By Lori Bosworth
If you are visiting Prince Edward County for winery or fall colour tours and are looking for a fine dining restaurant five minutes east of Picton, Ontario on Hwy 49, you’ll find Blumen Garden Bistro, a fine dining restaurant offering contemporary cuisine.
Upon arrival at Blumen on a Wednesday in early October, my dining companion and I were seated within a quick few minutes although we had made a reservation only 25 minutes earlier. Our table, which stood isolated in the centre of the restaurant lacked the privacy of other tables that hugged the wall or fireplace; however our server, who had the looks and charm of Kristin Chenoweth, made up for the lack of warmth.
As a result of a recommendation by our server, my companion chose the Pulled Braised Rabbit with house-made gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, leeks and lardons (bacon) and declared it a culinary triumph. The tender rabbit meat complemented the delicate dumplings while the mushrooms and lardons infused the dish with savoury flavour.
Although not one who regularly orders vegetarian meals, I hopscotched across the menu unable to decide between tasty and tastier and landed on Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Eggplant Cannelloni served with pine nuts, portobello mushrooms, Reggiano and a zucchini patty. This decision paid dividends with a succulent dish whose eggplant was both meaty and tender while the spinach and goat cheese blended superbly to form a satisfying filling without being heavy. The zucchini patty, however, leaned somewhat towards the bland side.
While the crème brûlée ordered for dessert took a disappointing 25 minutes to appear, the dish itself was cooked to perfection and liberally topped with raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.
All in all our dining experience proved why Prince Edward County is one of Ontario’s foremost culinary destinations.