There have been a lot of changes around Squamish in the past couple of years, and suddenly this sea-to-sky town is a super cool place to live, work, and play. Among the new wave of trendy spots competing with the views and landscape for reasons to pull off Highway 99 is the Salted Vine, a farm to table eatery that is proving to be a real game-changer for Squamish.
It’s the restaurant’s first summer–they’ll celebrate their one-year anniversary in September–and what a year it’s been. Critical acclaim aside, the modest space just a few paces off of Squamish’s “main drag” has become a local darling, in addition to being a dining destination for North Shore residents and Vancouverites.
Offering the community a more upscale place to dine, the restaurant showcases the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, using regional ingredients and serving them up in a space that is perfect for a date or a celebratory group outing.
The 70-seat restaurant also boasts a 20-seat patio, perfect for soaking up every ray of the summer sun possible. In a region known for its winter sports and activities, Salted Vine is still drawing customers in, and Pat Allan, who helms the project as Restaurant Director/Sommelier alongside business partner and Executive Chef Jeff Park, tells me during a recent visit that he has high hopes for a strong season for the restaurant.
Having last visited Salted Vine late last year when it was brand spanking new, it was nice to see some dishes have stuck around on the compact and approachable menu.
Dishes like a twice-baked souffle demonstrate Park’s ability to meld traditional with contemporary, while an abundance of seasonally-driven fare culminate in a menu that can be tackled as a series of share plates (but doesn’t have to be; it’s Squamish, you can relax a bit).
Bread, served with a golden pool of lemony butter and olive oil, comes from Squamish’s Tall Tree Bakery, itself just marking their own one-year anniversary. The sourdough is just the right amount of chewy and tangy; if you can, hit up the bakery and snag some loaves and treats before you hit the road.
Salted Vine’s charcuterie boards are stunners, too. Gentle folds of pinkish speck nestle next to tiny gherkins and house-made pickled mustard seeds. Well, as Allan points out with a grin, everything is pretty much all house-made here anyhow. Caper berries make for a vibrant sour-tangy pop, while a sweet-ish chutney soothes the more pronounced spice of the meats.
Heartier dishes run the gamut from pasta to steak. A fork-tender portion of pork belly is ideal for sharing, and comes atop nutty couscous and decked out in curls of paper-thin carrot. Look for the best of the season in something like the ricotta-stuff and fried zucchini blossoms, bursting with creaminess and the flavour of early summer.
Round out your meal with veg-centric sides, and wrap things up with either (or both) a cheese course or something from their trim dessert offerings.
A thoughtful cocktail menu and wine selections pair well with the eats, and if you need any help, Allan and the front of house team are great at suggesting wine pairings or cocktail flavour profiles. Non-imbibers, designated drivers, and lucky minors will appreciate a fun selection of non-alcoholic mocktails that pack a satisfying punch.
The Salted Vine is open Wednesday through Sunday for Happy Hour from 3 to 5:30 pm and for dinner service from 5 to 10 pm.
Address: 37991 Second Ave, Squamish