Bayside Bistro & Lounge (Parksville, BC)
I recently gave a workshop for the Oceanside Volunteer Association in Parksville, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, invited by the Executive Director, my good friend Luba Plotnikoff. It was a great audience, albeit rather diverse. I would have wanted to have more time to speak to all the topics I wanted to address. But I digress… the event was hosted (as was I) at the Quality Inn Bayside.
It was really my very first time staying at the Quality Inn Bayside, as almost every single time I come up to Parksville I either stay at the Beach Club Resort or at the Tigh-Na-Mara. Now, when you think of a hotel restaurant, many people don’t pay as much attention to them. With the amount of travel writing I do, I can tell you that’s a big oversight.
I’m glad I didn’t skip on Bayside Bistro & Lounge, because I had a really good meal. I could notice that there were many patrons there that just wanted to swing by for the food (e.g. that were not hotel guests). That speaks volumes to the quality of the restaurant, in my opinion.
The menu at the Bayside Bistro & Lounge is quite varied, and I was pretty impressed.
For starters, I ordered Pacific Crab Cakes ($10, house smoked corn salsa, chili aioli). I found the crab cakes delicious, albeit they were a tad too hot and I almost burned my mouth. But once I gave them some time to cool, the crab cakes were really flavourful as combined with the chili aioli. The smoked corn salsa provided a nice strong flavor to compliment the crab cakes.
For my main meal, I ordered Chicken & Prawn Penne in full size plate ($16, grilled local free range chicken breast, prawns, nut free pesto sauce, pine nuts, garlic with foccacia bread). For the size of the plate (and how easily the restaurant could have charged extra simply because it’s a hotel restaurant), I was pretty impressed with the price. But I was even more impressed with the quality of the penne.
Generous portions with large chunks of chicken breast and prawns give even a very strict palate the taste of a nicely done penne. The pesto sauce was spectacular, creamy with a hint of garlic that accentuated the richness of this pasta. And I sprinkled a splash of lime on top just to make sure that the flavours were enhanced.
I loved having dinner here at the Bayside Bistro & Lounge, quite honestly. The service was kind and generous to a fault. Even if I stayed next time at a different hotel, I probably would come back here for dinner.
Disclosure: My dinner was complimentary courtesy of The Bayside Quality Inn hotel. While my dinner was on the house, I paid the monetary equivalent of a full dinner item as gratuity on my own dime as the service was absolutely fantastic. I am neither obligated nor required to blog about the restaurant, but I’m very happy to do so. As usual, I retain full editorial control over what is published on my blog.