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Best of Pemberton 2009

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"It's gone from serving nachos and wings and fries to doing a lot more," Harrison reflected, "... I think if I went and talked to some of the old staff, they would say, 'It's like a new restaurant.'"

And in terms of NEW new restaurants, the Black Squirrel at The Meadows golf course took home top honours.

 

Best Value

Recessions suck but one can only eat so much KD and hot dogs. Going out to eat is a treat and it doesn't have to be a major splurge, especially if you head to The Pony. New owners Neal Harrison and Alexander Stoll have revamped the menu, but struggled to keep the price point on par with what locals were used to paying, all while bringing in some of the highest quality local produce possible.

Dinner entrees range from $15 to $30, and they still offer the popular weekly deals, like Pizza and a Pint night so diners can get serious bang for their buck.

 

Best Wine List

The wine list at The Pony proves that you don't have to be a sommelier or wine snob to indulge in the odd glass of vino. They've managed to cultivate a small but varied offering of five reds, five whites and a rose, with about 50 per cent of the content from within British Columbia.

 

Best Dessert

Just reading the entries for this category made my tummy rumble; Mentions of farmers market butter tarts, lemon meringue at the Black Squirrel and the Wild Wood's sticky pudding had my blood sugar running high. But in the end, it was the Pony's Pemberton Mess that took the cake.

Co-owner Neal Harrison explains that this delicious dish is their signature dessert that they brought with them from the Fat Duck to The Pony. It consists of hard meringue, freshly whipped cream, vanilla ice cream and seasonal fruit, all layered in a glass dish.

"It just looks like a mess, but people love it!" Harrison said, "Its probably our top-selling dessert."

This concoction event scored a mention in a recent glowing food review in the Vancouver Sun, so it must be worth a taste!

 

Best Atmosphere

Stepping into The Pony is a bit of a surreal experience. As co-owner Neal Harrison so eloquently surmises, let's face it, from the outside, this dining gem looks like a bit of a "shack." But the old adage about judging a book by its cover certainly applies to the reinvented Pony - loaded with charm and character, the new owners repainted, refinished the floors and redecorated, creating a warm, welcoming environment. "Pemberton chic," Harrison explains.