Stopped at Trattoria Nervosa for a quick lunch and ordered a spectacular pizza special. Fiore di latte, prosciutto, figs and pistachios. A wonderfully summery combination. If you are planning to hit Nervosa go early to get prime seating on the rooftop patio. I will definitley go back to try one of the pasta dishes.
This summer to date is a whirlwind of day trips and local travel, reconnecting with friends (and foods!) that consistently remind me why I love living in Ontario. Without a doubt, one of my favourite getaways was a recent jaunt to Prince Edward County. For the uninitiated, the County grows by leaps and bounds each and every year I visit. My first visit to the County involved an internship turned first job and a late night swim that we will not get into here. Let’s just say my tastes are now
A rare chance to spend some quality girl time with two long time friends, the plan was to keep it casual and spontaneous – with one planned exception. A trip to Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. If you’ve attended any of my holiday parties, or summer parties, or any gathering of any kind, you’ve inevitablely sampled a Fifth Town delicacy whether you knew it or not.
With excitement and high expectations, we traversed the County roads to the local cheese mecca. As it turns out, so did a lot of other people. I mean a lot – as in St. Lawrence Market at 10 a.m. on a Saturday kind of madness. The place was rammed – in a ridiculous, and pretty uncomfortable kind of way. But we persevered. I was happy we did.
After battling the crowds to select and then pay for our cheese bounty, the woman ringing up our order shared with us news that several Fifth Town cheeses had just won awards that very morning at the American Cheese Society 2011 Annual Cheese Competition. One of my favourites, Fellowship, a divine sheep and goat milk cave-aged hard cheese, was honoured. The cheese has a nutty quality and is a perfect complement to red (and as we later found out poolside, dry Rose) wines.
Fellowship was aptly named for its design as a perfect companion for wine. And coincidentally, that little wedge of cheese perfectly summarized and embodied the essence of our Prince Edward County weekend – good food made better with perfect companions.
Next up, a search for wine to pair with our cave-aged finds. Having previously tried several wineries in the County, I can honestly say I had yet to be impressed. The wines we had tried lacked depth – they just felt very young. My friend and wine tasting companion, now a local expert after having relocated to the County five years ago, recommended we try Waupoos Winery.
The oldest winery in the County, Waupoos was recently sold to new owners and is currently undergoing a revitalization. Upon entering the winery, you land immediately at a large building that houses the tasting room, an ice cream shop and a chocolatier.
Pro Tip: Skirt the tasting room and head straight down towards the lake to get the full effect of this gorgeous vineyard. By the lake, you will find a fantastic patio where you can sample the best of the winery while avoiding the crowds circling the bar in the tasting room. A much more civilized way to sample Waupoos IMHO.
On the patio, we were greeted by Jason Rose, whose knowledge of the winery and the area, along with his passion for the wine truly made this stop THE highlight of the day. We sampled several white, red and rose selections. Standouts included Honeysuckle, an off-dry white blend, Geisenheim Semi Dry, a German grape varietal that was an exciting surprise, and last, but definitely not least, Ruby, a rich rose and a perfect choice to finish our patio tasting experience.
We experienced a great deal more of the County that weekend, including a fantastic dinner at L’Auberge, a French bistro that puts many Toronto French restos to shame, while checking out the Belleville *ahem* nightlife. And it appears I will be back for more Fellowship sooner than anticipated since I conveniently *forgot* wine with our host. One pick up I can’t wait to make. Kerry, put it on ice!
Honestly, I think mid July is one of my favourite times of year living in Ontario. And one of the biggest reasons is that peaches are FINALLY in season. I scored a fantastic basket of small but oh so sweet local peaches at the market on Saturday.
To celebrate the season, I thought I would share with all of you my very best peach salad recipe. Savory, sweet, nutty, tangy – this one’s got it all. I’ll be making it myself tonight. It pairs perfectly with Riesling (a local favourite is Vineland Estates Dry Riesling) or Gewürztraminer (locally, Featherstone Winery makes a beautiful gewurz). Enjoy!
Fresh local peaches, sliced
Fiore di latte or buffala mozzarella, torn
Prosciutto, thinly sliced and torn
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Season with salt and pepper
I like to individually plate all the ingredients over the arugula, but it also works well tossed into a bowl. So simple, but will impress.
And so it starts…watch this space for updates on the best food, cheese and wine I stumble upon.