The Pearl Café satisfies homegrown craving

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Located in a renovated farmhouse just off Cavendish Road amongst the beaming fields of North Rustico, PEI, The Pearl Café combines the passions of many Island artisans and producers.

Owner and Operator, Maxine Delaney, has excelled at her goal to create a memorable dining experience that inspires all senses.

Upon entering the eclectic eatery on this warm June evening, the attention to detail is evident in every aspect. From the local artwork on the walls to the creative food presentation on hand-made pottery, and everything in between—it is truly awe-inspiring.

Glancing at the seasonal menu, it’s clear why The Pearl is included along the PEI Flavours Culinary Trail for its commitment to offering local food.

“I don’t think of it [buying local] as a trend. Growing up on a farm, I’ve always believed in eating food right from the source,” says Delaney. “I have well-established relationships with many of the farmers and fishers across PEI, such as Soleil Hutchinson from Soleil's Farm. She provides us with all of their greens, shoots, sprouts, heirloom tomatoes and baby vegetables.”

You can also find several of the farmers and fishers Delaney uses, including Carr’s Shellfish, Larkin Bros., and Raspberry Point Oyster Co. in the PEI Flavours Culinary Trail Guide.

After settling into the corner-window seat, the view of the herb garden and backfield adds to our excitement of the culinary adventure yet to be explored.

With a round of specialty cocktails and fresh biscuits under our belts, it comes time to enjoy our appetizers. The Seafood Soup (Thai inspired Lobster Bisque, fresh from Doiron Fisheries) and Asparagus Risotto with tomatoes, chives and Cheeselady’s fenugreek gouda crisp are absolutely to die for.

Moving next to our main courses, the Pastrami Spiced Triple “A” Island Beef Tenderloin is so tender you could cut it with a butter knife, and the Seared Scallops are savoured until the very last bite.

To cap off the night, a Spiced Carrot Cake with pineapple curd and house spun butter pecan ice cream combine for the perfect balance of light flavour and moist texture. And while lingering over a frothy coffee, Chef Brian Kaderavek, originally from Oregon, appeared and was more than happy to share his story.

“During our travels this past year through North America and Europe, my partner and I met Maxine and fell in love with Prince Edward Island and The Pearl,” says Kaderavek. “I feel so lucky to have an opportunity to be part of PEI’s wonderful community and to cook with the Island’s world-class land and sea bounty.”

Leaving fully satisfied and tempted to make a reservation on our way out, it’s no wonder The Pearl won the “Taste Our Island” Award in 2010.

The Pearl is open daily for dinner seatings at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays for brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. until October 9th. For more information, visit www.thepearlcafe.ca or call (902) 963-2111.

To broaden your culinary horizons, try Centre-Expo for incredible PEI chowder in Wellington; Chez Cartier, a cozy European café in Alberton; Victoria Village Inn and Restaurant, winner of the 2009 Taste Our Island Award; or The Station Café on the beautiful Montague River. For a complete guide, check out www.peiflavours.ca.