On a recent trip to Sandbanks Beach Resort, my friend and I decided to go into Picton for shopping and a bite to eat. Prince Edward County is a booming culinary destination with excellent wineries and restaurants that showcase the bounty of this fertile region. I had heard great things about The Painted Peppercorn in Picton (try saying that three times), so we headed on over for lunch.
The address for The Painted Peppercorn is 172 Main Street West; however, the restaurant faces Elizabeth Street, which is just south of Main Street West. So don’t be confused if you are planning to visit.
We were delighted by the homey, pine wood decor, which also featured paintings by local artists hanging on the walls (and which were for sale), as well as various knickknacks picked up from antique shops.
We were quickly greeted and asked if we wanted to sit on their patio or inside.
Since we were going to be spending a lot of time outside at Dunes Beach, we thought it would be better to limit our sun exposure and sit inside.
Our very friendly server quickly brought us some water with fresh lime slices, and then showed us the blackboard menu, which featured local produce from Prince Edward County.
Each meal is served with a green salad or homemade daily soup. There is one vegetarian option and one vegan option. I opted for the quiche with a green salad, $10.95, while my friend ordered the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap with the daily soup, $13.95.
This was no ordinary salad: it featured fresh watermelon, orange slices and blackberries, as well as crisp mixed greens, carrots and orange bell pepper. I chose a Balsamic vinaigrette, which provided some desired bitterness to the fresh fruits and vegetables.
My quiche with Roasted Leek, Sundried Tomato and Asiago Cheese may have lacked somewhat in presentation, but certainly not in taste. The tanginess of the cheese, fruitiness of the tomato and sweet onion flavour of the leeks produced a wonderful trio of flavours.
But the star of the day was the daily soup: Kale and Ale with chickpeas, vegetables and cheddar cheese. My friend let me taste some of this delicious concoction and I have to say, I have never had a better soup in my life. We gave our compliments about the soup to our server, who informed us that the ale used in the soup was made by them. Indeed, it was this mysterious Prince Edward County ale that gave the soup its outstanding flavour. Our server advised us that the chef makes a different soup each day, but the Kale and Ale soup may reappear on the menu from time to time.
According to my friend, the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap was also a very good choice. She said the chicken was very moist while the vegetables were enhanced by the fragrant pesto.
My friend and I were delighted with the decor and first class home cooking at The Painted Peppercorn. Don’t miss this little gem if you find yourself in Picton, Ontario.