Prince Edward Island’s most delicious guide: Michelin-starred chef and innkeeper Michael Smith explains where to eat, drink and relax
While the culinary representative of Canada’s smallest province may be rooted in potatoes, there’s a lot more culture in Prince Edward Island’s famed red soil than just potatoes. At the Inn at Bay Fortune, a boutique hotel and dining destination near the eastern tip of Prince Edward Island, chef and former Food Network Canada host Michael Smith creates an organic showcase of the farm to table from the region’s diverse terroir.
With herb gardens, greenhouses, an orchard and a flock of free-range hens on-site, most of the food served at his restaurant, FireWorks, comes directly from the inn or from a close-knit farming community. and fishermen. . The bounty of the region is also the subject of Smith’s new book, “Farm, Fire & Feast,” which details everything from local lobster and picked sea vegetables to cocktails infused with the petals of a prized wild rose.
Stepping away from its earlier more recipe-centric titles, the book’s essays read like love letters to a lifestyle that Smith has spent his career working towards. “My whole story brought me back to the Inn seven years ago,” says Smith, who started as a chef at the same property in 1991. “I wanted to go back to the roots of real cooking and start learning again.”
He and his wife, Chastity, bought the Inn at Bay Fortune in 2015 and opened a sister location, the Paris-style Inn at Fortune Bridge just down the street, in 2019. Beyond Its Own Land , there’s plenty to explore around town, including towering dunes, cozy breweries, and some of the best seafood in the country. Here are some of Smith’s favorite places to eat, drink, and relax.
For the freshest clams: Clam Diggers (6864 Water Street, Cardigan)
A bowl of Georgetown steamboats at this waterside pub is “the epitome of perfection and simplicity,” Smith says of the clams (tides available and weather permitting), which are freshly made. hollowed out then steamed in white wine butter, garlic and cream. âI’ll fight you for the rights to slurping over the broth at the bottom of the bowl,â Smith adds.
For unforgettable views: Prince Edward Island National Park
No visit to Prince Edward Island is complete without visiting the immense parabolic dunes of this park, accessible via a scenic walk. âThey’re epic,â Smith says. âForget about traveling for food – these dunes are some of the most beautiful destinations you will visit in your life.â With over a dozen trails and one of the best beaches in the area, it’s an idyllic place to spend a summer afternoon.
For the perfect lobster roll: The Lobster Shack (8 Main Street, Souris)
What makes an ideal lobster roll is hotly debated in Prince Edward Island, but the one served at this quaint cabin on the edge of Souris Beach Provincial Park is a perennial Islander favorite and visitors. âIt’s mayonnaise, a whole bunch of good, fresh local lobster and just enough dressing to hold it together,â Smith describes.
For tasty craft beers: Bogside Brewing (11 Brook Street, Montague) and Copper Bottom Brewing (567 Main Street, Montague)
Clashing along the opposite banks of the Montague River, two of the island’s favorite craft brewers offer competing versions of stouts, sour, and pale ales. In Bogside on the north side, Smith enjoys the invigorating hopping of their Nor-Easter IPA. Across the river at Copper Bottom, he recommends the Broadside APA with hints of citrus and pine. âThey’re friendly rivals,â Smith says, âand you can come and go on the bridge, which makes it more fun.â
For a well-firmed drink: Myriad View Artisan Distillery (1336 Rt. 2, Rollo Bay)
From a local doctor, Coast Guard captain, and more than a few late nights of gin tasting, Myriad View makes a wide range of spirits and offers tastings at their Rollo Bay distillery. To flavor their best-selling Strait Gin 51, the makers rely on a 200-year-old recipe that features eight organic herbs, for a smooth, herbal finish.
The Star understands travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. But like you, we dream of traveling again, and we publish this story with future trips in mind.