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Dine on Mother Nature’s Time at The Restaurant at Poplar Grove

The Goods from Poplar Grove Winery

Penticton, BC | Now in its fourth season of operations, 120-seat The Restaurant at Poplar Grove recently announced the appointment of new Executive Chef Stacy Johnston, and Chef de Cuisine, Minette Lotz (Naramata Inn, National Art Center in Ottawa).

Their mission, according to Poplar Grove founder, Tony Holler, is to: “showcase the beauty of locally sourced ingredients in concert with our carefully crafted wines, all right here in the place they’re made. I can’t think of a finer team for that than Chefs Johnston and Lotz. We’re delighted to have them here.”

Both chefs are proponents of “thoughtful food,” which exists at the intersection of sustainably foraged and grown ingredients, time-honoured techniques, and natural inspiration. As such, their menus change and evolve alongside the micro-seasonality of the Okanagan.

“We’re on mother nature’s time,” Johnston says. “The earth decides when it’s ready and the farmers and foragers around us dictate our menu.”

Currently, as spring transitions to early summer, Johnston is anticipating first-of-the-season radishes for her local Tanto Latte Burrata Salad — a dish that flirts enthusiastically with the complex aromas of peach and elderflower in Poplar Grove’s Sauvignon Blanc 2022 — as well as the arrival of Hakurei turnips, which add crunch and sweetness to any dish. And, of course, spring peas are the emerald jewels in the Spring Pea Risotto.

Lotz meanwhile, is out most days actively foraging for morels in burn areas around the region. The prized wild mushrooms are used in her Morel Mafalda. She’s also on the lookout for fireweed, nettles, wild lilies, miner’s lettuce, and watercress to be served with the pan-seared and roasted BC Wild Halibut with preserved lemon sabayon, walnut, and butter crumb —a dish Chef Johnston created to pair spectacularly with the notes of golden apple and lemon zest in the Reserve Chardonnay 2020 (only available at the restaurant or via the Poplar Grove Wine Club).

More than anything, the current early summer menu looks to capture how the Okanagan looks, smells, and tastes in the moment. The next menu, in a few weeks’ time, will also cleave to seasonality. “I always assume tomatoes will be ready in June, but that doesn’t always happen,” says Johnston. “So, we’ll see.”

Summer at The Restaurant at Poplar Grove is also a time of special events, showcasing the location’s unparalleled view of Okanagan Lake, Poplar Grove wines, and the friendly and engaging service of its hospitality team, headed by Food & Beverage Manager, Michael Ziff (Chambar, St. Lawrence).

Highlights include:

June 29, Chefs in the Valley 100% vegetarian five-course collaboration dinner with Chef Brian Skinner (Frankie We Salute You!, The Acorn).

July 15, In the Vines Long Table Dinner four-courses paired with Poplar Grove wines with expansive views of our Munson Mountain vineyard and Lake Okanagan.

Aug. 12, Dinner in the Poplar Grove Cellar where guests will enjoy a three-course dinner amongst the barrels hosted by Winemaker, Stefan Arnason.

Receive front-of-the-line access to all Poplar Grove Winery events, discounts on wine and meals, complimentary tastings and six bottles of wine sent to your home three times per year by joining the Poplar Grove Wine Club.

Updated menus may be viewed and tickets to events may be purchased on the Poplar Grove Winery website: www.poplargrove.ca.

Region: The Okanagan
425 Middle Bench Road North, Penticton

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