Sunday, 29 July 2012

Inlets Restaurant at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge: Cozy, casual and comforting

Inlets Restaurant

6649 Maple Road, Egmont, B.C.

Canada, V0N 1N0

Yumminess: 4/5

Service: 2.5/5

Atmosphere: 3.5/5

Locavore approved? No (I asked where ingredients came from at each meal and, from the sounds of it, ingredients are ordered from wholesalers.  I was especially disappointed to learn that even the fish came in from elsewhere, as I was looking out at the ocean from our table!)

As I mentioned in my previous post about our stay at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge (WCWL), we purchase a package that included two breakfasts and a dinner at Inlets Restaurant located in the main lodge.  If you decide to stay at the WCWL (which I highly recommend you do!), I strongly suggest purchasing a similar package, as the little town of Egmont really does not have a lot in the way of dining options.  The closest place that you could find other restaurants is in Sechelt, which is almost an hour away.  Doable for dinner, but you may not want to drive that far for breakfast!

And breakfast at the WCWL is not to be missed.  While the chef has not thought too far out of the box in designing his menu, which includes only 5-6 items, one must give him his due for his execition of your standard breakfast.  My husband is what I would refer to as a "breakfast purist". Even at the most creative of breakfast/brunch spots, he often orders his same old breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.  "Borrrinng", I always say.  So the joke was on me on our first morning after our kayaing when, starving from a morning of activity and not seeing anything else that really caught my eye, I ordered the Two "Eggs Cooked To Your Liking", which included two eggs (yes, you guessed it, cooked any way you like), toast (multigrain or sourdough), potato hash and a few small pieces of fruit garnish.  It also came with a choice of bacon, ham or sausage.  I ordered my eggs poached, which I especially enjoyed the second day when they were cooked to perfection with a nice runny yolk.  The toast was nice and served with a wide assortment of jams (wish they had been made with local fruit, would be a nice touch!) and peanut butter (this got them big bonus points from me!).  But it was the potatoes that led me to order the exact same breakfast the second day, despite their being Hemp Heart Granola on the menu.  My husband and I both agreed that these were the BEST breakfast potatoes EVER.  They were seasoned to perfection and came tossed with some red and green onion to add another flavor element.  You really cannot afford to miss out on these!!!


As for dinner at the lodge, it is again quite a limited menu (5-6 appies, 5 entrees, and a few desserts) and I was quite surprised that no vegetarian option was offerered.  Not only that, but, at this oceanfront lodge which no doubt has access to a bounty of fresh seafood, there was but one fish entree, a salmon dish which was my pick for the evening.  It was a cedar plank salmon, with a very nice Asian-style topping served with coconut rice and very nice steamed vegetables which was quite enjoyable.  To start, I had the "seasonal salad", topped with berries and a yogurt dressing.  I have two criticisms- imported berries when they could have so easily been local (it is berry season!) and it was overdressed with an oerly sweet dressing.

My husband chose to start with a seared tuna appetizer served with a wasabi aioli.  I had a few pieces of the tuna and must say that it was quite well executed.  Perhaps the most sophisticated plate of the evening.  He then had the burger (sorry, forgot to take a pic!), which was quite large and well dressed and, in being the burger connaisseur that he is, I trust his judgement that this was a pretty good burger.  It came with either a soup or salad (he made the mistake of choosing the same salad I had which he did not like at all), but I overheard from other tables that the soup was quite good (a red pepper cream soup that particular night). 

The atmosphere at Inlets was quite nice, mostly because of the view of the ocean that is easily seen from most tables in the room.  The decor of the room itself is quite rustic but works well with the overall vibe of the WCWL. 

As for the service, this was certainly a little "off" at everyone of our 3 meals.  The servers, while very friedly, always seemed slightly frenzied.  Also, service at dinner was exceptionally slow.  

In my opinion, Inlets Restaurants is a but "confused" and has to decide exactly what it is going for.  It seems as though they are striving for this to be a fine dining establishment but right now, it comes across more as a casual and cozy family restaurant.  Either one would be fine, but they have to choose one or the other and confidently proceed as such and not pretend to be what they are not.  But whatever you do, please don't get rid of those breakfast potatoes!!!


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