Monday, August 4, 2008

Bras d'Or

Bras d'Or Lake Inn was a little gem late in the evening that I stumbled across around 9pm. It is a little Bavarian looking inn on East side of Bras d'Or Lake on Cape Breton right before a set of train tracks and butting up to the lake. There really wasn't anything notable about the place except that it looked different than all the other hotels and motels in Nova Scotia thus far. If it hadn't been so late I might have just passed it up as nondescript as it was. 
(pic is from the Cabot Trail-top of Cape Breton)
I can't stress enough how nice this place was. The rooms were comfortable and basic yet newly renovated. It is at the edge of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and right along the Cabot Trail. I don't think that this is a place for a lot of folks, but Kevin is close enough that he can make it in a day. 

It would be criminal if I left out the best part of this place... the restaurant. It has a simple hunting/fishing lodge feel to it but it is headed up by a French chef who knows something about cooking (as most French chefs do). He also knows how to pick wines. They are simple, elegant and not found in the typical wine shops bins. 

Let me see if I can get anyone to salivate over what I had for dinner:-)
For my appetizer I had (I can't recall what they named it, but...) lobster baked a light butter and garlic (lots of garlic), fresh basil, and mimolette baked on top. 
Dinner was their surf and turf, which was a 6 oz medallion with a very light peppercorn sauce, four large prawns and scallops baked and lightly seasoned with a wild herbed rice. 

That description is incomplete at best. Think about the freshest lobster you have had and extend that to the scallops and shrimp. The broccoli was fresh from their garden as were the snap peas and basil. Thinking about it makes me salivate. It was the perfect meal for where I am and exactly what I expected from Nova Scotia. Mostly the chef allowed the freshness of the food to provide the flavor for the meal. 

I feel as if I am leaving a key ingredient out... oh yeah, the wine. A nice bottle of Chateau neuf du Pape to smooth out any edges to my day. I figured that  since I only had to walk back to my room, what is one bottle? What a nice drop! 

One of the beauties of nature - seeing how glaciers make valleys. The above picture obviously can't do this place justice. 
If you look close enough, you can see the hawk sitting atop this tree. You may have to step back, squint and put your left arm in the air, but it really is there.
With all the beauty around, you might think that man could blend in a bit better...but alas...
I did find it odd that a grocery store would be turned into a storage area for everyone in town's auto parts. 

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