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A Pointe's Profile

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Chez L'Ami Jean. Orgasm schmorgasm

This sounds like our experience (muted for only two people) three years ago. I can hardly wait to go again before we leave Paris! Thank you thank you thank you!

Oct 14, 2013
A Pointe in France

Why duck fat but not chicken fat?

My grandmother said chicken was wonderful for baking - but since the flavour comes through it must be a savoury recipe - not the cookies I tried ;-)

Apr 01, 2013
A Pointe in Home Cooking

Best Food in Port Stanley ON

ME and Suzie's

It was a toss up whether to put food or service first but I don't know that people chose restaurants for their service. Anyway, this is the best restaurant in Port Stanley. We have been spending a lot of time in this lovely little resort town in the last two years and tried all the highly recommended places. The Windjammer is excellent quality too but ME and Suzie's menu and wine list has greater appeal.

We have been through a couple of chef changes - a given when you move through the seasons and go from opening seven days a week to only four or five off season. Throughout, the quality of ingredients and their handling shines!

I won't bother to extol the virtues of the previous menus; the current one has plenty to offer. The ale and cheddar soup is fabulous. The ceasar salad and side salads are too - and not too heavily dressed - I hate drowning good veg in sauce. The fettucine is a wonderful cold weather dish. My husband orders a naked burger or the steak depending on how rich and/or hungry he's feeling is always satisfied. I have a terrible time deciding between soups, salads, pastas and pizzas - the specials of the day are always interesting. The French fries are good, too.

And lots of lovely Canadian wines, yes, you heard me, by the glass as well as the bottle and Robin and Terry are quite knowledgeable in helping match them perfectly to food. Or vice versa.

The desserts are fine though usually we opt to have the complimentary chocolate covered mint sticks instead because the servings are generous. I'm often tempted to order just one full meal and share all the dishes. But then we would have to agree on what to eat ;-)

The service is great - we have been often enough that they know us and know how critical I am and they still are charming and helpful and efficient, even in summer when the capacity more than doubles with the wonderful patio and there are a few junior staff who are lovely but working on their skills.

Fine and local dining in and around St. John's, Newfoundland

This chain is way out of date - pointless in fact except from an historical point of view

Jul 31, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada


Love Nicole's

Jul 31, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada


I like Zachary's - we go when ever we are in St John's for breakfast/brunch. It is a little expensive but the eggs benedict have a lovely cheddar sauce that is better than a lot of awful hollandaise I have had. The toutons are good, too, considering the best toutons are usually served in a bakery cafe.

Jul 31, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland trip -- looking for recommendations

I agree!

Jul 31, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food Part I

I had them this year - they were wonderful!

Jul 31, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food 2011 Visit Updates

Sorry - The Pantry in Holyrood NL

Jul 31, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Best Restaurant in NB.... and maybe farther afield

Rossmount Inn St Andrews-by-the Sea.

Jul 15, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Best Restaurant in NB.... and maybe farther afield

The surroundings were lovely - the previous owners were antique hunters. I was thrilled to meet my mother's (now mine) rug pattern in three different sizes in the upstairs hall - and Kaiser Wilhelm's piano (sic) in the bar.

Dining room is beautiful – a delicately figured wallpaper, nice linens and a true nosegay – oregano and chive flowers!

The wine list was okay, but the food! We got a package for $210 for room, a three course dinner and full breakfast. We paid an extra $17 each for the chef's surprise - 7 courses.

First, a mouthful of chicken foccacia with rosemary and cranberry - not a usual tastebud tantalizer but a very satisfying one.

Next an oyster with beurre blanc and some local caviar - wonderful!

A tuna carpaccio mixed with avocado, lime and chives – so lovely!

Then applewood smoked salmon on a blini with a horseradish cream – delicious (though just a tad too generous with the horseradish.)

Next was an unusual lobster, apple and foie gras combo – perfect foie gras, very tasty lobster and a slice of granny smith – I would have liked a little more apple and maybe slightly sautéed – but that’s only a suggestion, definitely not a criticism!

The meat course was perfectly cooked lamb with lentils – so yummy.

Some very nice local (Sussex, NB) from cheeses - sheep, goat and cow.

And finally a strawberry shortcake – strawberries and cream and custard on a light biscuit. Very nice.

We drank Fireweed pinot grigio from Oregon – even the lamb, thanks to a hint of mint in the sauce.

