Trout Point Lodge opens year-round, including exceptional dining

Trout Point Lodge in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, will remain open year-round in 2012-13 says Chef/Proprietor Vaughan Perret. For the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring period, the Lodge will serve 3-course supper in place of the elaborate 5-course dinners served during the primary tourism season . . . but quality will not suffer. Half Board (breakfast & dinner) will cost $144/couple.

Room rates are also a great value, with spacious main lodge rooms with river views now starting at $139/night. Rates do not include service and tax.

A range of activities remains available, including the longtime guest favourite: a riverside wood-fired hot tub. The Lodge also plans to add themed wine tastings on weekends.

The Lodge recently celebrated receiving 5 stars in the Inn category from the national accommodation rating agency, Canada Select. The Lodge had 4 1/2 stars for the previous 12 years.

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Don’t miss the Canadian Chefs’ Congress, Grande Pre, Nova Scotia

The Canadian Chefs’ Congress, September 17-18, 2012, connects chefs to our land, in solidarity with farmers, fishers, gardeners, foragers and all artisanal food producers. It is a biennial gathering of chefs from across our country that reinforces the passion and integrity of the Canadian food culture. Canadian Chefs’ Congress connects chefs to our land, in solidarity with farmers, fishers, gardeners, foragers and all artisanal food producers. It is a biennial gathering of chefs from across our country that reinforces the passion and integrity of the Canadian food culture.

President MICHAEL STADTLÄNDER says:

This coming September 16-18, 2012, the third congress will take place in Nova Scotia at the Land of Evangeline Campground in Grand Pré near Wolfville and will be organized at the provincial level by a committee led by Chef Craig Flinn of Chives Canadian Bistro in Halifax. The National Steering Committee will work collaboratively with the provincial committee. This congress will focus on the importance and struggle of the family farm in Canada and the rich culinary history and influence of Acadian culture in Canada and the world.

A featured event is on Acadian/Cajun cuisine.

Trout Point Lodge Chef/Proprietors Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary will participate in the panel on Acadian/Cajun cuisine at the Canadian Chefs’ Congress, September 18, 2012, in Grande Pre, Nova Scotia. Paul Kennedy, host of CBC Radio’s popular Ideas program, will moderate the discussion of how an Acadian food culture based in Atlantic Canada was transplanted to the Mississippi Delta, and transformed into trendy Cajun cooking. Perret & Leary, who operated Chicory Farm and New Orleans’ Chicory Farm Cafe before moving to Nova Scotia, are co-authors of The Trout Point Lodge Cookbook: Creole Cuisine from New Orleans to Nova Scotia. They have served as the Lodge’s chefs as well as cooking school instructors since 2000.

Perret & Leary will share the stage with Stephen Stryjewski, Chef/Owner , Cochon, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Karen Mersereau, Chef/Owner, Hotel Paulin, Caraquet, New Brunswick.

Trout Point Lodge showcases new menus

In 2012, Trout Point Lodge placed its new Chez la Tousquet dinner venue into full operation, with white table cloths contrasting with painted wood panelling and a handcut red sandstone fireplace, views of the river. A hewn hemlock bar rests atop wine racks. Riedel crystal stemware and fine flatware complete the picture. Guests can now enjoy several possible dining spots at the Lodge for an expanded 4-course fixed menu with options . . .

June 22

Spanish Mojama w/ Breviro caviar
choice of soups: Black Eyed Pea w/ shrimp or Roasted Yellow Squash w/ mussels
Fennel & Tangerine Salad
choice of main dishes: Homemade Fettuccine with Wild Mushroom Sauce or Fresh Local Hadock w/ Dill & Sesame
Choice of desserts, including Homemade Chocolate & Caramel Ice Creams with Merengue, Chocolate Gourmandise, Raspberry-Rhubarb Custard Tart, or Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

July 7

choice of amuse bouche: Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms marinated w/ White Wine or Homemade Gravlox w/ Homemade Creme Fraiche
choice of soup: Oxtail Soup or Eggplant & Pepper Soup w/ Coconut
Greens from the Garden w/ Tarragon Vinaigrette
choice of main dishes: Grilled Local Swordfish (harpoon) w/ Sage Beurre Noisette or Homemade Porcini Ravioli
Choice of Desserts

August 2

House Smoked Sturgeon w/ Acadian Sturgeon Caviar
choice of soups: Black Eyed Pea Soup w/ Cabbage & Leak or Wild Mushroom Soup
Mixed Green Salad from the Gardens
choice of main dishes: Local Scallops Ravigote w/ Lobster & Chanterelles or Homemade Squid Ink Spaghetti alla Arrabiata
Choice of Desserts, including Lemon Curd Tart w/ Vanilla Ice Cream or Homemade Passion Fruit Sorbet

September 3

Charred Trout Point Grape Leaves stuffed with Beef & Lemongrass
choice of soups: Creole Red Bean Soup w/ Coconut & Pork or Carrot & Ginger Soup w/ Shrimp
Baby Spinach Salad w/ Homemade Yoghurt Dill Dressing & Lamb Confit
choice of main dishes: Rainbow Trout Almandine w/ Leek & Potato Mash or Handcut Paparadelli w/ Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Choice of desserts, including Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding or Pear Tart w/ Maple Glaze

Trout Point’s 180 selection wine list includes selections from $29 to $1245, with strengths in French and Spanish wines. Trout Point has just recently joined Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  www.troutpoint.com

Trout Point Lodge invited to Food Day Canada

“deep in the lake-dotted wilderness, in a region so under-populated that the night skies are renowned for star-gazing, is the fabulous Trout Point Lodge.”

