Tag Archives: bayfield

The Ashwood Bourbon Bar: New, yet pleasantly familiar

26 May
Even the bar is filled with patrons on this busy Saturday night.

Even the bar is filled with patrons on this busy Saturday night.

By Diva Heather Boa
BAYFIELD – It’s Saturday night on the American long weekend and there’s a sense of anticipation at The Ashwood, this village’s newest hotel with bourbon bar and restaurant.

In its first days of opening for The Ashwood Bourbon Bar, people have come to see first-hand what they’ve only seen in pictures

The Ashwood owner Kirsten Harrett at the front counter.

The Ashwood owner Kirsten Harrett at the front counter.

on the website and social media – the massive tree trunk that serves as the lobby counter, living edge highly polished tables with leather placemats, barrel vault ceilings above the bar that are lined with oak staves held in place by metal straps, an expansive L-shaped bar with oodles of bottles filled with all sorts of exotic liquids, and wait staff in aprons of heavy canvas and leather straps.

It’s all so new and intriguing and yet there’s something comfortably familiar about the bar. First, there’s owner Kirten Harrett who is greeting people this evening. She’s owned the Deer Park Lodge, just across the road, for a number of years, before purchasing the old Bayfield Village Inn and transforming it into its current state. There’s Peter Meades behind the bar, well-known for Meades Bros. Productions, which books entertainment at various venues in the village – and now he’s booked an eclectic lineup of Canadian and international artists with an emphasis on roots music and singer-songwriters for the bar. See what the summer season brings on its event listings. Some of the wait staff are the teenaged children of people we know. And, of course, there’s opportunity to stop at various tables to say hello to folks who haven’t been seen all winter long. Even before we enter the bar, we meet up with some friends who have spilled out of The Ashwoody Shuttle, its funky shuttle bus.

In these early days of opening, chef Robert Whyte has created a limited menu of lunch and dinner items while the staff settle into

The Ultimate Ashwood Caesar, with King crab leg, is a favourite.

The Ultimate Ashwood Caesar, with King crab leg, is a favourite.

the routine. Tonight there’s a Mexican beef soup – I’ve forgotten it’s name, but I know that if I close my eyes while eating a mouthful of the spicy soup that’s topped with chopped avocado and sour cream, I am once again in Ajijic, Mexico. Also on the menu are: pan seared 10 oz New York steak with crispy fingerling potatoes, green beans and horseradish butter ($29), ratatouille with arancini and parmesan tuile ($18.50), lamb burger with sundried tomatoes and goat cheese, dressed with a tzatzki and tomato jam, served with chick pea fries ($16), trout with roasted fennel and tomato purée served with wilted spinach and a panzanella salad ($22).

It’s a wise decision on the chef’s part to create a small menu, and our service is seamless. Water glasses are always full and drinks are efficiently replaced. My lamb burger special ordered with no bun did indeed arrive bunless and, as requested, my glass of red wine arrived with the meal. I would dearly have loved to have ordered the Ultimate Ashwood Caesar, which comes with a King crab leg, or the Don Draper ($14), a mixture of double Makers Mark, bourbon soaked cherries, giant ice cubes and a Popeye smoke, but alas, I’m driving.

By the time we’re offered dessert, there’s only one taker for the bread pudding with a bourbon caramel sauce ($9), although the spoon does get passed around, with agreement that the sauce is just a bit too boozy.

When we leave, the place is full, with a long table of people who are filling time between a wedding and its reception, Americans on vacation, and locals who’ve come to check out the newest hotspot in Bayfield.

It’s shaping up to be a great summer in the village.

The high ceilings and line of windows give the bar an airy feel.

The high ceilings and line of windows give the bar an airy feel.

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Ten reasons to visit Bayfield sometime soon

22 Apr

10bayfield eventsNEW

The Little Inn undergoes big makeover

25 Mar
The Willow Room formal dining room’s moniker is a nod to the stately willow tree residing near the inn’s front entrance.  The Inn’s new owners, along with Chef Michael Potters, have many plans for the future of the property including pairing with Huron Adventures Inc. to create specific activities and programs for guests and corporate enterprises.

The Willow Room formal dining room’s moniker is a nod to the stately willow tree residing near the inn’s front entrance. The Inn’s new owners, along with Chef Michael Potters, have many plans for the future of the property including pairing with Huron Adventures Inc. to create specific activities and programs for guests and corporate enterprises.

melody

By Diva Melody Hodgson

BAYFIELD – Bayfield, in all of its summertime quaintness, brings about the dreamer in me.  I fell in

1.Reception desk with custom pigeon holes for room keys, one of the many gorgeous throwbacks to original inn utilitarian decor.