Friendly and knowledgeable staff made it most enjoyable.

Best meal I’ve had since Paris last Christmas.

Jul 15, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food Update 2011 Visit Browns' Whiteway NL

It is a great place for a simple meal - we had the best fish and chips we've had with Quidi Vidi Iceberg beer and followed by a very respectable partridge berry pie and ice cream.

Usually we go for breakfast which always excellent (partridge berry pancakes!) and worth the hour's drive from our house.

And the view of Shag Rock is lovely.

And did I mention the friendly service?

Jun 27, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food Updates 2011 Visit - Nicole's Cafe Joe Batt's Arm Fogo Island NL

Nicole's is even better than last year.

Paul had a lovely soup (sorry, can't remember - maybe squash) and I had a charcuterie plate with duck terrine, dried caplin, pickled halibut (my favourite) and assorted garnishes, three mustards, wild berry and apricot compotes, etc.

He had the grilled skirt steak bordelaise wine sauce (very good - just a tad too much salt) and cafe fries (the best he's had in NL) and I had the pulled salt beef with pappardelle and Parmesan - which, after I ordered thought might be a mistake - I don't care for salt - but it was deliciously unsalty and just plain delicious! I couldn't finish it and took it back to the B&B thinking I'd make a sandwich for the next day's lunch on the road but forgot.

We drank Hooley Dooley 2009 - an Australian we first met at Nicole's - the 2008 won a Decanter award.

Sadly we didn't have room for dessert so we missed Margaret’s partridge berry jam tart served with Growlers' vanilla ice cream that I enjoyed last year or any of some other berry treats. If you can't tell, I'm addicted to partridge berries.

Jun 27, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food 2011 Visit Update Fishers' Loft

Love it! A place where Veuve Cliquot costs only slightly more than in the liquor store. Where much of the produce is grown by themselves in gardens as beautiful as they are productive of delicious vegetables, herbs and flowers.

- A delicious cod tongue amuse gueule
- Fabulous tiny brown loaves - the best since my sister's
- A lovely green salad of their own greens
- Fresh boiled local lobster with a roasted potato salad with balslmic vinegar
- Cheesecake of substance and flavour with partidge berry sauce

All looking over a lovely view of water, rocks and garden, friendly service and beautiful and comfortable surroundings.

- passing good croissants with delicious local berry preserves and marmelade
- choice of bacon and eggs or partridge berry pancakes - hmm, what would you choose? - the pancakes were excellent

It's a set meal with a non-seafood alternative - the next night was to be salmon or beef tenderloin - I really wanted to stay another night...

Jun 27, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food 2011 Visit Update - Dildo Dory Grill

Ok, this was even better than last year. After the advice I got then, I had the cod's tongues (my second time and and the best until we had them at friends' home). Paul had the chowder - really good and much more interesting than the one we had at the Gypsy Tea Room. And the figgy duff was wonderful, even better than last time.

The lady who runs the front is from 'away' but an honourary Newfoundlander - I asked if you get that if you stay one winter ;-) - and very friendly and efficient.

And a nice view over the Dildo harbour.

Jun 27, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food 2011 Visit Update - Chinched Bistro

Every bit as good as last year. They have added a tapas menu in the bar (which has confused Where to Eat in Canada ;-))

We stuck with the dining room - delicious takes on local ingredients and dishes.

Paul loved his deep-fried chicken livers followed by a Chinched paella: prawn, warm mussel vinaigrette, saffron and chorizo risotto (more like a seafood risotto - cheese.

I was enchanted by my wild nettle and potato bisque, brandade fritter and sour cream followed by 1892 (beer) braised pork shoulder, whole grain mustard spaetzle, house made sauerkraut.

Pat and Harvey had ancho dusted striploin, hazelnut quinoa, truffle jus, orange confit which they loved (and could barely finish - maybe we should have done the tapas bar ;-)).

We really shouldn't have had dessert but shared a pavlova with lemon curd, macerated apricots and toasted hazelnuts and a butterscotch tart with chocolate sauce. The first was the winner but no complaints!

We had a Mionetto Il Prosecco Veneto to start and Osborne Montecillo Crianza 2007 to follow. I thought the wine list was interesting, varied and well priced, if a little short.

And did I mention the excellent service?