Food Day Canada is the time and place for Canadians to share their food and their stories with each other while leading other nations in cultural diversity, food ethics, magnificent flavours … and fun! Trout Point Lodge has joined the roster of restaurants nationwide selected by celebrated food writer Anita Stewart to represent Atlantic Canada on Food Day. Stewart notes:

The Lodge’s garden is a real and essential part of their operation and this year (2012) they are doubling their size. They’re even attempting to grow some vitis vinifera grapes.  The Wine Spectator presented them with a 2011 Award of Excellence, no mean feat for a lodge in a forest.  They house-smoke their own salmon, scallops, trout and swordfish, bake their own breads from organic flours and even make a selection of fresh cheeses.

Food & wine in Jumilla, Spain — a standout experience

While taking advantage of a special package at Spa Leana, known historically as los baños de Fortuna (2 nights double room with terrace, half board including wine, and a spa treatment circuit for an amazing 108 euros/person!), a hastily arranged day trip to Jumilla wine country (about 70 km away) resulted in a fantastic visit to Bodegas Juan Gil and an unplanned lunch at Finca de Olmo.

Juan Gil has an impressive winery facility amidst the rocky soils and chaliced

Monastrell

monastrell vines of northern Jumilla wine country. The winery has lots of extra stainless steel vat capacity, including large & small vessels, and vinifies both mid market and finer wines. The mainstay in Juan Gil silver label, which is made from 100% monastrell and receives 12 months of aging in French and American oak. The 4 month, with a new gold label, presents an excellent value.  The silver label can stand up to long aging, with at least 5 years recommended. Juan Gil’s great grandson explained that a new 18-month wine will be on the markets this year. Much of Juan Gil’s better wine is made from 80+ year old vines, growing in the starkest, driest, and rockiest vineyard land we have seen.

A little known fact is that many of the vines are on original rootstock, and this part of Jumilla was never affected by phyloxera. The wines produced were famous for their colour, concentration, and ability to produce high alcohol content (reportedly up to 17%!). Today’s finer wines are lean, tightly structured, and still alcoholic (14%)–the 12 month oak-aged wines need some time to open up.

Departing the bodega on the way back to los baños we spot a roadside cortijo and restaurant called Olmo. We arrive just at lunch time, and a table is arranged. Local sausages, a mixed salad with excellent bonito (mackerel) in oil, and fried local goat cheese precede the most amazing dish we’ve had in Spain in quite a while.

While paella is most often associated with Valenica–just over the border with Murcia–Jumilla apparently has its own, unique version. Paella jumilliana was prepared at Olmo in a heavy-bottomed paella pan cooked over a wood fire. One single layer of short-grain rice covered the pan. The paella was escargot and rabbit, with the brilliant yellow color of saffron unmistakable cooked into the rice–a true culinary expression of terroir. The smokiness did not obscure the complex saffron flavor, itself complimented by an excellent stalk, the rabbit (including the liver), and the snails. Perfectly cooked, the bottom was crispy and the rice grains  plump and flavouful.

A standout organic red from Priorato . . . will be on the list at Trout Point Lodge this year

Wine Spectator gave the 2005 and 2006 vintages of Bodegas Pinord‘s “+7blend 92 points. Having recently sampled the 2007–a blend of garnacha (50%), syrah (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon  (30%)–this producer of organically-certified wine has excelled again.

Silky tannins and featuring the weight and alcohol (14.5%) so typical of Priorat, +7 has a bit of smokiness, but is not so dense that it requires a lot more aging or lacks in subtlety. Berries, briar, and a bit of green pepper.

The wine is fermented in stainless steel, then blended and oak aged for 1 year.

Pinord has pledged to make quality wines here whilst maintaining a close relationship with more traditional grape growing techniques. From the beginning, the vineyards have been organic, using only permitted natural products on the land. All chemical products such as herbicides and pesticides are avoided.

Pinord has firmly adopted Biodynamic Farming techniques in their Mas Blanc vineyard. They believe that by following their own winemaking practices and by attempting to maintain a balance with the land, they will be leaving it a better place for future generations.

Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia will have the 2007 +7 on its 2012 season wine list, which specializes in organic and Spanish selections.

A pleasant Rioja for drinking now . . .

Bodegas Lan is a major, quality producer of Rioja wines. Like many other houses, Lan is going being the traditional joven, roble, crianza, reserva, gran reserva categories with some uniquely named wines. Such is the case with “D-12”, spied recently on the shelves at Carrefour in Andalucia.

It’s 100% Tempranillo with 10 months in a combination of new American oak (65%) and French oak (35%).

This wine is robust, with nice berry flavours, and ready for consumption now. The price is good, too.Bodegas Lan D-12 Rioja