Thursday 18 July 2013

The Inn at Happy Adventure, Eastport Peninsula, Newfoundland

I will forever be grateful for our little side trip to the Eastport Peninsula on our way from St. John's to Gander on July 17, 2013.  As we drove along I looked for places to stop along the way that may be little, out of the way, unknown culinary destinations. Google told me that "Chucky's Fish & Chips" was the place to go - great reviews and with a name like that it conjured up images of a small, informal diner.

When we pulled up to the Inn, however, I started to second guess my jean capris and Jason's t-shirt and jeans combo intended to be comfortable for travelling. Not to be deterred, I went in anyway, encouraged by the group of young travellers that had just pulled up and obviously had intentions of staying the night and dressed similarly.

Just a taste of the view offered at
The Inn at Happy Adventure.
My initial impressions of the place were shiny hardwood floors reflecting the low-lying evening sun that poured in from the windows that ran the entire length of the dining room. I was smitten. The view out those windows was so spectacular that I would have told Jason we were changing in the parking lot if that's what I had to do for a reservation.

At first glance it looked as though the dining room was full and I worried that we might be too late for dinner, regardless of dress. When I asked the server at the counter I became more and more concerned. He seemed so worried about whether they would be able to seat us earlier than an hour and a half later that when he said the words, "we could seat you on the deck" with reluctance that I thought there must be something terribly wrong with the deck.

"Um, can I look at the deck," was all I could say, thinking that it must be falling off the side of the Inn to create such a level of angst that he feels he is putting us out.

I walked through the dining room to the sliding doors and was stunned, again, by the view. The two level deck was adorned with several bistro tables and chairs, fabric umbrellas shielded eyes from the direct sun and the setting of the Inn into the side of the hill meant you had a clear view down over the dock into the harbour. The epitome of a quaint fishing village lined the banks in both directions.

I made my way back to the front desk and couldn't restrain my natural sarcasm, "Um, yeah, I guess the deck will do."

We were treated to some of the best customer service around (which, if you haven't been, is a recurring theme in Newfoundland), the menu was excellent with more than enough to satisfy my insatiable need for more seafood as well as make my anti-seafood husband happy.

I had some of the best scallops I've ever tasted as an appetizer - seven scallops, big ones, as an appetizer - definitely not one of those places with fancy food and small portion sizes. I struggled with my choices for dinner but as I stared out over the harbour I realized the Inn's dock sat below and had a string of crab traps running right off the end of the dock... crab it was, then.

I was a good choice. Crab so fresh that you didn't need the pliers to get at the meat, a quick snap of the leg with my hands and it was mine, all mine. Honestly, it was probably a good thing I was out on the deck, there's nothing pretty about me when I get my hands on shellfish like that - it's all men for themselves.

For the record, although the Inn is a beautiful, idyllic location with great food and impeccable service - we were not, in fact, out of place in our jeans and t-shirt apparel. Guest dress ran the gamut from jeans, to collared shirts to biker gear - everyone was there for the food and the view.

After dinner we wandered down to the dock just in time to watch the sunset. The water was the clearest ocean water I have ever seen. A jelly fish, dozens of starfish, a crab that somehow escaped my dinner plate and silver dollars could be seen within a stone's throw of where we stood.

Our next visit to The Rock will most definitely be making The Inn at Happy Adventure more than just a quick stop along our way.

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