Jun 27, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food 2011 Visit Updates

A simple little bakery cafe - great for breakfast, a simple lunch or a jiggs dinner. Bread, (white, whole wheat and multigrain - no sugar versions available), scones, squares, cookies and tea biscuits. They do toutons on request and the pie crust is very good in pies, turnovers and flips. The trifle is good but sadly dependent on canned fruit cocktail and jello. Sadly partridge berries were too expensive last year so none in scones. They were so good.

And did I mention the couple who run it - Randy the cook and Daphne the baker - so funny and friendly.

And a great location - overlooking the Holyrood boardwalk and beach

Jun 27, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

French Patisserie in Waterloo

Every trip to Kitchener I try to take advantage of Sabletine (there's an accent over the first 'e') in Waterloo. Because Kitchener Waterloo has such an interesting town plan(?) I managed to take an hour to find the place the first time - 203King Street in KW has E/W/N/S and though I had the GPS I didn't have the E/W/N/S, postal code or the feminine instinct to ask for directions.

As the name suggests, it has French style pastries and breads, teas and cafe expresse. It also serves lunch. There are only three tables so it can be busy right at twelve and arriving at 2:30 on a winter Thursday there wasn't much lunch left. However, the rustic fruit tart is delicious - blueberries, elderberries?, cherries, not over sweet on a perfect puff pastry crust. The lemon tarts are wonderful. The cherry clafoutis tarts are also perfectly sweetened and yummy. I really enjoyed my tuna sandwich the first time (when I had planned to have lunch) and was tempted but resisted a roast butternut squash soup, too. I also stocked up on some dark chocolate almond bark and shortbread for Valentine's Day treats.

It also does catering and I have seen the amazing results - I only hope we can afford to have it do some of the food at our family reunion this summer.

Best pizza that delivers (to Yonge & Eglinton)?

Camarras if you are west of Yonge

2899 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3S7, CA

Best pizza in Toronto?

I agree - so sorry we moved out of their delivery area - sigh.

Chinched Bistro Last Fall

We were so happy with this restaurant - I hope they can keep it up! After our disappointments with Bianca and Bacalao, this restaurant was lovely! All the food was delicious. The wine selection was a tad limited but the appetizer of mussels was the best I've had in a long time, the pork tenderloin was so good but way too much - I took the leftovers home and made another meal of them. The chocolate cupcake with sour cream icing and maple-glazed bacon was wonderful. The owner (?) was behind the success of Growlers icecream store in Joe Batt's Arm on Fogo. I can't wait to get back!

Chinched Bistro 7 Queen Street St John's 709-722-3100

Feb 08, 2011
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Having some nice meals here and there in Toronto

Nove (Yonge south of St Clair)
Packed on a Tuesday night, noisy, but the maitre d' and chef were very friendly. Only our waiter seemed ticked off that we were only having appetizers (Eggplant Parmigiano) and a glass of Chianti each. It was a perfect sized meal for us and we didn't linger so not sure what the problem with him was. The meal and wine were delicious - lots of fresh tomato sauce, nice bread, light eggplant coating.

Origin (King and Church)
Packed on Thursday night. We were refugees from Kultura where we had one of those only-in-Toronto service experiences (and I say this after 2 months in Paris!)* We were assessed and delivered to the only quiet table and well looked after. The dishes were delicious if over-salted. I particularly enjoyed the spicy frites - sort of like a Spanish version of poutine with manchego and chorizo instead of curds and gravy. The duck wraps were yummy. The cod cakes looked like tim-bits but tasted ok. The pea soups of my friends looked, and were reported, good and warming on a miserable night.

Garbardine (Bay and Richmond)
Less packed on Friday night than during the week according to the staff. Tiny, a bit noisy from all the people standing around the bar, but with a quality menu with just the right amount of choice.

The four of us covered (and tasted)
- prosecco - apple cider and the only bubbly wine I have ever seen that had to be opened with a corkscrew (by design - no lip on the cork


- Smoked trout salad - not as elegant as Jacques on the Parc but tasty and not over salted or chemical-tasting and generous with the trout and not so with the celeriac remoulade - my personal favourite
- Caesar with soft egg, whole leaves of romaine, big pieces of bacon and a delicious dressing in a suitable quantity. We would have preferred a warm soft poached egg, but the cold soft boiled was acceptable.
- Beet salad was approved of
- Rabbit rillete was delicious

- Beet risotto with goat cheese and beet greens was very good though it lacked a bit of fresh herbs - tarragon maybe?
- Sautéed BC black cod with braised lentils and mushrooms got raves
- Roasted brined pork with creamed polenta and vincotto also wonderful - not too salty and though a bit chewy, it was very tasty - even the polenta got a rave from a non-polenta fan
- Steak and fries with fresh herb and shallot butter was really good in unexpected ways - good frites that really tasted like potatoes! And the steak was rare as requested, thick, juicy and crusted with a subtle mix of spices

We had the alcoholic pinot noir from Ampelos Cellars Lambda 2006, Santa Rita Hills, California which went very well with all the dishes.

- Burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich was really good - though surprised some of us because we get the burnt marshmallow ice cream from Gelato Fresco and this wasn't - it was vanilla with a burnt marshmallow crust - perfect!
- Sticky toffee pudding with sweet cream and toffee sauce was a slightly dry or stale cake but if you mushed it into the generous and wonderfully toffee cream sauce you could actually get most of the sauce without having to lick the plate.

The service was casual and not especially professional (waiter didn't know the specials or the wine very well), but it reminded me of the Paris flavour - real concern that you had a good time and got what you wanted. It definitely wasn't all about the tip and or tturning the table!

And the quality of the food and ingredients was impressive - I hope they can maintain it, because I would like to go again.

*Us older folk like to arrive early for a bit of quiet dining before the hordes descend. In an empty restaurant surely it is unnecessary to crank the music no matter how unhappy you are with the change of ownership. Despite numerous requests, the music didn't die till the white-haired woman with the cane who had been sitting outside on the doorstep waiting for them to open and let her in out of a miserably cold evening had lost the last of her patience and we left.

In Paris I and my husband were ushered in out of only slightly inclement weather a full half hour before the restaurant was open. Why do Canadians not get it??!!!

Gelato Fresco
60 Tycos Dr, Toronto, ON M6B, CA

169 King St. E., Toronto, ON M5A 1J4, CA

St Clair Restaurant
69 St Clair St, Chatham, ON N7L3H8, CA

Chowhound's Own Top 10 Restaurants of GTA

Sorry - I lost track in this chain - 'his' is Copper Chimney?

Copper Chimney
619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

Bellota Bellota

We found this place on a previous trip (next to our favourite bakery - Poujouran - sadly no longer with us but the new place Secco is pretty good). Bellota Bellota is a wonderful Spanish ham place - with a tiny restaurant and a beautiful basement - was it originally a wine merchant? There are a couple of tables down there that would make a very good romantic setting. But the food...!

We did the menu - we were late for lunch but it didn't seem to matter - A free sampler of three of their four taramas and caviars came first.

A glorious gazpacho with every ingredient clearly identifiable to taste but not to see - augmented with some of their delicious sausages which Paul had as a very generous appetizer as well. Delicious bread - there was something in the menu about Poilane but no one ever cuts it that thick so it is still moist and flavourful. We could probably have stopped there, but we had a full bottle of Spanish Wine (Rioja 2005 our favourite) and nowhere to go or be.

I had ordered the carailladas (pig cheeks) but sadly it was gone so had the calamari in its own ink instead - amazing with their potato puree with olive oil, paprika and some wonderful herb. Paul had the loma (pork) with tomato - and pureed potatoes with sausage - delicious. The dessert wasn't theirs but fabulous anyway - tarte au caramel salle. Yum. The coffee came with slightly salty nuts and chocolate covered pinenuts(?) and a brown sugar heart hung on the side of the cup. All the dishes are glass and perfectly suited to each dish. Really beautiful.

And of course the ham, which they will cut for you or give you (for a reasonable but pricey consideration) prepackaged for travel.

Bellota Bellota
18 Rue Jean Nicot
75007 Paris
01 53 59 96 96

Dec 17, 2010
A Pointe in France

One more on Chez l'Ami Jean

We went for a great lunch at Chez l'Ami Jean and check out for reviews. They are mixed but we thought it was just wonderful!

We arrived early - the staff have a comic routine going, the waiter said the Basque wine was just like him, brash but good. We told the waitress he/it certainly wasn't Margaux but went well with the food.

My first course was a lobster soup served over a mix of nuts - hazel nuts, chestnuts, almonds - sesame seeds, and something else, that transforms it from the usual taste of lobster bisque to something quite a bit more interesting. Paul had calamari with a delicious sliver of air dried bacon or Basque ham, caviars - tiny black and larger red - and more nuts.

