We had a wonderful day yesterday!
After doing some work in the morning and going to the gym, we met up with our dear friends Bernie and Ellen and their daughter Cindy at a new restaurant that just opened near us to celebrate both Bernie’s and Cindy’s birthday.
The restaurant had opened a month or so ago. To us here on the French shore of Nova Scotia, it was kind of a big deal because we have few choices for eating out here. The only ‘franchised’ places nearby are Subway and Pizza Delight, which are good if you are in the mood for that. There are also a couple of small, privately owned places which have mostly burgers and sandwiches. This place is called “La Cuisine Robicheau” and has a very limited menu of native Acadian food.
We arrived there around 1pm. We had made reservations because it seemed that every day the lot was quite crowded, and we were happy that we did, as nearly every table was full. The restaurant was a renovated large old house, with several smaller dining rooms that held anywhere from 3-5 tables of various size in them. Everything looked clean and fresh, and there were lovely pictures on the wall of things that were native to the area. Our room had a pretty built-in China cabinet that was back lit and filled with lovely antique serving pieces. There was oak trim all around the doorways and windows and the small chandelier in our room had beautifully shaped light covers that looked like seashells. Everything was original and it gave the place a beautiful, charming and cozy feel to it.
Our afternoon was off to a bit of a rocky start, as Keith and I sat waiting for nearly an hour for our friends to arrive. We were just wondering if we had mis-communicated the time when we saw everyone walk in. Apparently, they were waiting for us outside in the parking lot, expecting to see my red Mustang. Since it is winter though, we have the Mustang parked and take Keith’s car everywhere.
We laughed at the mistake and got down to the business of ordering our food. The menu was indeed limited, having only about 8-10 items on it, but I still had trouble deciding on what to try. There was fresh pan-fried haddock, seafood lasagna, fricot (an acadian soup with chicken and potato dumplings) and a few other seafood dishes on the menu. Not only did they have chicken Rappie Pie, but also one made with clams.
I chose the tiger shrimp dish, as I hadn’t had shrimp in a while and I like it a great deal. Ellen chose the fish chowder, which came with a fresh baked roll. Bernie had fish cakes, of which he could have ordered two or three. Cindy and Keith both had the chicken Rappie Pie.
When our meals arrived we were really pleased. It was a good thing Bernie ordered only two fish cakes, because each one was huge – probably about 1/2 lb. each. They were thick and crispy on the outside and he thought they were great. He was only able to finish one though and took the other home.
Ellen’s soup was amazing. You could see the chunks of haddock and lobster in the large, wide bowl and it really was a nice portion of it. She said it was delicious.
Cindy and Keith both were in awe of the large servings of Rappie Pie. For each of them, it completely filled their plates and had a nice crusty top to it. They both said they really liked it, (but of course, Keith’s mom’s was better!)
As for my shrimp – I expected maybe 4-5 large shrimp and I got a plate of about 15 of them on a bed of rice. They were garlicky and absolutely yummy and I was only able to finish half of them.
We saw several desserts go by and they really looked good, but since I had made a cake for when we returned home, we passed on that.
Overall it was a great meal, and very reasonably priced too. We will definitely be heading back there again soon. They say they are planning to build a beautiful deck for in the summer so guests could eat outside overlooking the ocean. How nice that will be!
After lunch, we came back to our place. We had a great visit and Bernie had fun teasing and playing with the cats. He always likes to stir them up, and I think that they really enjoy the change of routine to have other people around.
We visited a while, and then had our cake. I made a pistachio cake with chocolate pudding frosting that was pretty good. We had fun visiting and singing and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.
After cake, it was beginning to snow and it was time for them to go. They had a 45 minute drive ahead, and the roads here get icy quite fast. The temperatures were dropping and it was going to be getting dark soon, so it was time to call it a day.
We truly enjoyed our visit and it was wonderful to have time off and time to spend with our friends. It has been just about four years since I moved here from Digby and I miss the day to day time that I spent at Bernie’s shop and with them all. Bernie always had a place for me in his shop. I had my own little work station in the back corner that he kept clear for me to do my work and I spent many days there with him. Ellen always fed us well and it was an extra bonus on the days when I was working to have a wonderful lunch break. She always took such good care of me.
I have learned a great deal from Bernie too in the time I worked with him. If ever I was stuck with a problem or had a question how to do something, he would always come up with an idea or make a jig that would solve the problem. There were a couple of times that I helped him out too, and it made me feel great.
Bernie was always a great teacher – allowing me to work on my own enough to learn, but always making himself available to help if I needed it. He always made me feel proud when I accomplished something, even if I made boo boos along the way.
“Anyone who says they never make a mistake is a liar.” was one of his favorite sayings.
I really have a lot of respect for that.
All in all, it was a truly wonderful day!
Have a great Thursday.
”Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.” ~Author Unknown
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"