By Heather Killen
It was a lesson in good taste Monday morning at Bridgetown’s newest eatery as proprietor Chantelle MacKinnon opened the doors on what promises to be a gourmand’s delight.
The Eggplant Café, MacKinnon’s labour of love at the Bridgetown and Area Library building on Queen Street, appropriately opened on Labour Day to good crowds and good response. The colourfully yet tastefully decorated restaurant offers half a dozen tables inside and patio seating outside in appropriate weather.
The café has had a bright up-do over the past few weeks and will continue to offer WiFi, an espresso bar and lattes, and gourmet coffee and teas for those hankering for a quick break.
Best known for her Cornish pastries at the Tupperville and Bridgetown Farmers’ Market, MacKinnon also ran a successful café in Dartmouth before she moved to Tupperville a few years ago.
With a background in commercial baking, people may be tempted to have their dessert first, but MacKinnon’s daily specials may be just too good to pass up.
Her plan is to offer daily breakfast and lunch specials that will not break the budget and stop folks from splurging on dessert. The tempting tasties range from elegant eight-layer opera cake to whoopee pies and gourmet cheesecakes.
“I’m taking that date square home with me,” one woman said as she pointed at the tempting treat in the display case shortly after MacKinnon opened the doors. “That’s my priority this morning.”
She says her menu features a healthy, made-fresh-daily ‘black box cooking competition’ type specials that she will cook up from the freshest fixings. Her idea is to start fresh each day with what is delivered and plan around the available ingredients.
She has a line-up of Nova Scotian producers that includes Inglis Orchards, Marie and Guy’s French Bakery, and Century Farm. While there will be some meat dishes, the café will feature mostly vegetarian and some gluten-free fare.
And of course there will be plenty of culinary attention paid to the lowly eggplant.
“Eggplant is the meat of the vegetarian world,” she says. “It’s an underrated and misunderstood thing.”
MacKinnon is right according to Food.com that puts eggplant as a fruit, specifically a berry, that is a member of the nightshade family and related to the potato and tomato.
MacKinnon sums it up with she simply likes its colour and shape.
The Eggplant Café is open 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit the online at www.theeggplantcafe.com and on Facebook.