Believe the hype: there’s a reason this Cordova Bay eatery has a sterling reputation.
A visit to Beach House Restaurant, with its stunning ocean views, may just have you believing that you’re on a cruise ship! That’s just how close visitors are to the Pacific Ocean when dining at this spectacular venue in Cordova Bay. Both Beach House Restaurant and Beach House Events have garnered a reputation, not only for their outstanding food and service, but also for the fantastic vista their location affords.
Locals will remember this venue as the former McMorran’s Restaurant, which was sold to current owner Kate Phoenix in 2010. After extensive renovations, which included all new kitchens, windows, roof and walls, and exquisite decor, the restaurant reopened as The Beach House in July 2011. It has become a favourite destination with locals and visitors alike, and pays tribute to its West Coast roots and local history. With a wide variety of foods to tantalize your taste buds, Beach House offers something for every palate, from tempting appetizers and salads to pasta, pizza, various meat and vegetarian options, and of course, seafood!
Phoenix describes the Beach House team as very creative and explains that they “adjust the menus regularly to take advantage of what ingredients are available.” She describes the menu as “fluid and flexible,” noting “we would not be a restaurant that is always the same.” For the customer, this makes for an experience that will be different and unique each time they visit.
We were excited to try some of the new fall drink specials, and these did not disappoint. Just in time for the holiday season is the Nutcracker Martini, with its overtones of almond and Irish cream. The Lemon Crown Martini, made with local Empress Gin, is enticing both in appearance and taste. In addition, the Beach House offers a wide selection of cocktails, beers, ales, and wines to accompany any culinary experience.
We sampled features from the Beach House appetizer menu; both the seafood salad and vegetarian gyozas provided an amazing start to our dinner. The seafood salad showcases prawns, sockeye fillet, and scallops, and is beautifully presented with greens and a tasty Dijon vinaigrette dressing. The vegetarian gyozas—dumplings stuffed with mushrooms, celery, and carrot—are accompanied by a tasty ponzu sauce and are perfect for sharing.
Phoenix was excited to share her thoughts about the new fall menu: “We have a Thai chef downstairs creating pad Thai and a very nice green curry. We are very proud of our thin crust pizzas made with our own dough created by our pastry chefs and cooked in our fancy Italian pizza oven. Our saucier chef braises all of our ribs and they fall off the bone. The veggie gyoza and shu mai dumplings are cozy appetizers on a chilly day made for us by our events chefs. We get ramen noodles from Vancouver and make a delicious laksa bowl inspired by one of our chefs who worked in Singapore.”
We decided to sample both the coq au vin blanc and the crispy buttermilk chicken burger for our mains. The coq au vin blanc features chicken thighs braised with bacon and onion in a white wine cream sauce, accompanied by potatoes and market vegetables. Beautiful in its presentation, this dish is as tasty as it looks and is the perfect selection for a fall or winter evening. The crispy buttermilk chicken burger, served with a chipotle aioli, is a menu favourite and suits a larger appetite, as it is accompanied with a mountain of fries.
We couldn’t resist the temptation to try some of the famous Beach House desserts, which are tasty and visually stunning. A terrific palate pleaser is the pumpkin cheesecake, topped with homemade candied brittle and drizzled with caramel sauce. Also ideal for this season is the apple tart, beautifully presented and topped with both caramel sauce and whipped cream. All desserts are made in-house by the talented pastry chef, so be sure to leave room for one of these creations.
The warm and welcoming ambiance at the Beach House also comes through via its engaging and friendly staff who go out of their way to make your visit the best it can be. “When we hire, we really focus on stressing the team aspect of what we do here and insist on constant kindness and respect for each other,” says Phoenix.
All in all, it is hard to beat the experience you’ll find at the Beach House— between the stunning views, the cozy atmosphere, hearty menu items, and friendly staff, this is a place you have to put at the top of your bucket list.