Wolf in the Fog is a point of pride in the town of Tofino. Striking up conversation with locals is always one of our favourite travel habits. There were two pieces of advice we heard multiple times. One was to make sure we go surfing while we are in town, and the second was to ensure we ate at Wolf in the Fog. Since our visit was in the midst of storm season, and some of the waves scared me while I was standing on the beach - I opted out of the surfing advice… but I definitely was not going to leave town without checking out Wolf in the Fog.
Apart from being highly recommended from those who know best… in the relatively short amount of time that Wolf in the Fog has been open - it has received an impressive amount of recognition. Apart from being named "Canada's Best New Restaurant 2014" by enRoute Magazine, it also won Gold in the "Best Other Vancouver Island Category" in the 2015 Georgia Straight Golden Plates Readers' Choice Awards. We came super hungry and ready to check out if the food lived up to the hype.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were immediately stoked on the ambience. The upstairs dining room was dimly lit with a sophisticated "comfortable cabin" feel. The kitchen was open and the bar in itself was an art piece. The decor ranged from fine art to more personal pieces - such as the above piece made from broken surfboards. The combination made for such a cool and laid-back vibe. Right around the time we first sat down, the kitchen staff went absolutely crazy banging on pots and acting like someone had just won the lottery. Turns out for $10 on the menu is the option to buy a "Six Pack for the Kitchen". It is what it sounds like… and clearly they appreciate it. Their wild enthusiasm made us ready for our beer!
For the beer - I went with the Hoyne Brewing Company's "Off the Grid" Red Lager. It was so smooth with the perfect amount of hops… I am a new fan! Kris opted for his new-found favourite… Tofino Brewing Company's Blonde Ale. Kris loves a good blonde, and this one is his new obsession. Well played.
We started off with the Tempura Eggplant which was served on Sesame Aioli with Soy & Charred Scallions. The sesame aioli was divine - and the tempura managed a really interesting texture that was soft on the inside, crispy on the outside… and avoided being too oily. A great way to get started!
Kris had been dying for a burger for days… so he was super stoked to see one on the menu. This isn't just any burger though… the beef is locally sourced from Duncan, BC, and the fresh "everything" bun housed the burger patty, tomato, cheddar, bacon, arugula and a house mayo made simply with ketchup, horseradish and mayonnaise. The fries were amazing, but Kris said the burger patty was what really made this such an over-the-top awesome burger. He could definitely taste the difference in the quality of the meat, and he thought the burger was a 10/10.
Now for the fun part. On the menu is an intriguing entree, known simply as "Green Soul". It is the vegetarian dish of the moment, and Chef Nick Nutting changes the dish every single day. Now remember - this is a restaurant known for fresh, wild ingredients… so I was more than excited to see what the vegetarian creation was for the day. I lucked out. Out came a plate of fresh Potstickers, with locally forged pine mushrooms and roasted daikon served in a shallow kelp broth. This was happiness in a bowl.
Despite my initial thoughts that it was a dis-service to mankind that this was not a regular menu item - I can only imagine what other sorts of wildly creative vegetarian dishes are coming out of the Wolf in the Fog kitchen on a regular basis. So dayum good.
Wolf in the Fog definitely comes highly recommended by both Kris and I. Our server Ashley was so laid-back and cool I almost wanted to convince her to ditch out on work and join us for a beer. The food is the cherry on top of an awesome dining experience - and one you should make sure to take part in while in Tofino.
Thank you so much to Ashley, Chef Nick and his rad kitchen, and the Wolf in the Fog family for having us!