I’m very happy to declare that patio season is finally upon us! This month, I’m going to take the opportunity to look at some old favourites and some of the new kids on the block (or the dock!).
First up is the new Landmark Oyster House in Victoria-by-the-Sea located in the same location as the legendary Landmark Cafe. I’m ashamed to say that I never had the opportunity to visit the Landmark prior to its new ownership, but based on my experience the new Landmark has already firmly cemented itself as an essential stop. New owners Greg and Marly Anderson have done a total renovation and the results are a modern but homey atmosphere inside and the same great patio. Chef Kaela Barnett is killing it, the food is incredible. I went for brunch and we shared the steak tartare and I had a bowl of chowder. The tartare was great and the chowder was one of the best I’ve had on the Island. A rich smoky broth and perfectly cooked seafood. It even had salmon, something I’m on the fence with in seafood chowder, but it didn’t phase me one bit. Don’t skip on this place folks, if they opened this strong this will soon be one of the best spots on the Island.
Victoria is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque villages on the East Coast. If you’re looking for the most picturesque sunsets, I’d suggest the Wheelhouse in Georgetown. I’ve been a big fan of Terry Nabuurs food since he opened his food truck Terry’s Berries on Water Street in Charlottetown. The food did not disappoint last summer and the menu is even more elevated this year. With oyster wizard Marion MacLean running the front of house and the addition of the infamous Shakeel Akhtar in the kitchen, the service and the food are going to be amazing this summer. This is undoubtedly one of the best patios on the Island and it’s great that the food and drinks are equally impressive. If they have them, get a few Brudenell Bullies (the local oyster) and share the seafood charcuterie board.
My final new entry is Cork and Cask in the former Steamers location on the Charlottetown waterfront. Operated by Rachel Sauvé (daughter of Eugene, the former owner of the Landmark Cafe) and Doug MacKinnon (ex-pro basketball player and all-around nice guy), this place brings top-quality seafood to what was formerly a tourist trap. I’ve really enjoyed my time down there, the music is laid back and the selection of beer and cocktails is great. I highly recommend the haddock burger and a mojito.
Sugar Skull Cantina has always been one of the best patios in town, but if I’m honest I’d say the food let them down a bit over the last two summers. I’m very happy to say that’s definitely not the case this year. The food is great, get the chorizo dog or the lobster roll, but everything I’ve tasted has been solid. They have a great selection of beer and cocktails and if you have a hankering for a classic margarita ask for Hannah’s shaken marg.
It’s great to have all of these options around the Island for great food and great patios. And, it’s great that the classics remain as well. You still can’t beat the lobster roll or fried scallops at Richard’s Seafood in Cove Head. Receiver Coffee Company on Victoria Row remains the best patio for a glass of cold brew or a Steam Whistle. And, if you want to taste the best of what PEI has to offer, Terre Rouge is the place. It’s bound to be an exciting summer and I can’t wait to discover some more hidden gems!