I was visiting the Kootenays for the week and was staying in Nelson. I found that I was doing most of my dining there, as Nelson is the largest of the Kootenay cities and by far had the most variety in terms of cuisine types.
My journey brought me the Pitchfork, a favourite of the locals, and fondly referred to as an entirely gluten-free restaurant on a hill.
I walked in and was able to get the last available table that just cleared. As is my luck, the couple that followed was turned about with no additional seats at the bar and no signs of the night slowing down this Saturday. In hindsight, this might not have been a great idea as it was incredibly hard to capture my food in barely there lighting. And as a food blogger, if you didn’t take a photo of it, did you really eat it? And if you can’t take a photo, what’s the point of ordering it. (Or maybe it’s just me).
Seated in the dark of their mood lit patio, basking in the glow of a single tea light, and jamming to the melodic sounds. Synth melodies that would be best suited to a studio and accompanied by state altering additives. Here, a cocktail felt necessary. A drink, not only to fit the mellow vibe, but for the need of warmth, as I was pre-warned of the lack of heating on their patio. Nelson nights are as cold as the days are warm. I would sit and simmer, taking my photos before sauntering back to my hotel for my last night in Nelson.
When asked, my server’s second choice for favourite cocktail was the Andean apples. A complex and smooth drink with 15 calvados, lillet, amaro montenegro, and Peruvian black mint. I was interested in the prospect of a unique herb I have yet to try. The cocktail was herbaceous with a clean harvest apple sweet finish. Smooth and easy drinking fall vibes as promised.
I liked it enough and it was only getting colder that I thought to follow it with their second seasonal cocktail. The turtlenecks & tweed described as an “autumnal and velour” cocktail with Basil Hayden’s bourbon, rosemary, and orange & angostura bitters. You brought the glass to your mouth and breathed in the scent for freshly picked pine. A scent that contrasted the smokey full bodied bourbon and the subtle citrus notes in glass.
Whenever I see them I have to order them: brussels sprouts with okanagan goat cheese, pistachio, gochujang-maple glaze, and balsamic. I liked the crisp texture of them but found they lacked flavour. Not spicy or sweet from the sticky glaze. And the goat cheese wasn’t the sharp cheese I wanted, I would have preferred a nice Parmesan shaving instead. I thought the pistachio was interesting for added a crunch, but I wished they were more toasted. This was good as it satisfied my vegetable craving, but this was not exciting as an appetizer.
I indulged in their AAA grass-fed striploin to mark my last night. Pan seared 7oz baseball cut steak with creamy potato salad, KCG farm greens, and a green peppercorn demi-glace. This was a well-prepared, pink at its centre steak. Tender and well-seasoned with excellent potatoes that was a cross between roasted and mashed. And the fresh salad offered a nice break in between heavier bites.
Overall, I liked the vibe of the place with its unique seating that spills out from a historic brick and mortar building, and twists into a two storey patio. A great setting for a night out with tasty cocktails and a pretty solid menu. Absolutely a nicer dining option when in Nelson.
518 Hall St, Nelson, BC V1L 1Z2, Canada