Dragonfly Bistro/Apple Picking

October 21st, 2007 by Potato

We had dinner last night at the Dragonfly Bistro (Richmond St., just south of Oxford in London). It’s a cute, tiny little place, with just about 8 tables (consequently, reservations are recommended). The menu was quite limited (a choice of one soup, 3 appetizers, and 5 entrees) that fit on a single sheet of paper (in large font at that), and rather pricey (over $50 for two, expect more if you’re inclined to drink). The food was good though, and it was a nice, relaxed, quiet atmosphere (it’s a bit of a change being able to practically whisper at dinner, since so many restaurants are fond of blasting music lately). Note that the place is brighter inside than it looks from the street, almost too bright given how intimate the atmosphere is otherwise. Just as we were finishing up, another couple came in — a loud couple — and we found out thanks to them that the staff is open to changing up the menu on request. Apparently the fish option is pan-fried, but they were open to the suggestion of possibly grilling it, or making up a salad (and oddly enough, salad is only an option on the lunch menu).

Earlier yesterday, we went off into the country to go apple picking. There’s a cute little farm on Dundas, about 4 km east of the city. We found out about it from a little guide book to u-pick-ems that we got at Home Hardware, and the directions were something like “head east on Dundas, look for signs”. We saw one sign, and it had no directions on it, just the name of the farm, and it was in the middle of a field that had already been harvested (not an apple orchard) so we weren’t sure if it was just advertising for the place we were looking for, or what. After driving for another few kilometers, we figured that was indeed the place and went back to turn down the street the sign was nearest (Richmond Street, though not that Richmond), and found it about a kilometer down that street.

It was a pretty bustling place, with a fry/hot dog stand, a shop full of souvenirs, fudge, and pies, and of course, pre-picked apples. The apple picking was busy with all sorts of families with small children. They had a really cute train made up that cost $3 to take (from what we understood, a mandatory cost of going out to pick apples) that would drive you out to the orchards, and pick you up again after the picking was done. It was actually the first time I’ve gone to pick apples, and I was amazed at how small the actual apple-producing trees were. I always imagined them as being, well, tree-sized. Like 10 m tall. My aunt and uncle have an apple tree (it produces tiny yucky green apples though), and while it’s not quite as big as most of the maples in this area, it is an impressive tree, quite large enough for a tire swing (I know this because it does actually have a tire swing). At the orchard though, the largest fruit-producing tree looked to be maybe 5 m high, with several being not much taller than I was (2.5 m, maybe). And the apples grew much denser than I ever thought possible — they seemed to be about half the mass of the tree!

Wayfare, throwing caution to the wind, picked an apple off the tree, and then ate it. Just like that, no cutting, no peeling, no checking for worms. I felt like we were taking our lives in our hands, it was thrilling. Today, I had a few more for breakfast.
“What are you doing?”
“Making apples.”
“No, the trees make the apples. What are you doing to them?”
“Err… peeling them?”

I have to peel them and cut them up before I eat them, I don’t quite know why (maybe I was a browncoat in a past life?), and of course the apple slices go best with a bit of peanut butter smeared on them.

After apple picking, we went to the farmers market out there (I’m not quite sure if we were in Thornton or Thames Centre) just as they were closing up. If you want to eat cheap, then that’s the time to go. We stopped at one stand to grab some field tomatoes (which were huge and cheap, but didn’t look great with lots of spots on them). “I’ve got a special on right now,” the guy said, “get a cauliflower for a dollar. Or, two for a dollar. Or, three, for a dollar. Or our best value, four for a dollar.”

2 Responses to “Dragonfly Bistro/Apple Picking”

  1. Netbug Says:

    “I have to peel them and cut them up before I eat them”


  2. Hilary Evans Says:

    Re: Dragonfly Bistro – Thoroughly recommend the food – and in particular the sticky toffee pudding!

    The Indonesian meals are also excellent.