St. Catharines private party room for 25
Looking for a cheaper (but high quality) alternative to Treadwell for a 65th birthday party dinner on a Sunday (a long weekend). Prefer private room or use of full restaurant so we can make speeches and mingle without disturbing other patrons! Quality of food and atmosphere are very important, and within 15 minutes of downtown St. Catharines. Just trying to compare our options before finalizing with Treadwell. Thanks!
My suggestions... not sure what type of food you are looking for but here are some ideas.... one in St. Catharines and some close by ideas too....
Fresco on Fourth Ave has adequate food and a nice back room apart from the main dining area
About ten minutes South of St. Catharines just over from the 406 is Wildflower in Fonthill will reserve a large area for you... we have had several parties there
Right across the road from Wildflower is The Urban in Fonthill, also has a side room, I am sure it can be made available for a party and it is totally seperate from the main area.
If you don't mind going south, the Old Bank Restaurant in Fort Erie has a party area, as I remember their food is quite good. I have been to Christmas parties there.
Not sure if Zest in Fonthill will book parties HOWEVER... if you are trying to compare apples to apples be sure to call and talk to them. The food at the places I mentioned is good, but not of the calibre of Treadwell's standard. Zest however, is fair competition to Treadwell.
Hope it goes well for you!
I think we are looking for "better dining" with memorable food but perhaps only $30 pp instead of $50 pp plus wine. I wonder if anyone does a 3-course prix fixe regularly in St. Catharines?
I also have a feeling that going "out of town" will scare off some guests even if it is only Fonthill.
Many of the better restaurants in Niagara are closed on Sundays, but might open up for a private party of that size. Missmouse suggested Zest, which seats 40, and I had a lovely Sunday private lunch for 20 there a couple of years ago. Wellington Court might consider the same thing, as they are also closed Sundays.
The wineries might be good choices: Cave Spring and Vineland Estates are both in your radius, and both would do a great job. On the Twenty at Cave Spring has a room that should be about the right size, and Vineland Estates has a separate building for private functions.
You might want to see if you could do something at Niagara Culinary Institute. They have a private dining room that seats 14, but they might be willing to do something in the main dining room (which is usually closed Sundays) for a group your size. If cost is a big concern, you might find some savings there.
re: Food Tourist
Right in St. Catharines, you could try PowWow on St. Paul Street. They do set menus for parties starting from $28. They also have $12 corkage if you wanted to bring your own wine (If you're bringing nice wines, you would realize a substantial savings doing it that way). I think they are open for dinner on Sundays, but I'm not sure. You wouldn't have a private room, but you would probably have a section to yourselves so as not to disturb anyone else.
Another possibility is Grill on the Hill: http://www.grillonthehill.com/. As the name suggests, it is on the hill near Brock University. Again, no private room, but the prices are in line with what you are looking for. I believe that the Chef used to be at PowWow.
I haven't been for a couple of years, but the Lake House Restaurant off the QEW between Jordan and Vineland might be a good bet: http://www.lakehouserestaurant.com/ I know it's the dreaded "out of town", but at least you wouldn't have to stray too far from the highway!
Their website indicates that they have prix fixe menus for groups starting from $34, and they appear to have a room that would be a good size for you. They are open for dinner on Sundays, too.
Thanks to all for your great suggestions. Mom did a bit of research based on your ideas and ended up choosing Treadwell after all. It worked well as we only had 20 and fit in the wine bar area. As usual, service was great, wines were delicious, and food was better than ever. The whole staff really went above and beyond expectations to make the party really special, including printing out personalized menus for our guests, and playing our own music. Many of the top chefs/sommeliers in Toronto can't match the Treadwell family. It was interesting to learn how James just spent his annual winter vacation in South Australia and Victoria, Australia touring wineries.
Make sure to order the lobster sweet potato risotto, whitefish with truffled scrambled eggs, and rosemary butter tart with sour cream ice cream when you visit! Also, have a glass of Organized Crime gewurz...so tasty! I also enjoyed the Megalomaniac My Way Chardonnay paired with the whitefish.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was the birthday cake (white cake filled with lemon curd and blueberries) we brought in from Olson's. Go figure!