Since it was early, the chef Stephane himself? tried out some new recipes on us - he said if we didn't die he would serve them to others ;-) Needless to say they were fabulous. There was a bouillon light and delicious, though a little salty for me the salt-o-phobe, but fine for Paul, with finely chopped Basque smoked peppers, celery root and leaf and something else I can't remember - delicious. The second dish was a ravioli - basically two thin slices of dried and/or roasted eggplant with a cube of game - venison or sanglier - on top and mussels with chopped lobster underneath. It worked! The mussels have enough flavour to stand up to the game and the eggplant provided a medium to prevent a hostile confrontation.

Our mains were 1. milk-fed lamb with Jerusalem artichokes and 2. maigret with tiny macaroni to die for. The meats were perfectly cooked - since we like rare (they did ask) - the potato puree was like cream, the artichokes were beautifully al dente and the macaroni were done with a little spice and ham or lardon. Just fantastic - plus the continuous pleasantries of the staff starting to get busy but sparing a joke for most people - we loved it!

Dessert - well, we had to try the rice pudding and yes, next time we will order one for a table of four. Paul had the Paris Brest creme but I think the rice pudding was better. Paul finished with an 1992 Armagnac that pretty much finished us!

We'd go back in a heart beat yet I completely understand the reviews. If you can't bear dishes not to come at the same time, a wait staff that doesn't take anything too seriously and a chef who takes everything that goes out of the kitchen very seriously but loves to experiment, don't go.

Dec 09, 2010
A Pointe in France

Newfoundland Food III


At the end of the season a lot of places were closed but there were some nice items. The Anchor Inn's Caesar (real bacon bits and a light homemade dressing) and seafood or cod au gratin - more like a souffle with a cheddar topping was rich but tasty on a cool wet night. Wine list disappointing. Newfoundland treat dessert was three scoops of ice cream with three sauces - blueberry, partridge berry and bakeapple made by the chef - very nice.

Next day's lunch at R and J's was tasty but indigestible: fisherman's platter - scallops, shrimps and cod - the first two battered, the last lightly coated with flour and perfectly cooked and a forgettable burger with freezer fries. Dessert might have been good; it looked like it came from the tea room across the road, the Cozy Tea Room and Bakery Cafe where we went for "the best toutons in the country" according to friends. Enjoyed them mightily on the back deck and willing to accept that they are the best - just next time we won't eat beforehand!

Auk Island winery - sadly the tasting guide was a little under the weather so it was not as enjoyable an experience as it might have been. They are experimenting with Niagara, ON and Italian grapes so putting out classic grape varietals and blends - chardonnay, cab sauv, shiraz and amarone, both pure and with a touch of berry - blueberry, rhubarb, partridge berry, bakeapple, etc. as well as traditional berry wines mostly of the aperitif and dessert varieties. Admirable effort and the Republic rose* made with Raspberry-Rhubarb was quite engaging - I bought a bottle but I think I left it behind.

*"Republic is a bold stand-out from other wines, uniting the sharp flavour of rhubarb with the refreshing taste of plump, juicy raspberries. The result is a crisp, fruity wine with an undercurrent of sweetness. Blended with pure iceberg water, together these three elements reflect the pink, white and green of the Newfoundland Republic flag.

Serve Republic ice-cold on its own, or in a glass with ice and sparkling water for a delicious spritzer that makes wine coolers taste lame by comparison. Or use it to make pitchers of sangria at your next party"

Joe Batt's Arm

Nicole's Cafe was an unexpected treat. Friends mentioned it in passing and it is stellar. Don't know if it is the visiting executive chef Robert Bourassa or the usual standard but the mini-burgers - beef, chicken and shrimp were delicious! Even the ketchup - was it homemade? If it wasn't, I have to revise my stand on ketchup as for children only. The grilled steak sandwich was also delicious - an interesting 2004 Aussie wine, Hooley Dooley, with a classic Bordeaux blend of grapes though not quite a classic taste. Dessert was a local tart shell made with molasses - tasted like gingerbread with partridge berry filling and ice cream; not Growlers* ice cream, though they have used theirs in the past. Hope we can taste that, too. Nicole's and Growlers are part of a project by a charity called Shorefast trying to preserve the community.

For dinner, we started with a great but slightly too salty for me duck pate with a partridge berry Cumberland sauce. Paul had the best flank steak ever, if you can imagine - it melted in your mouth. I had a very nice local vegetable and tomato risotto. The challenge was the serving size - too large for old folks who had had a large lunch. The Italian Salice Salentino was a perfect match for the food.

