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Photo by Yasmin Nissim

Kingston Restaurant Takeover: A Tale of Two Cities

By Chris Cline on September 27, 2012

This past Monday, Chef Clark Day of Kingston’s AquaTerra by Clark Restobistro gave us a real night on the Town (pun intended). He was visiting one of Elgin Street’s funkiest  bistros as part of the Kingston Restaurant Takeover, which brought some of Kingston’s finest culinarians to Ottawa to show off their skills. We were lucky enough to partake in a delicious six-course meal, sampling some of the fantastic fare on offer in Prince Edward Country and beyond.

It’s not often that locavores from Ottawa get to try produce from what is affectionately known to Kingstonians as “the County”, but these tasty morsels were out in full force. Our highlights included a tomato salad with basil-infused raw milk pilgrimage cheese; seared county perch with oven-roasted purple sweet potato and candied golden beets; and a duck and rabbit terrine with confit of plums. Chef Day and his team made it clear that when it comes to fine food, Kingston is no backwater.

During the evening, we were struck by the parallels between the respective dining scenes in Kingston and Ottawa. Both are focused on producing fresh and local fare. Both mix fine food with a casual atmosphere. Both have rapid fan bases that support even the most experimental whims of any chef with the skills to back it up.

We invite more open foodie collaboration between the two cities. With only a couple of hours of road between us, this might be the start of something amazing.

After the meal, Chef Day was kind enough to sit down with us for an interview about the evening’s dishes, the local food movement and the parallels between the dining scenes in the two cities. Listen to it here.