We're looking for a really nice, upscale restaurant in Ancaster or Hamilton or Burlington or Oakville.
It's for my mom's 60th birthday celebration. I tried to get a reservation at the Ancaster Old Mill Inn but they are completely booked (for September 20).
Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
Absolutely Blacktree. Not only the best restaurant in Burlington, probably the best in thie whole region. Small, intimate space that seats about 35. Reservations a must for a weekend. Chef Matteo is incredibly creative. He had a booth at Dining a la Carte a few weeks ago and presented a salmon gravalox with marshmallow foam. Now who ever would have thought of that combination? Surprise - it was fantastic!. I assure that you will not be disappointed here.
La Costa Nuovo is OK. Big, impersonal restaurant with mediocre service and big prices for what you get. Food is tasty but uninspired.
Between the two.... Blacktree - no contest.
While I can't say it's better than Blacktree, I had a nice experience at La Costa Nuova in Burlington. They appear to have private rooms (I was there for a work function and there was a private space for about 24 people) and their site advertises a cellar that fits 80-100. Of course, since I was there for a work function, perhaps the food was enhanced by greatest spice known as "free." ;P Their website is http://www.lacosta.ca/
While I haven't been, the Rousseau House in Ancaster seems nice. They have rooms for 12 people and the solarium fits up to 26 people. Their website is http://www.rousseauhouse.ca
Not sure how big a function it will be. And also, my idea of nice, upscale may be totally different from yours since I'm more of a Chowpuppy than a Chowhound. :P
I'm thinking that a suitably impressive, upscale, ambiance-filled location might be found a bit outside of your city range....at Langdon Hall, in Kitchener-Waterloo. They have a five diamond rating, and have a really lovely dining room and grounds....
This is perhaps the only place that might fit the kind of calibre that you describe.