Castlegarth (White Lake)
Castlegarth (White Lake)
Castlegarth (White Lake)
Castlegarth (White Lake)
Foods from Castlegarth (White Lake)


2012 Jan 20
I believe this was my beef dish - filet maybe?

We visited Castlegarth back in November before going to see a show at the Neat Cafe in Burnstown. Everything was absolutely amazing - the service was friendly, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was warm & welcoming.

Unfortunately I don't remember much about the food other than "YUM", but I did take photos so you can see for yourself how nice everything looks :)

We would absolutely go back. The only sad thing is that you need to go easy on the wine since it's definitely not within walking distance of anything!

2012 Jan 20
I think this was the duck dish at the time.

2012 Jan 20
Duck can't-remember-what-it's-called, but it was AMAZING.

2011 Nov 28
As chef Matthew Brearley was one of the 2011 Ottawa Gold Medal Plates competitors, I thought it was time to take a drive out to White Lake (approximately an hour from downtown Ottawa) to try his restaurant again as we had not been there in a couple of years.

It was not a very busy night which meant the room lacked some ambience although it is still a beautiful room. Service was friendly, attentive and informative.

Food was delicious – two mains and a dessert:
- pickerel on a bed of wild rice and a mixture of brussel sprouts and grilled fennel – outside of pickerel was seared to a perfect crispiness and although not usually a fan of brussel sprouts these were separated out into individual leaves and the mixture with the fennel worked well together
- sliced duck breast on a bed of risotto - farm fresh flavourful
- two hot apple fritters with sour cream ice cream on the side - perfectly flavoured with a cinnamon and sugar coating

The new little shop beside the restaurant is open during restaurant hours and we had a good time looking at (and purchasing) the cheeses and various premade offerings (pies, pizzas, etc).

Overall an extremely pleasant evening.

2011 Jul 30
A real let down for a special occasion, service was slow, meals were not to our liking at all. Chicken Saltimbocca was greasy and tasted like it just came out of a deep frier, beef khorma was bland at best. Another couple celebrateing their 33rd anniversary expressed their total dissapointment quite vocally with both service and food quality, were not charged for their meals (same chicken dish my wife had). I wrote the owners wrt our total dissapointment and did speak with Jennifer who appolgised but defended the meals saying we most likey just don't like their style of cooking, she also stated that it was an off night for them from a service perspective which happens on occasion, they were not present that night. She did offer a free meal on Aug. 13 for special event hoping they could change our minds and that we would feel compelled to make a donation to the Renfrew Hospital but felt through our discusion that we might not be a fit for the Castlegarth style of service and food. Three strilkes against them, service, food and customer relations.

Never Again

2011 May 31
They always have something fresh and different items then most restuarants. I have been a few times & never had a bad meal. Not being a wine buff, I always let the hostess "Jen" know what I plan on eating and each time her recommendation was a hit. I am not a dessert person but I always make sure to have something. Even my father (old meat and potatoes man)loved his meal. They openned a store front with ready made dishes and homemade sausages. mmmmm great.

2010 Jan 26
I was reviewing my OF Restaurant Reviews for 2009, and suddenly realized that there were a few I had taken notes on but never submitted… among them a great visit to Castlegarth back in the early Summer.

We were out for a country drive thru the Ottawa Valley (Carleton Place – Almonte – Arnprior) when we remembered the great OF Reviews for Castlegarth… and so made a small detour to White Lake.

Castlegarth came as a surprise… firstly by its cute restored old house aspect, but also by the fact that here I was out in cottage country early on a Saturday Evening, only to find that many folks in the Dining Room had “dressed for dinner”. However, all was not lost when the Hosts quickly welcomed us in… told us we were fine in our jeans, and seated us at a antique Canadian Table with fresh linens. A lot more of a “high end” experience than I had imagined possible otherwise in the middle of the Ottawa Valley.

After perusing the menu, “The Man” and I were anxious to taste the many dishes on offer… all of them sounding absolutely delicious. We gathered that Castlegarth prides themselves on sourcing local ingredients… and learned that they even have a family farm to grow their own veggies and raise beef. Truly the unexpected in White Lake… not to mention that the credentials of this Husband & Wife Team… Professionally Trained (Stratford Chef School) but also once cooking at Domus here in Ottawa, and a stint with the Weston Family in Toronto.

