I came to the lobby of the Westin Hotel for the Shore Club’s “Shore Lunch.” When I was a girl fishing with my dad, shore lunch meant just-caught pickerel, cooked on a hibachi grill in a door knob of butter with a side of Libby’s brown beans. Best lunch on the planet.
When my Shore Club server described their “Shore Lunch” as walleye (pickerel), panko-crusted, I lost interest. It was probably perfectly delicious, but it wouldn’t have conjured memories. Nobody I knew brought Japanese breadcrumbs on a northern Ontario fishing trip.
I went jigging through the menu again and settled on the SC’s three course table d’hôte for $25. Choice of soup or two salads, two mains, homemade cookies and coffee/tea. I chose soup (a well made but otherwise unremarkable seafood chowder) because the Arctic char came with salad (a jumble of lightly minted vegetables — tomato, peppers, cucumbers — with orange sections, on greens, very pretty, very fresh, more mint would have been welcome). The fish was beautifully cooked in what tasted like that door knob of butter I craved, the skin crisp, the flesh wet and pink, the flavour piqued with a terrific pesto featuring sundried tomatoes. Full marks for the fish.
The promised cookies arrived in the form of one soggy looking chocolate truffle, which didn’t do it for me. When you want a cookie, you want a cookie. It was removed, fresh fruit was delivered and my coffee got upgraded to a cappuccino, no charge. All forgiven.
Three course table d’hôte $25; Open for lunch Monday to Friday, dinner daily.
The Shore Club, lobby of the Westin Hotel, 11 Colonel By Dr., 613-569-5050