Niagara and Niagara OTL Reccomendations
I am traveling to Niagara this coming weekend, and would like to know where to get good food. I have one night in Niagara, and one night in Niagara OTL. What would you recommend?
Search this board; lots of recent reccomendations. Can't tell from your post what you are looking for in terms of price or type of food.
That said, call now and reserve at Stone Road Grille in NOTL. If they're full try the Epicurean.
I assume you mean "Niagara Falls" when you say "Niagara". Don't eat there. Any price, any food. Drive 15 minutes west out Lundy's Lane (Regional Road 20) to Fonthill, and go to Zest. Had my birthday dinner there last night:
-Amuse - Warm salmon crusted in black and white sesame seeds served over kimchi. I could've had 2 (oh, wait, my wife doesn't eat fish: Score!)
-App - Seared foie gras with icewine apple compote and matchstick sweet potato chips. I could've had 6: Didn't.
-Main - Pan fried sea scallops, barely warm in the centre, with a smoked tomato reduction and cauliflower fritters.
-Dessert - I eat there regularly, so I got a treat: A platter with apple bread pudding topped with apple crisp ice cream, and a caramelized apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. The only thing missing was more foie gras.
Dinner for 2, with 2 glasses of white, a bottle of 2003 Gigondas, and capuccino, was $245 all in. Worth every damned cent.
just came from NOTL today and had lunch at the epicurean. great food! quick service! very reasonable!
i had the seafood avocado sandwich and mushroom and roasted red pepper soup (yum!)...
I'm going to try Treadwell in St. Catharines (Port Dalhousie) this coming Saturday with my Mom! She went to a tasting a long time ago at Queen's Landing where Chef Treadwell used to work and loved it! She's turning into quite the 'hound! Anyway, I will post more after the weekend.
Stone Road Grill- if that is the one I"m thinking of (big sign that says Rest in the window?)- i almost made it there a couple of weeks ago. THe roommate of the head chef works at Stratus and she recommended it to us- sadly we did not have a rezzie and could not get in. I wanted to stay though, just from the look of the place. We went to hell instead, I believe it was called Zee's.
Yes, Stone Road Grille is the one that has the "Rest" sign above it. Great little place. I snuck away from a week long conference at Pillar & the Post to dine out with a friend and we had a fabulous dinner there. We went during the week (it was a Tuesday) in March and just walked in. We didn't have reservations but since we arrived early (around 5:30) we didn't have any problems getting a table. It was completely packed by 7pm. I had the specials that night and they were great. I can't remember exactly what we had, a luxurious squash soup and a seafood entree I think. But I do remember what I had for dessert, they offered me a chocolate tasting menu. 8 different Michel Cluizel Chocolate samples. It was fantastic. Here's their website:
My second choice in NOTL if I couldn't get in there would be Pellar Estates.
More about your experience at Zees??
We went there during the summer at the suggestion of Stone Road (which was fully booked when we called three weeks in advance). Our meal at Zees, while not perfect, was extremely enjoyable and we planned to go back. Several others that we sent also enjoyed it, but I'm now hearing a lot of negative. What happened?
ok ok. I have to start by saying I may have been a liiiiiitle crabby (quite disappointed about Stone Road). Here are my comments FWIW, I know I sound like a total snot, I always do when I'm dissatisfied:
the potato/cheddar soup was totally totally bland. C'mon- with this much fat it should be good, but it tasted of neither potato nor cheddar. my goat cheese/mushroom terrine was cold- nothing but goat cheese and layered mushroom- really lacking, with what appeared to be a raspberry coulis on the side. The ceasar was served in a RIDICULOUS disconstructed (soooooooo three years ago ...grade-seven girl in me coming out) manner- the duck confit was flaccid (heh heh, the steak was served with the jus in a big crockery cow that poured out of its mouth (i swear to you- I SWEAR IT) and, are you ready for this? MY SHRIMP WAS RAW, as in grey. The server attempted to tell me it was ok- my husband (chef in training) confirmed that the SHRIMP WAS RAW> I cannot convey to you my disgust. Especially that the server then tried to argue with me. the manager came and apolgoized etc... but it is pretty hard to carry on when you've had raw shrimp in your mouth. eew. I just found it dated and boring. We got back in T.O. and ordered pizza.
The pizza was good.
Well, crabby you may be, but you make some good points. When we were there, they were, indeed, serving various playful and/or deconstructed items, but what they served us tasted anywhere from pretty good to outstanding.
It seems that they have increased the level of gimmickry while paying less attention to the taste. The jus served with a steak that we had was lovely, and didn't come from a cow's mouth but, yes, I do believe you. I wonder whether there has been a change of chef.
Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. We ended up going to the Epicurean and loved it!!!
I live in the area, so feel free to ask any questions!
Stone Road Grille is probably the best place for food. Reservations are definitely recommended as it is a really small restaurant.
Zee's is probably the most popular restaurant in the area, I thought it was pretty good, great if your looking for something in the middle, not too fancy, not too casual either.
If you looking for a more fine dining experience, I recommend Peller Estates or Hillebrand Winery. Queens Landing has a great dining room as well.
Have you tried Hillebrand since Frank Dodd took over the kitchen? Is it better or worse now?
I wasn't impressed with Peller last Christmas holidays -- too many mistakes (so-so sweetbreads under an avalanche of arugula, among other oddities) and what's with the decanter-on-a-dowel decor?
I'm not sure precisely which places you feel are too expensive, but try some of these in NOTL:
Epicurion at lunch
Bars at Riverbend Inn, Piller & Post
Tea room behind the Irish shop
There is the Queenston Heights Restaurant between NOTL and the Falls, though I don't know if it is open in Winter.
Niagara Falls is a culinary wasteland, with even major chains having lower food quality and higher prices than elsewhere.
Thankfully, our first experience at Stone Road Grille on Dec. 27 was satisfactory -- Dad liked it so much that he rebooked for Mom's birthday on Jan. 20th! A few bumps along the way were graciously rectified by server or owner - tough duck confit cassoulet the biggest sin.
Highlights included divinely light and smooth pate and, in fact, the entire charcuterie platter with colourful, tasty accompaniments. Poorly-sliced, by-request bread was clearly an afterthought. Good Japanese squash soup was a better choice than the calamari. Sushi rolls were decent.
Excellent brick-flattened cornish game hen was juicy though overseasoned. Lemon proved a disappointing flavour of the day for complimentary candy floss since I don't usually enjoy citrus-flavoured desserts. Tri-chocolate dessert with too-dark sorbet failed to impress, though the mousse component was lovely. All-Niagara wine list provided decent selection by the glass and half-litre (including a very enjoyable shiraz), but not in the same league as Treadwell's selection.