SEASONAL, REGIONAL COOKING doesn’t get much closer to the source than this. Many of the restaurant’s ingredients are harvested from the property’s kitchen gardens and the surrounding Carolinian forest. Chef Jason Bangerter’s terroir-driven cuisine isn’t dogmatic, though, and B.C. sablefish is more than happy to partner with a velouté infused with the restaurant’s own geranium and lemongrass. Classically rooted cooking transforms even the humblest vegetables into items of desire. Sauces and soups in particular are beautifully judged. The dining room is all pressed linens, polished crystal and benevolent professionalism. The drama’s on the plate. A moss-kissed planter arrives billowing dry ice smoke; a warm, savoury broth is poured from a hand-hewn carafe sporting a bouquet of herbs, branches and aromatic pines. A single spear of asparagus sits on a plate that echoes its colour, decorated with squid ink–dyed mayonnaise, citrus herbs and Gem marigolds. Menus change several times a year and subtler changes may occur weekly, but the truffle soup is almost always available. Dense with puréed mushrooms and truffle oil topped with truffle foam, it makes a strong case for culinary maximalism. Wine pairings, directed by Faye MacLachlan, are exceptionally well executed — facilitated by the vast cellar.
Photos: Colin Faulkner