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The Counter: Quinte West’s Farm-to-Table Experience

The Counter: Quinte West’s Farm-to-Table Experience

Kylie and Braden Lawther from The Counter Restaurant may be the new kids on the block in downtown Trenton’s restaurant scene, but they’re no strangers to high-quality, farm-to-table dining. Their After Hours dinner events offer long table, community-focused culinary experiences with seasonal features.

Written by Cheyanne O’Driscoll of CO’ Marketing

The Torch Passes

Downtown Trenton’s dining scene has seen its share of local favourites. One of those most loved spots? The Riverbrake Cafe. When it shut down last year, many of us felt at a loss. It’s turned out to be an incredible new beginning for dining in Quinte West. 

The saying goes, ‘Every end is a new beginning,’ and in downtown Trenton, Kylie and Braden Lawther, the owners of The Counter Restaurant are that refreshing start. 

Both have deep-seated roots in farm-to-table dining experiences. “I was a sous chef at a fine dining restaurant, completely farm-to-table.” Kylie shared. “Brayden, he worked at a fine dining Italian restaurant and he was the baker there. So he did all of their breads and baked goods from scratch.”

Owners of The Counter, Kylie and Braden, standing behind the service counter in their restaurant
a long table dinner full of restaurant patrons and the two chefs standing at the end

A Culinary Ballet at After Hours

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing an After Hours dinner at The Counter myself. 

The candles, the chatter, the clinking of glasses; it was clear that the evening was going to be memorable. Each course was delivered to the table and introduced by Kylie and Braden. The amazement was contagious, not just because of the exquisite flavours but also from understanding the journey behind the creations. 

Kylie explained to me how experiencing a long table event in Peterborough inspired the After Hours dinners, “I think my favourite culinary experience for myself was when we attended a milk and honey dinner. It was sponsored by Canadian Dairy and the chef ended up buying the restaurant and we were mid renovations at that restaurant. We had the best dinner. It was like six or seven courses paired, all Ontario dairy. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what it looks like, it matters, just the food and the company. And that’s why we did long table style because we wanted the whole get to know your neighbour theme.”

Elevating Quinte West’s Dining

While many think of this kind of dining in cities much larger than what we have here in Quinte West, The Counter is reshaping that narrative, one dish at a time. 

Julie Conover, who has been to every After Hours dinner since they started, told me about her first experience, “I never thought I would find anything close to our ‘big city’ experiences in this region. But WOW, I was blown away by the food that night.”

a bowl of soup with garnishes

The Ingredients Behind the Magic

Knowing Kylie and Braden’s history, it’s clear they have a love for fresh, local produce. 

“There’s so much dining and people using non-quality ingredients or bringing frozen food and getting away with the prices that they charge,” Braden stated, “You can get strawberries from across the world, or strawberries 10 kilometres away. We are really inspired by local ingredients because everything’s so fresh. It’s like okay, this, this and this is really fresh right now, let’s try and build around those ingredients.” 

With a shared background working with high-quality, farm-to-table restaurants Kylie and Braden have committed to making everything at The Counter in-house, resulting in dishes that impress with their flavour.

An Invitation to an Experience

Kylie and Braden represent more than just a new dining establishment. They embody a zest, a fresh energy that Quinte West has been waiting for. Their approach to food goes beyond dishes; it’s about crafting experiences. 

Walking through downtown Trenton and craving a dining experience that offers more than just a meal? The Counter is waiting for you. It’s not just about eating there, it’s about diving deep into a world of flavours and connection with our food and community. 

Make sure you secure a spot for the next After Hours. Call, message, or stop by The Counter to make your reservations.

fresh bread with spreads on it on an ornate blue and white plate
binocular icons
a man riding a wave on top of a surfboard.

Let’s see what we got!

a black and blue logo with the words bay of county.

The Bay of Quinte RMB Land Acknowledgement

The Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board is committed to acknowledging, appreciating and understanding the Indigenous peoples’ historic connection to this land and to raising awareness by building relationships in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities. 

We recognize and acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee which includes the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) with whom we work in direct partnership with. 

This partnership focuses on the common goal of celebrating the region with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka who are equal partners within the organization and at the Board of Directors table contributing to the mandate and operations.

This mandate includes listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka and actively incorporating their culture and heritage into the practice of responsible destination marketing and management of the region.

We understand that this land acknowledgement is only a small step towards the larger process of reparations and reconciliation.

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