Dick Loek / Contributor / Getty Images 

When you can eat depends on the tides. 

Elisabeth Sherman
May 01, 2017

If you’re traveling around Nova Scotia’s Burntcoat Head Park, it’s likely that you’re there to see the tides roll in and out of the coves along the coastline. While you’re there, you might even run across one of the strangest sights in that otherwise vast natural landscape: A small group gathering for Dining on the Ocean Floor.

At the so-called restaurant, which is probably better described as a dining experience, you can’t walk in and expect a table. You can’t make a reservation with the hostess. You have to wait until the tide is all the way out, leaving the seabed at one of the Bay of Fundy’s coves exposed, a phenomenon that drops the sea-level by 52 feet and only happens every six hours and 13 minutes. 

Such a unique experience will cost you $350 per person or $675 for a couple, and every single date (the operation happens only seven times July through September) is sold out in 2017. 

The restaurateur who takes advantage of this wide open space is named Chris Velden (who owns another restaurant in Nova Scotia called the Flying Apron Inn). Using an outdoor grill, Velden’s team provides the food, while nearby Meander River Farm & Brewery and Avondale Sky vineyard provide the drinks.

As you might expect the menu is usually seafood. When James Stewart traveled there for his review in the Telegraph, he ate mussels, lobster, and clams. 

Velden uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients for his dinners (95 percent of which come from 20 miles away from the cove) and even features sea blite in some of his dishes, a type of seaweed that comes straight from the Bay of Fundy. 

There’s a timer on this meal, too, for those people who might enjoy the adrenaline rush of racing against the ocean: Chefs must set up the restaurant while diners (about 20 at a time) take a tour of the cove. Then they feast, all within four hours, before the ocean, which waits for no one, rolls back into the cove.

All the while, diners watch as the tide creeps ever closer, eventually retreating to a safe distance for coffee as Velden and his team clear away the simple trappings of their makeshift restaurant. 

By the time all evidence of their dinner is swept away, the sea has returned to it’s proper place, and Dining on the Ocean Floor must wait for it to retreat again before it can deliver this special dining experience to a new group of adventurers. 

[h/t The Telegraph]