While we were spending our day in Port Moody at Rocky Point Park, we expected that ice cream would be a part of our day. Thankfully, we were able to get something a little better than your standard ice cream truck would carry. In fact, it was so much better than I’m actually giving Rocky Point Ice Cream an independent review.
We first tried Rocky Point Ice Cream a couple of weeks ago when they made an appearance at the Night Market, and they have been singlehandedly responsible for moving Aiden past his obsession with bubblegum ice cream (because it’s blue, not because it tastes good) to… drumroll please… salted caramel. That’s right, my 4-year-old has awesome taste. It’s one of my favourite flavours of ice cream as well. Their version was very fluffy and creamy.
The rocky point ice cream store is right by the park and features small batch hand crafted ice cream, local and organic where possible. For example, Damien had the cotton candy ice cream and it was the most amazing cotton candy ice cream I’ve ever tried, made with real cotton candy made on site. So yum.
A kids entrance too!
Rocky Point Ice Cream is what an ice cream store should be – and used to be. Hand crafted with care. Amazing. Family friendly.
If you’re looking for another amazing ice cream experience in Vancouver, though perhaps without the family focus, you also have to try Earnest Ice Cream or Bella Gelateria.
Just… ignore this list, ok? Because Menchie’s is at the bottom of my list. Tastes like freezer burned crap covered in sugar. End rant.
During our stay at the Nita Lake Lodge on the outskirts of Whistler, we had the pleasure of dining in all three of their dining options: upscale at Aura, casual at Cure, and the cafe, Fix. As I mentioned in my previous post reviewing Nita Lake Lodge, the restaurants were our first experience with the hotel. Last year, we chanced upon the hotel during a walk and decided to stay for dinner. We loved that we could have a fine dining experience at Aura while also feeling that our children were welcome and satisfied. The food was the element I was most looking forward to from this trip, I have to admit.
Aura – ‘Modern. Innovative. West Coast.’
Described as “fine dining without pretension,” our experience at Aura has been nothing but amazing. Although Chef Paul Moran is new since our previous dining experience, we continued to be impressed by the food at all the restaurants. At Aura, the “farm-to-table” experience was very apparent, featuring food grown on property, foraged, or from local farms and fisheries. The food was fresh and delicious and presented with contemporary flare.
As would be expected, the portions are not as large at Aura, so expect to have 2-3 courses (this was the menu we had). And don’t skip on the cocktails! Some amazing creations there, including the rosemary gin & tonic that I had. Yum. My favourite item was the ravioli, which was delicious with the grilled corn. I need to try to grill corn kernels sometime. So good.
We went to Aura again for Father’s Day breakfast, and loved the freshness of the meal options. I had an omelette with kale and ham that was quite delicious. Though rosti potatoes are not my favourite, they were light and fluffy. The kids ate banana pancakes with bacon and the rest of the party enjoyed their meals, though one was a little bit colder than it should have been.
I talk about our kids’ experience at all three dining options below, but I found that on this particular trip (not our last trip) that the service was a little slower at Aura and that the servers seemed far more inexperienced with kids. One knew to bring colouring, others didn’t, and we had awkward glasses (stemware) with no straws for their milk. Small points, but overall still a great experience for the kids.
Cure Lounge – ‘Casual Food. Creative Drinks. Lakeside’
Described as ‘casual dining’, we found Cure to be anything but what you would expect from a lounge. The current chef has really elevated the Cure menu (this was our menu), including some amazing options in generous portions. Some elements of the menu were repeated from Aura, including the chilled pea soup you see below, though most of the menu was unique. This was our favourite meal of the trip and the service we had was exemplary.
Fix Cafe – ‘Housemade. Warm. Delicious.’
This was an unexpected gem of our trip, Fix cafe goes far beyond a simple coffee shop. Catering as much to locals as to hotel guests, the cafe has a warm atmosphere and thorough menu featuring house-made breakfasts, lunches, snacks, pastries and produce grown on site. We even bought a loaf of the amazing Nita bread for our lunches. Can I just say that if you ever see it, you must eat the bacon, spring onion and cheddar turnover. Even the kids agree it was amazing.
Nita Lake Lodge – Dining for Kids
The menu for kids at Nita Lake Lodge was the same for both Aura and Cure, so we had a large and consistent variety of options available to the kids. Damien, who eats just about everything, shared with all of the adults plus with Aiden, whose dinners are often not very large. Aiden, predictably, ate the chicken both nights. They were, however, anything but your standard chicken nuggets, and the whole family agreed they were deliciously seasoned. Damien, on the other hand, discovered an intense love for tzatziki.
The kids didn’t love the french fries there (they were very soft), so Aiden actually ordered the veggie side the next night. Though some of the veggies were new to him, I liked that it wasn’t just your standard carrots and celery.
The service for the kids was mixed for our stay. Though they always had crayons and colouring sheets, we sometimes had to ask for it. Sometimes they were given inappropriate stemware or straws were forgotten. I also would have liked to see more options for kids’ breakfasts at Aura (there was only 1 item, the banana pancakes).
