Bird’s Eye Cove Pizza Night offers the best of all worlds

Can there be any more beautiful venue for an al fresco dinner?

Can there be any more beautiful venue for an al fresco dinner?

What to do for supper on a lovely early summer evening when all of your favourite restaurants (and the new ones you would like to try) are closed? We were faced with exactly this conundrum during a recent trip to the Duncan area, but found a very happy solution with Pizza Night at Bird’s Eye Cove Farm.

Fresh made-to-order pizza from a wood-fired oven.....

Fresh made-to-order pizza from a wood-fired oven…..

Bird’s Eye Cove is a working farm that sprawls over 300 acres (121 hectares) of rolling fields and forest.  Founded in 1860, the spectacular site embraces breathtaking views of bucolic bliss and, of course, of Bird’s Eye Cove.

The final result

The final result

The Pizza Nights are held on Mondays and Thursdays throughout the fine weather months and have obviously become a happy tradition for area residents – when we arrived at 6 p.m., two hours after opening, the parking area was pretty much full.  Often the food is all gone well before the 8 p.m. ‘closing’ time, which says legions about the popularity of this new – now in to its third year – Cowichan Valley tradition.

Pizza picnic dinner on the grass.  Dogs, kids - everyone is welcome

Pizza picnic dinner on the grass. Dogs, kids – everyone is welcome

One of the beauties of this venue is that it is so relaxed, very informal and very welcoming of kids and dogs.  There are a number of picnic tables available for larger groups, small bistro tables for couples and, of course, green grass that invites the spreading of a blanket and a dining experience at ground level. Bird’s Eye Cove doesn’t have a liquor license, but patrons are welcome to bring along their own alcoholic liquid refreshments.

The pizza menu varies from night to night, but is always entertaining

The pizza menu varies from night to night, but is always entertaining

The pizza menu is a saucy affair with fun descriptions of the many local ingredients that go into creating the culinary delights.  The offerings vary depending on the night, and can include anything from a vegetarian creation to the Drunken Cow, made with a bourbon barbecue sauce.

Pizzas are all made to order and baked in the wood-fired outdoor brick oven. Mason jar vegetables and fruit are offered as ‘sides’ along with a variety of cold beverages.

For larger groups there are picnic tables.....

For larger groups there are picnic tables…..

Although the folks in the outdoor kitchen were busy with orders when we arrived we were made very welcome. We placed our own order, then proceeded to find a small bistro table that looked down the long sweep of fields to the cove. We spent a few minutes watching bald eagles, turkey vultures and swallows while we waited.  It was the perfect start to several days of travel – warm summer breeze, lovely evening, great views and a totally laid-back ambiance.

Good food and a view like this - it doesn't get any better on a lovely summer's evening

Good food and a view like this – it doesn’t get any better on a lovely summer’s evening

And then, our pizza arrived – which was quite simply the icing on the cake. Great ingredients in generous portions left us savouring the last crumbs.  We lingered for quite a while after our dinner, enjoying the relaxed vibe and partaking of some people-watching, before wandering back to our van and heading back to our bed and breakfast for the night. It was without a doubt the best start to a trip that I can remember in a long, long time, putting us in the right frame of mind.  Proof, I guess, that simple, honest food served in naturally breathtaking surroundings is the best.

Bird’s Eye Cove offers the pizza nights rain or shine – there is heated indoor seating available in the event of inclement weather.

            Further information on Bird’s Eye Cove Farm can be found at the website:

http://birdseyecovefarm.com/

            The farm is located at 5881 Genoa Bay Road, Duncan

            GPS co-ordinates are:

            Lat. 48.786863  Long. -123.60065400000002

            N 48 47.212    W 123 36.039

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.
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