November 7, 2010

cedar creek winery (kelowna)

My participation in this particular Okanagan trip was quite last minute. My parents had planned it out for themselves, and I just tagged along as my employment status took an unexpected turn a week before. This was the first time I'd gone on a trip in years without planning out the culinary stops, let alone allowing someone else to do it for me. I will admit, I was more apprehensive than relaxed about the whole scenario. Actually, until I arrived in Kelowna and met my parents at the Cedar Creek Winery, I had no previous knowledge of their dining plans, nor would it have mattered as my knowledge of the Okanagan was practically nil.

The Cedar Creek Winery is located 15 minutes out of downtown Kelowna, through a beautiful winding road, heading up to wine country. Their Terrace Restaurant dining area offers a breathtaking view over Lake Okanagan, and on beautiful sunny days, such as this, you can choose to dine al fresco on the patio. It was actually predicted to rain all weekend, but we were fortunate enough to stay a few steps ahead of clouds.

The menu features local sustainable BC protein paired with Okanagan produce. Queen Charlotte halibut, Vancouver Island scallops, Fraser sockeye, venison from the interior and Pemberton beef were featured on the menu when we were there. Amusingly, all the salads were paired with some kind of protein. I decided to order a seared scallop composed salad for lunch - as I wanted something warm, but light after the long drive.

I would normally steer clear of ordering scallops being this far from the coast, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. When the salad arrived, I was sorely disappointed to see tiny freezer-bag scallops that had as much colour as an egg shell. On the positive, there were quite a few pieces on the plate, but all of them were rubbery, overcooked, and tasted just a bit off. This plate should never have left the kitchen, and I did make my opinion known to our server. She offered to take it back, but at this point, I was starving and I just wanted to eat.

The salad was quite tasty though. There was a warm sweet-yet-tart citrus vinaigrette covering the perfectly wilted greens. There were candied pecans sprinkled about to add some crunch, texture and sweetness to the dish. Unfortunately the scallops had leaked out a good amount of liquid and it was pooling on the bottom of the bowl. Not a pleasant end to the dish.

Dessert? Yes please!

I ordered a red-wine poached pear with homemade vanilla gelato - seemed the appropriate dish to go for while eating at a winery in the Okanagan. This was the perk-up I was looking for. There was a nice spice finish to the tender pear thanks to the poaching liquid they used. The vanilla gelato was smooth, not overly sweet and the vanilla wasn't overpowering. All in all, a very good dish and made up for the disappointing salad.

Cedar Creek Winery is located on 5445 Lakeshore Road in Kelowna. The Terrace Restaurant has a private dining room, as well as a garden area which you can rent out for events. They are in operation from June 11 to September 19. Pricing is typical of winery dining, that is to say, not cheap. Check out the menu on their site, and expect to pay about $45-$50 per person without drinks.


1 comment:

mahanidisp said...

The pear looks delicious! Nice pics