Last week I spent some time on Lake Huron at a cottage with my family. We spent the week going to the beach, watching sunsets and visiting picturesque towns along the coast line.
Sunset in Kincardine.
In Port Elgin we stopped in at an Italian restaurant called Rosina. I realize this isn’t a real link to the restaurant’s website, but this is as good as we are going to get regarding information about this place.
Every town, regardless of its size seems to have an Italian restaurant and luckily for Port Elgin, this is a good Italian restaurant. The interior is modern with rustic touches like the butcher block topped with a huge chunk of Parmesan cheese. Although it is nice inside, you can go in and be served looking like a beach bum which is what we did. My favourite part of the aesthetic of this place is the little Nonna they have as their logo – she just captures Italian cuisine and eating perfectly.
I took pictures of the menu for my own purposes (I have been to too many small restaurants without websites and only realized it after the fact, forcing me to make up descriptions and ingredients) so I have included them in the off chance that someone from Port Elgin is looking for information. Based on the quality of the food we had that night, I can only assume this menu changes seasonally but I am sure there are some items on here that are year-round staples.
Amelia and Dad both ordered starters.
1. Dad ordered the Caesar Salad
Romaine hearts, crisp pancetta, anchovy croutons, parmigiano fricco, with roasted garlic and caper dressing. I love this parmigiano fricco that came with it. I think it’s a different way to incorporate parmesan into the dish. A modern take on a traditional and common salad.
2. Amelia started off with the Scallops
Pan-seared scallops, smashed avocado, garlic, arugula, pancetta, tomato and black olives in lemon thyme oil. I think it is interesting that they paired avocado with scallops and interesting in a good way. Avocado does not make its way into enough dishes even though it is completely fantastic.
For dinner Dad, Amelia and I ordered pizzas and Mom ordered veal.
1. Dad’s Funghi Pizza
Pizza Funghi with roasted portobello, button and porcini mushrooms, tomato and asiago cheese. I do apologize as this isn’t the greatest picture but it gives you the general idea that this pizza was loaded with mushrooms. Mushroom pizzas, when done right, are delicious. There are so many different types of mushrooms that we don’t get to use in our everyday cooking and a mushroom pizza really highlights the depth of flavour mushrooms are capable of. I liked that Rosina would feature different Italian cheeses on each pizza. This pizza featured asiago, a nuttier cheese that brought out the earthy qualities of the various mushrooms.
2. Amelia’s Pepperoni Pizza
Pepperoni pizza with pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. The pepperoni was spicy which is not common to traditional thin crust pizzas. There is always a slight hint of spice in pepperoni, due to the curing process, but never to the extent that it leaves your mouth feeling hot when you are done. This pizza had that heat.
3. My Fig Pizza
Fig Pizza with fig marmellatta, Gorgonzola, prosciutto and arugula. This is one of the best pizzas I have ever had. The marmellata was sweet and grainy, giving the pizza the essence of figs without the fleshiness that I dislike. The Gorgonzola was creamy, with that strong blue taste that works with the sweetness of the figs to offset the overpowering qualities that figs and Gorgonzola both have. The arugula was crispy and fresh. The prosciutto was salty and a great accent for the sweet creaminess of the figs and cheese working in tandem with one another. My only complaint about this pizza was that the crust was slightly too crunchy for my liking.
4. Mom’s Grilled Fillet of Veal
Grilled fillet of veal, crushed mini red potatoes with black olive, baby carrots, sauteed baby spinach, beet tapenade and sauce agro dolce. Mom really liked this dish – her only complaint was that she ordered her veal medium-rare and and it came medium-well. Apparently this is a common issue when ordering veal.
If you live in Port Elgin or you are just cottaging in the area, this restaurant is definitely worth a taste. Classy and classic Italian flavours and aesthetics.