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Niagara on the Lake's Best

I'm trying to impress some out of towners and taking them to NOTL for a nice meal.
I was thinking either The Charles Inn, Peller Estates Winery Restaurant,or Hildebrand Estates Winery Restaurant. Any one have any experiances at any of these and if these arent the better of the best than what is? Recommendations for what to see and do as well would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. From your list, my personal favourite is Peller. They have a lovely restaurant with excellent service and a good menu. If the weather is nice, reserve an outdoor table overlooking the vineyard. Peller happens to have a very good oaked Chardonnay that complements many meals.

    If you are willing to travel a bit out of NOTL, Treadwell's in Port Dalhousie (St. Catharines) is a must. You cannot miss with this one.

    As for things to see and do in NOTL - Shaw Festival is number one. My wife and I have seen A Little Night Music and Belle Moral this year. Both were excellent though the latter may not be for all tastes. Number two on the list is winery tours... obviously.

    If you have time, Nagara Falls has a number of touristy type things to do: the casino, the falls, Butterfly conservatory, etc.

    Have fun!

    1. Folks, please keep replies limited to food recommendations. Recommendations for what to see and do are off topic and will be deleted.

      1. Of the restaurants you listed, I would place Peller first, followed very closely by Hillebrand. My favourite NOTL spot is the Stone Road Grill, known locally as "the Rest" - short for Restaurant - there is an amusing story behind that. The Stone Road Grill is not as elegant as Peller or Hillebrand, but the food is absolutely top-notch and the atmosphere is much more interesting, busy, full of character. Also don't be put off by the fact that the SRGrill is located in a stripmall, across from the gas station. It really is a great spot as many other posters on this site have noted

        1. I very much enjoyed my stay and food at The Pillar and Post Inn last summer - a stunning old building, with food and service to match. Well prepared food with attention to detail. Extensive wine list, knowledgeable and attentive yet unobtrusive staff.
          I highly recommend it. I stuck my nose in the Peller restaurant and liked what I saw but did not actually dine there. Next time! Happy chow-ing and please report back on where you went and how it was.

          1. Agree with others - on your list Peller.
            However Treadwell's is the finest (by far) in the area (of those I've tried), although it is just west of St Catharines, so a 20-minute drive from NOTL (along the lake front). Stone Road Grill has excellent food - but not the ambiance to impress visitors.

            1 Reply
            1. re: estufarian

              What's wrong with the ambiance to the Stone Road Grill? The place was hoping everytime I was there, and they have some interesting artwork on the walls too. I think it was be a great way to impress visitors.

            2. Try ZEST in Fonthill

              1469 Pelham St, Fonthill, ON L0S1E4, CA

              1. i hear the riverbend inn, which is on the main strip in niagara on the lake, is supposed to have a fantastic chef and beautiful dinners.

                i haven't been yet, but i plan on checking it out sunday. i have lots of friends from niagara and all of them have been talking about this place recently.

                2 Replies
                1. re: petitaubergine

                  Had a nice lunch at Riverbend yesterday. Their Chef, Chris Smythe, is very creative, and Dave Perkins from Wyndym Farm (a well-known local supplier) is managing a great kitchen garden for them this year.

                  I'll second the vote for Zest, but it's 30 minutes from NOTL. I also love Stone Road.

                  1. re: Gourmando

                    I'll put a vote in for Riverbend- I think the kitchen has the potential to be the secret find in Niagara one day. I saw the kitchen garden just as it was getting started-hopefully I will get back to see it in full swing next month.

                2. I was in from Montreal for the weekend and was referred to Stone Road Grill. Basically, food and service was outstanding..way above what the decor would suggest (looks like the local café done up in the corner strip mall- think Sideways road side with impeccable food and wines). The price was ridiculously reasonable considering the quality. Note: the wine pairings were a little off (pinot grigio with duck?) yet the staff was quick and open to make wine changes without fuss or attitude.

                  Stayed at the Charles Inn but did not eat there for supper. All I can say is that the night staff has the charm of the night duty nurse in a long term public health facility while the morning staff has the response time of the dwellers of such establishments. All this without the laughable charm of Fawlty Towers. Way below what would be expected from such a $ establishment.

                  1. Peller is a great one. Believe it or not the restaurant at White Oaks called LIV is not bad and worth a try - not your tyipcal hotel restaurant.