If you do come to Whistler, whether you stay at Nita Lake Lodge or not (and you should), the dining options are definitely worth your while. Our biggest pet peeve with Whistler every time we visit is the lack of dining options. There are many fine dining restaurants, many pubs, and many mediocre cafes. Very few family-friendly places to eat – and I am not a fan of the Old Spaghetti Factory.
So, if you have a family, consider this a go-to option for a great night. Isn’t it nice to eat somewhere that you actually like the food too?
Have you been to Rosemary Rocksalt yet? Started last year, with two locations in Vancouver and in North Van (Upper Lonsdale), Rosemary Rocksalt serves Montreal-style bagels with smoked meat imported from Montreal every week and other goodies (hello, rugelach, yum!). The trademark rosemary rocksalt flavour is, of course, a family favourite.
I’m partial to the breakfast sandwich or the turkey sandwich. Ianiv loves his bagel piled with smoked meat and jalapeños. The kids like sesame bagels with cream cheese, Aiden with a side of lox. That kid loves his lox.
The bagels are delicious – firm and flavourful – and the service is amazing. We often go for lunch and take home extra bagels and their homemade cream cheese too.
Co-owned by Parise Siegel, daughter of Joel Siegel of Siegel’s bagels, there is a family history and love for good bagels. Rosemary Rocksalt modernizes the bagel experience, adding a delicious take to the bagel sandwich experience.
While staying at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria, we had two breakfasts and one dinner at the hotel restaurant, LURE. The restaurant is split into a lounge / dining area with someone playing the piano for our dinner experience. The restaurant overlooks the harbour, with raised seating in the centre so more people get to take advantage of the view – a lovely idea.
Children under 6 eat free off of the comprehensive children’s menu while children under 12 are also discounted. On our first night, Aiden had a huge meal of roasted chicken, veggies and french fries (instead of roasted potatoes). The meal was wonderfully prepared and flavoured – he loved it. He was given a menu with a colouring page and his beverage was also free.
For the first dinner, Ianiv had a burger delivered to the room (since someone had to stay with Damien while he slept) and both Dora (Babby) and I had the risotto special – mine was with the scallops, hers with the prawns. Each came with crispy bacon and an egg on top, which was different. The menu definitely was more high-end, but it was good. I thought the risotto was a little under-seasoned, but it was otherwise perfectly prepared.
We had breakfast at the hotel each day, choosing the convenience of dining on site so we could rush Damien back up to the room for his first nap of the day. On our first day, we dined simply on bagels or toast/cereal for Aiden, though on our second day we all ate bigger meals. I was personally incredibly impressed by the whole wheat blueberry almond pancakes – they were delicious – and Aiden’s plain pancakes were also quite tasty.
Although servers don’t come by as frequently as at some restaurants, we did appreciate that for our coffee (which was a little pricey), we were given a carafe on-table for refills and were offered to-go cups to take additional coffee for our day – a really nice touch.
While enjoying our weekend away at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, we were as much looking forward to our dining experiences as we were to the time spent relaxing in our tenthouse suite. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time eating at White Spot as parents. We don’t often go out for dinner dates, so this was a real treat for us.
Wild mushroom & mascarpone ravioli with duck confit / Seafood chowder / Braised lamb shank / French toast with side of sausage
Though the menu at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort restaurant is small, it offers the gourmet many choices for a wonderful experience. We took our time with both dinners, enjoying our way through 2 or 3 courses and most of the menu over our 2 night stay. I was most impressed by the seafood chowder, which was both generous with seafood as it was with flavour – love the addition of more vegetables. The ravioli was likewise melt-in-your-mouth amazing. I wish they had a second pasta on the menu, this one was so good.
All of our meals were cooked to perfection, even if I did have to order my steak well done (darn pregnancy!). The asparagus, so often overcooked, was the perfect crispness. The food all had a lot of flavour and came in quite decent portions. The chocolate torte we enjoyed for dessert was definitely both large and rich – I’m glad we decided to share dessert.
Our breakfasts were both great. Though the breakfast menu does not appear online, it offers a variety from the general variety plate to eggs benedicts to french toast. We’re quite grateful that breakfast was served until 11am – and that room service was available. I do quite admire the server who carried our breakfast, in the rain, all along the long path to our tenthouse – it arrived warm and delicious.
My most stellar recommendation for our dining experience was the staff – by far the best service I’ve had at a restaurant in many many months. Our servers were all very observant and attentive but without being overbearing. As with the rest of the staff at Rockwater, they talked with us about our stay and took a genuine interest in us. It was lovely.
Most of the other restaurants we looked into on the Sunshine Coast seemed to offer either a too-broad menu or just general dining options. Even if you don’t stay at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, we think you’ll find it your best dining experience in the area. There’s a reason we only ate one lunch off property in our 2 night stay!
Check out all our photos from our dining experiences and our stay here.
Disclosure: our first dinner at Rockwater was complimentary. We paid for our subsequent dinner the next night.