The new Cluxewe Waterfront Bistro is in its fourth year of operation and has already gained notoriety. The restaurant is accessible by taxi, or boaters staying at North Island Marina can use the marina’s courtesy van. The Cluxewe Bistro is located 7 miles west of Port McNeill and has expansive ocean views of  Queen Charlotte Strait and Broughton Strait, with the Pulteney Lighthouse on Malcolm Island. Eagles sore over the beach at the bistro and nest in nearby trees, it’s a lovely setting.

We had the pleasure of meeting Chef Chris Pankratz and his wife Julie, who shared their philosophy of good service and good food. According to Chris, hospitality is the number one ingredient, “guests should feel good and leave happy.” Their hospitality and great food met our expectation of a complete experience.

Chef Pankratz believes in using fresh seasonal foods that are recognizable, with an added flare of various combinations and the use of locally sourced greens and edible flowers.

Chris is a fan of braising meats to lock in taste and tenderness, while adding special herb blends. 


We began our dinner with a couple of appetizers: Bruschetta, a combination of tomatoes, shallots, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic on grilled focaccia; and the fresh yellowfin tuna topped with mango in a semi-sweet sauce.

For a main dish, Mark chose the Lamb Shank, slowly cooked with a secret Moroccan spice blend, served with potatoes and fresh broccoli. 

Leonard chose the Trout served with roasted king oyster mushrooms and new potatoes over a truffle spring pea puree.


Danielle and I both chose the Chicken and Fig Penne, chunks of juicy chicken breast, black mission figs, and garlic in a gorgonzola cream sauce; wow! I didn’t know pasta could taste so good.

Cluxewe Waterfront Bistro

When visiting Port McNeill, be sure to make reservations for Cluxewe Waterfront Bistro (250-230-1006); it’s a seasonal restaurant not to be missed; menu selections change from time to time. The bistro operates June 1stthrough the end of September, open Wednesday-Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.