The Manse (Prince Edward County)

If you’re fortunate enough to score a room at the Manse while staying in Prince Edward County, consider paying the extra $55/person to experience a private meal, which is only available to the inn’s guests. Served in the dining area on the main floor or outside by their water feature when the weather’s nice, it’s an opportune way to enjoy a four-course meal without leaving the comfort of the inn. If you’ve picked up a great bottle of wine while travelling around the County, they also offer corkage for $15/bottle.

The website describes the experience as “going to Gramma’s house”. No offence to my grandmothers, but aside from the generous portion sizes, I would never get the intricately plated dishes that Chef Christopher Wylie creates. The salmon gravlax arrives formed into a rose with apple slices for leaves. The rim of spices along the edges of the lightly cured fish added interest above the typical sweet and salty taste.

A simple but refreshing citrus arugula salad followed dressed in house poppy seed dressing. Kathleen, inn keeper of the Manse, explained that they strive to buy local whenever possible. In this case, the sheep’s milk feta used in the salad was sourced from Black River Cheese, a local cheesemaker, and was salty and creamy.

The rack of lamb was a substantial portion with four pieces along with plenty of braised carrots, roasted sun chokes, and roasted potatoes. The lamb was cooked wonderfully, rare enough without being bloody and the “lamb condiment” (a thick date, mint and horseradish paste) was fantastic … how does something start out sweet and innocent, only to end with a sharp kick? My only suggestion is to go lighter on the salt with the roasted starches, as after having a sun choke your taste buds become numb to the subtleties of the port shallot beef jus.

After so much food, the lighter rhubarb crisp was a good choice for dessert. However, since I didn’t receive much of the buttery cinnamon crumble the overall dessert was pucker inducing given there wasn’t much sugar in the rhubarb. Luckily, after letting the vanilla ice cream melt and mix into the warm rhubarb, the dessert became tastier.

Dinner arrives at a leisurely pace and exudes County charm. It’s fancy but friendly and being able to walk back to your room after too much food and wine is a plus. If you can stop yourself from eating all the lamb or steak, save a piece for Baxter (the Manse’s friendly four-legged friend). After all, you receive enough of it, and seeing the excited wag of Baxter’s tail makes for such a great ending to a meal.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Picton, Canada
 Address: 10 Chapel Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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