Terre Rouge Marche / Bistro

July 28th, 2014 § 2 comments

Terre Rouge Marche/Bistro on Queen Street in downtown Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is an unusual establishment. It does many things and does them all superbly. Owned by John Pritchard with Mike Clarke as chef, Terre Rouge (it means “red earth”, a reference to uniquely colored PEI soil) occupies a roomy space in a pre-1860’s commercial building. The restaurant is strictly locavore, with a farm-to-table, nose-to-tail philosophy. The raw material provided by PEI’s farmers and fishers is incomparable. And, chef Clarke cooks with imagination and precision. (Pritchard says: “He’s killin’ it.)HG/BSK had a simple, late lunch there on a rainy day this week: For HG, a “Shellfish Sammy.” This was a toasted soft roll lined with fresh cut herbs and filled with chunks of local lobster, Gulf of St. Lawrence shrimp and fried Colville Bay oysters. This very sizable treat was nestled next to an extraordinary salad of baby greens, pickled radishes, curls of carrot and golden beets. Perfect. BSK had “Cod Fritters” with pickled onion remoulade and green salad. BSK declared these the best fish cakes ever, superior to BSK’s previous favorites consumed at Nantucket Island’s Downy Flake Cafe. The moral: Only eat fish cakes on an island. HG/BSK drank a nice chilled Pinot Grigio with these treats. There’s lots of robust food on the Terre Rouge menu. Some examples: Roasted marrow bone with truffled parsley-caper salad, duck fat toast, sunny side farm egg. Beef Carpaccio with olive oil, parmesan and organic greens. Pan roasted pork loin with rosemary gnocchi, green beans, beetroot puree, natural jus and root vegetable chips. Fish of the day with smoked potatoes, pine nuts and sauce vierge. Terre Rouge serves some unforgettable sandwiches like the inventive take on the BLT that features pancetta, lettuce, tomato jam and aioli on duck fat toast. Salads (for lighter appetites) and vegetarian platters. A definitive seafood chowder made with local seafood, smoked corn, pancetta and served with fresh biscuits and sea salt butter. There’s lots of seafood (lobsters, clams, oysters, shrimp, crab, scallops, fish) from local waters including an ebullient Plateau de Fruits de Mer. The restaurant does justice to its motto: “Famers plus Fishers plus Fat= Good Food”. But, there’s more to Terre Rouge than the Bistro. There the Marche. The Marche sells superb house-made sausages and offers an array of cheese from local farms (as well as some from New Brunswick and Quebec). Very good breads and some opulent desserts. If you’ve got some kids with you, pop into Terre Rouge for some house-made Italian gelato. You can have a cappuccino or an espresso. Terre Rouge stays open late and serves all day. It has something for everyone. World class food and sweet and savory treats served with the usual Prince Edward Island modesty and courtesy.



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