Brier Island Lodge is located outside the village of Westport, up a dirt road, at the top of a hill. One of the most popular places to stay on Brier Island, it’s known for the fantastic view from the property. The restaurant looks out over the town of Freeport (on Long Island), Peter’s Island, and Grand Passage.
The world “Lodge” makes this spot sound classy, and it is. But this is Nova Scotia classy and it’s the kind you can enjoy without putting on a suit and tie. We didn’t hesitate to wear the same jeans we hiked in earlier that day, and we fit in just fine. That being said, this is the most expensive place to eat on Brier Island, and it tends to attract more luxury travelers than backpackers.
The restaurant at Brier Island Lodge is not open for lunch, but it’s possible to order a lunch box to take on a whale watching tour or out on a picnic (be sure to order the night before).
Dinner at the Brier Island Lodge Restaurant isn’t just about the food: it’s about the view. The restaurant seats up to 100 people, get there early to get a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows. These seats get you a sunset view of Grand Passage, and of the resident sheep and goat who “mow” the Brier Island Lodge’s lawn.
Our Dining Experience
We didn’t want to miss out on the view, and made sure we were some of the first people into the restaurant when it opened at 5:30pm. Happily, we were seated at a table for two, right beside the window (yay!).
The restaurant’s interior is mostly wood, decorated with rustic maritime paintings and art, with jars of seaglass and candles on the tables. Whale bones in the corners add to the sea-theme, as does a giant plush lobster on the floor.
It wasn’t long before the friendly server came to take our drink order, drop off menus, and tell us about the daily specials. We were actually delighted to hear that there was no spinach salad that evening, the shipment having been sent back because of quality issues. How responsible of them!
Along with our wine, came two warm dinner rolls in a basket, with soft butter. A wonderful way to start our meal.
Small Fish & Chips
On Brier Island, the specialty is (not surprisingly) seafood, and we weren’t going to leave without trying fish & chips at least once. I’m glad to report they did not disappoint.
The haddock was undeniably fresh, and the batter was thin, light, and surprisingly non-greasy. I find that over-battering hides the taste of the fish, but in this case the batter was thin and the fish was the star of the show. The texture of the fish was firm and flaky… and delicious.
The fries (or chips) were homemade, skin-on, and straight cut. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, they were a wonderful companion to the fish.
The tartar sauce that came with the fish was a mix of relish and mayo (mostly mayo) and I didn’t find it all that inspired. The coleslaw that came with the meal was heavy on the cabbage, and light on the mayo, so again nothing special. I didn’t find these two sides amazing, but they were still tasty and welcome.
As expected for a restaurant on Brier Island, the fresh, perfectly battered fish was the star of the meal.
Fish Cakes, Baked Beans & Chow
Billed as a “Traditional Nova Scotian Meal” on the menu, we couldn’t pass up a meal that had seafood and came with “chow” (you’ll find out about chow in a moment).
The fish cakes were made of saltfish and tasted slightly (and not surprisingly) salty. The fish cake itself had a great potato-to-fish ratio (one taste didn’t overpower the other), wasn’t greasy, and was nicely browned and slightly crispy on both sides.
The baked beans were definitely homemade. I could tell because they were a bit firm (which was good because I like them that way). The beans came in a molasses sauce, but didn’t taste overly sweet.
Similar to the coleslaw that came with the fish & chips, the coleslaw with this meal was cabbage-heavy, finely chopped and not too mayo-y.
Ah, on to the chow. The chow looked like a bowl of pickle slices with a creamy sauce, but it didn’t taste vinegar-y like I would expect from pickles. The chow was crunchy and crisp, and I could taste the tangy mustard sauce in my nose. The fresh taste went well with the potato-y fish cakes.
Truly a Maritime food, chow is something you don’t often find outside of Nova Scotia.
Blueberry-Raspberry Shortcake with Fresh Cream
After our meal, our server read us the daily desserts, and we chose shortcake (one of Tim’s favourites) made from local blueberries and raspberries.
The shortcake biscuit wasn’t too sweet, had a crispy outside, and was chewy and juicy on the inside. The berries were all the sweetness needed for this dessert.
Tim was glad he had kept his spoon, as the forks didn’t quite get all the cream and berry juice. We used it to polish off the last of the fresh cream in the bowl.
- Breakfast is served 7:30am-10am, Dinner from 5:30pm-9pm
- Free Wi-Fi available, and there’s cell service (hurray!)
- The restaurant is licensed, and carries a variety of local beers and wines available by the bottle, glass, or carafe
- Arrive early to get a table by the window