Shipwrecked in Rideau Ferry

April 27, 2014

We stopped in Rideau Ferry Sunday at lunch time and ventured into the dining room The Shipwreck built on the site of the old Rideau Ferry Inn. Given the early season and our arrival on the stroke of noon as it opened, it came as no surprise that we were so far the only diners.

The timber-frame hall shows evidence of a good deal of thought and care in construction. Wide pine plank floors survive because of an expanse of harder flooring separating the dining room from the entrance. Queen Anne chairs provide comfort and contrast nicely with the post-and-beam ceiling and exposed stone hearth and box stove. Many windows offer a panoramic view of the Bridge and the waterway.

An elaborate patio enclosure and complex landscaping under the outstretched limbs of a massive shade tree complete the summer decor.

Our pleasant, articulate server directed us to the special, a single-dish rigatoni concoction with a bolongnese sauce, served in a large pasta bowl at $14.00. My wife explained to me that a bolongnese sauce starts with a blend of veal, pork and beef, to which is added a tomato-and-onion sauce, spiced quite mildly, then smoothed with a bit of milk.

I had never tasted a dish like this. As it cooled and I grew accustomed to the flavours, I liked it quite a lot.

If we had received this dish at our favourite Kingston restaurant, Casa, I’d think the chef was having a particularly good day.

With the closing of The Opinicon we’ve been without a good dining room within easy driving distance of Forfar. It looks as though The Shipwreck may well come to fill that void.

Worth noting as well was our stroll on the new municipal docks directly under the Bridge. They should hold eight to ten cruisers in addition to the docking space on the Shipwreck property.

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