(Photo: Hillside’s Bistro Chef Robert Cordonier)

There’s something about the start of spring that makes us all feel optimistic. It gets the heart pumping and puts a little spring in our step even (pun intended).

So, it’s imperative we quench our thirst for all that the season has to offer. And there is no better way to quench that thirst than with a bottle of 2011 Hillside Winery Syrah. Or 2010 Cabernet Franc. Or how about the absolute perfect wine to mark the change of the seasons – the rosé. All of which will conveniently be released this spring.

And what is a bold red or a tantalizing rosé without something amazing to pair it with? Hillside Winery & Bistro has you covered here too. While the rest of us were hunkered down, avoiding the onslaught of cold, Hillside’s Bistro Chef Robert Cordonier was working tirelessly to come up a perfectly paired menu that would effortlessly transition us from winter to spring.  Think wintery beet salads with goat cheese and hazelnuts and rich venison but also a springy seafood and fish dishes featuring Tofino shrimp or trout with spruce shoot pickled cattails.

Chef says the best part about the start of the season is finding ingredients he loves, local producers and growers to work with and creating some “really fun stuff”.

“I get excited about ingredients,” he said. This year one of the things that’s making Chef Cordonier most excited is his newest addition to his team. Expect heartwarming aromas to permeate the Hillside bistro this year, as the new pastry chef introduces housemade breads and other beautiful pastries from spring to fall.

Favourite dishes like the Benchmark Burger and the Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic & Apricot Honey will be mainstays this year and are reason enough to make a reservation for opening day, March 29. See recipe in recipe section.


~ Tracy Clark