Countylicious has always been a celebration of farm-to-table dining. The County is abundant with agriculture, from traditional produce and livestock farming to winegrowing, organic and micro-farming, foraging, fisheries and more. County chefs and farmers work in partnership to bring local flavours to the plate, and Countylicious is a time to let those collaborations shine.
While most of the Countylicious restaurants have a strong farm-to-table ethos, we want to shout out a few whose local food game is strong.
At the Drake Devonshire, The County is on the menu. Literally. Chef Alexandra Feswick proudly lists the local farmers and producers whose bounty is showcased on her three-course Countylicious dinner menu. The menu features the harvest of generations-old farms like Honey Wagon, Campbell’s Orchard, and Nyman’s Maple alongside the next generation of farmers like Blue Wheelbarrow, and Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. The Drake’s drink list is County-forward as well with house wines from Rosehall Run and beer and cider from at least a half-dozen local brewers.
Drake Devonshire requires reservations for dinner. They have developed their own set of covid safety protocols called Good Clean Fun, acknowledging that “this is a serious moment, but we don’t want you to stop having fun.”
In arguably one of the most beautiful corners of The County, Waupoos Estates Winery and Restaurant sits on 100 acres of farmland on the shores of Waupoos Bay. Their fully-functioning farm produces vegetables, fruit and produce next to their estate vines. A farm-to-table philosophy inspires Chef Scott McInerney, who incorporates seasonal harvest, farm-raised proteins and their house preserves and pickles into the menu year-round. Pair that with wine made from their estate-grown fruit, and you’ve got a hyper-local meal in a hyper-beautiful location.
Waupoos Estates requires reservations for dinner. Seating is limited and physically distanced. You can enjoy safer dining knowing Waupoos Estates has signed the POST Promise commitment to a safe reopening. Take out is also available with a chef-recommended combo that’s great “to go.”
Chef Kimberly Humby at East & Main Bistro works with fresh, local ingredients that come from all corners of The County. Her Countylicious dinner menu features Prinzen Poultry from Bloomfield, Laundry Farms corn from Picton, and pork brined in County Cider. East & Main stretches beyond the County borders to include Eastern-Ontario products like pasta from Belleville’s Pasta Tavola and cured meats from Seed to Sausage of Sharbot Lake. The menu features plenty of choice with gluten free and vegan options.
East & Main requires reservations and they offer a physically-distanced dining room or outdoor dining on their heated patio. Take out is also available if ordered before 5:30 pm. They’ve signed onto the POST Promise to commit to safety protocols.
Hartleys Tavern is a local fave, with a casual but classy energy and creative menus centred on farm-to-table. In the peak growing season, Chef Jared Hartley has his pick of the best local ingredients from farms he passes as he drives to work. Hartley’s Countylicious dinner menu features locally sourced produce and locally-made products like Cressy Mustard to accompany the rabbit liver mousse.
We recommend reservations for Countylicious dinner at Hartley’s. They are following Dine Safe protocols and have physically distanced dining and limited heated patio service.
Surrounded by farmland, The Waring House restaurant is in an iconic limestone farmhouse that once housed the Waring family in the property’s agricultural past. The restaurant celebrates rural life and agriculture, and local food from neighbouring farms is featured prominently on their Countylicious menu. Mushrooms from Highline in Wellington, Laundry’s tomatoes, Vader’s maple syrup and Hagerman’s beets inspire Chef Travis Mindle’s lunch and dinner menus.
Reservations are available for The Waring House for lunch or dinner. The Waring House has been a community leader in safely re-opening their dining rooms. They even offer live entertainment with physical distance and see-through barriers. The Waring House has achieved the Safe Travel Stamp, Dine Safe and made the POST Promise.
The Marans in Picton is always farm-to-table focused. Their Countylicious menu features veg from Honey Wagon Farms. Look for the pickled pink banana squash and beets in their vegetable carpaccio appetizer. Brian Walt of Walt’s Sugar Shack supplies most of The Marans pork. Cloven Farms is their go-to for mushrooms and micro-greens. The Marans offers a culinary retail shop with pickled and preserved foods made from Laundry and Honey Wagon produce.
Reservations are encouraged for this intimate, 4-table restaurant. The Marans has renovated their space to include three self-contained booths and one physically distanced table. They have installed see-through barriers to enclose the open kitchen, allowing you to still see and smell the action!
Bloomfield’s flame + smith is a Feast ON certified restaurant, recognizing their commitment to sourcing Ontario-grown and made food and drink. And a lot of that food is sourced right here in The County. Chef Hidde Zomer collaborates with local farms like Edwin County Farms to source unexpected greens, veg and other produce to feature in his wood-fired plates. The creativity, care and attention to farm-to-table food is what earned them the nomination as one of En Route Magazine’s best Canadian restaurants in 2019.
flame + smith is taking reservations for their 3-course Countylicious dinner. They are certified with the internationally-recognized Safe Travels Stamp for their commitment to safer reopening. They offer a physically-distanced dining room and weather-dependent patio service (dress warmly!)
The kitchen at Parson’s Brewing Company (led by Chef Ian Chislett) is known for Latin-American flavours. But they build those dishes using locally-sourced foods. First course features Enright Cattle’s short ribs (from nearby Tweed). Lighthall Winery’s Cotija cheese from the Milford area makes an appearance on the second course. And on the dessert menu: Blue Wheelbarrow’s beets offer depth to a dark chocolate cake with salted ganache.
Parsons is accepting reservations for their weekend-only Countylicious dinners. Their indoor dining room is physically distanced, and their large farm property features a fire pit. It pairs well after dinner with one of their signature stouts.