It was warm, frothy and aromatic with fragrances of earthy-and-spicy truffles. If I didn’t know that it sipping on a shot of warm lobster bisque, I could’ve mistaken it for a nutmeg latte.
I was at Atlantica, St. John’s star restaurant that overlooks Portugal Cove, and I had eye-level views of a miraculous sunset. Gillian Marx took Carolyne’s place just for one night, our two-top so close to the windows that I felt like I could fall over the edge of the cliffs. I’ve heard a lot about Chef Jeremy Charles’ bustling establishment, and could hardly wait to try some of his recipes that his Nan inspired.
The menu focuses on local ingredients plated with sophistication, but with a clean finish and it shows.
Gillian and I decided to share the pear salad and the cobb salad, and we were glad we did.
The pear salad had just a drizzle of white wine vinaigrette to bind the candied walnuts and sharp blue cheese together, while the cobb salad was milky-and-moist thanks to the tiers of avocados, crab, beef and unanimously-shaped bits of corn and asparagus that supported the structure above it. (The tower of pleasure was born!)
Next, a little salty cod and buttery gnocchi intermezzo eased us into our mains for the night. The halibut. Underneath the two-inch thick moist slab of fish was a delicious vanilla-and-turnip mash that would’ve made the proudest mashed potato blush.
My day of eating was a 360 experience: Starting with a simple, “city” breakfast of an on-the-go latte, followed by a trendy lighthouse picnic and ending on a note of a dinner that showcases the Atlantic, I think it signalled how Newfoundland’s culinary culture is thriving, traditional and creative.