Summer is (mostly) here! With so many amazing seasonal restaurants I thought I’d talk about a few of those spots and some of the other highlights of the summer culinary scene in PEI.
It’s been a pretty exciting summer for new restaurants. As I mentioned in the last issue, the Landmark Oyster House has certainly made a splash. Bogside Brewing in Montague has also made quite a splash with both its beer and its food. It’s pretty safe to say that the return of Dave Mottershall to PEI is pretty exciting. Dave opened Terre Rouge in 2012 and moved on to open Loka in Toronto which was named Toronto’s Restaurant of the Year by NOW Magazine in 2015.
Dave’s passion for local ingredients is clearly on display at Bogside. Perfectly executed BBQ sits alongside some of the most delicate and beautifully plated food on the Island. The PEI Blue Dot brisket is the star protein for me, but it’s really some of the other dishes that have me most excited. The Brussels sprouts with smoked mayo and a maple gastrique are pretty much perfect and the pickled clams and mussels are delicate and complex. Dave’s charcuterie should also be coming soon and when that happens I’ll definitely be talking about it here.
Montague has quickly become a top-quality destination for both food and beer. I’ve spent a few Sundays stopping at Bogside for a bite and then heading over to Copper Bottom for a pint and some traditional music (and maybe a handpie from the Handpie Co. if I’m still a bit peckish).
Pretty much everyone knows Richard’s Seafood in Covehead. It’s one of those few places that actually manages to live up to the hype. Richard’s opening day has become a summer ritual for me and this year has been no exception. Go by yourself, go with family, go with guests, just go. I like the lobster roll and scallops (clams if they have them as well), but you can’t go wrong. Best tartar sauce I’ve ever had. Hot tip: go when it’s rainy if you don’t want to wait in line for thirty minutes.
I’ve mentioned Local Supper Club before. It features some of the Island’s best young chefs.
Regulars include Hunter Guindon (the main organizer) and Lucy Morrow from Terre Rouge alongside Logan Rafuse the Captain of the Canadian Culinary Youth Team. The last dinner also included Nigel Thompson aka Sneaky Cheats. This was hands-down one of the best meals I’ve had on the Island. Lucy Morrow’s first course of raw scallops was the star, but Nigel’s smoked goat and Logan’s mussels and chimichurri also knocked it out of the park.
Emily Duggan also killed it with the wine pairings. If you can, try and make it to one of these dinners, it’s so rewarding to see this group work collaboratively and cook with such passion.
These dinners are monthly and the next one is August 3 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown.
With summer in full swing there are a ton of great options for food on PEI. You can’t go wrong with the Blue Mussel Cafe or if you’re looking for some amazing oysters and seafood in town check out the Claddagh Oyster House. Grab some Sand Dune oysters from the East Cape Oyster Co. in Souris if they’re available.