Sunday, February 03, 2019

Eating off the Hill: Wild Pacific sockeye salmon at Avenue Bistro in Comox

I mentioned in my last review that the last time I had risotto, it wasn't that great. However, the salmon was excellent, which brings me to my post-Christmas dinner at Avenue Bistro in Comox, when I was back in British Columbia for the holidays.

Formerly the Jolly Giant convenience store, the space on Comox Avenue has been renovated and remodelled to house this reasturant, which spcializes in locally-sourced ingredients. Love the concept, but they didn't execute it as well with ingredient explinations on the meny as they did at 10 Acres.

Anyeay, there have been a lot of cool new reasturants popping up in the Comox Valley since my younger days, and I try to visit one each time I'm back.

I'm all about the seafood when I'm back in BC -- nearer the source, after all -- and while they probably don't buy their fish at the wharf, Avenue Bistro is just a few blocks down from where the fisherman sell their catch  in Comox. So, seafood was on the menu for me.

I began with the seafood chowder, which was generously stocked with house-smoked wild sockeye salmon, shrimp, cod, mussels with freshly-baked focaccia bread. Mmm, delish. A flavourful broth with sooo much delicious seafood. I hate when they serve you a thin broth where you have to search for the seafood and they use potato as filler. Definitely not the case here, so good.

Sadly, I can't be as effusive with my praise of the entree. I ordered the Wild Pacific sockeye salmon with risotto verde, roasted veggies fennel tomato relish and beet straw garnish.

First, the good. The salmon was delicious and cooked perfectly. Wild really does taste better, and Pacific salmon is the best salmon. The roasted veggies were tasty. But I did not care for the fennel tomato relish, just not to my taste.

And the risotto verde? Never again. There was a very strong taste -- maybe cilantro? -- that just did not agree with me. I love risotto, but whatever this overpowering ingredient was just ruined it for me.When I had my leftovers for lunch the next day, I added a generous helping of cheese to the risotto to cover the taste.

A welcome addition to the Comox Valley dining scene, but if you don't like cilantro, or whatever it was, avoid the risotto verde.

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