Dinner at FiveEleven West in Summerside and Lot 30 in Charlottetown, PEI
*Note: Lot30 is now closed.
This weekend past I was helping my old boss Dana with a Bra Fitting and Sales event in Summerside PEI (Dana owns The Boobie Trap in St. John’s NL, and yes, I lived a former life as a professional bra fitter). Though we were very busy over the weekend, we were still able to sample some of the culinary delights that PEI has to offer. I had not been to PEI in over 15 years; we used to spend some time there in the summers when I was a child and I was excited to return to the land of Cows Ice Cream and Anne of Green Gables.
First stop on our speedy mini-tour: Summerside. Though I am sure that this place is a lovely town to visit in the summer time (the boardwalk and main street are quaint and lovely), and it must be said that the locals are more than friendly and welcoming, there is very little to choose from in terms of a bar and restaurant scene. In fact, there is actually no legitimate bar in Summerside, other than licensed restaurants. Dana and I, both being very appreciative of any food and wine establishment, found ourselves hard pressed to find much of anything in the way of imbibes or culinary treats when we finished work at around 8pm on Friday evening. Luckily however, some of the delightful women that we met during our time in Summerside suggested that we try FiveEleven West in Credit Union Place, the local rec centre. Though we were baffled at the suggestion of enjoying a meal at the local hockey rink, Dana and I cabbed over to the centre nonetheless.
When we arrived there was a basketball game finishing and there were people everywhere; the Credit Union Place is in itself very impressive with its modern facilities, but we were still hesitant about the idea of eating there. However, we were immediately put at ease when we walked through the door of the restaurant! FiveEleven West is surprisingly modern and sleek with its ultra modern finishes and decor and the very metro chic ambient lighting: It looked like a restaurant out of Toronto or New York.
Dana and I were seated by the friendly server and we immediately ordered cocktails. Dana chose her classic Caesar, and I had a ‘PEI Blue,’ which consisted of Prince Edward Island Distillery Wild Blueberry Vodka, blueberry juice, tonic and fresh lime…it was delicious!
Our appetizer arrived very quickly after we ordered: Spiced Onion Petals with two dips of Curry and Horseradish. They were essentially scoop shaped onion rings, but the batter was crips and flavourful and the spice in the Curry dip left the perfect bite on your tongue.
To go with our mains we ordered Wine Flights which, even though I have rarely seen other than in Craft Beer form at Brew Pubs, are becoming more and more popular. We both chose the white wine flight that consisted of a glass of Woodbridge Chardonnay, OPEN Riesling-Gewurztraminer, and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. They arrived placed on a very informative place mat and were very tasty, all for only 8.50$!!!
Despite the fact that Dana and I were less impressed with our Prime Rib and Striploin mains, it was hearty and warming food that satisfied our tired bones and we headed back to the hotel with light heads and full stomachs. The atmosphere and the service at FiveEleven West were awesome, and above and beyond any of the other establishments that Dana and I visited in Summerside. The only exception being Samuel’s Coffee House, the awesome coffe shop downtown which had a relaxed hispter charm and amazing coffee! The owner Mona and her staff were hospitable and friendly, and their Ham and Brie Panini was delicious!
Once we had finished up our work in Summerside on Sunday afternoon, we decided to take a quick jaunt to Charlottetown for a good meal, and what a great meal it was! Using my ever handy Urbanspoon App and a few texts to my old roommate Kara, who is an island native, I decided Lot30 (now closed) on Kent Street was our best option, and wow were we impressed.
When we first entered Lot30, we were greeted warmly by the host who took our coats and sat us in a booth. Though the restaurant is stark and modern in its design, the brown chenille banquets and warm lighting make the restaurant cozy and elegant. Dana and I ordered a sparkling cocktail with pomegranate Kir Royale and settled in to look at the awesome menu. Our server, Kevin, was convivial and informative, assisting us with our decision process and after about 10 minutes felt like an old friend.
To start, Dana had the Perogies with cream and bacon, which she devoured at a fast pace, raving at how delicious they were. I had a bite, and I had to agree, they were flavourful and really warmed your belly. For my appetizer, I chose the Butternut Squash Ravioli with a farm fresh egg and Padano cheese: It was amazing! Full of rich flavour and garlicky goodness, the combination of the smooth squash filling and the runny yolk of the farm fresh egg was unbelievable!
When the mains arrived I was delighted at the presentation and delicious smells. As soon as I had seen pork belly on the menu I knew that I had to get it, as it is one of my favourites. I chose the ‘Surf and Turf’ option which consisted of Maple Seared Pork Belly and Grilled Scallops with Potato Puree. The pork belly was crispy and soft in all the right places and tasted amazing, while the pillowy scallops were cooked and seasoned to perfection. The potato puree was buttery and melted in your mouth, which complimented the crunchiness and flavours of the julienned parsnip and spinach. Dana also went with the pork belly, opting to not do surf and turf, and delighting in a full order of the delicious treat. The food was so rich and tasty, I could not even finish, even though I tried my best. Adam was delighted with his doggie bag when I presented it to him at 2am Sunday night upon my return to Halifax.
Despite our fullness, we decided to have coffee and dessert because neither of us can resist Creme Brulee. The tasty dessert is one of my favourites which I order everytime I see it on a menu. I have eaten A LOT of creme brulee, and contest that my favourite is still Get Stuffed in St. John’s where I worked for three years, however, Lot30 gave it a run for their money. It was delicious! The bruleed top was thick and perfectly sweet and crunchy and the accompanying berries were sweet and flavourful.
The food and the service at Lot30 were impeccable. Both Ariel and Kevin were excellent and made us feel welcome and really helped to finish our weekend on the island in style. I cannot wait to return to Lot30 and explore different restaurants throughout the island on my next visit!