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Ancaster Old Mill review.

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Attendees:
Wife, me and our 4 year old future foodie.

Chow:
Wife -
Warm Wild Mushroom Sauté on Brioche Toast fresh herbs, sweet peas & crème fraiche
(review: wonderful "mushroominess" mushrooms were sliced very thin, but still retained a little bite to them, the sweet peas and pea shoot garnish were spectacular, very fresh and obviously local)

Forsyth Farm Lamb “Two Ways” sous vide” rack with braised shoulder stew, olives, tomatoes & basil
(review: lamb rack was nice and tender, very full lamb flavour, not at all overpowering as it can sometimes be. Lamb stew was not stellar, but good, stew sauce was very nice, herby, rich and earthy)

Fruit on the bottom Creme brulee with rhubarb and candied walnuts
(review: not the best creme brulee we've had, prefer the custard firmer and not so much like butterscotch, flavour was very rich, and the acidic cut from the rhubarb was a pleasant contrast. The walnuts did nothing)

Me -
Sweet 100’s Cherry Tomato Tartlet with Basil Pesto goat’s cheese & caramelized onions
(review: great harmony of flavours, everything was great on their own, but the sum of the parts was greater. The goat cheese worked very well with the pesto and tomatoes)

Hand-Made Red Fife Fettuccini with Braised Chicken caramelized pearl onions, thyme, garlic & white wine
(review: Wow! Stellar! I cannot say enough about this dish! It was absolute magic. The pasta was the perfect thickness, perfect al dente and perfect size. The chicken, arugula and onions harmonized and made the dish a perfect blend of textures. The flavours were sweet, sour and bitter all at once and all perfect!)

Lindt Milk Chocolate Ice Cream Profiteroles warm caramel & dark chocolate sauce
(review: i found the overall sweetness of this dessert a little too much. I have to say that I don't share the sweet tooth of the Mrs. but, even she said that when you had a bite of everything; ice cream, chocolate sauce and caramel all at once, it was a little much. The texture of the profiterole was crisp and played well with the smooth silkiness of the ice cream. The ice cream was presented at that wonderful balance between hard texture and "meltiness".

Overall:
I'll be back for the fettuccini, without a doubt, try a new app, new dessert.
And you can't beat the decor or location. We sat right by the window and watched the waterfalls.
Total price (no wine, 3 drinks and a chocolate milk): $130, well worth it.

p.s the future foodie ate everything, played nice with the wait staff and ate from our plates.
She did have the strawberry sorbet for dessert, which was her choosing. I snuck a spoonful and it was divine, bursting with flavour and a touch of mint. Not a hint of sourness and not overly sweetened. A very nice finish.
Also, she really enjoyed the palate cleansing; lemon spritzer, served with a slice of candied lemon inside.

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  1. When I lived in Hamilton, the Ancaster Old Mill was one of the few restaurants in the region to enjoy good fine dining without heading to Toronto. I never found their desserts very impressive (Room41 in downtown Hamilton makes a really great "chocolate trio" dessert), but the food has generally been good/great, with one exception.

    Out of perhaps 15 meals at Ancaster Old Mill, one was absolutely awful (and a wedding anniversary, unfortunately), and service was also terrible that night, which, coincidentally, was a night they were hosting a wedding. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to avoid the restaurant on nights where they're also catering a large party.

    They're supporters of slow food and local farms, and with the exception of one night (which they recompensed with a 5 course tasting with pairings for me and the SO), they have always been on their game, the service is generally very good, and the Sommelier is a very nice guy. The location is also very beautiful, especially if you get seats by the large windows looking out over the creek/waterfallish area.

    I'd definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone in the area with the one little reservation.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tjr

      Unfortunately Room 41 is no more.

      The Ancaster Old Mill also has a set menu/prix fixe "Sunday Supper" which is a nice meal...beautiful meals, beautiful surroundings...

      1. re: Mike from Hamilton

        Really? That's too bad. They were really nice guys who made good food but had horrible business sense to choose that location. From what I understood from speaking with them, the business wasn't doing too well last time I was there, though they were always booked up for days like Valentine's, etc. I really did love their chocolate trio dessert...

    2. You missed the gnudi. They are the reason to go right now.

      1. thanks for the review. the chef from room 41 now works for the Old Mill group at Spencer's at the Waterfront.

        1. Thanks for the review. My wife and I were married there years ago.

          1. I'd like to go back and have the Sunday Supper.
            This week was Seafood Bouliabasse (SP?), Prime Rib and Chicken, Season Veggie side, garlic mashed potatoes and Rhubarb and strawberry crumble.
            All served family style and all for $39/person.

            Oh, and the app, sides and dessert are unlimited.
            Oh, oh, and they offer wine pairing for $69.
            A table of 8 near us ordered the supper and it looked fantastic.

            1 Reply
            1. re: wookert

              Their Sunday Supper is pretty much unchanged, except for the dessert.

              The Bouilabasse is quite good and has a lot of seafood in it. They also do a fresh salad using seasonal ingredients as well..

              Around Easter, they also had lamb with the supper as well (phenomenally cooked) and the dessert was bread pudding.

              The only catch is that EVERYONE at the table has to have it, but it is a good deal and a lot of nicely cooked food.

            2. Can anyone comment on the brunch here? I will be going next weekend.

              2 Replies
              1. re: airsey

                It's rather nice, they have the usual brunch foods as expected. There is usually a decent selection of seafood (oysters on the half shell are often there in season) and the carvery is excellent. For dessert they have a fresh waffle bar and the last time I was there, they had a complete chocolate fountain setup with the standard accoutrements. Food is fresh and set out on small platters and bowls so they don't often sit for long.

                There is usually a jazz duo (guitar and bass or piano and bass) playing in the main room.

                1. re: airsey

                  I was there a few week ago for brunch. It is good provided that it is only $32 something, which include oyster from nova scotia, "frozen" alaska crab leg, roasted beef, lamb ... the environment is very nice too.