Rustic is Refreshing on Bowen Island
Bowen Island is not the place I expected to find a French Bistro serving a classic French breakfast staple and a killer mango mimosa, but that’s exactly what happened when I took a Saturday morning ferry to celebrate a friend’s birthday with a gal-pal hang-out away from the rat trap of the city.
The twenty-minute ferry ride from Vancouver might as well be twenty hours; you step off the ferry and it feels like you’re worlds away from the stress and speed of the Vancouver downtown core. The walk from the ferry to Rustique Bistro is equally short, and worth every step.
Brunch was to be the start of a day of birthday celebrations for friend, and actor, Laura Adkin. It was her special day and a group of her friends were more than happy to make the trek to Bowen Island to help her celebrate. I’ve gotten to know Laura quite well over the last year through working with her on the Board of Women in Film and Television Vancouver, so it didn’t take much arm-twisting to get me across Howe Sound to raise a mimosa in her honour. Who knew that she had such great taste in brunch, the choice was excellent.
Rustique Bistro is owned by Celine Boyer and Thierry Mohrbach. Celine welcomes you to her restaurant like she’s welcoming you into her living room. The service is consistently inviting and friendly, even when your table grows beyond its original reservation size. What can I say, Laura’s a popular lady.
The food is classically French with a brunch menu dominated by crepes, their specialty. The table order was dominated by two types of crepes and the house special benny served on a house-made waffle. I had the sausage and cheddar crepe. The sausage was scratch-made and delicious. It was a pork sausage, lean and flavourful without being greasy; perfect. There were two other crepe orders and both were filled with spinach and mushroom. The fillings were generous in both cases, and the crepe was light and chewy. It was a great change for me from the usual poached eggs. Yes, I know I’m all over poached eggs, and I could have had a benny, but how can you say no to home-made sausages and crepes.
The rest of the party ordered the waffle benny and I could see why. The waffle is just the starting point. There are a variety of benny options. The most popular at the table were roasted vegetables, and tomato and avocado. The eggs are balanced nicely on a heaping serving of either option. The benny comes with both salad and roasted potatoes. Yes, roasted, not deep fried. The universal verdict was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just as a roasted potato should be. The reviews on the waffle were the same as the crepe, light and chewy. The waffle benny is a generous serving so make sure you come with a healthy appetite. This isn’t finicky food. It’s fresh, loaded with flavour and plentiful; just what you’d expect if you were really sitting at Celine Boyer’s kitchen table.
Everything looked fabulous, and if you want to keep up with the ever changing menu at Rustique Bistro, I suggest you check out their Facebook Page. They don’t have a website, so this is the closest you’re going to get to finding out what’s on the menu that day.
Brunch at Rustique Bistro is a great start to a day filled exploring the shops and natural beauty of Bowen Island. It was a birthday escape that bordered on the perfect one day “staycation.” The ferry runs often, and there’s really no excuse to miss out on this little oasis on the island.
Movie Recommendation: There’s really no choice here. In celebration of the birthday girl, hop on over to Netflix and catch It’s a Disaster (2012), starring Julia Styles, Rachel Boston, and the birthday girl herself, Laura Adkin. Make sure you have a mimosa on hand to toast the birthday girl, a home-grown Vancouver talent.
433 Bowen Island Trunk Rd, Bowen Island
Tue – Fri: 11:00 am – 8:30 pm
Sat – Sun: 10:00 am – 8:30 pm
Michelle Muldoon is a writer, filmmaker, and avid foodie. You can find her on twitter @chat2michelle.