Sunday dinner was a delicious clear broth and fish bits soup for Paul, a lovely fresh pea soup with a goat cheese flan and a perfectly cooked bit of redfish for me - fabulous. Then roast chicken with a wild mushroom fricasse for Paul and roast pod cod with cabbage and frites - the cabbage was just a few strips with the thin strips of carrots, zucchini and onion - delicious and definitely not overpoweringly cabbage for those who were not fans. The potatoes were supposed to be croquettes but the chef hadn't completely mastered them and Robert was gone so she played it safe. Kudos for trying, I thought! We had a Villa Maria NZ sauvignon blanc and a glass of Salice Salentino - very good combo. Dessert was a decent tarte tatin with a scoop of Growler's vanilla ice cream.

We even had room for an ice cream on the way home - since it was our last chance at Growlers (winter hours are limited). Very good chocolate, salty caramel was, you guessed it, too salty. Paul couldn't even finish it. And the first time I passed up partridge berry - the flavour is partridge berry tart with the whole thing mixed in and I just don't like that kind of chunk in my ice cream.

* Bergy Bits and Growlers
Very small chunks of floating ice that rise only about 1 meter / 3 feet out of the water are called "growlers". When trapped air escapes as the iceberg melts, it sometimes makes a sound like the growl of an animal, and that's how growlers got their name.

Small icebergs, rising between 1-4 meters / 3-13 feet out of the water are called "bergy bits". These may be small icebergs in the latter stages of melting, iceberg fragments, or pieces of floebergs or hummocked ice.

Bergy bits may sound cute, but they can still be dangerous to ships because they are harder to see than large icebergs.

The challenge for all NL restaurants - with such a small and widely varied clientele - how do you satisfy those who want classic NL favourites, large portions and a fairly high salt content from traditions of salt cod and beef as well as CFAs*, especially the older ones, who prefer smaller portions (to allow room for three courses), are used to less salt and looking for some variety in the classic dishes that they've been having everywhere they go.

*Come from Aways

Sep 13, 2010
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food Part I

Yum. Hope we get to try them before we leave. Thanks!

Sep 10, 2010
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food II

A Picnic in Ferryland - No, I haven't forgotten how to spell. There really is a place called Ferryland, NL. We went to see the lighthouse and found a delightful place (in Where to Eat in Canada and on Chowhound) where they make you a classy picnic up in a basket and take it anywhere you like on this glorious headland to sit on the blanket they provide and enjoy dining with whales. Yes, there they were - a whole school full, blowing balloons of mist, which made them humpbacks, I think.

Lunch consisted of their own lemonade (not too sweet) served in a mason jar - so handy for avoiding spills - Paul had slabs of their own baked ham and Quebec brie on their own bread, I had curried chicken on their own bread and two (Paul doesn't like cold pasta) orzo salads with cherry tomatoes and peppers. We shared apple cake with toffee sauce and a cranberry scone with orange sauce.

It was glorious!

Brigus - blueberry crisp and ice cream - yum, yum, yum

Cupids - Skipper Ben's B&B has a great lunch (or dinner) so low key we never saw a menu or prices but came out after a very nice pan fried cod, a pretty decent homemade coleslaw, a reasonable South African sauvignon blanc and a partridge berry crepe, feeling we wanted to comeback soon. Lovely house with a view of the harbour mouth.

Zachary's St. John's - great bacon and eggs breakfast with toutons - a NL specialty called fried bread but really fried bread dough - somewhere between a bagel and a pancake - served with molasses and syrup. Yum. Trip Advisor reviews complain about the service but I have lots of time to enjoy waiting for good food in good company - of friends, friendly diners or my own.

Breens - a deli convenience chain that seems fairly widespread - don't know if the others are as good as the one at the Ultramar(?) on the TCH just east of Clarenville but I was very impressed with the real turkey club with thick slices of real turkey - no processed slices (cheese though, sadly, was)- and passable fries. Paul had quite decent eggs and bacon. We bought a raisin scone and partridge berry muffin to go which were not up to The Pantry standards.

Mount Peyton Hotel Grand Falls - Windsor - it's very convenient to the TCH and the breakfasts are reliable though the coffee is a bit weak.

