Food + Drink Autumn 2020
Appetite for adventure: Moveable feasts and sweet diversions.
Fresh from the oven: A taste of France
Main Street in Erin feels a little more Gallic these days, thanks to Alan Le Louedec and Gaëlle Thollet (above), who opened their French bakery Bistro du Pain in May. The spot builds on Gaëlle’s popular crêpes-and-galettes food truck. Opening during a pandemic could have been challenging, but the pair report an enthusiastic response from pastry lovers. The couple make fresh bread, bistro sandwiches, pastries, crêpes, galettes and fête-worthy layered cakes. The most popular items are the plain and almond croissants, apple turnovers and pain au chocolat, says Gaëlle. We’ll have to continue to sample every menu item until we can confirm. Bon appétit!
Shop talk: Into the woods
Fresh food aficionados have two new spots to explore. Mulmur’s Maple Grove Farm is well known for strawberries and more recently for the nifty produce vending machine in Mansfield. Now they’re also selling sweet corn, fruit, veggies and fresh baking at a newly built farm shop – in the former Woodfield Farm location on Airport Road. Market in the Woods in Caledon focuses on Arlete Cevada-Marcos’s garden harvest and plant-based goodies. Best-sellers include vegan muffins and herbed cashew cheese, as well as falafel, soups and tomato jam. Open Sundays until the end of November – then it’s by appointment only.
Red cabbage ready
Pop by Hillside Farmz in Mulmur for local colour in the form of young red cabbage, which we’re using everywhere its green colleague has gone before. The brassica brightens up cabbage rolls, kimchi, sauerkraut or slaw.
Cooler temperatures and a lack of pesky bugs make fall our favourite hiking season — made even better with a portable picnic. Here are four suggestions that pair a tasty takeout option with a nearby walk. (Visit inthehills.ca for Google Map pins and visit park sites for admission details.) And don’t forget this trail trash credo: If you pack it in, pack it out.
Cruise by Pia’s on Broadway in Orangeville for healthy lunch sandwiches on homemade bread and then crank out a loop in Monora Park (it’s less busy than Island Lake).
Visit the Bank Café in Creemore for a panini to go (plus carrot cake!) before making your way to Creemore Nature Preserve to catch epic views of the Niagara Escarpment.
Stop by Landman Gardens and Bakery in Grand Valley for a hiking classic — pepperettes from Thatcher Farms — paired with freshly baked scones. Then birdwatch in the ethereal Luther Marsh.
At River Ridge Café in Palgrave pick up a fruit smoothie and breakfast sandwich or wrap and enjoy the network of trails criss-crossing Albion Hills Conservation Area. (If you have cyclists in your crew, check out the biking options too.)
Do you have a favourite takeout-plus-outdoor-fun combo? See this story at inthehills.ca to share via comments.
Frothy beer news
Pilsner and lager hitmakers Caledon Hills Brewing Company have taken over the former Church pub in Palgrave. Plans are for a brew pub to open in early October serving seasonal beers on tap, along with a bottle shop. They’ll brew small batches on-site while maintaining their original manufacturing location. Similarly in Orangeville, Taphouse Craft Beer + Kitchen — the folks behind the town’s annual Brewzapalooza — has moved into the former Soulyve on Mill Street, with craft beers on tap, a beer-inspired food menu and bottle shop.
A sweet focus
It’s getting harder to justify buying those prefab, processed sweets these days, when there are so many options fresh from local kitchens. Here are three — who will even deliver to your door. Melissa Purvis’s Orangeville service Muffins by Melissa features rotating specialty flavours like rhubarb cinnamon alongside the always-available lemon almond ricotta. Now she’s got mini carrot muffins perfect for school lunches and even a savoury cornbread option. At Caledon’s Mmm Cheesecakes & Desserts, founder Manpreet Mundhan specializes in mini and whole cheesecakes in a wild array of flavours and styles including strawberry, lemon, mango, Ferrero Rocher, vegan, diabetic-friendly or keto. New creations include caramel pecan and apple pie cheesecakes. And Grand Valley’s Berry Sweet Notes lavishly decorates chocolate-covered strawberries with everything from gold leaf to sprinkles for any celebration big or small. (She offers pickup as well as delivery.)
Al fresco eats
We rejoiced the minute restaurant patios were open for business this summer — many of them purpose-built for pandemic-weary diners. This fall we’re especially keen to keep the staycation moment alive by pulling up a chair in some of our region’s most spectacular rural settings.
Heidi Baufeldt reports she’ll be keeping her magical new garden dining at Mrs. Mitchell’s in Violet Hill going as long as possible — watch for outdoor heaters to stretch the season. The front drive at Forks of the Credit Inn in Cataract was annexed to expand the patio and to make room for a chic Airstream trailer bar. Check out their live music and Name That Tune nights. And don’t forget the patio at the Terra Nova Public House with its views of the rolling Mulmur countryside or the breathtaking vineyard view from the patio of Adamo Estate Winery in Hockley Valley.
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