September 20, 2018

Gardens, Fields and Airplanes


By Lauren Nagel

A unique mixture of college students, factory workers and aviation hobbyists populates the dining room at Peterborough’s Gardens & Fields restaurant, a hidden gem. Located mere steps from the airport’s ramp (YPQ), this special spot has become less and less hidden in recent years. The reason is quite simple and related to the various demographics they serve; they need quality menu items that will please pilots that come from miles away, but they also need to be affordable for the local students on a budget. The result is a wonderful set of delectable but budget-friendly meals that anyone accustomed to the $100 hamburger will appreciate.

Alex Chilton, a chef at the restaurant for over a year, describes their cuisine as “diner food done well”, food that tastes great and fills you up, but is still of the highest quality. An example of this is their in-house cooked beef and turkey for their sandwiches that they prepare every day, as well as fresh soups made in the morning. Each day brings something new to try with daily specials that change based on the season and tastes of the chefs – an excellent way to try new foods.

Gardens & Fields’ owner Nicole Tome does not shy away from innovation. She knew that changes needed to be made to accommodate the growing student population at the airport and so adapted the menu to meet some of their cravings. Additionally, as the restaurant has gotten busier, she has introduced new features like a summer drink menu and ‘Paint and Cocktails’ nights for those of legal drinking age. This is in addition to the catering and events the restaurant already prepares for the airport businesses and the Peterborough community.

Many aviators will be pleased to know that the restaurant serves dinner, something of a rarity in the industry and a welcome surprise as the breakfast line is known to go out the door. A favourite dish of many patrons is the Cranberry Focaccia Clubhouse sandwich, made with roasted turkey and cranberry mayo, all homemade.

Tome and Chilton would like to thank their loyal customers who come from far and wide to visit them every year. Their cozy staff of seven is pleased to greet guests so they know exactly who is going to be cooking for them. Future customers are assured that everything they do, they do properly so they can count on a quality meal whether they fly in or drive in. Make sure to plan a visit to this wonderful spot before the end of the season.