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The White Owl Bistro says fresh local ingredients make all the difference in their menu

Our top dishes would be our Ontario Pickerel served with a lemon dill garlic aioli and our Local Boar and Bison Burger with double-smoked bacon, pickled red onions, lettuce and blueberry mayo on a brioche bun.

This is one in a series of articles in the feature called "Let's Eat" which focuses on the local food and dining scene. This time we touch base with the White Owl Bistro on Lakeshore Drive.

Spend even a few minutes with the owners and chefs of the White Owl Bistro and you'll learn they believe that fresh, local, sustainable ingredients are keys to their success.

That from Laura Dubois, who along with her husband Rene, runs the bistro. They purchased the eatery in 2006. Both are graduates of Canadore College's Culinary Program.

"Over 12 years ago we began our journey in connecting how and where we get our food from.  We joined forces with local farmers and then 10 years ago bought our own farm to solidify our commitment to bringing the freshest and most sustainable ingredients to our restaurant.  Currently, our family provides organically fed free-run chicken and turkeys as well as pork on our own menu. All other ingredients we source from our local region, all of Ontario and lastly Canadian," she explains.

Dubois adds that they adapt their food offerings based on what's available throughout the year, saying "our menu changes twice a year with winter and summer season with sauces, pastas, vegetables, jams and some proteins changing."

Still, there are a couple of popular items that are consistently the most ordered options at the bistro.

"Our top dishes would be our Ontario pickerel served with a lemon dill garlic aioli and our local boar and bison burger with double-smoked bacon, pickled red onions, lettuce and blueberry mayo on a brioche bun," she says.

Dubois says they're glad to be getting back to normal, but they had to scramble to adapt to the pandemic like everyone else, explaining 'We worked on a new website to offer items market style with curbside pickup as well as delivery to certain areas for a fee.  It worked well for us for that time.  We are more than happy to now offer patio and dining service since this is the reason we do what we do."

If you're trying to describe the restaurant, Dubois sums it up by saying The White Owl Bistro is based on traditional French bistro style and cooking techniques, with their emphasis on local cuisine.

If you're looking to taste the freshness, you'll find them at 639 Lakeshore Drive.

Their hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. for brunch and 5 - 9 p.m. for dinner.