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Fish dish at Fireworks restaurant
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Fireworks

Bay Fortune, PEI Watch video

Fireworks • Bay Fortune, PEI

758 Route 310 902-687-3745 innatbayfortune.com/dining

The feast has begun, and no one is at the dinner table. Some of us are gathered around the open-flame hearth, devouring hay-smoked scallops atop Gouda crackers. My travelling companion is in the prep kitchen, anchored next to all-you-can-slurp Bay Fortune oysters with Bloody Mary ice. “It’s like a fancy country wedding where you show up not knowing anybody,” he declares before I wander out to the emerald-green front lawn that slopes down to the bay. I order a White Noize IPA from the makeshift bar constructed from lobster traps. “A vacation beer,” the girl who opens the large-format bottle for me jokes. Soon I’m shooting the breeze with a 20-year-old sous-chef who’s searing skewers of island lamb over a birch wood campfire.

Chef Michael Smith launched his TV career here in the 1990s at the century-old Inn at Bay Fortune. He returned with his wife to buy the place and set about mentoring a brigade of talented young cooks led by chef de cuisine Cobey Adams. From May to November, the “fire brigade” cooks over the brick-lined grill and in the adjacent smokehouse and wood oven. We soon take our seats inside at a long table, a pediatrician and his wife from Winnipeg to one side of us and two sisters from Toronto on the other. That vacation beer helps ease us through the introductions.

A chowder of sweet lobster, served from a Mason jar, smartly tilts the balance in favour of briny mussel broth over cream. The salad course, a wispy tangle of 29 different greens and herbs like mint and chive blossoms grown in the organic eight-acre back farm, is carried to the table by Olivia Wood, the literal farmer’s daughter. A six-pound octopus came into harbour this morning; Adams poaches it with wine corks in a court bouillon and plates it alongside orange slices smoked with their peels on. It’s sweet, sour, smoky, pithy, delicious.

Dessert is a magic trick. Chefs pluck the flower arrangements from our terracotta centrepieces, revealing our final course hidden in plain sight: a celery-carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting and almond brownie dirt. While coffee is prepared in a massive cast-iron cauldron over hot coals, our entire table rambles out onto the front lawn overlooking the ocean. The moon over the bay is full, and so are we.

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758 Route 310 902-687-3745 innatbayfortune.com/dining

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