Food blogger ‘Shwa Girl, also known as Lasha Laskowsky-Reed, hit the road to the lakeside town of Port Perry to check out an area hotspot: Foundry Kitchen & Bar:
I was out with a bunch of my girlfriends in Hamilton a few weeks ago, and I was trying to explain the Town of Port Perry to one of them. In my explanation, I told them it was like a cross between Star’s Hollow and what Castle Rock, Maine looked like in my head as a kid after reading every single Stephen King book. Which, in hindsight, was not a good idea at twelve years old. Even now, every time I go to the bathroom at night (which is a lot more often since I turned 40, I’m afraid), I can’t look into the sink in fear that there will be a finger poking out of the drain. A HUMAN FINGER. THAT WILL END UP SOMEHOW BEING MY FINGER. Oh, the beautiful twisted mind of Mr. King! I am also afraid of fog, grey cats, clowns, Pall Mall Cigarettes, and tigers.
But Port Perry! I love Port Perry! It really, truly is an idyllic little town! For my few readers NOT from the Durham Region, Port Perry sits on the “shores” of Lake Scugog, about ten minutes north of Oshawa. The main drag is a delightful street filled with gifty type shops, restaurants, clothing stores, coffee shops, art galleries and chocolatiers. At the end of the street is a quaint little marina with an ice-cream shop that’s perfect for an evening out in the summertime. From the outside looking in, Port Perry is as perfect a town as they come. Or the perfect place for aliens to invade if I were writing a sci-fi book.
In the past few years, two of my closest relatives, my first cousin Mark and my first cousin Christine (and their respective families) moved to the Lake Scugog area and they LOVE it. I love it, too. My husband and I talk about moving there all the time. It’s closer to his work and I’d be closer to my family. The only thing really stopping us is the fact that I LOVE my son’s school here in Courtice. I love it. I love the teachers, I love the principals, I love everything about it. And he needs a fabulous school if he’s going to be a scientist that will cure all diseases as well as a famous Crown Attorney that solves every murder that he comes across, both cold and current. It IS possible, you know. Didn’t Michael Jordan play in both the NBA AND the MLB at one point?
Anyway, there’s no better way to spend a Friday night than hanging out with my cousin, Christine. She goes by Chris now, but in my head, I still call her Chrissy. She’s a few years older than me and is more like a sister than a cousin. I figured I’d drive out to Port, pick her up and we’d check out a fairly new restaurant that opened up in town.
We had reservations for 7:30pm and the little place was packed. It’s located right across the road from the Lake in a little plaza. When we walked in, we totally forgot we were in a strip plaza. The room is small (seats only 35), with a bar as the centre of the space. Exposed beams in the ceiling and large wood-planked walls made it cozy and gave it a bit of an industrial-meets-cottagy feel. The thought and care that went into the décor was apparent and it gave the restaurant a hip vibe that most joints around here don’t have.
The gentleman who sat us (who also turned out to be our server) sat us at a cozy table by the front door. There was a couple sitting at the table next to us who were just paying their bill and we asked them how they enjoyed their dinner. They raved about the food and mentioned that they had both tried the feature dinner that evening which happened to be a Lobster Roll. We were intrigued.
I’m going to have to say that our server made our whole evening. Yes, the food was incredible, which I’ll get into in a second, but this guy was outstanding as far as service and he was absolutely adorable. As a mother, I hope my son has half the class and eloquence that this dude did. He was soft spoken, but incredibly outgoing and friendly. He was catering to all his tables in the same easy-going, incredibly endearing way. We loved him from the second we sat down. We loved him even more when he brought us our wine, which was from New Zealand and absolutely KICK ASS. I don’t normally drink white wine, but I will drink this stuff from now on. I forgot the name of the wine, but Chris took a picture of the label.
To start, we ordered the Charcuterie Board to share. I love a good Charcuterie Board, but who doesn’t? Growing up with Eastern European parents, we ate the contents of a good Charcuterie Board every single day – pickled veggies, cured meats, all different kinds of cheeses, the mashed up livers of some little bird or other…..yum.
I noticed a few very unique things on this specific board at Foundry. This was the first time I had seen quail eggs as part of the platter. Also, the addition of pickled grapes was really interesting. I hadn’t ever tried pickled grapes, so I was curious to see how they went with the rest of the dish. All of it was incredibly delicious. We polished off the entire thing pretty fast. Both Chris and I aren’t the most sophisticated of ladies, but we managed to stop ourselves from licking the actual board when we were done.
It was so filling, that we opted to split the Lobster Roll between the two of us. It was just as satisfying as the Charcuterie Board. The lobster was abundant and so fresh! The light dressing and the few greens that were added did not take away from the mouth-watering taste of the lobster itself.
There are so many things that I loved about Foundry. I loved the intimacy of the small room. I loved that the server was so attentive to everyone in the restaurant. I loved that he was so knowledgeable about all the dishes that they serve. I love the interesting and vast menu. I love that the taste of all the food we tried was unique and fresh.
Seriously…..this is a perfect place for young hip foodies and older culinary connoisseurs alike. It was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in a long time. AND they serve brunch on Sundays. AND they serve mimosas with brunch if you want. Which I want. So I will back very soon indeed.
Make sure you make a reservation!
Foundry Kitchen & Bar, 56 Water St., Port Perry. (905)982-2757