LOCAL LOUNGE GRILL – Summerland, B.C.

12817 Lakeshore Drive. S
Summerland, BC V0H1Z1

Website: http://www.thelocalgroup.ca/

Email: info@thelocalgroup.ca
Tel: 250 494 8855

Photos taken by Charles Zuckermann

Local Lounge • Grille on Urbanspoon

It’s no news to anyone that I’ve spent a good portion of my summer thoroughly “researching” some of the best patios in Vancouver. But after many hours spent sitting and sipping in the city, I figured it was high time I took my hunt to the next level – a fabulous excuse to get out of town! My choice? Summerland’s Local Lounge • Grille.

Restaurant

Considered to be one of the Okanagan’s premier restaurants and bars, this spot has got something for everyone: a trendy and sophisticated indoor space, a staff of hard-working and friendly faces, and a new highly celebrated chef turning out delicious food in the kitchen. And then there’s the patio. This breath-taking lake view reminds you of exactly what summer should be all about: relaxation, good company and fresh local food and drink to indulge in.

Patio

Back inside, Local has made sure that their restaurant’s cool factor isn’t seasonal. As everyone knows – and yes, it’s unfortunate – patio season can’t last forever. Neighbours and tourists alike will find this restaurant comfortable, spacious and full of vibrant colours and stylish décor. Factor in the classy Adult (19+) bar area upstairs and Local’s got your social needs taken care of all year long.

Inside

Upstairs Lounge

Local Lounge • Grille‘s culinary leader, the talented Chef Lee Humphries, deserves huge kudos for our delicious meal. For months and months I have been hearing rave reviews about the dishes he creates – he has a fantastic Vancouver reputation – and I’m telling you, each plate lived up to the hype. The menu had all of the traditional items a casual patio diner might be looking for but when the food arrived at our table the presentation and combination of flavours had clearly been taken to the next level: “authentic yet sophisticated” just as Chef set out to do.

Chef Lee

Originally from Cornwall, England – growing up on his family’s farm – Lee’s passion for fresh, local food started bright and early, right at home. He began working in kitchens around the age of 13, and after years of hard work, he found himself cooking in some of the finest restaurants in London. Fast forward another 6 years, and Chef Humphries was living in beautiful British Columbia, working for some equally notable establishments: West Restaurant, Opus Hotel’s Elixir, the Heather Hospitality Group and one of Vancouver’s most sustainable seafood dining spots, C Restaurant. With a recent move to Summerland, and a new Executive Chef position at Local Lounge • Grille, Chef Humphries is happy to be back in a “farm to fork” environment. This laid back Okanagan region fits his culinary philosophy perfectly (seasonally inspired, sustainably raised and locally grown) and I can tell you from my recent dining experience that the results are incredibly delicious.

Let’s take a closer look at the Menu!

Sundial

Produced by TIME Estate Winery, Sundail 2013, was the perfect accompaniment to this sunny afternoon. Thanks again Christa-Lee for sharing this delicious bottle with us. This wine is going to be a real hit!

Bacon Caesar

Now who doesn’t like a strip of bacon on top of their Caesar? Throw in an asparagus spear and a juicy chuck of lime and you’ve got the ultimate Fat Piggy cocktail.

Asparagus Salad

Warm Asparagus Salad: grainy mustard shallot dressing, poached egg, hollandaise, shaved ricotta silata and watercress

Fried Mushrooms

‘Chicken Fried’ WTF (What the Fungus) Oyster Mushrooms with Blue Cheese dressing

scallops!

Pan Seared Scallops & Braised Short Rib: carrot puree, carrot pickle, crisp tarragon

PorkBelly

Glazed Pork Belly with crisp Piggy Puffs: coriander‎ and green onions, seasoned cucumber, chili & mint.

Lamb

Mint and Fennel scented Yakima Valley Lamb Rack Chops. Served with delicious Chimichurri sauce – perhaps the best I’ve ever had!

As many will agree, good company is an essential part of dining and I am newly convinced that it doesn’t get much better than Christa-Lee McWater Bond; co-founder and front-of-house expert at Local Lounge • Grille. From the moment we walked in the door I noticed her contagious smile, her can-do attitude, and her justifiable pride of ownership. Hey, I know a new Piggy friend when I see one!

Despite her exceptionally busy schedule, Christa-Lee was willing to sit with us throughout the entirety of our experience – just to ensure that we had the very best of times. She made the tastiest of menu suggestions, she shared her wealth of industry knowledge, explained her passion for all things local, and she told us the playful story behind interviewing, meeting, and ultimately hiring Chef Humphries.

All in all, I had an absolute blast getting to know Christa-Lee, a real highlight of my Okanagan vacation. And I’m excited to say that I am already planning my next visit back – hopefully sometime in early September. But until then, I’ll be doing my best to channel some of Christa-Lee’s inspiring work ethic; her passion for the hospitality industry has given me new motivation and I’m even more focused on pursing a ‘be local’ attitude back here in Vancouver.

Me and Christa-Lee

Recently named Favourite Local Restaurant and Favourite Local Chef by Buy Local. Eat Natural (an online competition), I am certainly not the only one with great things to say about this establishment; however, I do hope that this Piggy post and these fabulous looking pictures (thanks, Charles Zuckermann!) have especially encouraged you to pay the Lounge Grille a visit – no matter what time of year. With Christa-Lee running the show in the front and Chef Humphries plating wonders in the back, I am positive that this restaurant is destined for great things. Great delicious things!

For more information on Local Lounge • Grille please visit: http://www.thelocalgroup.ca/

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