New lobster restaurant coming to Victoria Row

Dave Stewart
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Award-winning chef Erin Henry, a graduate of the culinary institute in Charlottetown, is one of the owners of a new lobster restaurant coming to Victoria Row in the P.E.I. capital in early May. Henry promises some unique flavours are coming to their lobster meals.

The traditional church basement lobster supper is coming to Victoria Row in Charlottetown.

Chris LeClair is getting set to open Row House Lobster Company in the location formerly occupied by Castello’s Ristorante & Pizzeria Restaurant on Victoria Row.

LeClair, the former chief of staff for Premier Robert Ghiz, is targeting the first week of May to open. LeClair will co-own the lobster restaurant with chef Erin Henry, a graduate from the culinary institute, and Jeana MacIsaac, who spent time in the culinary scene in Toronto before moving back to the Island.

LeClair describes the restaurant as a lobster-seafood-bistro meats and wine type of concept, serving traditional Island lobster recipes and local food with some new fusion lobster concepts, such as Asian-style with gingers and green onion flavour.

“When people come to P.E.I. they experience lobster in the church basement kind of thing. We’re going to have, on our menu, the church supper,’’ LeClair said. “Not everyone, when they arrive in Charlottetown, has the opportunity to get out to a New Glasgow (Lobster Suppers) or a New London or Cardigan.’’

This won’t be LeClair’s first venture into the food business. Since leaving politics in 2011, LeClair opened the Berry Healthy frozen yogurt restaurant on Kent Street in Charlottetown, which he still owns today. Henry ran the yogurt shop for LeClair, until now.

“I’ve decided her talents are better served in a seafood restaurant. I quickly realized that she’s a very talented chef.’’

LeClair says Row the House will be a year-round operation and he plans to employ up to 20 people once the restaurant is fully operational.

“We recognize that’s not without its challenges in a small market but that’s our goal,’’ he said, in reference to his goal of serving lobster 12 months a year.

LeClair also wants the restaurant to benefit fishermen and local producers.

“We’re going to look for ways, and we’re still trying to figure this out, whatever the shore price is for lobster I’d like to make sure we’re paying above that. We have a sustainability kind of approach and making sure fishers get a fair price for their product is something that’s important to us so we need to figure out how to do that, particularly if you’re buying through distributors.’’

He also says they’d look at buying bread from local shops like Buns and Things Bakery in Charlottetown and cheese from Cheeseladys Gouda Cheese in Winsloe.

“If you’re going to do a lobster sandwich what better role to cook it on than a Buns and Things roll? If we’re going to do mac and cheese what better cheese than the Gouda cheese company on P.E.I.? The chef is really focused on identifying local products that we can incorporate into the menu.’’

The name of the restaurant references its location on Victoria Row, making it easier for word of mouth to spread.

LeClair says 2014 is the perfect time to expand his food business.

“It’s a great year to start something because the profile and presence of Charlottetown and P.E.I. is so high with the 150th (anniversary of Confederation) and food being such a big part of the P.E.I. experience.’’

 

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Row House Lobster Company, New London

Geographic location: P.E.I., Charlottetown, Toronto Iceland New Glasgow Cardigan Kent Street Winsloe

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • don
    April 01, 2014 - 15:42

    well we can see where they got the money to open lol

    • Where
      April 01, 2014 - 17:45

      Where did they get it don? You are such a genius and you need to comment on every story why don't you fill us in. Tell us all exactly where they got their money. If you can't then perhaps you should consider not being such a loudmouth on every single story the Guardian posts.

    • Where
      April 01, 2014 - 17:46

      Where did they get it don? You are such a genius and you need to comment on every story why don't you fill us in. Tell us all exactly where they got their money. If you can't then perhaps you should consider not being such a loudmouth on every single story the Guardian posts.

  • Chester L
    April 01, 2014 - 08:26

    Excellent Idea, I do not care if Premier Ghiz owns the restaurant, Prime Minister Harper, or that Duffy guy.........its about expanding the availability of offering Lobster 12 months of the year in forms that is palatable .......If Government money was used then find out and if a repayable loan with Collateral was secured then more applause, and for the naysayers............start a Lawsuit and take them to court.............Unless this is the case /.........congratulations from an Islander who is fully supportive of engaging more consumers to eat lobster more time in a year...............thanks for providing space for positive comments also,:).:).:)

  • Go For It
    March 31, 2014 - 21:26

    Erin, you are awesome. Never forget that. You will make this place a success. Disregard all of the comments from these sad little "restaurant experts" that are commenting here. Ignorance is a PEI trait and none of these people will ever be your client base anyway. Let them whine and whine while you guys create a great restaurant.

