Sips Artisan Bistro offers an opportunity to sample the unique offerings of British Columbia's wine regions paired with artisan meats, cheeses, island grown poultry and west coast seafood. The blackboard food pairing menu features a revolving offering of locally produced artisan charcuiterie, artisan cheeses, locally smoked and preserved seafood and vegetables as well as a selection of North American craft beers and Belgian ales.
With all the gentrification viz-a-viz condo development in James Bay, and the tourism that passes through when the boats dock - Spinakkers has made the wager that James Bay is ready for this unique wine-tasting and 100-mile diet culinary roost. The wine is certainly pricey (I had a glass of Clos de los Siete from Argentina for $12 when the adjacent wine store sells bottles for less than $30) but the food is good value. My suggestion would be to skip the alcohol and get some San Pelligrino instead. The pairing itself was nothing mind-blowing... it was good, but not what I was expecting (especially given Spinnakers' fabulous beer and cheese/ beer and chocolate pairings in Esquimalt).
The food though - wow. Locally produced cheeses, elk salami, great breads... this is probably the best sandwich joint in town. And they run all seem to run under $10. Service is attentive and speedy, and they seem to have genuine interest in what you think of their product. The decor is modest, but suited to their purpose. I'm curious to see how tourists will take to it this summer.