Reception desk with custom pigeon holes for room keys, one of the many gorgeous throwbacks to the original inn utilitarian decor.

love with the little town upon first sight back in 2006.  It is my go-to for a Sunday drive, lunch on a Friday or a night out with the gals.  I am not alone in my infatuation with Bayfield. The main street is packed with shoppers, foodies and visitors year-round.

Joanne and Mike Oliver, originally from Toronto, were two such visitors.  A short detour to Bayfield while visiting their son in Blyth two years ago resulted in an instant love affair with the lakeside town.  Fortunately for us, Mike and Joanne were able to transform their moment of serendipity into a permanent residence and place of business; a casual lunch conversation eventually resulted in the couple becoming the new owners of the Little Inn last October.

Joanne and Mike, paired with much-sought after local interior designer Cynthia Weber and

Function meets design heaven in the revamped bar area, home to the Four In Hand taproom.  Master Sommelier John Szabo has realized a menu filled with wine, spirits and cocktails to compliment both menus.  I am thirsty just thinking about it.

Function meets design heaven in the revamped bar area, home to the Four In Hand taproom. Master Sommelier John Szabo has realized a menu filled with wine, spirits and cocktails to compliment both menus. I am thirsty just thinking about it.

renowned locavore chef Michael Potters, have painstakingly renovated the Inn in an effort to create a true culinary destination within Bayfield.  Throughout the entire renovation process, the team have been respectful of the inn’s deep-rooted historical ties to the community.  Original flooring has been refinished and restored, traditional inn features have been reimagined, and local Mennonite craftsmen have been hired to recreate a multitude of items from stair-railing spindles to matching the original baseboard in the taproom.  Chef Potters has embraced the richness of local Huron County producers and created two menus of pure deliciousness I can hardly wait to experience.  Their unwavering dedication to the vision of the project is obvious.  The entire time I was with Joanne, I felt that their goal was not to take the soul out of the Little Inn, but rather to give it a little boost.  From all accounts, they have succeeded beautifully.

1.Locally crafted custom period spindles to replace the 1980s wrought iron spindles; another of the many well thought out design aspects of the renovation.

1. Locally crafted custom period spindles to replace the 1980s wrought iron spindles; another of the many well thought out design aspects of the renovation.

I must admit, I have never ventured into the Little Inn prior to last week.  I always felt it was a little too fancy for my sometimes-brushed-hair and ripped jeans, and as a result I’ve always been more of a low-key pub girl.  After meeting with Joanne and touring the property, however, I feel like I may have to make a little room in my heart for the new kids on the block.

The Little Inn of Bayfield

Where:  26 Main Street, Bayfield

When:  Soft opening March 27th, grand opening April

Willow Room (Fine Dining), daily

Breakfast:  8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Lunch:  11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Dinner:  5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

The Four In Hand Taproom (Casual Dining), daily
11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Contact:  1-800-565-1832, inquiries@littleinn.com

Website:  www.littleinn.com

Twitter:  @thelittleinn

Chef Michael Potters has designed a kitchen most chefs can only dream of.  With plans for small group cooking classes, local food foraging programs and a viewing area from the yet-to-be completed patio it has all the makings of a locavore’s heaven.

Chef Michael Potters has designed a kitchen most chefs can only dream of. With plans for small group cooking classes, local food foraging programs and a viewing area from the yet-to-be completed patio it has all the makings of a locavore’s heaven.

Time to explore the trail systems in Huron County

11 Mar
This stunning canopy of trees can be found on the Mara Street Walkway, which is part of the Heritage Trail in Bayfield. Photo courtesy of Heidi & Tyler Hessel, Outside Projects.

This stunning canopy of trees can be found on the Mara Street Walkway, which is part of the Heritage Trail in Bayfield. Photo courtesy of Heidi & Tyler Hessel, Outside Projects.

HURON COUNTY – Now that the days are getting longer and a warm breeze has blown into Huron County, the conditions are perfect to get out to cross-country ski, snowshoe or hike the many trail systems across our woodlands, riverbanks and countryside.

Here are a couple of top picks to get you started. Explore more of the county’s natural areas and trails here.

