Just came back from a three-day weekend there and having never been to this part of the province before I was pleasantly surprised by it's beauty and tremendous food on offer.
We stayed at the the Kettle Creek Inn which was enormously comfortable, affordable and offered magnificent fare. I had the mandatory meal of yellow perch, which is a specialty of the area (who knew we'd be eating great fish out of Lake Erie one day?) as well as the pickerel, some of which I brought home packed on ice. It proved to me that what I buy here in Toronto is definitely not fresh. There is no comparison to freshly caught lake fish and the local fisheries are doing a booming trade. The Kettle Creek also serves Cumbrae farms lamb and beef which we also enjoyed. My husband actually stopped chewing his lamb at one point to see 'if it would melt in his mouth'. For a starter I had the tomato bocconcini salad which was one of the first times in my long foodie life that I have ever had perfectly ripe tomatoes in this dish. The continental breakfasts included some home-baked oatmeal scones that were so good I was dreaming about them. If I had one criticism of the Inn's menu it would be that the dessert menu would be a bit more varied and not really so heavily on pastries brought in from elsewhere. Buying the inn package, which provided on nights' free accomodation if you dined with them was a very good deal.
There are many other quality restaurants in the town and we had an opportunity to try a few of them; M.E. and Suzies is an all-Ontario restaurant that features local farmers, seasonal fare and craft beers. I had a spectacular ale and cheddar soup there as well as a smoked trout salad for lunch. Mickey's Boathouse, which looked like a bar from the outside, but wasn't, had pretty good food too; my husband had a huge chicken wrap sandwich and I had a very good sweet potato and coconut milk soup but the shrimp satay was bland. The owner was slightly tipsy but very charming and it's a nice space, even if it does suffer from an identity crisis. We had another lunch at the Wharfside restaurant which affords stunning views of Kettle Creek but the food was only okay. I did like the buttermilk-dill dressing house dressing on my salad. We didn't get a chance to try the Pineapple, in the restored Victorian Telegraph House, which also operates as a B&B but we peeked in and the dining room was lovely and the aromas were tantalising. Also, the Roxy Diner looked like a fun place but I din't get inside. I imagine it offers a lot of burger and the 'perch platter' which is a local specialty served almost everywhere.
If you haven't explored the lake Erie shore I urge you to do so. It's really making me believe that ad they keep repeating on tv and radio about how 'Good things grow in Ontario'.
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