Plenty of places to dine this Easter long weekend

Breaking bread this Easter

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.

Phantom Creek Estates in Oliver is offering a family-style three course Easter menu as well as a take-home option. Take in the children’s Easter egg hunt to work up an appetite.

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.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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