Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Compass Lakeside Grill Overlooking Bronte Marina

Overlooking Bronte Outer Harbour Marina on the shoreline of Lake Ontario, is Compass Lakeside Grill, tucked away on the main floor of Oakville's Harbour Banquet & Conference Centre, set within Bronte's beautiful Heritage Waterfront Park System. Cool and contemporary, Compass Lakeside Grill may lack charm and sophistication, but if you're fortunate enough to get one of the limited outdoor tables on the waterfront terrace, it's the best spot to enjoy fabulous views of sailboats, seagulls and sunsets, and sample executive chef Scott Bailey's locally inspired menu and seasonal dishes.

Bronte Harbour Marina in Oakville

The Compass Lakeside Grill and Conference Centre viewed from the water

Compass executive chef Scott Bailey

The main entry to Compass Restaurant from inside the Conference Centre

With an extensive menu of inviting cocktails, craft beers and wines from around the globe, it seemed a good idea to begin our lunch with a libation or two. We started with a Compass Mimosa, which featured champagne and orange juice, and arrived in a very pretty coupe; a Spritz, which the young waiter brought as a Spritzer of wine and soda until I showed him the cocktail menu featuring the Spritz with Aperol, white wine, soda, orange zest and orange bitters. Typically made in Italy with Prosecco and Aperol, this version was less sweet and rather lacklustre — perhaps I should have stayed with the Spritzer. The Cracked Canoe Beer was a bigger hit, along with the Classic Caesar, which arrived in a jam jar of Tag Vodka, tabasco, worcestershire, lime juice, olives and lemon.

The Compass Mimosa with champagne and orange juice in a stylish coupe

A Spritz made with Aperol, white wine, soda, orange zest and orange bitters 

Cracked Canoe, a Canadian beer made by Moosehead Breweries in New Brunswick

Compass luncheon menu

The lunch menu featured a fixed selection of appetizers including French Onion Soup, Scallops & Duck Confit, Lemon Poached Calamari and Fig & Prosciutto Tart in addition to some daily specials which included the Soup of the Day, a thick and creamy Tomato Red Pepper Bisque, as well as a generous Roast and Pickled Beet Salad with wild arugula, goat cheese and quinoa.

The Daily Soup - Tomato and Red Pepper

Roast and Pickled Beet Salad with wild arugula, goat cheese and quinoa

French Onion Soup with sour dough croutons and Gruyere cheese, garnished with scallions

Main dishes included a selection of Pizzas from Bianca, Margarita and Natalina to the chef's daily inspiration — the 'Trust Me, You'll Like It' Pizza. Other comfort food favourites included a handsome Smoked Chicken Pot Pie with a nautically-inspired puff pastry top, and served with a roots & shoots salad; The Compass Burger with brie, baby kale, red wine onions, roasted fennel mayonnaise, house relish and fries; Pan Roasted Organic Salmon with crushed fingerling potatoes, braised asparagus and chorizo sausage; to the beautifully presented Ricotta Gnudi served with brown butter sauce, garden peas and Parmesan — hands-down the show stopping dish of the day.

Smoked Chicken Pot Pie served with a roots & shoots salad

Pan Roasted Organic Salmon with crushed fingerling potatoes, 
braised asparagus and chorizo sausage 

Chef's Choice - 'The Trust Me You'll Like It' Pizza

Chef Scott Bailey making the Ricotta Gnudi

Ricotta Gnudi with brown butter sauce, garden peas and Parmesan

The Compass Burger coming out from the kitchen of Chef Scott Bailey

The Compass Burger with brie, baby kale, red wine onions, 
roasted fennel mayonnaise, house relish and fries

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