In addition to paid parking, Little River Beach Park featured bathrooms, though no showers for rinsing off mossiness. I settled for wiping my feet dry, then changing into dry clothes.
A short lineup persisted outside Pom Pom, indicating plausibly greater popularity amongst locals.
While we waited, the sleepy polar bear indecisively shifted between Cookies & Cream and Caramel Coco Crunch. On the other hand, I began Googling flavours for more comprehensive descriptions. Listening to my utterances of various ice cream profiles, the sleepy polar bear eventually settled on a small scoop of Moose Tracks in a waffle cone.
Mint Chunk tasted as artificial as its appearance, and perhaps, arguably, worse. Admittedly, it was the first time I could perceive the wails behind mint ice cream bearing too great a resemblance to toothpaste. The chocolate chunks were of standard character, yet decidedly less flavourful than Hershey's or PC Decadent.
An attempt at further investigating the nearby vendors was cut short due to their early closures.
Our visit had coincided with the Blue Mountain Film Festival, which had brought with it ticketed movie screenings and sponsor booths. In the Events Plaza were live band performances, which may or may not have been associated with the four-day festival.
Before being guided to the outdoor dining space, the hostess gestured towards the Daily Features board, urging us to snap a photo of the list as physical copies would not be provided at the table.
Bestowed upon us were cloth napkins in blue and white gingham, stout water glasses, and two menus: a double-sided food and drink menu edged in a similar shade of blue and a paper brochure featuring alcoholic beverages.
Décor was similar to Terroni, in that it was largely woody with a cozy ambiance. However, the primary difference lay in the finishing: where Terroni radiated refinement in its smooth, mahogany-tinted sections, Heart's was cruder, with obvious unsanded edges.
The small can format, seemingly popularized on the West Coast, was ideal as it enabled appetite for follow-up drinks. Though, the lager formula itself was average and hardly memorable. Moreover, it neither enhanced nor supplemented our sustenance selection.
Presented in a shallow, aluminum container, the oysters neatly arranged atop a bed of ice and served with lemon wedges, seaweed, a shallot-infused condiment, and hot sauce. An exceptionally mild horseradish was also included in the spread, its appearance nearly identical to grated cheese and profile several notches blander than The Keg's addictively pungent variation.
Halibut Tartare, priced extravagantly at thirty-four dollars was a microscopic portion of fishy abomination. No amount of seasoning could camouflage its atrocious odours, not even lemon, smoked paprika, or seaweed bits (Yes, the ones "used in miso soup", as pointed out by the sleepy polar bear). While most tartares are served with tortilla chips for a crunchy contrast, wispy, Lays-like chips were piled high instead. The tartare itself was already salty, and the chips only served to heighten the excessive seasoning.
While the Butcher's Cut was impressively tender and well-textured, its surface was horrendously briney. In addition to being marinated with salt and miso, further salting had taken place to extract excess moisture. Time and time again, I reached for water, until I could withstand the saline no more. Ketchup was spread atop each slice, causing eyes to widen across the table. The lemon wedge was utilized to clarify the taste buds after each swallow.
The Good Things Lager hadn't been as rice-y as I would have liked; neither did it assist with feelings with bloatedness. Cider and wine would have been optimal choices to combat the generally salty personalities of Heart's creations, but my stomach could not withhold any more liquid after depleting the glass bottle residing on our table.
A wonderfully thick slice emerged on a vintage-looking, plastic plate, topped with crème fraîche and a delightful dusting of orange zest.
Frangipane was an almond-heavy concoction I had yet to perfect in my own kitchen. Herat's rendition was aromatic and nutty, displaying the defining qualities of almond and pistachio. The cake appeared dense, but, in reality, boasted great texture and a moist crumb, akin to Sunday Baking's Torta Caprese. Pieces of mushy rhubarb had been laid on top. They were lacking in the tartness department, though compensated with the luscious tanginess of crème fraîche. Orange zest served as a sweet, invigorating final touch.