Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Salt Spring Island and Auntie Pesto's

I have come to the conclusion that the best blog writing atmosphere involves sunshine, a glass of rose wine, and an ocean view. What paradise is this? Salt Spring Island. I am lucky to have my parents living on Salt Spring Island because it means I am just one ferry ride away from a vacation. There is a thriving community here year-round, but during the tourist season, it is like a different world. The restaurants have flair, the farmer’s market is bustling, and everyone has a smile. Since my parents moved here last May, I have sampled several of the local restaurants and one of my favorites is Auntie Pesto’s. Auntie Pesto’s is a vibrant harbor-side restaurant with Italian dishes and local flavor. Having been there multiple times I can say assertively that for lunch, this is a truly amazing restaurant. Recently while visiting my Dad, we went to dinner at Auntie Pesto’s and it had a completely different dynamic. At night the restaurant is less energetic and the main visitors (during the week) are locals. Additionally lunch is superior because of the option to order half-size pasta dishes. Given the huge portion sizes, this is a definite plus.

While at the restaurant, my Dad and I enjoyed the Salt Spring Mussels appetizer which was delicious, albeit a little salty. It is always a joy to order local and seasonal items while at a restaurant and the mussels were no exception. My only real suggestion for this plate is the need for more bread. Any true mussel lover knows that the broth is the best part of the dish and that large amounts of bread are necessary to enjoy it.

For my main course, I ordered the pasta carbonara, which has never failed me at Auntie Pesto’s. It is well seasoned and delicious. The portions were huge and I only managed to eat half of my plate and save the rest for later. My Dad ordered the beef stroganoff that was sadly less than spectacular. The beef was tender and the egg noodles were wide, but the dish seemed to be missing several crucial ingredients. One of which was salt. Again the portion was huge and there were plenty leftovers.

In the end Auntie Pesto’s is an excellent restaurant for both tourists and locals, but should be visited at lunch on a sunny day for the best experience. While my most recent experience was less than amazing, I have faith that my next lunch there will more than make up for it.
Auntie Pesto's on Urbanspoon

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