blue 
  • #69 – Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill 
  • #71 – Tojo’s 
  • #73 – Maenam 
  • #79 – Burdock & Co. 
  • #92 – La Quercia 

You can view the entire list here

Is there any other Vancouver Island restaurant you think should have made the Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list? Let us know in the comments!

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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