Rossmount Country Inn, St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Often it’s great innkeepers who want to share the successes of their friends. In this case, it was Bill Bennett of Langdon Hall in Ontario who guided me to Rossmount Inn, just outside the bustle of St. Andrews. It’s easy to miss. One word…DON’T!
Chris and Graziella Aerni, a couple with huge food experience, bought Rossmount in 2001 and the gracious old property that came with it. A regional landmark high on a hill overlooking Passamoquoddy Bay, Rossmount has been reborn. The deal breaker for them was that they also got to own Chamcook Mountain. Being Swiss, they found something quite special about owning a mountain and immediately phoned home to spread the news.
There’s a passion here that is rare. They not only honour their ingredients and the people who produce them, they search out new ones with enthusiasm that’s hard to find anywhere in Canada.
I met Chris for the first time on a hot August day. Before I had unpacked we were off in his 4×4 to harvest rockweed, which grows in profusion all along the coast. After blanching, it turns bright green and is perfect as a bed on which to serve fresh oysters or another local delicacy, steamed periwinkles.
For decades it’s been a challenge, as any Atlantic Canadian chef will tell you, to obtain fresh seafood. But Chris has a beguiling way about him and the fishermen, bless them, have responded with some of the most interesting seafood you’ll find anywhere in Atlantic Canada.
While I was there, the kitchen was busy cleaning giant cultured scallops and fresh Fundy herring, saving the roe to use as a garnish. The herring is merely filled with fresh rosemary and thyme, then pan-fried. If you’re lucky you may taste sea urchin but you certainly will be served Skip Wolfe’s great smoked salmon from Jail Island. The salmon is cut into small chunks rather than thin slices in order to make the most of the luxurious flavours. There’s strong arugula and perfect peas and gorgeous tomatoes from organic grower, Beth Beurkel, “the godsend”, just down the road. And for dessert? As simple as a bowl of wild blueberries with cream or as decadent as meringue glacée with Swiss chocolate sauce!
Contact Rossmount at the number below to reserve a Food Day Canada table.
Contactez Rossmount Country Inn directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre Journée des terroirs réservation.
Rossmount Country Inn,
4599 Route 127,
Saint Andrews, New Brunswick E5B 3S7