There’s a new dining hot spot in Gibsons and I just can’t get enough of their new menu and fresh approach.
The Drift Cafe & Bistro (formerly The Nova Kitchen) is a tiny locale perched atop a hill on Gibsons Way, with gorgeous views of the stunning Salish Sea. The restaurant is the brainchild of chefs Tim and Ben, who’ve known one another for almost 17 years, since their days of cooking school. Both chefs have had extensive careers in the industry and are new to the Sunshine Coast. Tim moved from East Vancouver just two years ago and Ben just moved from North Vancouver this winter to help re-open the restaurant. The pair partnered with Omar who is based in Vancouver.
“With the Nova Kitchen, we liked a lot of the things they did around keeping things local, so we‘re trying to stay on the track with the way that Chef Paul had gone,” says Tim. “One thing we noticed that was really missing [in Gibsons] is a place that was a combination of value … but also really good food,” he says, adding that he and his wife Stephanie used to leave Gibsons to go out for dinner, in search of either more affordable options or higher-end food.
He explains: “Drift is making that bridge of really good, comforting food, but with a bit more of a fine dining flair to it.”
Drift is the kind of place where you can enjoy a delicious brunch for under $15, or an evening entré for under $25 as you overlook the ocean from their patio. While the prices are reasonable, you’ll find a carefully curated cocktail and wine list; with little twists to common items, like adding housemade pickles to the Caesar, or a grapefruit and saje Mimosa. Sip on Moet & Chandon bubbles or enjoy a casual pint of local craft beer on the patio - anything goes.
Meanwhile, the menu is simple, but flavourful bistro dining with hints of Italian, French and new American cooking. Currently they’re offering a weekend brunch 9am-2pm and a dinner service Thursday to Monday (with plans to expand their opening times in the near future). One of the signature dining experiences is the three-course meal, which includes a starter, a main and a dessert for just $35. Choose from mouth watering items like the salted ling cod croquette, farro risotto, and a yogurt panna cotta.
Drift is constantly evolving, says Tim. Coffee-lovers will be happy to hear they’ve installed a new high-end Simonelli coffee machine and are partnering with Vancouver-based Moja coffee to source the coffee in efforts to ramp up their early morning offerings. The team is also planning to expand the patio and looking into a beer garden.
If you haven’t already noticed, Tim is a pretty busy fellow. He also co-owns a company called Ginger Jars Food with his wife, (which I’ll be talking about in another blog) and works at a cooking school in Downtown Vancouver. Given his penchant for entrepreneurship and his recent move to The Coast, I asked him the most important tip for new business owners in the area:
“Consult the locals. People are pretty open with [sharing] their opinions, which is pretty awesome, but if you don’t consult them, there’s a lot of little things that are kind of unique to The Coast that I’ve found you have to be aware of,” he says.
So, there you have it: business advice, plus a great new dining location in the heart of Gibsons to boot.