EAT + DRINK
SALTED VINE KITCHEN & BAR
by Kristy Aleksich
Pat Allan: The man behind the vision of fine dining in Downtown Squamish
From the moment the Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar opened its doors in Downtown Squamish six years ago - the precise moment that the pin dropped - it truly made Squamish a must-visit destination for dining. If you ask any local about where to dine for a special occasion, what restaurant exudes the true flavours of the Pacific Northwest, or what place is a ‘must do’ when it comes to exploring our burgeoning dining scene, the Salted Vine is assuredly the name on everyone’s lips.
Who was behind the spark that spurred this culinary adventure that put Squamish on the radar for discerning diners from Vancouver, Whistler and beyond? Pat Allan – restaurateur, sommelier, and visionary of one of Squamish’s best-loved restaurants. We had a chance to sit down with Pat to learn more.
The Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar
Tell us about your backstory- how did you get into the restaurant business?
I stopped in Lake Louise on my way to a job in Edmonton to visit a girl I knew that was working at The Chateau Lake Louise. I got a job working in the kitchen there and I ended up staying 4 ½ years. I still haven’t made it to Edmonton.
How did you find yourself in Squamish?
After my stint at Fairmont Lake Louise, I moved to Whistler and spent 30 years there working at various restaurants and bars. Six years ago, an opportunity came my way and I decided it was time to open my own place.
How did the Salted Vine come to be?
My former partner and I went fishing one day here in Squamish and afterwards, we went for some beers and talked about opening a place here. Just nine months later we had it done and opened the doors.
What is the Salted Vine’s ethos?
I want to offer people the freshest seasonal and local products that I can. It is important to me that people feel welcomed and comfortable and know they are receiving products that are well thought out and have been sourced from producers that have minimal impact on the environment. Most of our produce is organic and locally sourced from here in Squamish and Pemberton. All our seafood is Ocean Wise certified, and most meats are organically farmed and free-range and produced here in BC.
What can people expect when they come to the Salted Vine?
A welcoming atmosphere that offers great service, food, cocktails, and wines.
Gourmet food and high end wine choices at the Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar
Tell us about your wine program.
I look to source wines that offer the best value for the dollar at whatever price point you are looking at. I don’t care what the varietal is or who the producer is if it delivers bang for the buck. Most wines are from some smaller producers that are organic or biodynamic producers and if not certified organic, they practice organic farming.
Do you have any favourite wines right now?
I don’t really have any favourites. When I am picking a wine to enjoy for myself many factors come into play such as what am I eating, what is the weather, is it hot or cold and damp, is it a celebration or an everyday situation. I must admit I do love a dry rosé year-round because it is so versatile.
What kind of wine trends are you noticing right now?
People are tending toward more food-friendly wines that have more finesse than power and weight. People are also a little more adventurous and willing to try things that they may not have had before, that’s where I come into play. Tell me the style of wine you are looking for, and maybe I can turn you on to something you have never had or heard of. These wines tend to be a bit lighter and have higher acidity which helps them pair well with foods. They are also more refreshing to drink.
What does the future look like for the Salted Vine?
I want to continue to offer the best overall dining experience to our guests here in Squamish.
We are grateful to The Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar for helping to pave the way for contemporary cuisine in Squamish. To experience an incredible meal, spectacular cocktails, and a special night out in Squamish, the Salted Vine should be at the top of your list.