Earl's Rocky Harbour - Loved the moose burgers and delicious fries (we played it safe). They make everything themselves and even the coleslaw proved it. The partridge berry pie was so good I want to go back and try their moose pot pie - very good pastry! Their fish and chips looked good and were very popular. Interesting tiny wine list but we only had Quidi Vidi beer - Paul likes the Iceberg version - I tried the traditional 1892 which was rich tasting until we went back to the hotel and had a (canned) Guinness while we waited for the room. But then Guinness is like that.

Sep 04, 2010
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland Food Part I

I was somewhat apprehensive as a self-confessed foodie to leave Ontario, especially Toronto, where good food and wine abound (no snickers please), and approach the Atlantic provinces where even is amazingly reticent on restaurant suggestions.

So it was a pleasant surprise to find good food wherever we've been, drinkable wine and some great new discoveries. Clearly things are changing.

In St John's we had:
- great halibut two different ways at Magnum & Stein, a house South African sauvignon blanc that completely met the match, and a decadent dessert with chocolate and peanut butter
- lovely pilaf, scallops and Caesar salad, a salad I had almost given up on, at Portobello with a nice Chablis from Fevres, decent creme brulee and berry towers for dessert; the only real disappointment being the cods' tongues - a little too breaded
- Gypsy Tea Room Kobe beef sliders, sweet potato fries with a nice Spanish crianza preceded by a nice Caesar salad or beet, goat cheese salad and portobello and chanterelle soup. No dessert that time after all that food... but we'll go back - good cellar.
- Auntie Crae's has very nice baked goods - beer bread, a decent baguette, partridge berry cake; and lots of local specialties like bakeapple (aka cloudberry) jam, partridge berry (aka lingon berry) jam, Newfoundland Chocolate Co chocolates, etc. and a little cafe we didn't get into because it was Tuesday and full of music fans listening to local traditional musicians
- Belbin's Grocery really good store with with Auntie Crae products plus local meats and vegetables and lots of imported essentials not locally available in NL. Local finds - pre-sale agneau (pre-salted lamb because it feeds on saltwater vegetation) as well as a range of prepared frozen foods which we didn't sample but were well spoken of.

In Holyrood, a small village about 45 minutes away from St John's we discovered:
- Mary Brown's - an east coast KFC-type restaurant chain with better quality, lighter battered, juicier chicken
- The Pantry bakery and cafe with a decent basic eggs and bacon breakfast during the week with good bread and very good baking. The peanut butter cookies and blueberry squares are very popular at our house and the partridge berry scones were a trip discovery - though not consistently available this close to the next harvest
- a good basic fresh food grocer Dawes with fresh fish, frozen meat, a very passable black pudding and the basic fresh veg every kitchen needs
- Tea Garden We went for lunch Sunday. What a great place. Built as a retirement home for a Norwegian sea captain, it's a lovely gracious building taking in every facet of the most beautiful scenery in Holyrood. The scenery made up for any lack of excitement in the food - it was very good quality simple home cooking with lovely china and table linens. The only things I'd complain of was the small wine list with lots of items unavailable but you couldn't argue with the prices and I suppose it is the end of the main season here. We had Caesar salads and fish cakes or pan fried cod with scunchions*. The fish cakes were made with freshly mashed potatoes and delicately spiced. The cod was very good; the scunchions were, too. The salads were good. The bread pudding was good; I think we could do better but it was 'home' made.

Dildo (yes, it really is called that) another 30 minutes northwest
- Dildo Dory Grill We had a over-dressed Caesar salad but with real bacon and good quality greens and a seafood appetizer platter which was two-thirds locally sourced and prepared (no calamari available locally - they use it for bait.) Not a lot of wine to choose from but Pelee Island Gewurztraminer is not a bad match for seafood. We weren't sure how they would do on the cods' tongues after the Portobello experience so we didn't order them, even though they were, but aren't always, available. We were sorry after we saw how well they did the other items. Next time. Enjoyed the Figgy Duff though I'm sure we can find (or make) better.

Cavendish - a little past Dildo
- Browns restaurant, recommended in Where to Eat in Canada, had great bacon, eggs and partridge berry pancakes. Lunch looked good enough to come back for, so we did and had very nice cod bits and chips (fish and chips style) and partridge berry pie.- pastry not a big hit but those berries! Also a great view of Shag Rock.

*Scrunchions are delicious bits of fried salt pork fat reminiscent of French lardons

Sep 04, 2010
A Pointe in Atlantic Canada