“Time-tested recipes for that familiar taste of home,” says Aunt Lucy’s website, and that statement pretty much sums it up. Aunt Lucy means to coddle you, not challenge you. There’s nothing to eat here that you haven’t eaten before, at home. And hallelujah for that!
Sure, there are times when braised yellowtail with hon shemeji mushrooms or snapper ceviche with kumquat coulis are just the ticket (though such times seem to arrive for us with less and less frequency). And then there are other times that cry out for “Sunday Night Turkey Dinner,” as Aunt Lucy’s menu lists it. Steamy moist and fragrant turkey with gravy (mostly white meat, but the dark meat is particularly flavorful) is sided by homemade thick and lumpy mashed potatoes, stodgy and plainly satisfying bread stuffing, sweet candied turnips, whole-berry cranberry sauce, and even camouflage-colored peas straight from can to pot to plate (proudly listed on the menu as “Old-Fashioned Canned Peas”).
We tried some very lightly breaded little pickerel (Canadian for walleye) fillets sautéed in butter, and they were perfectly cooked and sweet, a good choice for those wanting to try the local specialties. Homemade peach pie was made with fresh peaches, although the crust was ordinary and the scoop of vanilla alongside was less than ordinary.
There really was once an Aunt Lucy (she was the original cook). That was back when the restaurant opened, in 1947. Today’s restaurant is a large family style place with superb professional waitresses who take their jobs seriously (this is a particular point of pride for the Dinner House). There are individual private dining booths available which can almost make it seem as if you really are dining in your own home. And the nondescript building is surrounded by gorgeous award-winning flower gardens.
This is not four-star dining for which you’d travel long distances, but simply nice home-style food for those times when nothing else will do and eating at home isn’t an option.1399 Princess Street Kingston ON K7M 3E9 613-542-2729 Aunt Lucy’s Dinner House’s Website Aunt Lucy’s Dinner House on Facebook