Newbie to Prince Edward Island - Where to Eat in Charlottetown
Thanks to those of you who recommended The Dunes! We are just back from a few days on PEI, and our meal at The Dunes was a highlight. At your recommendation, we made a reservation. First, I thought the service was great. Attentive without being stuffy, relaxed and professional. They gave my young son just the right amount of special attention without making him the center of everything. We started with the mussels and a brie and pear pizza. The brie and pear pizza was delicious, with fennel seed, cranberries, and pesto. Excellent. My husband reported that the raw oysters, served with a fish-based (nuoc cham) sauce, were also superb. Next, my husband had the cioppino, which he talked about for days. He said that the flavor was extremely rich and deep, and all of the seafood in it (which was abundant and diverse) was cooked absolutely to perfection. My son had the cornmeal crusted salmon, which was really nicely cooked and had a wonderful yoghurt sauce on top. The lobster pad thai was good, and had a very generous amount of lobster, except it was overwhelmingly garlicky. I love garlic, but this was too much for me (and my husband agreed; the leftovers were actually biting the next day); I enjoyed what I ate, but couldn’t eat much. Also, the portion sizes were very, very big, to the point where I was embarrassed to be asking to pack up so much food to take with us. I guess this isn’t really a negative for some, but I’d rather have a smaller plate. Dessert was out of the question (though we managed to make it to Cows for ice cream later – the strawberry was particularly good). But I would recommend The Dunes to anyone – it was a special evening.
Other highlights of our trip included Rick’s Fish & Chips in St. Peters Bay. Perhaps it was because we had just come back from an astonishingly beautiful walk to the dunes through Greenwich National Park, but sitting near the bay on the deck and eating fish and chips, lobster rolls (lots and lots of lobster!), and mussels was a fantastic way to wrap up that jaunt. I had a fish sandwich, which was very, very well done. We also discovered one of PEI’s best kept secrets here, which is Gahan’s microbrew. We tried a few different ones in the days after discovering it here, including the lager, the Island Red, and the Iron Horse Brown Ale. I liked the Brown, but didn’t like the lager so much. My husband thought the lager was respectable. Did he also try a honey brown as well? In any case, it’s always great to discover the local brew – definitely worth a try.
On our final afternoon, we stumbled upon Clam Diggers, in Georgetown. Hands down, this was the best fish and chips I’ve ever had (sorry Rick’s…). It was a buttery haddock with a perfect breading that was light and clung to every piece without any gaping or clustering. I don’t remember the chips; I was pretty much chipped out by this point in our stay. At the same place, my husband had curry-steamed mussels that were, according to him, “freakin’ delicious”. He followed it with a steak sandwich that was very good as well, and a caesar salad that he liked (but I thought was too lemony).
We ate breakfasts at our bed and breakfast – the Heritage Harbour House, in Charlottetown. The one thing I’ll say is that their breakfasts were incredibly thoughtful. It included the typical selection of cereals, breads (including yummy blueberry muffins!), and coffees/juices. But each day they also prepared a special dish that I thought showed a real thoughtfulness on their part. The first day it was eggs benedict, the second day was blueberry-filled crepes, and the third day was oatcakes with blueberry sauce on top, each served with a fruit salad. I think the breakfast matched the feel of the entire place – it combined the professionalism of a hotel with the warmth of home. Too often when I’ve stayed at B&Bs, it seems like they exist for the sake of the owner (whether for the owners to make friends or to have a place to display their collectables). This place was planned with the guests in mind: friendly, professional, and thoughtful. The breakfasts perfectly fit the feel of the place – thoughtful and satisfying. I’ll definitely go back.
I will second the recommendation for The Dunes by Ingress. One of my fave places to eat on PEI and do make a reservation since they are still vey busy at this time of the year. CHef Emily has a nice touch, food will never disappoint.
Another new fave is Daniel Brennan Brickhouse on Sydney. Superb http://danielbrenanbrickhouse.com/
It has just occurred to me that my 2 fave chefs on PEi these days are women...coincidence?
I think not.
also not right in Charlottetown but not that far away (15 min drive) is The Dunes in Brackley PE
this is an amazing little gem is it a gift shop? is a museum? is an Art Gallery? well yes! but most of all the restaurant is fantastic it a fusion of southeast asia and PEI
The setting and view is spectacular an dthe service has always been great I would suggest a reservation as in the height of summer I have waited hour+ for a table but the gardens, gallery and shop will keep you busy while you wait
with goodies like Lobster Pad Thai, Cioppino, Oysters, Mussels, Mediterranean Fish Chowder