  • sceptic
    March 31, 2014 - 19:25

    t15 ... you're right.... I apologize, for the typo ... (dollars she) should have been dollars he without the double s. Amazing how a typo can bring out remarks like your's huh? must be nice to be perfect. I still wonder how many taxpayer's dollars though.

  • The Observer from Stratford
    March 30, 2014 - 19:08

    I'm looking forward to a classier more sophisticated type of seafood restaurant. It has always surprised me that while PEI has excellent restaurants of many types it has no real upscale seafood establishments. With all the great seafood available here it sounds like a natural. Hope, hope, hope it can succeed.

  • sceptic
    March 30, 2014 - 14:52

    LeClair, the former chief of staff for Premier Robert Ghiz, Makes me wonder how many taxpayer's dollars she got to open this business?

    • t15
      March 31, 2014 - 09:16

      "SHE" is the chef...."HE" is the former Chief of Staff for Ghiz. Another case of petty and negative commenting before reading and understanding the story.

  • The sceptic
    March 30, 2014 - 12:27

    They sure must not know much about business if they are starting a restaurant or a business of any kind on PEI .

    • don
      April 01, 2014 - 18:19

      why should they worry it is the tax payers money. well Chester L a repayable loan with Collateral thats a joke OCI had the Collateral etc and they walked away and we were stock with the 10 million they got. so this is a great idea but when the money is gone they close and guess what we the tax payers pay the bill. i hope they can bring in $4,000 a week lol. i give them 6 months money gone they gone. but do you not think others with many years in the restaurant business not do this? why no money in it.

  • same story
    March 29, 2014 - 14:52

    So you are going to pay above market price for your lobster. Why not buy the lobster at market price and sell them for a reasonable price so the average person can experience a lobster. Who want to pay 40 or 50 dollars for a lobster dinner.

  • yippee
    March 29, 2014 - 12:58

    finally a seafood restaurant in the City of CharlOttetown, it's about time.

  • Sue
    March 29, 2014 - 12:02

    Good luck with your new restaurant, great for tourists and the locals! As I read the article your plans for using local products sounds great until I saw Buns n Things ,I hate to say ( because it seems a popular spot) but anything I purchased from there was terrible

    • Anne Smith
      March 29, 2014 - 21:52

      Sorry guys,but I have to agree with Sue,Buns&Things is not the best in town,in fact there buns are not good at all.if you are going to do a church supper kind of meal,you need the traditional Homemade Rolls with real butter...Mr.Leclair you will not survive on Victoria row,Sorry to say ...no parking is another factor,there is no doubt in my mind that the meals are going to be very expensive & with high unemployment here you are taking a big risk as far as i'am concerned...hope i'am wrong for your sake.GOOD LUCK.

    • Steve
      March 30, 2014 - 11:36

      It's not aimed at locals, Anne, just as Fisherman's Wharf in Rustico isn't. It's aimed at tourists who can afford to pay for a higher-end meal. St. Anne's church isn't cheap, either.

    • Anne Smith
      March 30, 2014 - 18:41

      Steve,tourists are only here for 3-4 mths at the most,this restaurant is suppose to be open year round.do you really think a high end restaurant can survive in ch'town on Victoria row,I don't think so.the restaurants are struggling now & have been all winter,the money is just not here for the average middle income wage earner..now maybe,just maybe there is financial help from ex- employer Mr.ghiz,or ex- owner of Costellos Mr.Murphy,just saying!!!!

    • Anne Smith
      March 30, 2014 - 18:47

      Steve,tourists are only here for 3-4 mths at the most,this restaurant is suppose to be open year round.do you really think a high end restaurant can survive in ch'town on Victoria row,I don't think so.the restaurants are struggling now & have been all winter,the money is just not here for the average middle income wage earner..now maybe,just maybe there is financial help from ex- employer Mr.ghiz,or ex- owner of Costellos Mr.Murphy,just saying!!!!