Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ward's Island Day Trip: Barb's Jams and The Rectory Cafe

Today my friends and I fulfilled a long-standing date to go to Ward's Island and have lunch at The Rectory Cafe. We took the ferry nice and early from the foot of Bay street at 9:45AM and had a leisurely walk around the residential areas where we coveted many quaint and interesting houses. The people who live there really are so lucky. And kitty cats run rampant through the sidewalk-like streets unafraid and adorable.

Pretty early on in our walk, we found Barb's Jams at 9 Third Street. Barb actually took the ferry over with us after having spent the early morning grocery shopping in the city. She has two large cupboards in her living room filled with jams, jellies, chutneys, and pickles that she makes from scratch. She has many different, delicious-sounding varieties, including rhurbarb, peach, blueberry, saskatoon berry, cranberry, eggplant, carrot, beet, etc. In the end, I decided on the eggplant chutney (which tastes very similar to the eggplant pickles made by Edna's Pickles, which I love), cherry jam, and mustard pickles. It's $5 for any small jar and $10 for a large. Her place is quite hidden and we felt quite lucky to find it. She said that she'll be selling at a Chirstmas bazaar organized by the Algonquin Island Association on Saturday, December 6.

We got lost between Barb's and The Rectory Cafe, so we worked up quite an appetite walking in circles (no thanks to me; I have no sense of direction). The restaurant is warm and cozy inside and they have a lovely heated patio where you can enjoy the crisp fall air and enjoy a view of Lake Ontario. If you make a reservation, they'll save a table for you underneath the umbrellas that keep the heat from the lamps circulating around you.

For starters, we shared the crabcakes, antipasto, and hummus. My favourite was the crabcakes. Large and full of plump, genuine crab alongside fresh greens.

For my entree, I had the lamburger, which was a manageable size with lots of delicious blue cheese. Heavenly.

For dessert, we shared that day's Luisa cake (made by a local baker), which was a hazelnut chocolate cake, and the bread pudding. The hazelnut cake was dense and rich with lots of thick chocolate icing. I haven't had much experience with bread pudding, but it was warm and comforting with oozy caramel and whipped cream.

The Rectory Cafe has a large lawn with an archway leading toward the path and lake, which make it the perfect place to have a wedding.

I hadn't been to the island in years and I'm so happy I finally did. It's a wonderful was to spend a fall day and it's quite easy to get back and forth to the city. Now I must rest up for Nuit Blanche tonight. Hope to have some great pictures for you tomorrow!

Barb's Jams
9 Third Street
Ward's Island, Toronto
To order: 416-203-0866

The Rectory Cafe
102 Lakeshore Avenue
Ward's Island, Toronto
Phone: 416-203-4152
Reservations recommended

1 comment:

Francesca said...

yesterday I came to centre island and I walked around buti I didn't find this place. I have to come back to try!