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Unpretentious food in Picton or Bloomfield

I'm looking for a relatively upscale but unpretentious restaurant to take my mother next week. I've seen mixed reviews on Harvest but none recently. Has anyone eaten at Blumen? Any thoughts? Does anyone know of a farm restaurant?
We're going to be in PEC for a couple of days. Any particular recommendations for lunch, wineries and farms in the neighbourhood that might be off the beaten track?
Any favourite wines?
We know Black River cheese, Huff, Portabella, Slickers and Buddha Dog already. What am I missing?
Thank you for any ideas.

Buddha Dog (Picton)
172 Picton Main, Picton, ON K0K2T0, CA

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  1. Me too! Looking forward to the replies folks.

    1. Definitely make a stop at 5th Town Cheese. Beautiful stuff. It's a very different experience from Black River Cheese (which is a must just to get a bag of squeeky curds!), as it's a self contained facility out in the country. You can peek into their cheese cave, and they offer samples of all their cheeses, of which there are a huge variety of sheep milk, goat milk and cow milk.

      Oh, and make a stop at County Cider. They have a picnic area overlooking their orchards and the lake. I'm pretty sure you can order a light lunch there or just bring your own food. This is where Waupoos Cider is made. Yummy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Fifth town? Done! Thank you. Mmmmm...cheese cave - words that inspire joy.

      2. Go to East and Main in Wellington -- it's one town over from Bloomfield but it is soooo good and very casual. Exec chef is Lili Sullivan. Great cooking going on -- they even have a wonderful kids menu. I am normally a huge Harvest fan but this place is my new fave.

        2 Replies
          1. Merrill Inn always impresses and the food is some of the best in Picton. The prices are pretty reasonable when you consider what you would pay in Toronto.

            I didn't have a great experience at Harvest two years ago. I ordered a chicken pasta dish and they forgot the chicken. Must've just been an off-day for whoever was in the kitchen.

            I also like County Cider and their outdoor wood burning oven that they make pizzas in. The view overlooks the lake and you eat outside amongst the orchard.

            On your way there, you can have lunch in Belleville at The Boathouse Restaurant. They serve great fish & chips and seafood overlooking the water on the Bay of Quinte.

            Lisa - The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide @ http://www.hipurbangirl.com

            Merrill Inn
            343 Picton Main St, Prince Edward, ON K0K 2T0, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: FoodieGirl29

              I liked your idea of a side trip to The Boathouse and had never heard of it until now. But wow, it's had some nasty reviews on other sites. Everything ranging from service, to food, to rude staff is mentioned. I take it you've never experienced this stuff FoodieGirl 29?

              1. re: millygirl

                Hey Millygirl,

                I never had a bad experience, but I approached the place more as a casual patio and pub grub kind of lunch. We've been there three times and have been pretty happy. I would stick to probably fish & chips, as that seems to be the main thing that comes out of the kitchen. It's a bit off the beaten path and never seems 'touristy' to me. I didn't get a chance to get out there last summer so I wonder if things have changed?

                Lisa - The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide @ http://www.hipurbangirl.com

            2. Another place to check out is Vicki's Veggies. She has a farm and there is a shack/stand at the front with all kinds of goodies (veg, homemade pestos, soups, sauces) - if there is no one there, you can feel free to root around and leave money in a coffee can at the front for what you take!!! So cute. She also organizes events (an heirloom tomato festival for example). The best veggies ever. She now supplies produce to Splendido and Loire and has a stand at the Wychwood Barns market on Saturday. But her PEC farm is soooo lovely. She's been a favourite of mine for years.

              88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

              1. I noticed that so far nobody has commented on favorite wines/wineries. Can I take that as a bad sign for PEC wines in general?
                Does anybody feel like the PEC wineries are worth checking out, or is it better to save the wining for a trip to Niagara?
                I only recently found out that PEC wines exist, so I'm totally in the dark here.

                5 Replies
                1. re: graydyn

                  No there are some good wines -- I like Sandbanks winery near Wellington. Another one is Closson Chase (sp?) -- they are very good. If you try any of the above restos they will likely serve a couple of local wines that might help you identify what you like.

                  1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                    Ohhh, I love the Clossan Chase wines, esp. chardonnays. Nice and buttery, seems to go with everything.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      I love the Closson Chase chardonnay as well, but be prepared for sticker shock - it is rather cha-ching. Really delicious stuff, though...one of these days I'd like to give their pinot noir a shot (sold out when I was there).

                      I agree that Sandbanks is worth a shot, and more reasonably priced (and please, avoid Black Prince). Basically the wine scene is very similar to Niagara (quality all over the place...most of what's good still costs more than it should), just far more dilute. I prefer winery-hopping in this area for that very reason - the sheer density of Niagara is off-putting for me. I like to have a little countryside to cover in between wineries...otherwise, they all start to run together in my memory.

                      1. re: Wahooty

                        Finally! Someone who hates Black Prince as much as I do. Was it the headgear that threw you off?

                  2. Hi don't know if this is too late and you've already taken your mother to the county. Just want to say that Blumen is a good restaurant, they've renovated it all and it looks great. Harvest by far is a great deal as well. I've only been for brunch and it was delicious. as for your other questions...The Black Prince Winery is interesting, Huffs and Sandbanks is also a good look at too. Also you should check out Belleville as well. There are a couple of restaurant there that you might be interested in. My pics in that area are Capers Brasserie and L'auberge de France. You won't expect these restaurants to be in this city but one feels like Toronto/Montreal and the other feels like France. you should check em out.

                    Hope this helps a sort

                    1. For a terrific lunch, it is hard to beat teh garden at Blumen; a gorgeous setting, but a little too buggy for evening dining, which is why lunch is nice. Many of the wineries are beautiful - the wine, sometimes less so! If I had to choose, I would recommend Long Dog Winery near Milford, Norman Hardie and Sandbanks (west of Wellington) and for nice settings, Closson Chase and The Grange, both on the same road and relatively close to Sandbanks and Hardie. Happy travels!