1. Picks ( and pics) from Heidi & Tyler Hessel, Owners, Outside Projects of Bayfield

The Sawmill Trail, Bayfield.

The Sawmill Trail, Bayfield.

We often enjoy snowshoeing the many trails in and around Bayfield. All are easily accessible and within a light to moderate difficulty level. They’re easy for anyone to get out and enjoy the winter even if you are simply hiking or have on a pair of snowshoes. Maps and information about these trails can be found on the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association website.

The Mavis / Taylor Trail, Varna.

The Mavis / Taylor Trail, Varna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Picks (and pic) from Phil Beard, General Manager / Secretary Treasurer, Maitland Valley Conservation Authority

I like to go on the Wingham Community Trail extension, which goes out to the new elementary school in Wingham, aptly named the Maitland River

Wingham Community Trail extension.

Wingham Community Trail extension.

Elementary School. Behind the school is a farmfield that is proposed for the Wingham Creek Subdivision.

There is an easement around the field for an extension to the Wingham Community Trail. A lot of people cross country ski on this property. It connects with the parkland owned by North Huron that extends along the Maitland River.

WinghamTrailExtension

 

Beef cheeks and scrumptious cheese

25 Feb

jennaheadshot

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

If you haven’t heard it yet, beef cheeks is the new tenderloin when it comes to food trends! OK, I may be making that up, but being a big foodie I do follow food trends. One of the major 2014 trends was eating meats from nose to tail and I really think this particular trend is going to continue in to 2015.

So you’re probably wondering, what do beef cheeks have to do with my story? Well, I’ll start at the beginning. I met up with three girlfriends, Emily, Katie and Natalie, last Friday at the Black Dog in Bayfield for dinner. I was super excited to have a nice dinner and catch up with friends, so I hadn’t even remembered to look at the Taste of Huron menu before I left home.

BlackDog1

When I entered the restaurant, the familiar amazing smells delighted me. To top it off I ran into one of the owners, Kathleen, and she highlighted the Taste of Huron menu with delight. Katie and Emily read the menu and said “beef cheeks?” with a bit of concern on their faces. I explained that these tender meat morsels would excite their taste buds and that they would like the food. So they both decided to try the meal, which is three courses all for $32. Nat skipped out on the special and went with village salad ($8.25) and vegetable curry ($16).

Nat with her Vegetable Curry

Nat with her Vegetable Curry

Three Cheese Fonduta and Garlic Crostini

Three Cheese Fonduta and Garlic Crostini

The first course of the Taste of Huron dinner was Cheese Fonduta with Roasted Garlic Crostini. I thought this course would be kind of like a Swiss cheese fondue and it was, but way better than I have ever been able to make! The garlic buttered bread dipped in the cheese was a mouthful of dancing rich flavours that I never wanted to end. As you’ll see below in the photos, Emily and Katie couldn’t get enough and licked their cheese fonduta ramekins clean. I’ll also note that the photo was not posed, I looked up and they were both pretty much trying to drink their cheese.

Licking the last bit of cheese fonduta

Licking the last bit of cheese fonduta

The next course was Braised Beef Cheeks with Winter Vegetables and Parslied Egg Noodles. Yet again, the chef did not disappoint. The meat was extremely tender and the sauce mixed with noodles and vegetables made it a complete meal.

Braised Beef Cheeks with Winter Vegetables and Parslied Egg Noodles

Braised Beef Cheeks with Winter Vegetables and Parslied Egg Noodles

For dessert, we had Apple Fritter with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce. This was no ordinary donut! Essentially it was a whole apple covered in smooth pastry and loaded with ice cream and butterscotch. An excellent end to a great meal!

Apple Fritter with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

Apple Fritter with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

This menu also highlighted wine pairings to go with each course, which Katie and I tried. Both Emily and Natalie selected beer from the 20 on tap at the Black Dog. We had a wonderful evening and left the restaurant happy and full!

Our waiter Jan holding all of our empty dishes.

Our waiter Jan holding all of our empty dishes.

The taste of Huron winter dining menus run until Feb. 28 and you don’t want to miss out on these yummy meals.

The Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro

Phone: (519) 565-2326

5 Main St N, Bayfield, ON N0M 1G0

Website:

blackdogpubbistro.ca

 

 

Bayfield Christmas Parade

4 Dec

by Diva Rachel Lynn

Ahhhh Christmas. I love everything about Christmas.  I love the snow. I love the carols. I love spending time with family and I love Christmas themed events.  I gathered up my mother-in-law and daughter and headed to Christmas in Bayfield.

