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Cork & Coast
Food & Wine People

Cork & Coast: ‘A place for the whole community’

June 29, 2023

Spooning soft-shell crab in celery remoulade on lightly toasted brioche, restaurateur Wyatt Ducharme is in the kitchen at the 100-acre farm Grazing Meadows Wagyu in Brussels, Ontario, a small community within Huron County.

The crab dish starts a six-course menu for a private dining event. It’s a light, refreshing starter, with guests anticipating wagyu ribeye steaks – the star attraction on the menu – that are bound for the grill and a hard sear.

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The heavily marbled beef he is serving tonight, along with the other dishes, is a test-kitchen trial run – several will be on the menu at his newly launched restaurant in Goderich, aptly named Cork & Coast, opening July 1.

The binary in the venue’s name captures the restaurant’s essence. Cork & Coast is partly inspired by Ducharme’s love of wine (he’s working on his certification through Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) and partly for the taste of place that is driven by the local agriculture and aquaculture around him.

Grazing Meadows Wagyu

The Entrance to Grazing Meadows, in Brussels, Ontario. Pictured at very top: Wyatt Ducharme.

In one of Ontario’s prettiest towns, his goal is to operate a fine dining restaurant where prices aren’t too dear – and he quickly acknowledges that those are worlds colliding.

“As a wine bar, we can reach a younger demographic and can serve creative food on a smaller menu and in a shared-plates format allowing affordability,” says Ducharme.

On the other side of it, he says the oenological aspect of Cork & Coast will attract a more mature tourist looking for inventive and local dishes to complement their sips of cabernet sauvignon or riesling.

Out of 15 menu items, most will be small plates for sharing with four or so being traditional entrées. The ingredients will be drawn from Huron County and its surrounding area: pork from Walton, lamb from Ripley and, of course, wagyu from Grazing Meadows Wagyu.

“All of our produce will be in season and will be from within 20 kilometres or less,” he adds.

Cork & Coast

Cork & Coast: Spooning soft shell crab and celery remoulade.

While he continues to tweak the menu, Ducharme estimates that small plates will be $11-$22 and mains $24-$45. The cellar will feature about 30 percent wines from Prince Edward County and Niagara along with a few local wineries, and the rest will be international.

The Cork & Coast building itself – and its good old-house bones – has a key role in connecting with customers and creating the dining experience Ducharme wants.

The 35-seat dining room is the focal point in the 1870s residence with its antique stained glass, pedimented fireplace mantelpieces, intricate exterior scrollwork and iron cresting on the exterior.

“I want guests to go home inspired after visiting Cork & Coast with a feeling that they had a creative, tasty and affordable meal in an atmosphere they were very comfortable in. I want this to be a place for the whole community.”


Andrew CoppolinoRestaurant reviewer, book author and food columnist, Andrew Coppolino’s work has published in newspapers and magazines in Canada, the United States and England. In 2022, he was the “Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer-in-Residence” at the Stratford Chefs School – a place where he has also taught at in addition to teaching at Conestoga College School of Culinary Arts. His writing has been dedicated to telling the stories and narratives of food and promoting and nurturing culinary businesses at the same time advocating for local chefs, restaurants and food businesses.


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