If the menu, brought anticipation to mouths… the Wine List brought cheers to our lips. The Wine List was equally as exciting offering wines from around the world (including a couple of Canadians) and all them names as wine lovers we appreciate. As this was a warm summer's night we opted opted for the Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine des Cassagnoles from France.

The wine matched up well with our Appetizer, a plate of Salmon and Potato Sticks & Green Beans with Vinagrette. Very tasty. For mains, I chose the Slow Cooked Beef with Beets, Roast Potatoes and Goats Cheese. “The Man” went with the Lake Erie Bass Curry. We shared a couple of bites from each others plates, and agreed the food was first-rate.

We finished up with Coffee and an Earl Grey Tea and a wonderful Rhubarb Souffle with homemade Rhubarb Ice Cream. Exceptionally yummy.

All-in-all a great experience… we will be back. While writing this, I checked out their Winter Menu on their website, and it looks delish... we may just have to make a trip up there again soon.

2008 Aug 13
bdm - I take it the lamb was a "special" and not part of the usual menu? I'm thinking "food link" here... Lamb is a category food and I know that a lot of posters are always in search of a place that prepares it well.

I haven't been to Castlegrath yet, but based on a variety of things I've read it has piqued my interest... now that another Foodie has been there this summer, and had a positive experience, maybe I'll finally get around to making a point of going. Thanks.

2008 Aug 13
My first visit as well, and I too feel compelled to give a positive recommendation based on this one sampling. Nothing fancy here, but an excellent "slow food" experience in quiet surroundings, with good, friendly service.

I had roast lamb leg, and it was first rate. It was sourced from local supplier Randy Robertson. I haven't been all that impressed with Ontario lamb in my few previous encounters with it, but this has really turned me around! The dish was nicely complemented by a very tasty summer bean cassoulet. The meal was topped off nicely with a plum cake with homemade vanilla ice cream, and coffee from Equator in nearby Almonte.

My wife enjoyed her beef curry dish, and her dessert (semolina cake with raspberries).

The wine list needs more wines by the glass (only two whites and two reds available), but that's about my only quibble.

This place goes out of its way to feature the products of local suppliers (plus their own organic garden), and it really deserves your attention and support.

2007 Jun 30
Oh! Oh! GO!

I feel odd raving about a place based on one visit with a wee appetizer + dessert meal, but it's so clearly great that I'll let that pass for now, and add more on subsequent visits.

Quite a find, and I'm amazed it's not even more found. Reservations are probably a must if you're driving all the way from Ottawa. We happened by late on, and only got a table by very happy accident, and got it, a bit after 9 pm, with warnings that they were out of some things on the menu. Not a wander-in thing. That's fine. It's a sweet little place -- plain, wooden, tableclothy but not starchy.

I can't in good conscience tag them with 'vegetarian,' but I did fine there as one despite the lack of a veg main course (tonight -- menu changes daily!). A green garlic soup was outstanding. Had I been hungrier I would've thrown in a cheese plate and salad and called it a full meal; as it was, all I had with that was dessert. Strawberry pie with (their own) strawberry ice cream; both delicious, and the latter made me somewhat less proud of the strawberry ice cream I spent some time making this week.

I think both dishes were $6, which is really outstanding for the quality. This was very 'Oh my, everything else I ate today was disgusting, low-quality garbage, and I had no idea' cuisine. Main dishes averaged about $19; they'd easily be $10+ more in the city. Mine plus a lamb dish with veg (delicious-looking veg; am told it was good lamb) and a half litre of a very good riesling = $55, which felt like a steal.

All ingredients are local; we -- Pakenhamians, now -- were amused by how many of the farms &c they buy from were familiar to us. (They're listed on the menu.) I am thoroughly relieved to find somebody putting all the food goodness of the Valley to good use...

Even the service was a pleasure: nobody was snobby, surly, giddy, etc -- just polite and friendly. I'm thrilled to've found this place.