Kaytoo Blue Mountain is the Ultimate in Canadian Comforts
Being a Canadian, when abroad I seriously miss those quintessentially Cannuck treats and pleasures like poutine and Beaver Tails. I enjoy bacon and maple syrup, butter tarts, and indulge in a Nanaimo bar now and then. With this adoration for home comforts, I quickly gravitated to Kaytoo Restaurant and Bar right in the heart of Blue Mountain Village in Collingwood Ontario. Not only was Kaytoo Restaurant the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of sport or sightseeing, it is an eatery bringing Canadiana favourites to its guests with all the sublimity and flavours they have come to love.
A Little Bit About the Restaurant
This wonderful rustic cabin-style eatery sitting upon a pond full of fun paddle boats across from the Westin hotel in the heart of the village was the brainstorm of John Garbe back in his university days. A young student at Ryerson University learning the ropes of the hospitality industry, John wanted to open a restaurant. During the ever-growing theme restaurant era, (remember such notable establishments as Philthy McNasty’s?) he sought to open his own themed eatery with the same type of feel, but with favourite Canadian fare. During the beginning development phases Garbe vacationed to Mt Tremblant, Quebec while it was under heavy transition construction. At that point he envisioned a restaurant within a resort catering to all the skiers, snowboarders, and other vacationers within the complex. After spending a holiday in Blue Mountain and witnessing the same transitional construction, he felt it was a sign that his concept needed to become a reality. 35 different groups vied for the spot that Kaytoo now occupies, and since the grand opening in 2005, Garbe has never looked back only seeing growth and further success.
The Favourite Libations
So now onto the incredible comforts of Canadiana at Kaytoo. First and foremost the bar has taken the favourite flavours of Canadians to the next level incorporating them in to their bespoke and classic cocktails. In asking our lovely server Tannis the popular concoctions, she suggested two of the most unique and delicious drinks on the menu – the Signature Summer Berry Lemonade and the Maple Bacon Caesar.
First, the Summer Berry Lemonade was incredibly refreshing. The strawberries, polar ice vodka, and squeezed lemon with berry puree made this the perfect beverage to indulge on a summer patio.
My husband enjoyed the Maple Bacon Caesar. A Canadian variation to the Bloody Mary, the Caesar is usually a cocktail of Clamato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, and garnished with a celery stalk. This Canadiana variation had the Motts Clamato juice mixed with maple infused vodka, chipotle Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a rim of maple syrup and bacon bits. And, instead of a celery stalk the drink is adorned with a strip of bacon! Now if THAT isn’t a comfort drink for the typical Cannuck palate, I don’t know what is!
With a patio restaurant boasting such beautiful views in the village and unique cocktails to whet your appetite, it can be confirmed that a lovely variety of appetizers would be on offer. Two of the homemade choices you can pick from that we opted for were the Frickles (fried dills), and spring rolls.
The Frickles seemed like a good choice on this summer evening we visited. After a long day of hiking, waiting in lengthy lines, and savouring the buzz of the Village, starting a meal off with frickles seemed like a wise choice! Deep fried dill pickles really have become a “thing” as of late with many chain restaurants offering their own take on the fermented cucumbers cooked for comfort; however, I truly enjoyed the dish here as the pickles were coated with a seasoned breading and served with a light dipping sauce. It was the perfect beginning to a lovely rustic evening on the pond. I particularly enjoyed these because the batter was not oily or greasy and had a crumbly type of texture suiting the dills perfectly.
The Spring Rolls were a delicious addition to our experience. They were finger-sized with thin phyllo pastry, complete with a Thai dipping sauce. I loved these spring rolls as they bring a classic favourite within a Canadian themed restaurant and add a touch of diverse culture to the mix.
After enjoying such sublime appetizers complementing our delicious cocktails, we patiently awaited our mains of the Fresh Bison Burger and Fish ‘n’ Chips. Seems like obvious choices when enjoying a meal of quintessential comforts, these entrees didn’t disappoint. First the bison burger was cooked the way I like it at medium rare and served with a classic bag of Ms. Vicki’s potato chips – a native brand that Canadians love and consume at high levels. I truly loved the entire meal and felt completely satisfied. The Fish ‘n’ Chips was cooked in local ale batter and wasn’t oily or greasy. The chips were classic and crisp and served with the traditional and essential essence of malt vinegar. I can recommend these dinners highly for anyone in the village looking for a great meal to end their day, or to refuel before heading back up in the slopes.
My Favourite Course – Dessert
No meal would be complete without dabbling into the sweets. With no fixed dessert menu, Kaytoo offers seasonal delights that will please all the sweet tooths in your group. Being on the classic Apple Pie trail (coming soon to the blog!) it shouldn’t be any surprise that Kaytoo offered a homemade apple pie ala mode to tantalize those taste buds. Husband jumped at this offering and thought he’d better see just how incredible the apple pie would be in the heart of quite a bit of orchard territory.
But for me, NOTHING spoke my language more than the “S’mores in a jar.” This mason jar of heaven included all the ingredients required to make a proper s’more including the campfire smoke and taste! Served closed, once you remove the lid, the smoke will release, leaving you wishing you were in the heart of Algonquin in one of their glamping yurts. I felt my Canadian veins gushing in anticipation of the first bite. It was seriously heaven in a jar, sheer indulgence, and definitely a sweet highlight on my Ontario discoveries this summer.
Overall I love Kaytoo Restaurant and Bar. It gave me a taste of my homeland in a big way, it was perfectly placed in the heart of Ontario’s #1 Mountain Resort, and had a comforting and casual atmosphere that many will love after long days on the slopes or vacationing through the village. As I am proud to be spotlighting Ontario this year and showcasing its hidden gems, hot spots, and incredible cuisine that should be enjoyed by all, it is no wonder that Kaytoo Restaurant and Bar fit into the mix perfectly.
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We were a guest of Kaytoo Restaurant and Bar while travelling through Blue Mountain. All opinions are our own and were not influenced in any way.