Sail Ahead to the Pilot House!

Visited On: May 21, 2011
Gluten Free Menu: Full menu has gluten-free items marked
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude:
Variety of Gluten-Free Options: 1/2
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating:
Price Range: $10-$30 per person (plus drinks, tax, and tip)

The long weekend this year found Mike and I in PEI. To celebrate our anniversary, I asked him to make a reservation at a nice restaurant. I made a list of possibilities, he did some research and made some calls, and we ended up at The Pilot House in Charlottetown.

The first thing that we realized was that we should have listened to recommendations and made a reservation. We waited almost an hour for a table and things seemed a bit disorganized. We spent half of it at the bar, though, where I enjoyed the best Singapore Sling that I have ever have. (Sorry Shoe Shop, you’ve been demoted!)

During our time at the bar, we noticed that the restaurant was a bit chilly. When we got a table by the window, we realized where the chill was coming from – there was both a bad draft and air conditioning blowing in. (It was only about five degrees outside.) The menu, however, warmed me up. It is huge, with everything from pub fare to gourmet entrées, and many items marked gluten-free. Most of the soups and salads were gluten-free, as well as half of the entrées. On the two-page pub menu, only nachos and the lemon pepper haddock were marked as gluten-free.

We were both starved, so we first ordered one of the three gluten-free appetizers: a stack of vegetables and goat cheese served on top of a roasted mushroom and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar sauce ($12.99). I was really debating on the nachos, but decided instead on their steak frites ($23.99), served with fries. (I was warned that the fries could be cross-contaminated, but you know me and fresh-cut French fries! I just couldn’t resist.) Mike opted for the ribs ($24.99), which are marked gluten-free although they are cooked in a house sauce made with ale.

I must say, the appetizer was the most interesting dish I have ever seen in my life. I really liked the dressing, however, and stuck to that with lettuce and the goat cheese. Mike had a lot of fun trying the different vegetables and eating the giant mushroom. It was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of dressing, and beautifully presented.

Next up was our main dish. Mike’s ribs were absolutely fantastic: the sauce was amazing; the meat was plentiful, moist, and falling off the bone; and the portion was generous. I’m not a huge rib fan but these were super. My steak was pretty good; although it didn’t have much seasoning it was perfectly cooked and was great for a cold night. And the French fries were worth every bite: hand-cut, perfectly cooked, and crispy.

We were so stuffed from supper that we couldn’t even think about dessert, which was good since they had nothing that I could eat anyway. We went back to our cottage and cuddled up with a movie and some champagne. It was a perfect anniversary date!

The Pilot House
70 Grafton Street (Charlottetown)
902-894-4800
Web Site: http://www.thepilothouse.ca/

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