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Ucluelet’s Pluvio thrilled to be moving up Canada’s Top 100 restaurants list

Popular West Coast eatery lands at 33 and is the only Vancouver Island restaurant to crack the list
Warren Barr and Lily Verney-Downey smile at the bar of their Pluvio Restaurant. (Westerly file photo)

Pluvio Restaurant + Rooms continues racking up accolades by serving up deliciousness.

The popular Ucluelet eatery’s latest feat is a spot on this year’s Canada’s Top 100 list, coming in 33rd in the nation and boasting the recognition as the only Vancouver Island spot to crack the list.

“We are absolutely thrilled to place at 33 this year, up from 37 last year, and to represent Vancouver Island,” the restaurant’s team announced on their Facebook page. “It is great to see such a strong showing on the West Coast and we are humbled to be in the company of so many incredible restaurants…A HUGE thank you to our amazing team and guests for helping us to achieve our dream.”

The unique, intimate 24-seat eating experience opened by Warren Barr and Lily Verney-Downey earned TripAdvisor’s Best Fine Dining award last year and has also been recognized on Air Canada’s enRoute magazine’s list of Canada’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants, Best New Destination Restaurant list, and TripAdvisor’s Best Date Night Restaurants in the World.

The most recent Top 100 accolade was recently announced by, which heralded Barr as a “veteran of destination restaurant kitchens” pointing to his experience as The Inn at Bay Fortune in Souris, P.E.I. and Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn before opening his own restaurant in Ucluelet.

“There, amidst the handful of locals and the region’s customary mix of campers and hard-core cold-water surfers, Barr and his wife, Lily Verney-Downey, set up this small, charming hotel and its overachieving restaurant,” the award write-up reads. “The setting is warm and casual, down to the bare wood tables and earth-tone plates. The service, managed by Verney-Downey, is highly polished, and the food likewise. On the whimsical side of the culinary offer, you’ll want to try the ‘humdog’ — grilled marinated Humboldt squid with fermented turnip, garnished with crispy shallots and shrimp chili aïoli in a mini brioche bun, found on the three-course prix fixe and the five-course tasting menus.”

The write-up also commends Pluvio for its “hyperseasonal” menu and commitment to local sourcing.

“Seasonal dishes might include a tuna lettuce wrap with charred cucumber, local finger lime, crispy potato, lime-leaf emulsion and preserved vegetables or, perhaps, a grilled grass-fed boneless beef short rib with cheesy beef pie, caramelized onion, chewy beets and kvass jus. The wine list is heavy on B.C.’s finest, but not at the expense of the old world,” it concludes.

While Pluvio was the only Vancouver Island restaurant to make the list, B.C. was well represented with 18 restaurants, 15 in the lower mainland and two in Whistler.

Montreal had the largest representation with 27 restaurants making the list, including Mon Lapin which took the top honours.

- With files from The Canadian Press

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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