540 Kitchen & Bar

Fried chicken at 540 Kitchen & Bar on Queen Street, FrederictonI’ve eaten at 540 Kitchen & Bar, one of Fredericton’s newer restaurants, a few times now and I can confidently pronounce their fried chicken one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Whether it’s served as a dinner entree or in a sandwich at lunchtime, the buttermilk battered chicken is moist inside, crunchy outside and served with siracha mayo and an upscale potato salad.Lunch buttermilk fried chicken sandwich at 540 Kitchen & BarThe lunch menu at 540 (which is located at 540 Queen Street, hence the name) is, refreshingly, reasonably priced. The chicken burger was $10, and although the serving looked on the small side, it was very filling and absolutely delicious, making it a great value.

540 is a small establishment, nicely decorated, and in the summer there’s a lovely patio (although the hard seats will not encourage you to dawdle over your meal and people-watch). Every time I’ve been there, a Gordon Ramsay show has been playing on the TV over the bar area, which I think says a lot about their approach to food.

This gastropub takes its food seriously. The menu (note: menu changes from time to time) is compact but well-thought out, and you may find it challenging to pick your meal at both dinner and lunch. On a recent dinner trip, my husband eventually chose the fried chicken, while I went for the salmon & gnocchi – an easy choice because it combines two of my favourite foods.

The salmon & gnocchi When it arrived, the smell alone was worth the price of the meal. Wafts of salmon, maple, and butter floated up, inspiring me to stop for a moment just to enjoy the olfactory experience. It tasted as good as it smelled. This meal was on the lighter side for a dinner, though, and you’ll definitely want an appetizer.

Which is lucky, because they’ve got a great selection of appetizers too. Gary chose the lobster guacamole and I went with the Picaroons steamed mussels. I had grave doubts about the lobster guac, but was thrilled to discover that the lobster actually worked really well in this dish, and it was an unqualified success.

The beer steamed mussels, on the other hand, had a great flavour but suffered from two drawbacks: the mussels were overly soft, which made the texture a bit unpleasant, and all the delicious sauce went to waste because the dish wasn’t served with any bread to dip in it.

540---drinks

Another plus for 540? Their bartender is excellent.

The buzz in Fredericton is very good for 540 – all the foodies I’ve polled love it, and I agree. This is one new restaurant that’s definitely worth a try while you’re in town!

Find 540 Kitchen & Bar

540 Queen Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick

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