Last month, the new app HelpMeOrder asked me to collaborate with them on some videos featuring the best dishes at restaurants featured on their app and I was more than delighted to oblige.
Is there anything better than the smell of fresh-baked bread? A nostalgic bouquet familiar all over the world, spanning thousands of years warms the heart and makes you drool. Fogo Island Inn’s bread initiated my love for the place, and within hours I felt at home. When I started researching my stay at Fogo Island Inn, I found dozens of dazzling images of it’s behemoth exterior, the comfy beds (and the spectacular views from them), but there was one huge element lacking. What about the food? While the food at Fogo Island Inn remains an integral part of the experience, there are few Instagram pics and patrons reviews don’t discuss it a whole lot. So you’re in luck…
When I first heard about Fort Amherst Pub moving to Churchill Square after several disastrous (and wet) openings in downtown St. John’s, I was pretty jazzed. The shopping square is a short walk from my house and I’ve always loved town square feeling of this veritable strip mall, but recently it’s become a little dire. With the departure of Dominion grocery store and iconic Papa’s Pier 17, the shopping destination in Central St. John’s became a little less central — I’m happy to see new life breathed in.
Then I read a local newspaper review of the restaurant. I’ve enjoyed reading many reviews and written countless myself, but I’ve have read few with such an air of disinclination. As a food writer, I think reviews are a way to tell a story about the people of a restaurant, to introduce readers to a new establishment or simply to present an unbiased view of what’s on the menu. It is not a way to kick a guy when he’s down. Because of this particularly negative review, I had to go check out the food at Fort Amherst Pub. It just couldn’t be that bad. Continue reading Lunch at Fort Amherst Pub | St. John’s
Sometimes I don’t feel at home at bed and breakfasts. Some spots feel like you’re at someone’s parent’s house while they’re away for the weekend. I’m always worried about breaking something or being too loud. Maybe I’m not sophisticated enough, or I’m not old enough …
Newfoundland’s Baccalieu Trail is full of things to see, and it only took me six years living away to appreciate what it means to be a tourist at home.
FORK., a pop-up operating out of Irish Loop Coffee House, has been open for a month now, an I’m still thinking about the food I ate. I wrote an article for The Overcast about FORK. focusing on the “who, what, where, when, why” but I could have written 1000 more words about food. So here it is, the no-holds-barred deliciousness I consumed on my solo roadtrip out to Witless Bay.
Setting up in the Irish Loop Coffee House
The burnt orange walls match the bright exterior facade nestled hillside in Witless Bay, making it easy to see when cresting the hill into town. Colourful vintage chairs match teapots lining the sideboard, and while these touches are identifiably the Irish Loop Coffee House, it blends well with the muted blue hues of FORK’s dish ware. Simple linen tablecloths tone down the coffee house vibe and present a more fine-ding touch.
Shaken with iceberg, not stirred
The menu is decidedly focused on local: they source everything from goat milk to duck eggs and even make their own salt! Even the ice came from the iceberg I could see from my seat overlooking the bay. The punny cocktail list is right up my alley. I ordered a Berry Good By’ ($9) — a drink made with vodka, partridgeberry and blueberry syrup, and orange juice. It was layered in the prettiest way and tasted fruity fresh, but not too sweet.
Sitting at the table I smelled bread baking (making me drool incessantly), and I prayed to the carb-y gods they would bring me some. And then they did. The mini loaf just like nan used to bake arrived at the table accompanied by a huge dollop of salty house-churned butter. It was crusty on the outside and warm and soft on the inside and it’s actually the Chef’s nan’s recipe.
Sitting on the dock of the bay
Enjoying the ocean views, I felt inspired to have the scallops as my appetizer. The menu is divided into small and large plates, so you can order an app and a main or order things to share.
The Fortune Bay scallops ($16) were fresh and cooked perfectly, paired with apple and celery. The blood pudding is a welcome addition to this dish, making the appetizer rich yet light and crisp. The cider-braised mustard seeds popped like caviar in my mouth as I ate.
Large plates at FORK.
The large plates at the pop-up feature more local ingredients like Fogo Island cod with baby potatoes and salt beef, or Kimchi Fried Rice with shiitake mushrooms. The menu changes frequently and is dictated by what the chefs can source from nearby providers on a particular day.
For my main, I went with the house-made tagliatelle with duck confit ($28). The pasta is covered with parmesan like a mountain on a snowy day and the perfect compliment to accompanying sautéed greens. The roasted cherry tomatoes are bursts of flavour in each bite, and the duck confit is perfectly cooked.
If you live in St. John’s, you need to make the trip out to FORK. for a meal. If you don’t live in St. John’s, you need to find a way to get there.
The dam of craft beer in Newfoundland is about to be tapped. When I left home six years ago, there wasn’t much of a scene here. Besides mass produced beers like India and Dominion (made by Molson) or Quidi Vidi’s small selection, there wasn’t much happening. Storm …