I had been anxiously awaiting the opening of this place. A former private home, the Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn is a small inn on the banks of the Mississippi River running through Almonte, Ontario. Inside this lovely old house is the Almonte Riverside Kitchen - a small bistro which services the inn and is also open to the public from Friday - Monday. We are always glad to see new restaurants/places to eat. Even better that it is open on Mondays as many of our regular jaunts are closed then.
We arrived for our 6:30 pm reservation (recommended) and walked to the back. We were greeted by owner Rob, who walked through a small bar area (complete with television for Monday Night Football) to the bistro at the back. A very charming space, very comfortable. The space can seat about 12 - 16 people, depending on the table configuration. At the far end of the room is a small kitchen where Chef Trisha and an assistant were hard at work.
Each table top is an empty canvas for the budding artist in your group as each table is provided with a couple of giant pieces of chalk. Sadly, my drawing skills are embarrassing, so I left them where they belonged - in the glass. We placed our order and chatted with Rob between courses. You can sense the pride that he has for this space and appreciate all of the hard work that went into renovating this building into the charismatic six room inn it has become.
We ordered our drinks and perused the menu. We ordered the soup of the day - Leek and Potato with cheese; the Warm Beet Salad - spinach, goat cheese, maple almonds and pomegranate seeds; Baked Organic Chicken Breast - with quince/apricot glaze, potatoes and vegetables; Pasta Shells with braised beef shank, brie, sofrito and a jus made with ABP Amber Ale.
While we were enjoying our wine, we were served a small plate of homemade flat bread and a delicious hummus - chickpea, onion, maple and orange. The hummus was from a Smiths' Falls company called 2 Dippie Darlings. Delicious (I think I had seconds...no judgements).
Next came a lovely bite of smoked trout on a small piece of cornmeal bread, creme fraiche and a cilantro leaf. The cilantro was the perfect touch to round out all of the flavours and bring out the smokiness of the trout. I wouldn't have thought so, but it's true.
|Smoked Trout Canape|
My entree was the Warm Beet Salad and it was delightful. Gently roasted pink beets on the bottom and a mini mountain of greens dressed with goat cheese and cascaded with pomegranate seeds, green onion slivers and candied almonds. I would have shared, but The Man doesn't like beets or goat cheese - no worries, more for me.
|Warm Beet Salad|
|Pasta with Braised Beef Shank|
For dessert (although I could not possibly have managed another bite, I did have a small one) a chocolate and pear tart.
|Chocolate and Pear Tart|
Our evening was just right. It was our wedding anniversary and the atmosphere was congenial. Thrilled to have another great eatery in The Friendly Town.