Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Hooded Merganser...


One of my favourite things in the world is (good) food.  Another of my favourite things is a nice view.  Put the two together, and... well... you had me at 'hello'.

My husband and I also love going for 'runs' - which to translate from the Scottish vernacular into Canadian means going for a drive. And nothing is nicer than a scenic drive with a destination, which I am happy to say we have now found. Yesterday, with the sun shining and the sky so beautifully blue, we decided it was the perfect day to explore a little further afield. Our meanderings took us to Penticton, where we discovered The Hooded Merganser, a lovely restaurant with a view that just won't quit.

Part of the Penticton Lakeside Resort, Convention Centre and Casino, The Hooded Merganser offers that hard to find combination of a lovely dining 'experience' - ie great decor and view - with good, reasonably priced food. Yesterday we had lovely lunch, with an entree with a couple of glasses of wine apiece, yet only spent in the region of $75. Result. Plus both my husband's and my food (a 'Hood' burger and a beef dip respectively) was tasty and well presented.

The breakfast menu includes stalwarts like omelets, Eggs Benedict, pancakes, and bagels, as well as the imaginatively named B.E.L.T.C.H. - bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, cheese and ham. With prices ranging from $3.5 for a bagel and cream cheese to $18.50 for steak and eggs, this is a great breakfast option. Lunch concentrates on burgers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, etc. in the $10 to $16.50 range with a small steak and seafood selection at a higher price range. Dinners are more expensive, but the food is also a little more substantial - steaks, seafood, lamb, etc, in the $20 to $33 (for Surf & Turf) range, but reasonable choices like burgers, pasta and salads ($12 - 18) are also available. Both lunch and dinner menus offer a wide range of appetisers, in the $7 to $12.50 range. 

Personally, we want to go back just to try the Beef Carpacciao (thin sliced ultra-rare beef tenderloin with Parmesan cheese and Dijon vinaigrette), $12.50, or the Merganser Poutine (fresh kennebec fries with duck confit, local cheese curds and duck reduction) - me the former, my husband the latter - I'm afraid I love ducks too much to eat them. (I know, I know, cows are cute too, but I was raised in cattle country... beef is in my blood).

The Hooded Merganser open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and pretty much every table has a great view, but... about that name. The hooded merganser (pronounced mer - gan - ser) is a rare North American duck that summers on wooded rivers and lakes.  Legend has it that one such wee beastie flew onto the deck in the middle of the session to name the restaurant, and voila, the rest - as they say - is history.

The Hooded Merganser is open daily from 7am to midnight.  Located at 21 Lakeside Drive W in the Lakeside Resort.  Reservations at 250 487 4663 (250 487 HOOD).