After stints at Black Cat Bistro and Pelican Grill, chef Trisha Donaldson has settled Almonte Riverside Kitchen, wooing guests with her gorgeous gnocchi and poached pears (among other fine dishes)
By Anne DesBrisay
Perched on the Mississippi River, the mighty tributary that once powered the town’s woollen mills, this new Almonte inn has a 130-year history of housing prominent citizens (even when it wasn’t functioning as a home).
There have been other residents: the Almonte Armouries, for one, which turned the living room into a drill hall and the bedrooms into bars. And before construction of the Diefenbunker, this Queen Anne-style mansion acted as a repository for communications and transmission equipment in the event of nuclear war, its double stone foundation designated as the fallout shelter of choice for the PM and his people.
Yes, indeed, 81 Queen Street has had a fascinating life of service. And it continues to serve. Since opening last December, the Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn, in addition to offering some lovely rooms, has added a dinner service. But though the Riverside Kitchen may be new, its chef is a familiar face.