Grey CountyGrey County is a region where local restaurateurs, brew-masters, winemakers and farmers have formed meaningful relationships with each other. When this happens it’s a special thing. It allows visitors to the region to experience the destination differently, to feel truly connected. When you hear that the food for the dish you’re enjoying was sourced from the farm down the road, and that the chef is a friend of the farmer; you’re able to experience, first hand, a connection to the people providing it. You become part of the story. During our visit to the county we made several (delicious) detours, and it came pretty close to what we’d call a perfect day.
Come In, Stay A WhileFirst things first: wine. The Roost Wine Company has only been open for a couple months, but you would never know it. Owned and operated by husband and wife Michael and Jessica Maish, this winery is run as smoothly as their 2016 Marquette, and is quickly becoming part of the Grey County family. Michael and the staff were quick to recommend the other vineyards and breweries (Coffin Ridge! Side Launch! Thornbury Cider!) in the region, helping us build out our little road trip.
Following the vino, on the suggestion of the Roost team, we stopped by Pom Pom Treat Hut for a couple of decadent ice-cream cones. Can you say a double scoop of Nanaimo, and a sundae topped with churros please! The Hut is now running on limited hours, as the weather gets colder; it’s definitely worth checking their instagram before you go!
Lunch meant heading across County lines to Crow Bar & Variety — the newest restaurant by the powerhouse trio behind Bruce Wine Bar (in Grey County!): Jen & Steve Vipond and Chef Shaun Edmonstone. They’ve brought in chef Ryan Praskey (formerly of The Oxley, Queen & Beaver, Momofuko in Toronto) to run the kitchen — and it shows. The food, like that at Bruce, is regionally driven, creative and delicious. We had the fried chicken and waffles, the beef tartare with housemade chips, the grilled Ontario peaches and halloumi and (our favorite) the chickpea and fresh pea fritters. Chef Ryan brought out a dessert he’d been working on (a dark chocolate torte with carrot puree and shaved foie) to share, while giving more tips on all the places (and friends!) we should visit while in the area.
We then made our way to Side Launch Brewing to sample their latest summer offering. The latest edition of the Man Overboard Series, a session IPA, has big tropical notes and mild bitterness. Perfect for summer afternoons on the patio.
Our last stop of the afternoon, before heading to dinner at Georgian Hills, was our friends at Thornbury Cider House. They’ve always got one seasonal or another on tap in the tasting room. This time around we got the chance to sip on their latest creation: an Elderflower Apple Cider. Floral, but not overly sweet — it’s a lovely addition to their line up!