It’s March. Wineries begin sending out e-blasts that their doors will soon be open, and your favourite bistros awaken from their winter rest and start designing new menus and dusting off the patio tables.
Living in the Okanagan, we know that we’ve got about a month before the first signature events start ticket sales (some summer events are already booking up fast), and the visitors start reserving the spare room. My first guests arrive Easter Weekend to stock up on spring releases, pick up gin, and, of course, go out for brunch.
Before the wine dinners and barbecue themed events of summer, a spring brunch or two is a good way to ease into the cornucopia of good eats coming our way soon, reaching all the way into October.
Who has the best brunch? That’s personal choice, but a few options for the next number of weekends provide a lot of options.
Knotweed, the bistro at Legend Distilling in Naramata, is open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays, and thanks to being located at a distillery, has excellent Caesars. The menu changes with whatever ingredients are freshest for the chef.
Liquidity Bistro in Okanagan Falls is open weekends for brunch and lunch. Brunch features a feta cheese baked omelette, beef and eggs cassolette and a selection of desserts that may just be enough instead of eggs.
For those who can’t decide, the breakfast buffet Sundays at the Nest & Nectar in Penticton’s Cannery Trade Centre can solve your indecision with eggs benedict, a crepe station, or the sandwich that borders brekkie and lunch — the Monte Cristo.
Getting ready to hit a bike trail? The Bench Market on Vancouver Hill provides both caffeine and hearty breakfast options from potato cakes and eggs to the salmon benny, with something from the take out baked goods for the trail.
Hop in the car and head to Local on Lakeshore in Summerland (note, closed March 4 and 5) for locally made meats paired with your eggs and a great wine selection, or up to Quails’ Gate in West Kelowna for jazz brunch at Old Vines.
Staying home? Invite me over for French toast and I’ll bring the artisan maple syrup.
Save the date:
March 2-11, Kamloops: Take a road trip to the Kamloops Wine Trail for Flavours and Flicks, celebrating food, wine and film. Three course dinner options, wine flights and movies. www.kamloopsfilmfest.ca
March 11, SS Sicamous: Penticton’s historic sternwheeler hosts The Great Gatsby Party; drinks, appies, and music, plus swing dance lessons (limited space). A fundraiser for the SS Sicamous. Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/great-gatsby-party-tickets-29559662747
March 7, Kelowna: Join Lake Country’s 50th Parallel Estate Winery at West Coast Grill & Oyster Bar, part of a wine and dine series at West Coast. Call the restaurant at 236-420-0206 to reserve.
March 10, Knotweed at Legend Distilling: Battle of the Benchmarks featuring the wines of Marcus Ansems of Daydreamer Wines, one of Canada’s few Masters of Wine. Five courses, each paired with two wines. Call Legend to reserve, 778-514-1010
March 23, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards: Girls Night Out (Men Not Excluded), featuring wine and cheese, vendors, door prizes. $20 admission, purchased in advance, includes a glass of wine. Proceeds to Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre.
Until April 2, West Kelowna: Jazz brunch every Sunday at Old Vines Restaurant at Quails’ Gate, 10:30am to 2:30pm, featuring performers Anna Jacyszyn and Loni Moger. www.quailsgate.com
April 7-8, Penticton: The Okanagan Fest of Ale returns with 62 brewers, including six offering estate grown and produced ciders, for a total of more than 175 craft brews to sample. www.festofale.ca
30th of each month, CedarCreek Estate Winery: Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, CedarCreek hosts free tastings paired with small bites on the 30th of each month this year. http://www.cedarcreek.bc.ca/