Every year, the Easter long weekend heralds a sense of rejuvenation in the Okanagan.
It’s typically the weekend when most tasting rooms open for the season. This year it seems that there’s a new bistro announcing its grand opening—or re-opening—on an almost daily basis.
And, for those with green thumbs, garden plans begin to be plotted.
Speaking of plants, in recent days, the farm-to-table vibe of the Okanagan received a significant vote of confidence, as Oliver’s Backyard Farm received confirmation it can operate as an “agri-culinary” dining and catering operation.
If you have any familiarity with the layers of bureaucracy regulating everything from agricultural land to liquor production to restaurant licensing, you’ll know that this is an integral step forward in the growth of culinary experiences in the Okanagan that are truly farm-to-fork.
If you go to Backyard Farm or attend an event this year where Chef Chris Van Hooydonk and his team are catering, you will most certainly hear Chris say, “We picked it this morning and now it’s on your plate.”
There are more steps ahead for Chris, his wife Mikkel and their family, but when you are at their table, you will undoubtedly feel like you’re breaking bread with family. Case in point: Last summer at a Vine Dining event at Noble Ridge, the table next to mine stole my table’s bread (if you’ve had Backyard’s bread, you’ll understand why). Chris then sent me home with a loaf (pictured).
If you’re planning to break bread with loved ones this long weekend, here are a few options.
Township 7 in Naramata wil have an adult Easter egg hunt, while its Langley property will have activities for everyone in the family.
Grizzli Winery in West Kelowna will have Easter in the Vineyard, plus “Egg-stra” indoor activities, also for kids of all ages.
Recently opened in Kelowna, Erica Jane has some serious buzz with a menu that includes shucked oysters to wagyu beef to a seafood tower. Any place that has potato latkes as a side is aces in my books.
Meanwhile, La Mantra bills itself as “Indo-talian,” saving us all from debating Italian or Indian for a bite.
Whether or not Easter is an occasion, or you’re just heading out on this long weekend for a breath of fresh air, if you head south, the bistro at the OK Falls Hotel is finally open, and the refreshed OROLO at Time Winery in Penticton has a Golden Polenta worth the drive, not to mention its Jar of Cream Puffs. Perfect for sharing.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.