LUNCHING AT BLOOMFIELD PUBLIC HOUSE
Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Mmmk. We get to sit down with a lot of Chefs/Owners, but none as young and with as much spirit as Bloomfield Public House, Chef Elliot Reynolds and Sommelier Laura Borutski.
I first sat down with the very charming and confident Business Boss, Laura, about the process that brought them to where they are now (Coles notes version).
These crazy kids have already made a name for themselves in the BOQ and PEC by way of The Hub restaurant in their home base, Bloomfield, ON. They made heads turn with a progressive menu that had not yet been seen in the area.
Flash forward a couple of years, these two purchased an old bank in the town of Bloomfield to convert it into what’s now called, Bloomfield Public House. No big deal, right? ...wrong!
They then decided to be their own General Contractors from demolition to turnkey. Yeah, you read that right.
They decided to reno an old bank in the booming “build and reno” area of Prince Edward County. To which I said, “awww you guys must not like yourselves very much do you?” Laura laughed and went on to tell me that they put in a lot of sweat equity to make this all possible. It tested everything they had as partners in and outside of the restaurant. In the end, they only proved what they already knew, they were ready for success. Laura summed up the whole experience very nicely by saying, “if you’re not ready for stress and adversity then you’re not ready to open a successful restaurant”.
So, we asked her, now that it’s here what are your happy with the most?
What she went on to say over and over as we talked was the team they have. “Our team is dedicated as much as we are,” she said, “they have pride and focus as much as we do.” We couldn’t agree more, as we watched the bar and open kitchen pump out a freaking busy lunch rush and that was just at 2:30 on a Tuesday!
She went on to say that the inspiration behind building this Restaurant was to make this a real neighborhood joint and not something that would change with the high and low seasons.
With that all said and done, she gave me one of the firmest handshakes I’ve gotten in a long time and passed me into the loving care of Chef Elliot Reynolds, who I will call Uncle Elliot throughout this story. Why, you ask? You know that cool uncle that likes to teach you cool stuff that you both are interested in and makes you feel like you are his favourite? Well, that’s Elliot.
I knew Elliot and I were going to be best friends when he asked me if I wanted to see his fieldstone smokehouse that he had newly built himself. I was like, “frickin’ right I do!“
It was impressive because this was where some of BPH Charcuterie program comes from, as well as daily creative dishes for their menu. Which, side note, if you don’t order the Charcuterie while you’re there, I feel like you will never understand true happiness until you do. They do this very, very well.
We then went back inside, and I ordered two items: The Charcuterie and the special from the field stone smokehouse, which was a smoked Chicken stew. That made me question if I had ever really had stew until today.
Then Uncle Elliot (because I’m his favourite) started spoiling me with dish after dish of menu items that he is proud of. Here's the lineup:
Boquerón’s: ⁃ Cured anchovies, charred bread, olive oil ⁃
I took the first bite and I was transported to Spain. At least, that’s what it felt like.
This was special and not messed with. It was one of the most authentic tapas I’ve had on this side of the pond. That’s because Uncle Elliot doesn’t like to screw with something that is already a perfect dish. “It does not need my input, only my ability to make it,” he said.
Smoked Salmon Rillette ⁃ Charred bread, quick pickles, chives ⁃
It was almost like a mousse like texture, seasoned perfectly with the quick pickle and the acid cutting the fat of the salmon.
Beef Tongue Carpaccio ⁃ Fermented mushrooms, red eye mayo, fried shallots, Aaron’s field carrots ⁃
You ever eat something so good it pisses you off because you’re going to crave it at really inconvenient times, like while writing an article. How good was this dish? Ok, how about this as an endorsement. I brought food home to my 5-year-old son who refused to share it with me or his stepmom. Yeah, that good. He made a freaking 5-year-old like cow tongue! Let that sink in.
Mussels Escabeche ⁃ Salt spring island mussels, pickled celery, house chips, black garlic aioli ⁃
This was by far my favourite dish he sent out. To me, this was the perfect dish. It had texture, acidity and richness. Listen, I can’t make this clear enough. All the dishes with seafood were so clean. The flavour of the ocean was the only thing you got from these dishes. No corner cutting with “less than” quality seafood items.
Look, I am trying to find something bad to say about my experience here. Between the beautiful decode and large windows giving lots of natural light, or the wait staff that would laugh at my horrible dad jokes, or the wine list that read like the holy grail of vino; the only negative thing I can say is, Uncle Elliot must work on that handshake.
In all seriousness I walked into a bumpin’ place on a Tuesday filled with locals hanging out during lunch. I had my expectations blown out the water, which when you’re excited to try a place out for the first time, is almost impossible to do. This place embodies what all restaurants, in my opinion, strive to be. Go there if you like all things excellent!
Visit Bloomfield Public House’s website here for the full menu and more details.