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Jan 12, 2008 09:11 AM

Eigensinn Farm - Details for Planning a Trip

I'm planning on making a trip to Eigensinn Farm. I've looked through the threads on this board but have a few questions.

1. What is the dress code?

2. Wine - I've read that you may get the menu anywhere from 1 week to 48 hours in advance. I'm coming from the US. Would it be easiest to find a wine shop in Canada (Toronto?) to help me pair my meal? Any suggestions on how you've done this?

3. It seems like it is now $275 pp. I'm assuming that doesn't include tip? What is the service like, is it very formal or casual?

Any other suggestions or details would be great.

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  1. I was there in December of 2002, when it was $180 pp, NOT including tip.

    Things may have changed since then, but I'll tell you my experience. The dress code is casual if you'd like, or if you dress up, that's appropriate as well. You walk into the place through a laundry room, where you can leave your coat, so you can imagine how that sets the stage.
    I would say you can't go wrong with smart casual.
    We brought our own wine from Toronto, but I'd suggest buying it in the US and bringing it, since you have better selection and pricing there. If not, hit the LCBO and bring a selection of wines. We did not get the menu in advance, although we didn't ask for it (I wish we had...). The service neither formal, nor casual. Everyone in the room is served at the same time (consecutively to be truthful) so don't be late. Dishes are explained in great detail (bring a notebook - you'll never remember, even though you think you will) and the Chef makes the rounds at least once during the meal - feel free to engage him in some conversation - he's friendly, although not too warm.

    Where are you staying? Joseph Lawrence B&B in Collingwood offeres a shuttle to Eiginsinn, for a fee. Quite a quaint place with a lovely breakfast.

    1. Hope you have a wonderful time Springhaze, my SO and I have been looking forward to checking out Eigensinn Farm at some point. Perhaps you may be able to provide us with an overall impression after your trip? Thanks!

      1. Agreement with thenurse regarding the dress code. You really don't want to drive after that meal, even if you have very little to drink, because you will be in a state of stupefaction, so I like the B&B idea.

        Disagreement with thenurse about bringing your wine from the US. I have found shopping for wine in the US a highly variable experience. I have paid more for wine in the US than in Ontario, depending on the state, and that was before the CDN$ reached quasi-parity with the US$. The selection is not always better, either. As well, if you're flying to Toronto, wine is no longer allowed in your carry-on luggage, which means that you have to check it. The cargo hold of the plane is not the best place to put a fine wine, even for a relatively short flight. My advice is to buy from the LCBO once you know what the menu is. The best locations in central Toronto are the LCBO at Queen's Quay and Cooper St., the one at Yonge St. at Summerhill (a relative temple of wine, by Ontario standards), and the Vintages LCBO outlet at the Manulife Centre (at Bay St. and Bloor St., concourse level... not the regular LCBO in the Manulife). All three locations have very knowledgable staff on hand.

        The service is on the informal side. Michael Stadtlander's wife (Nobuko, if I remember her name correctly) served us, and while her English is heavily accented, she is utterly charming, engaging and quite fun. Michael Stadtlander is a little more reserved, but completely without 'attitude'. He has a genuine passion for what he does, and I have the highest respect for his food philosophy.

        Bon appetit!

        4 Replies
        1. re: hungry_pangolin

          Hungry Pangolin, did you find an easy way of getting in touch with someone at Eigensinn - I remember I tried calling a few times to ask some questions, but they only have voicemail to take reservations, but did you find they're good at getting back to you? I guess with a working farm, they're all busy doing chores.

          1. re: Frank88

            I called at 3pm the other day and got throught right away. On this board, the suggestion was to call between 4:30 and 5:30 pm.

            I am going to stay up there, but haven't decided where yet. I will definitely post a full report once I have gone.

            1. re: Frank88

              All we did is request a rundown on the menu once they had decided what they were going to serve us, and they phoned one of our party. That was it. They did it (if I remember correctly) 2-3 days in advance of our reservation.

          2. I was there this past September (2007). We were a group of six and we had a wonderful time. The dining room is lovely but you can dress fairly casually is you like. One couple in our party was late so they arrived in jeans and that was fine. Nobuyo Standtlander will be your host and she is lovely and very entertaining. She is also very generous with the wine pouring so I agree that you should definitely arrange for transport!

            We stayed at the Pretty River Inn which is very close by (about a 10 min drive). They arranged for a car to take us too and fro so it was great and very convenient. The Inn itself is very nice and I would highly recommend it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Georgia65

              Been a few times. One of a very few expensive places where the odds of true total satisfaction are very high.It's both genius and quirk. The soups are the best I've ever had. Sometimes the seeming use of every part of everything eaten seems a stretch.But it's done with so much real love that I can't deny that I'm better for the experience of eating something I wouldn't have ordered from someone who is a true believer in both culinary and eco philosophy. And they're very happy to talk about it.after the meal. Where else does that happen every night for every customer?

            2. I should probably start a new thread to discuss this, but I just called Eigensinn Farm about reservations, and the machine said they were only taking reservations up until August because they are opening a new restaurant in Singhampton called HAISAI.

              A google search of "Stadtlander" and "haisai" only turns up a scant 3 hits, one of which is at http://canadianchefscongress.blogspot...

              There is no mention of Haisai anywhere on this board.

              So does anyone know about this? And what is happening to the farm? (no reservations = closing?).