My guest has been talking about this one for a while now. A hot spot in White Rock, serving what he deems as the best place for cocktails, and home of his favourite: “Peate’s Dragon” (more on that later). So this snowy weekend, wanting to get out of the house and enjoy a drink, we made Uli’s by White Rock’s new pier, our destination. However the drive was long and not without peril as the weekend’s snow was sticking and many of the roads travelling downwards were treacherous with ice. So after much meandering were finally got to our destination. However, it being an eventful weekend with no reservations, our only seating option was outdoor in the covered, but not heated patio. Either that or wait for a table inside for 2 hours. So outside and immediate dining it was. Thankfully our server was considerate enough to offer us a fleece blanket each so we were warm outside; and inside, from the drinks below.

Our table turned out great. Past the plastic rain covering, we got a good view of the new White Rock boardwalk. Lovely lights and the people passing under them made for a great view, even in the dark.

My guest has been raving about this cocktail so started with it, reliving the memories accompanied with the smokey sipper. Peate’s Dragon is described as a smokey and effervescent cocktail made with laphroaig scotch, green chartreuse, citrus, simple syrup, bitters, and ginger beer. It drank like a smokey lemonade. A woodsy hickory scent that ends in a refreshing citrus punch.

I went for the Sir James, a more spirit forward beverage described by the menu as being a “Manhattan-esque cherry galore” with sazerac 6 year old rye, antica formula sweet vermouth, cherry cardamom shrub, and apothecary spitfire cherry cedar bitters. This was a rich and warming, classy drink with a dark cherry finish.

I liked the last cocktail so much that I got another one with Sazerac for round 2. It was actually named as such. What sold me was the menu’s mention of it being “renowned as the first cocktail”. Based out of New Orleans, it mixes sazerac 6 year old rye, peychauds creole bitters, demerara sugar, and lemon zest. This was a layered cocktails with the distinct flavour of absinthe to end on.

For his second, my guest went for a fun twist on a classic. The Trinidad Sour used Evan Williams bourbon, angostura bitters, fresh squeezed citrus, and simple syrup. It reminded me of a full bodied red wine, another tasty one to try.

For food, we considered the special Valentine’s Day menu, but decided to try their regular menu, given this was both our first time dining with them. On the same vein we decided to try Oyster Rockefeller for the very first time. Creamed spinach, grana padano, and hollandaise over a baked oyster. Served with garlicky focaccia and peppery watercress. The oyster was rich by itself, but well balanced by the bread base and the greens for freshness. This was one of the most luscious oyster dishes I have had to date. Not the quality or flavours I’d expect from such a casual restaurant.

We then moved on to a safer order, in their 8.0 Burger. Opting to split their blue cheese burger, seeing as we both enjoy its sharp flavour and you don’t find many that do. A beef patty with blue cheese blackened seasoning, barbecue sauce, pickled onion, garlic aioli, and arugula. We were further impressed by our server’s consideration, serving the burger sliced and the fries halved, each on our own board platter. Once again this thoughtfulness and level was not something that I expect from a casual, bar focused restaurant.

As for how the burger tasted, the patty could have been juicer. The texture was a little on the dry side, crumbly, but with a good amount of sweet sauce and creamier blue cheese to mask and overpower any other flavour. A standard burger, but it was the fries that I liked more. In retrospect, I wish we ordered the specials seeing as I liked what I didn’t expect to, and didn’t what I thought I should.

In conclusion, this is a great spot in White Rock for a drink and a bite. I would love to come back in summer to enjoy their patio, uncovered with that summer time blue sky and blue water view; all with another tasty drink in hand!

Uli’s Restaurant
15023 Marine Dr, White Rock, BC V4B 1C3
(604) 538-9373
ulisrestaurant.com