We arrived as the stores opened to beat the morning crowds… or so we thought.  It seems like a lot of others had the same idea.  As we popped in and out of stores, there were free offerings of hot chocolate and apple cider to keep us warm.

The crowd is getting bigger waiting for Ol’ Saint Nick

The crowd is getting bigger waiting for Ol’ Saint Nick

The shops were decorated for the Christmas season and the music was playing in the background and I caught myself humming along.  You could also get free horse drawn carriage rides around town.

JMR Gallery & Village Bookshop are ready to welcome guests

JMR Gallery & Village Bookshop are ready to welcome guests

It was time for the parade and people were lining up on the Main Street.  There was a variety of people in the parade from miniature horses, to a pipe band to the local fire department.

FiretrucksAndFuryFriendsI managed to pick up a few goodies, but unfortunately I can’t show you the pictures!  Someone reading this may be a recipient of the gifts!

After an hour of shopping we decided to visit the Albion Hotel for a bite to eat.  The place was packed!  We didn’t even think to make reservations but managed to grab one of the last tables.  We decided to feast on wings and sweet potato fries.  I must commend the waitress.  She was amazing! Even though the place was full, our drink order came fast, our meal was really fast and the food was hot and delicious.  I would recommend the Albion to anyone who wants a relaxed atmosphere.  I will even go so far to so say the Albion has the best wings around.

WingsFries

Beatrice was fast asleep as we headed home.  Despite the rain, it was a fantastic day.  The people were happy, the streets were full and Bayfield helped us all get ready for Christmas.

A few tips for those attending the parades:

  • If the parade is on Main St and you can back your car up in a parking spot, please do.  This will help if it is raining or too cold so you can watch from the front seat.
  • If you plan on eating before or after the parade at a local restaurant, make reservations to avoid disappointment.
  •  If you didn’t make the Bayfield Santa Claus Parade, Santa is making one more stop in Huron County – Clinton Santa Claus Parade: December 5 @ 7pm

ArtSee Cafe Eats in Bayfield, ON

30 Jul
The mushroom spinach and ham crepe in a white wine cheese sauce. Delish!



The mushroom spinach and ham crepe in a white wine cheese sauce. Delish!

By Diva Calista Powell

ArtsSee Cafe’s website states they are, “Serving delicious, innovative, fresh and healthy food. Our service is friendly, casual and attentive. Our environment is relaxed, current, youthful and welcoming”, and I have to 100% agree with them. I have always wanted to go to this French-style bistro, so on a rainy day I drove up to Bayfield to have lunch here with my Grandma, Polly. It usually takes me about .5 of a second to decide what I am going to order but every single item on this menu was so intriguing. We ended up deciding on splitting a mushroom, spinach and ham crepe and the Mediterranean Panini made up of Metzger’s smoked turkey breast, artichoke hearts, crumbled feta, and sundried tomato mayonnaise grilled on a focaccia. It was nearly impossible to decide which meal I liked better. You can never go wrong with a healthy sandwich made from local ingredients, but then again the crepe had a white wine and cheese sauce that I wish I could eat every day.

The Mediterranean focaccia as recommended by our server. Definitely a good choice.

The Mediterranean focaccia as recommended by our server. Definitely a good choice.

The portions were great for a light lunch and the ambience of ArtSee Cafe was relaxed and welcoming. At one point a lady wearing her pyjamas sat down to an espresso to frantically scribble something on to a napkin that I could not make out . I later overheard as she was speaking to a friend who entered the cafe that she was visiting from London for a poetry workshop and just had a surge of inspiration. It made me smile knowing that someone from a neighbouring city would feel at home here and find ArtSee Cafe as wonderful as I did.

To view ArtSee Cafe’s Schedule and Menu go to their website at http://www.artseecafe.ca

They are located at 19 Main Street, Bayfield, Ontario

The super friendly serving staff Cassie Groot, Shannen Murray & Maddy McDonald.

The super friendly serving staff Cassie Groot, Shannen Murray & Maddy McDonald.

The culinary wizards who made my amazing meal! Big thanks to Guy Spence, Anita Spence and Stacia McLean.

The culinary wizards who made my amazing meal! Big thanks to Guy Spence, Anita Spence and Stacia McLean.

 

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