Dinner Out: Founder’s House Brunch
By Scott Campbell
For those of you who haven’t made you way to Annapolis Royal to try the Founder’s House restaurant – located on the beautiful grounds of the Fort View Golf Course – you really should go. Recently, four of us drove to Annapolis Royal and had brunch at The Founder’s House.
We began our brunch with a round of cocktails. If you are a fan of the Caesar then you really need to try one of these. Founder’s House make their own Caesar mix in-house to create this unique and delicious cocktail. If you need a little pick-me-up, then try a Wake Up Mr. Kennedy featuring coffee shine, cold brew coffee, and chocolate bitters. And, with a nod to the latest hurricane we have endured (in which Founder’s House hosted a wedding – with the help of two generators – all while Dorian was ripping the front deck off their restaurant), you could also try a Dark and Dorian (their take on a Dark and Stormy), featuring molasses shine, apple pie shine, and ginger beer.
After our cocktails we decided we should have a healthy beginning to our brunch and started with a salad. The delicious local lettuces salad featured Barteaux Farms apples with brown butter, braised fennel, Ciro’s asiago, walnut brittle, roasted garlic, and sherry vinaigrette. The brightness of the apple was a delicious counterpoint to the sweet walnut brittle and the tart vinaigrette finished everything off to make a very complex and eloquent salad. After the salads we were well primed to indulge ourselves and get to the stars of the brunch – the main courses.
First up was the incredible chicken and waffle. This crispy buttermilk fried chicken was nestled on the light waffle and drenched in spiced honey. On top of it all was a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg. Whipped butter was the final decadent addition to this amazing breakfast plate.
One of our diners opted for the breakfast poutine. This rich velvety dish comes with home fries, bacon lardons, Fox Hill cheese curds, and two poached eggs smothered in brown butter Hollandaise. My dining companion does not eat meat but really wanted to try to the poutine. Our server – undaunted – asked if she ate fish. She replied that she did. He told her he would take care of everything and arrived with a poutine created with smoked fish instead of bacon. It was delicious and a true demonstration of a knowledgeable and creative kitchen – under the direction of the incomparable and well-known Chef Chris Pyne.
A brunch probably wouldn’t be complete without a breakfast skillet. The Founder’s House offers up a spectacular breakfast skillet featuring chorizo jam, house-made ricotta scrambled eggs, and home fries. The chorizo jam and house-made scrambled eggs are as flavourful as they are unique on a menu, and the home fries and toast perfectly completed this filling brunch favourite.
However full as we claimed to be, we couldn’t resist dessert. We managed to pare our dessert decisions down to two. First up was the delicious almond cake with its creamy caramelized white chocolate with sea buckthorn tuile, and next to it, a velvety scoop of brown butter ice cream. The rich cake was the perfect setting for this smooth, mouth-watering dessert. But, not to be outdone was the baked chocolate custard with puffed rice and roasted hazelnut, served alongside a dollop of crème fraiche. The chocolatey richness of the custard was enhanced by the smooth tartness of the crème fraiche, and the crunchy hazelnuts on top (smothered in caramel sauce) finished off this decadent dessert.
This was just a small sampling of the amazing brunch options available at the Founder’s House restaurant. So, if you find yourself longing for a nice brunch and a beautiful Sunday drive, a trip to Annapolis Royal and the Founder’s House might be just what you need. Cheers.
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