270 Main Street
In her opinion:
We did our research very carefully before heading to Prince Edward County for the August long weekend. According to Urbanspoon, East and Main Bistro is the top choice to dine in the County. I now totally understand why.
This is refinement at its best. Owners Kimberley Humby and David O'Connor have a wonderful treasure in the heart of Wellington, Ontario. Kimberely Humby has worked in such fine establishments as YYZ (now closed), the Fifth, Fat Cat, Far Niente and Langdon Hall (Cambridge's own). David O'Connor is a sommelier and wine consultant. Together, they have created a perfect spot for dinner in this almost island that is Prince Edward County.
I started with a glass of Sandbanks Estate Winery's Riesling. During my wine tour of the area, I learned that Sandbanks uses only County grapes in their Riesling, which produces a much more citrusy wine.
For my appetizer, I ordered the "Gravlax cured with 66 gilead vodka, capers, red onion, and horseradish cream".
Gravlax is traditionally cured in salt, sugar and dill. However, the East and Main Bistro cure theirs in vodka which creates a clean tasting salmon. It was served with lightly toasted brioche triangles. This was very refreshing and delicious. A perfect start to a perfect meal.
For my main, I chose "Prizen farm's chicken breast filled with goat cheese, spinach and sun dried tomato with double smoked bacon and served with pomme fourchette and wine reduction".
This was a well composed dish. The chicken was perfectly cooked. The goat cheese filling was not over powering at all. The double smoked bacon added the right amount of balance to the subtle flavour of the chicken. The vegetables were perfectly cooked. Besides the pomme fourchette, there was parsnips, green beans and peas on the plate. The wine reduction provided a nice flavour enhancer to the whole dish. Overall, very very good.
Unfortunately, I was much too full for dessert. I would definitely recommend East and Main Bistro to anyone who loves really good food, prompt and attentive service and an perfect ambiance. The overall experience was excellent and exceeded my expectations.
In his opinion:
The buzz around this place in the County is pretty high and once there, we noticed that it was constantly busy and that's always a good sign. We were going here with some high expectations given that by reputation and resume alone, the owners should be able to provide a great experience and very good food to match.
We arrived a few minutes early and got a parking spot right in front of the door so the night started right. We were immediately seated on the usual "they have a child" seating in the back of the room to the left. We are already used to it but it never fails to amaze me how consistent restaurants can be in their thinking.
The restaurant is bistro style, upscale but not over pretentious. The menu is extensive and has a lot of appealing choices and variety. While browsing the menu I ordered my St. Pellegrino sparkling water since the wine tastings had put me at my limit for the night and I'm a responsible patron and driver.
Meanwhile, the bread plate arrived with a mix of white and whole wheat slices that worked just fine for our picky son that mostly survives on bread (his choice not ours). I ordered "the seared scallops, double smoked bacon and laundry farm's corn fricasee". The scallops were done perfectly and the corn fricasee was a perfect sweet contrast to the savoury bacon. The portion was good, the presentation was great and was served well by a very nice server
For an entree, I ordered "the fresh pasta Alfredo, served with baby shrimps, grilled red onion, high line mushrooms, spinach in a lovely garlic white wine cream". This was delicious and so comforting. I usually don't consider pasta comfort food but this was just a very good creamy Alfredo sauce, and lovely shrimp or it just may be the setting and candlelight all around us that made it comfy. Romantic setting but with our child watching cartoons on his ipad, oh well, we take what we can get.
For dessert, I had to go solo as Julie had tapped out a while back so I turned to one of my favourites, going along with the comfort thing I picked the "daily creme brulee". The creme brulee was very good and served with a biscotti on top. To go along with my dessert I ordered my usual espresso which was again weak and flavourless, as usual. What's a guy got to do to get a decent espresso in a restaurant these days?
The Good: Upscale food in a great setting make this a "must go" when in Prince Edward County.
The Bad: The back of the room seating was not the best welcome. Our first server, substituted even before appetizers was I think the black sheep of the heard
The Verdict: A very nice bistro serving upscale food and very good food at that. Great atmosphere complimented by good service and joyful staff. I noticed that Nathalie Atkinson, writer for the National Post tweeted about having a bad experience only one week after me being there, so consistency may be hard to come by, but for us, on that day it was great.
I give it 3 1/2 Olives out of 5 as rating