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May 2, 2007 01:15 PM

Where to have dinner - Niagara on the Lake

Continuing our week to celebrate our annivesary and thought Niagara on the Lake might make a good day trip. Looking for a nice place for dinner. Could someone recommend a place that has casual fine dining (a bit larger portions and not as fancy as fine dining)?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. You could try Tetley's in the Moffat Inn. 60 Picton Street.
    It's a fondue/ stone grill restaurant. Make sure to leave room for the dessert fondue. Either dark or white chocolate or a combination of the two. Really Yummy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: chefbec

      Hi chefbec, thanks for the recommendation. It realy looks like fun, but a bit pricey. My husband eats like a bear, so not sure that will suffice ... although I may keep the chocolate fondue in mind for dessert.

    2. Zee's made a really good impression when we visited a couple of times last year. I've only heard good things about Stone Road Grill. If you want a winery setting, Terroir La Cachette at Strewn as well as the restaurants at Peller and Hillebrand are also very good options.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Campofiorin

        Hi Campofiorin! I will definitenly check out Zee's .. .thank you. We don't drink (and yes, we are going to the wine country ...ha ha), but thanks also for the other suggestions!

        1. re: red dragon

          We were at Zee's for lunch on Sunday and we had a delightful meal. I looked at the dinner menu - looks good. Nice atmosphere and pleasant service.

          1. re: Helen

            Hate to be so contrary and maybe my meal was an off experience (although I'm not sure how it could be a one- off, it was atrocious in every way)- but I'd stay clear of Zee's. what about Treadwell in Port Dalhousie?

            1. re: nummanumma

              Really? I was just about to ask another question about Zee's. I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience there. What heppened?
              Would you be able to tell me what the prices are like? I went on the website, but no prices.
              Also would like to know how the portions are?
              Thank you

              1. re: red dragon

                I can't speak for others but we liked so much the first that we reserved a table for the next day. Portions are just right but I don't know how big an eater your husband is. Prices are reasonable, most apps are in the $5-8 range while the mains hover around $15-20 and dessert are less than $10. These prices are for lunch though and might be higher for dinner. To give you an idea two mains and a dessert taxes and tip included came to just a little less than $50.

                1. re: red dragon

                  I"ll go see if I can find my review- I recall being served raw shrimp and then the waiter argued with me about it. There was more- hang on-

                  1. re: nummanumma

                    sounds like embee (below) has probably hit the nail on the head regarding Zee's, but for old time's sake, here is my initial post:
                    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.

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        2. I don't think there's a surefire answer about Zee's. There has certainly been a problem with consistency from meal to meal. We've had several very good dinners. However, our breakfast/brunch/lunch experiences there were really bad. We've heard from others that they had good lunches and both good and terrible dinners. Service has been all over the map. Reports on Chowhound are equally inconsistent.

          Zee's has a lovely patio facing the Shaw. Portions were fine for us, but (damn it) we can't "eat like bears" anymore. Prices have been reasonable in the past. As of last summer, Zee's was serving "playful" food. It sometimes works, but many have found it silly, or even bizarre. Conventional sounding things on the menu may be "deconstructed" into oddball ingredient combinations; "popcorn shrimp" can arrive as shrimp with a bag of popcorn; sauce can pour from the mouth of a cow.

          Stone Road Grille was the most consistently good place for a few years, but it has been less consistent since it was "discovered". It would still be my first choice. Very casual fine dining and superb on a good day.

          Epicurion also has casual fine dining for dinner. However, I would call the dinner portions "discrete".

          I would not recommend the big hotels. You might be happy with the Riverbend Inn.

          If you are willing to go outside NOTL:

          I keep hearing good things about Treadwell's. I haven't been there, but had some superb meals when he was chef at the Queens Landing. He might also be willing to do something special for your celebration.

          Another possibility is the Niagara Culinary Institute restaurant on the college campus (opposite the White Oaks Inn). It can be chancy, since you are eating food cooked and served by students, and the duty chef-instructors have varying standards. We have been very happy there. Portions were huge and prices reasonable.

          1. Try The Epicurean, cafeteria style at lunch, sit down at dinner, or Queenston Heights. with a magnificent view of the gorge (sit by the window) and really good food.

            1. In NOTL itself, Stone Road Grille, Zee's, The Epicurean, and Terroir la Cachette at Strewn Winery would be your best bets.

              Treadwell is great, but not what you are looking for. In St. Catharines, you might try PowWow on St. Paul Street (

              There is a new place in Vineland called About Thyme Bistro: great food, great portions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gourmando

                Hello everyone! Thank you all for the suggestions and mixed reviews on Zee's. I have no idea at this point, but I'm sure I'll pick one of these.
                Have a great weekend!