After the visit to Coastal Black Estate Winery, we cruised back to Courtenay to drop off some stuff and look for dinner. Of course, I was all over that and suggested Locals, a restaurant whose recipe and ad I had seen in one of the tourism guides. Really, those things are ingenious and helps with decision making immensely.
From the exterior, it’s located in the corner of a small mall, and really doesn’t look like much.. which is always a good sign. I always appreciate restaurants who not only have a site (Locals Restaurant), but also their menus online. It allows me to double check what was ordered cause I never write things down..and get around to posting much later.
Fanny Bay (looks too small to be Fanny Bay, I think they’re Cortes Island) Oysters with tomato salsa to start off the meal.
Bread and home made vegetable spread. I would have preferred butter, but this was just fine. In fact, John and I were so hungry that we finished two baskets before our food came out.
Along with the regular menu, Locals also does a seasonal market set menu that is not only cheaper than the $38 restaurants during Dine Out Vancouver, but much better in terms of quality vs price. Since we went at the end of May, this was the menu that we had. John and I ordered off this, while my sister and mom ordered from the regular menu. Regular menu items will have a price at the end of the items name.
TRADITIONAL OYSTER SOUP
Creamy Fanny Bay Oysters simmered w/ fresh garden chive & diced potatoes
Too seafood-y as my sister said, but they’re oysters..I enjoyed it, very hearty and somewhat thick like a chowder.
ESTEVAN TUNA CARPACCIO
Thinly sliced Albacore Tuna loin served w/ extra virgin olive oil, pickled onions, capers, arugula & shaved Natural Pastures firm cheese
SHRIMP AND CRAB STACK $15
Layered with short grain sticky rice, Eatmore Sprouts greens, Nature Springs wasabi aïoli, pickled ginger & toasted Sesame seeds
Looks great visually, but I feel that’s where it stops. Combination of ingredients works well, but getting down to eating it was messy as it fell apart, leaving you with more rice or less shrimp, depending on your luck. I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter as it all ends up in the same place…
COAL CREEK FARM DUCK $29
Pan seared cracked black peppercorn crusted duck breast served w/ Manitoba wild rice & potato cakes, homemade grape jelly & red wine sauce
Oh gawwwd duck. I’m not a big fan of the Asian methods of preparing duck, and it’s uncommon to see duck offered in most Western restaurants, so my sister and I persuaded my mom into ordering this. When asked if she wanted it medium rare, she seemed petrified. Duck? Pink?! No way. Actually, I didn’t know that duck could be served up medium rare either, but apparently even pork is okay pink.
ISLAND BISON MEATBALLS
Pan seared homemade bison meatballs & local mushrooms tossed with Pappardelle pasta in a fresh rosemary sauce, finished with white truffle oil
So good it needs two pictures. It was also my meal, so I can comment a bit more on it. Hand rolled bison meatballs that basically disintegrated in your mouth, combined with the thick pasta swimming in a creamy gamey sauce.. seriously, insane. A dish I will remember for quite some while.
LONG LINE LINGCOD FILLET
Charbroiled fresh Vancouver Island lingcod fillet, served on wild rice & potato cakes w/ organic wilted kale & fresh basil carrot coulis
ISLAND BISON TOURNEDOS $29
Charbroiled local bison tenderloin wrapped with double smoked Tannadice Farms bacon, served on braised French lentils w/ caramelized onion and lavender confit
Both these desserts took a while to come out, but I suspect it was the pie that caused the delay.
DARK CHOCOLATE & AMARETTO CAKE
Served with raspberry coulis
STONEY BOGS RED RHUBARB PIE
Seasonal rhubarb & strawberry short crust pie served w/ Hot Chocolate’s lavendar gelato
Instead of mints or candies at the end of the meal, they gave us chocolate squares with a filling inside.. can’t remember, but it sure reminded me of the Kalamansi Explosions from La Belle Auberge that I had at the 1st Annual Vancouver Foodie Feast.
Amazing food, I highly recommend if you’re on the Island and in the Comox Valley.