“Welcome to Cast and Crew. We take your taste buds seriously. Great food. Awesome Atmosphere. Amazing people.” Cast & Crew Gastropub, Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada
Many restaurants in the states are situated near movie theaters; however, I have yet to see a movie multiplex and a restaurant in one, stand alone location as I did on a recent vacation trip to Bathurst, New Brunswick in Canada. Cast and Crew Gastropub is located next door to the Apollo Cinemas on St. Anne Drive just outside of the downtown area. What a convenient way to have dinner and movie with your favorite date! In fact, if it’s your birthday, Cast and Crew will include a two-for-one movie pass with your meal as well as give you a percentage equal to your age off your food bill! However, you do not have to go to a movie to enjoy dinner or lunch at Cast and Crew.
My husband, John, and I, visited Cast and Crew on warm Thursday night in July while vacationing in Petit Rocher, a town near Bathurst. Our daughter and her friend, Gracie, were making their own pizza in the summer cottage in which we were staying, so John and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a date night. Walking into Cast and Crew, we were immediately greeted by staffers and offered a table; however, we politely declined and chose, instead, to sit at the expansive bar area.
Choosing to sit at the bar is a trick John and I have learned to do, especially when traveling. The bar area is fantastic opportunity to meet locals who can offer unique insight to area in which we are staying. Additionally, dining in the bar allows us an opportunity to scope out both the ambiance and atmosphere of an establishment.
Walking through the front part of the restaurant towards the bar, John and I could not help but notice the welcoming environment perfect for get-togethers with family or friends, a date-night, or even dining alone. From the beautiful bar area, to the comfy fireplace setting; and, from numerous tables and booths, to the warm patio area; Cast and Crew was spacious, comfortable, and appeared able to accommodate all sizes of parties, small or large. Additionally, we observed several customers ordering take-out food.
Our bartender/waitress for the evening was named Terri. And, while Terri was originally from the Bathurst area, her mom now resides in the Cleveland, Ohio area! What a small world in which we live! Terri states that she does visit the Cleveland area a couple times per year, but continues to reside in Bathurst. When we asked her why she chose to remain in Bathurst, she replied with a question, “Have you seen this place?”
This caused us to laugh because that was one of the reasons we were on our third trip to this maritime province! We agreed with Terri—New Brunswick is indeed beautiful (not to mention friendly), especially in the summer time of our visits. That said, Terri informed us that this past winter was particularly rough in the Bathurst area of New Brunswick as they received many deep snows. “But, you know, that is part of living here,” Terri added with a smile. “You just learn to appreciate the two months of summer that much more!”
As John and I often do when dining out, we arrived at Cast and Crew during Happy Hour, which happened to occur there daily from 4:00-7:00! Happy Hour is often an excellent time to get deals on food and drinks in many restaurants, allowing the dining experience to be easier on the pocket. Cast and Crew’s Happy Hour was no exception. In addition to daily lunch specials and the previously mentioned birthday special, Cast and Crew presents five different specials—depending upon the weeknight. Wings, Salt ‘n’ Peppa Ribs, and MooseLight pitchers were specials on the night of our visit. Furthermore, Terri stated the restaurant often prepares exclusive entrees not found on the menu; and, on the night in which we dined, that dish was a lobster stuffed salmon dish for an incredibly reasonable price.
Scanning the menu, John and I could not have been happier as it was expansive, eclectic, and offered a number of gluten-free and vegetarian dishes. Cast and Crew’s menu has something for everyone. From a wide variety of appetizers to salads galore; from meat-based entrees to sandwiches and wraps; and from pasta/rice-based dishes to “cast from the sea,” the choices were a bit overwhelming. Furthermore, sitting at the bar near the kitchen entry/exit, all the food that went by us was beautifully presented, smelled delectable, and made our dinner decision that much more difficult. It is also worth mentioning that I could not help but notice that there was a separate menu for kids, which includes a wide array of meal choices, choice of beverage, and dessert for just $8.00!
After ordering drinks, we decided to start off our meal by splitting a so-called “side” of Homemade Chips thinking it would be a small snack on which to nosh. Nope, it was a huge serving! These chips were thick cut, but still managed to be crispy and cooked to perfection! We enjoyed savoring these crunchy morsels. (Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of these delectable delights!)
For my main meal, I decided to try a dish I had never before eaten called, “Cauliflower Steak.” Seared and oven roasted, this so-called “steak” was topped with a bold tasting, roasted red pepper and olive tapenade. Further, it was served with a beautiful and delicate tasting “chef salad;” however, this was not what is often considered the typical chef salad in the states. Chef salad simply meant— the chef’s salad creation for that day. Therefore, my salad consisted beautiful, local greens and veggies tossed in a house-created vinaigrette.
When it came time for John to choose his dinner, he really struggled, but in the end, could not resist trying the Mac ‘n’ cheese. Terri shared that the Cast and Crew Mac ‘n’ Cheese was one of their more popular dishes. She explained that it was the Gruyere cheese mixed with the more traditional cheddar cheese that made this baked pasta dish so yummy. In the end, John could not have agreed more! The menu offers to top this creamy pasta bowl with bacon or lobster for a modest price addition, but John is a purist and would not hear of it.
I should also add that John enjoyed tasting Pump House Blueberry Ale Draught. This beer has been proudly brewed in New Brunswick since 1999. Served in a chilled glass with fresh blueberries, John found this beer to have a refreshing, light taste—not too heavy with subtle fruit hints. It was a perfect summer ale in his opinion.
Overall, John and I enjoyed our gastro-adventure at Cast and Crew. The atmosphere was relaxed and inviting. Our service was attentive and affable. Additionally, our meal was a delicious, tasty treat. Cast and Crew is highly recommended in our humble opinion. If we lived in the Bathurst area, we would certainly become regulars!