We met at Bert's offices at 6:00 am on Friday and we were fishing by 1:00 pm. Our 2-hour flight from south terminal YVR on a Dash 8 was followed by a 30 minute Sikorski helicopter ride right to the lodge. Once we settled in, they made a start (and would not stop) of feeding us. We came for the fishing and stayed for the food (well, we stayed for the fishing too). Since this is allegedly a food blog, I intend to provide a blow by blow on the eating activities!
Eggs Benedict with cold smoked salmon. The first of what would be an amazing stream of deliciousness to come out of the kitchen prepared by chef Luke Mussato and his staff of Andy (Buon Giorno!) and Hunter (Who I never actually met...apologies). Perfectly poached eggs with deep yellow yolks and creamy wonderful hollandaise. From that first bite, I knew we were in for some special eats this weekend. But on to the main event and it was not long before we were hauling in the Chinook.
Not to be overlooked in between bites was the fact that we were in such a beautiful place. The weather was generally sombre during our stay but that certainly did not detract from the primal draw of the sea and nature (and it was lovely not to have cellular service for a few days).
By the time our Friday afternoon session had drawn to a close, we all had stories of battles with the feisty salmon and our first few catches. Back at the lodge, they somehow knew we would be hungry and some amazing appetizers awaited us. We quickly learned that the trick was not to eat too much before dinner was served. We learned that that was the trick but never seemed to pull it off.
Seriously, the first thing we faced on getting to the lounge was arancini. I dare you to eat just one!
A nice selection of cured and smoked fish were served, including baby octopus and even some fruits and vegetables and anything else you could ask for. On the liquid side our folks drank some fine wine and some premium label spirits. And then, the dinner bell rang!
The dining room at North Island Lodge seats about 24 which coincidentally is the number of people the lodge can accommodate (give or take). With a lovely view of the water and the dock, I could happily sit there all day and let these people feed me.
Dinner started with a wonderful Baby Kale Ceasar with among other things, fried capers which added a nice little salty burst.
It was followed by a perfectly cooked strip loin with veggies, Yorkshire Pudding and a demi-glace.
As if this was not enough, the Smoked Sable Fish with Gremolata was subtle and gently flavoured. This required savouring to be truly appreciated. Dessert of course was never missing from the bill of fare.
Enough Tiramisu for two people but still light, sweet and delicious. From here, some of us dragged ourselves to bed (we shared rooms with views of the water and Langara Island and were gently rocked to sleep in this floating lodge) while others continued the evening in the lounge playing cards, conversing and getting to know other guests and enjoying a nightcap. Stay tuned for part two of this blog post where I will try to continue to cover some highlights of this excellent weekend!