Wraparound patios with spectacular views. Pleasure boats gliding through glistening water. Fresh caught fish and seafood. Beverages served al fresco.
By Jane Auster
Photography by Brandon Gray
Snug Harbour Seafood Bar & Grill boasts all of these, and more. The popular Port Credit, Ont. fish and seafood restaurant, with patio seating for 200, indoor seating for another 187, plus 34 bar stools, offers summertime dining at its best.
Canadians are real summertime fun-seekers. After months of staying inside, living through the shorter days, and wearing layers to keep out the cold, they are ready to peel off the down jackets and party.
For many, that means heading to a barbecue or patio where they can enjoy al fresco dining at its best.
It’s no surprise, then, that when patio season starts, the number of guests swells at eateries like Snug Harbour, which serves an average of 175 diners a day in the winter but up to 1,600 daily in the summer.
The colder months are when Snug Harbour’s chef and co-owner Paul Clifton starts planning for the busy summer months. The patio opens in April, at the first hint of spring, and runs non-stop until October. Over the winter, when the restaurant is quieter, Chef Clifton works closely with head chef Tim Gojmerac on new ideas for the summer menu. Just before the start of the warmer season, Snug Harbour is ready to debut the new summer menu.
Kraft – the perfect summertime solutions partner
“I’m always open to new ideas,” says the chef, who has owned and run the restaurant with family members since 1996. “That’s how I got together with Kraft. My sales rep offered to introduce me to their extensive lineup of products and also to help to cost them out. You can really experiment with the samples they bring. They’ve got the products, and they’ve got the knowledge.”
One result of the successful partnership is Snug Harbour’s new Mojo Pineapple Burger, featuring Kraft Havarti cheese slices. “I used to slice my own cheeses for our burgers, but it was too labour-intensive,” says Chef Paul. “The Kraft slices allow for portion control and save labour, so I am saving money using them, plus you can’t beat the quality.”
While Snug Harbour’s burgers are popular, the real rockstars are the fish and seafood. Fresh oysters and mussels, boatloads of freshwater and saltwater fish, rainbow trout, farmed Atlantic salmon, ahi tuna from the Philippines, and Cuban lobster tails are only a taster of the restaurant’s marine menu.
“Our #1 seller is our calamari as an appetizer,” says Chef Paul. “We buy our own calamari, slice it ourselves, deep fry it to order, and serve it with zesty mayo, made with Kraft MAYO Real Mayonnaise, and blended with 10 different ingredients.”
Snug Harbour’s reputation for fresh, tasty offerings has spread beyond the restaurant’s usual guests. During the summer, hungry pleasure boaters come ashore to grab a bite or pick up takeout orders from the regular menu. Sandwiches, fresh oysters and mussels, calamari, and Caesar salad are particular favourites of the boating crowd.
“One client comes here on jet skis, picks up three Margarita pizzas, puts them in a waterproof bag, and zips back to the boat to eat them,” Chef Paul laughs. “We do a fair amount of takeout, but it’s hard to say how much because we’re so busy in the summer.”
Snug Harbour summers up its menu with Kraft products:
- Kraft Havarti cheese – Mojo Pineapple Burger
- Kraft MAYO Real Mayonnaise – Grouper sandwich, calamari appetizer, vegetable platters
- Philly Cream Cheese – smoked salmon appetizer with cream cheese, vodka smoked salmon and pickled onion
- Kraft Dressings – Snug Harbour is experimenting with a number of dressings, especially Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette
The Kraft advantage:
- Multiple uses of the same products = cost savings
- Consistency – products are top quality first time, every time
- Versatility – Kraft products make perfect bases and foundations for a restaurant’s signature creations
- Labour saving = cost saving
Make your summer sensational with ideas and inspiration from Kraft: http://www.kraftfoodservice.ca/en/sensationalsummer.aspx?cm_mmc=foodbiz