Air Canada 'best new restaurants' list names eateries in Victoria, Langford and Ucluelet
Dishes from House of Boateng in Langford, Nowhere A Restaurant in Victoria and Pluvio in Ucluelet are shown. (Air Canada)
A trio of Vancouver Island restaurants has cracked a list of the best new restaurants in the country released by Air Canada.
The airline compiled a longlist of 35 of the most exciting new restaurants after visiting 17 cities across Canada.
Among them is a pair of Capital Region restaurants, House of Boateng in Langford and Nowhere *A Restaurant in Victoria.
House of Boateng at 105-2854 Peatt Road is a café operated by Ghana-born Casto Boateng that features brunch fare with a West African twist.
The write-up on Air Canada's list describes it as having a "welcoming, global tone" where diners can find "African donuts, an outrageously delicious plate of crispy pork belly and fried plaintains."
The list recommends topping off their meal with a daily cocktail. "For us, a herbaceous fir-tip lemonade-and-bubbly called Hippie Mimosa."
The unusually named Nowhere *A Restaurant, tucked away in the plaza at 1001 Douglas Street in Victoria, was also named to the list and praised for under-promising and over-delivering on its food, which includes a fresh egg yolk angel hair pasta, wagyu chuck and stuffed caciocavallo ravioli.
"The intense scent of Northstar Organics strawberries wafts up from goat-milk-ricotta-stuffed ravioli drizzled with 25-year-old Venturi-Schulze balsamic, followed by rockfish with morels, sea asparagus and green garlic," the write-up says, "making you feel this province has everything you need to be happy."
The restaurant acknowledged being named to the list in a post to Instagram Thursday morning.
"So this is totally crazy and overwhelming for us but we made the list of Air Canada's best new restaurants and are in the running for the best new restaurant in the whole country!" staff wrote.
Ucluelet's Pluvio rounded out the three Vancouver Island restaurants chosen.
Headed up by chef Warren Barr, the small restaurant and open kitchen on Peninsula Road focuses on seasonal and wild-foraged ingredients from nearby forests.
The Air Canada write-up praised the restaurant's contemporary west coast vibe with "rustic earthenware; rock candles and the tables, bar and kitchen counter all made from one Douglas fir."
Writers also fell for cocktails using local Sheringham Distillery gin and the food, which includes "sidestripe shrimp dressed with kosho vinaigrette, kombu-poached halibut and fall-apart-tender Cache Creek B.C. short ribs glistening under a spruce and mushroom glaze."
Pluvio also took to social media to celebrate the honour, posting on Instagram that it was "honoured and humbled to be nominated."
Air Canada said it will whittle down the list to a top 10 on Oct. 24.