Exploring, eating and writing about good food on Canada's west coast

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West coast farm-to-table dining at Radius Food Co.

When I first heard word of the March 2015 opening of Radius Food Company, Central Vancouver Island's newest local restaurant, I was immediately intrigued. It's the kind of fresh, farm-to-table British Columbia cuisine I've been craving, and instead of opening hours away in a Vancouver, Victoria or Okanagan location, Radius was coming to right our little slice of Island heaven in nearby Qualicum Beach, on the eastern shores of the Salish Sea.

Radius Food Co. is a bright, open and cheerful space that feels comfortable and welcoming. Tables for small and larger groups ring the edge of the room, surrounding a comfy lounge area for visiting, or catching up on work or studying with free wifi onsite.

The story behind Radius is a happy one, as owners Kyla and James are a great example of how to live the west coast dream - a local Island girl who learned healthful and raw food cooking techniques far across the country in Montreal and James, a Saskatchewan boy who traveled west to work in fine dining establishments around British Columbia. Bringing together their love of fresh ingredients, creative cooking techniques and farm-to-table sourcing philosophies, they created Radius Food Co., tested the market with catering events and pop-up dinners, then launching their restaurant in its new home near the shores of Qualicum Beach, BC.

Focusing the bulk of their menu around Vancouver Island ingredients, Radius highlights seasonal locally-grown produce, Island-made cheeses and Island-grown meats. And they don't just stop there, serving hand-crafted locally made sodas from Island Sodaworks, tea blends from Cowichan Valley's Tea Farm, coffees and lattes from Tofino Coffee Roasting Co., and even VanIsle Sea Salt in the caramel drizzled over the dessert brownies. Vancouver Island wines, hard ciders and craft beers are coming soon. Check out the bottom of this post for a list of Radius's food partners, it's a overview of what amazing products are being grown and produced here on the Island.

I really enjoy how Radius has approached the concepts of farm-to-table eating through their menu, finding a perfect balance between showcasing the wealth of local and seasonal ingredients from our area and pairing them with just a few choice items we just can't grow here (ie. avocados). The menu is filled with extra bonuses like house-made pickles and hand-crafted sauces - the salsa verde on braised pork is addictive and my friends are now all hooked on the Radius Brunch Hollandaise sauce after two brunch visits.

Another cool thing of note about the Radius menu is how flexible it is to different dietary needs and restrictions. It's not judgmental or snobby in either direction, making everyone feel equal welcomed - hot drinks are prepared with your choice of cow's milk or almond milk, the sandwiches and brunch Eggs Benedict come with choice of sourdough, multi-grain or gluten-free bread. There are meat-filled and meat-free menu items and all the smoothies are naturally Vegan, though I couldn't tell at all, they're that damn tasty.

A very popular menu item in Radius's first month has been their steamy, chicken-scented mugs of Bone Broth, a bargain at $3.50 per mug. Made from roasted chicken bones, slow simmered with roasted vegetables and local herbs, this is one of those soups that hits all those 'comfort food' notes. It's packed with flavour and healthy ingredients, a instant mood lifter with refills just $2.00 (a nice touch).

While just being the newest place in town is great, Radius Food Co. is going further to create a connection between their customers and Vancouver Island products. Wednesdays are now 'Put the Kettle On Wednesdays' with tea tastings from Tea Farm's hand-blended teas, each week featuring a different tea. Once temperatures start heating up, Radius will have their patio open and will be hosting fun foodie events and live music onsite throughout the coming year.

In the meantime, we're right in the thick of the annual Brant Goose Migration and herring spawn that takes place in Parksville & Qualicum Beach each year - and Radius just happens to be 1 short minute away from the best Brant Goose, Bald Eagle and Sea Lion viewing area in Qualicum Beach. I picked up a Tofino Coffee and Radius Apple Fritter to-go the other day and spent an enjoyable afternoon by the ocean watching eagles and gulls dive for herring while sea lions floated by. Ahhhh...

I'm really looking forward how Radius highlights local farm-to-table ingredients throughout the seasons (they're already on top of March, Wild Nettle Soup!). This restaurant is what Vancouver Island food should continue to be all about, and I hope Radius Food Co. is embraced by both locals and tourists looking for an authentically west coast dining experience.

Radius Website and Menu 

Radius on Twitter ~ Radius on Facebook ~ Radius on Instagram

All the awesome farmers, artisans and growers featured on Radius's menu:

















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