My restaurant will be located in the Mariner's Inn, a four-star (Canada Select)/three-diamond (CAA/AAA) boutique hotel. The Inn is perched on a hillside 200 feet above the Bay of Fundy, overlooking an unspoiled/undeveloped beach. It is 30 minutes from downtown Saint John, New Brunswick, just off Hwy 1 which runs from the US (Maine) border into Saint John and beyond. The Inn is on Hwy 790, which loops through several scenic fishing villages before returning to the #1. It is close to the site of the now-closed Fundy Haven restaurant, lovingly remembered by locals.
I am between fellow eGulletters ReverendTMac and Markian, the latter of whom plies his trade up the road at the Rossmount Inn.
The restaurant itself will be called the Mariner's Table. The site is not up yet, but will be within the next couple of weeks. I'm shooting for the relaxed end of the fine-dining spectrum; nice enough to justify a suit but casual enough to relax in a polo shirt and not feel out of place. There is a view of the Bay of Fundy (world's highest tides, "only" 30 feet or so where I am but 50+ further up) from almost every seat.
Like any chef of my generation, I'm keen to focus on local producers. Fresh seafood is a given, with fishing boats working the waters right in front of the Inn. I've already been in touch with numerous local growers of organic/sustainable produce; as well as wild boar, duck, and other meats. I have spoken to one gent, for example, who raises 70 varieties of apples organically, including several heirloom varieties. Expect to see those on my menu this fall!
Although Atlantic Canada will never rival, say, California or the Med as a source of year-round seasonal ingredients, there is a lot to like. The river valleys joining Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John are lush agricultural powerhouses; and there are berries and tree fruits in profusion throughout the area. Some of these farms have been in the same family for nearly four centuries! There is also lots of local maple syrup, and even a few nascent wineries.
Nearby Nova Scotia is producing a lot of drinkable wine now, as well as a Scotch-style single malt, but much of this product is difficult to buy because of interprovincial trade barriers. Still, I will do what I can to "regionalize" my wine list.
Congrats and break a leg to Fred!