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Eating the Island: Eat Magazine reviews The Pointe Restaurant

EAT magazine's Jeremy Ferguson paid a visit to Tofino and was treated to two of this town's favorite establishments: SOBO, and The Pointe Restaurant. Jeremy knows his way around the area's culinary scene, and his glowing review of The Pointe alludes to his history visiting us here, and the established excellence that Executive Chef Nicholas Nutting serves up each night.

"How could it possible have been so long? The Pointe at the Wick is into its 16th year. It hasn't changed much, still defining rustic elegance, still delivering that wrap around view of the ocean and Chesterman Beach (and the piped-in sounds of eight-meter-high waves crash in from Japan in the winter months).

There are smallish, stylish changes in keeping with the Inn's $2.7 million reno earlier this year: new hand-woven runners from Italy, new tabletops and in a blow for romance, tables for two with both seats facing the ocean. Plus, more tasting menus and a sensible option allowing you to split starters between two choices at no extra charge.

At the stoves is exec chef Nicholas Nutting, a former chef de partie returned with his own sense of contemporary coast cuisine, mostly fish and seafood with inventive preparations and pairings.

Nutting likes marrying silk and satin textures to audible crunch: he pan-fries lingcod and pairs it with prosciutto deep-fried in a spring roll wrapper, a sweet-and-salty, soft-and-crisp riff on surf-and-turf, and it takes right off.

And the tower, good grief, is back: a substantial slab of sablefish arrives under a sprawling mop of micro-greens under an unruly frizzle of deep-fried turnip.

"Outlandish Carbonara" brings a deconstructed pasta - seared Quadra Island scallop sausage, clams and bacon with ink-blackened noodles, a sous-vide egg the binder, to deliver a kick that transcends the sum of its parts.

And pastry chef Matt Wilson has come up with a most seductive dessert based on local coffee guy (Tofino Coffee Co.) Michael Farrow's fine espresso. He delivers a coffee ice cream cake, sets it on a base of Muscovado sugar jelly, crumbles caramelized coffee beans over it and garnished it with biscotti and molecular biscotti foam. Coffee hits you every which way, as jelly, as silky ice cream, as crackling coffee beans - reason enough for coffee aficionados to be trekking to Tofino."

Contributed by EAT magazine, published January 1, 2013

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