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Fleur de Sel

52 Montague Street
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia• (902) 640-2121

The natural beauty of Nova Scotia’s small towns does more than attract tourists and artists. It also brings a bevy of fine chefs who are looking to run their own restaurants and country inns with few compromises.

All of Nova Scotia benefits from this modern tradition, as Lunenburg’s Fleur de Sel makes abundantly clear. This fine restaurant would be noteworthy if it opened in Halifax or Montréal. That it thrives in a small town with barely 2,500 souls is simply a wonderful fact of life here on the Atlantic Coast.

Our earlier visits to Lunenburg during the summer came on days when the restaurant was booked solid. So we were overjoyed to find an open table for a recent Sunday brunch. Hopefully this quick look at Fleur de Sel will whet your appetite for a more thorough look at their dinner menu later.

Fleur de Sel is the creation of Sylvie MacDonald and Martin Ruiz Salvador, the brilliant young couple who have made Lunenburg an even lovelier town. Sylvie runs the front of house with aplomb, while Martin is the culinary artist behind the line. The dining room, in one of Lunenburg’s many historical homes, is lovely, with Palladian arches connecting three rooms and creating a feeling of spaciousness and intimacy. White table cloths and stylish French porcelain let you know that you’re in good hands.

A glass of Prosecco is a fine beginning, and we find that even the short brunch menu makes choosing difficult. The Full Breakfast comes with two eggs, baked beans, house potatoes, toast, and either bacon, sausage, or blood pudding. Brioche French Toast also catches our eye, as does Corned Beef Hash with Fried Eggs.

In the end, we opt for Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict and a Spinach and Cheese Frittata. The Eggs Benedict are terrific; the Hollandaise is thin, but lemony and delicious, and it fills the mouth with rich, creamy flavor when married to the oily salmon and runny eggs. The dish was on the cool side, as the dining room was short-staffed, but this didn’t mar my enjoyment. The Frittata is exemplary, my partner declares. Creamy eggs, minerally spinach, and salty cheese prove most satisfying. The accompanying green salad is pretty and bright.

Our time in Lunenburg is short, but we still manage to try the Red Wine Chocolate Fondat with Drunken Grapes, and aren’t surprised when it’s beautifully presented, and easily the best molten cake we’ve had in Nova Scotia.

This review’s only sad note shouldn’t surprise: Fleur del Sel closes between January and March. No matter, for spring in Nova Scotia will come soon enough, and we have one more daydream to help drive the winter cold away.

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