AG - Silver on the Periodic Table, A Gem in Niagara Falls!
My girlfriend and I were so pleased to get away after all of the craziness of Valentines day. While the love is still in the air, and the travelers are back home from their weekends away, we enjoyed a two nights stay at the Sterling Inn, midweek which included one 3 course a la carte dinner at the AG located in Niagara Falls (no view of the falls to mention). The dining room is located in the basement of the hotel. AG ~ Inspired Cuisine was the name of the restaurant. We were impressed with the courteousness upon being greeted by our server and the Dining Room Manager/ Sommelier. We were graciously ushered to our seat, the best seat in the place (being the only ones in the restaurant besides a reso of four, I don't think it was that large of an accommodation but a treat nonetheless.
AS A SIDE NOTE: If you are ever looking forward to having a particular wine at a restaruant don't hesitate to call to make sure they are still carrying it. Wine lists are constantly altered.
*After browsing the website i had found a wine that I was particularly interested in trying that evening, the Tawse Echo's Red 2005. However the wine list had not been updated so that was not going to happen. I had decided to go with the Tawse Pinot Noir 2007 instead. Still one of my favourites.
Our orders were promptly taken after our wine, well my wine and her sling were delivered.
We began our culinary journey with an amuse of Sauvergine, quails egg, forest mushroom salad and a dijon vinaigrette. It was a creative start to our evening, with scents of the Sauvergine and truffle oil.
Our appetizers followed shortly after that.
My Lady had chosen a wild mushroom risotto to begin followed by strozzapreti pasta with a cream sauce and beef tenderloin.
I found her risotto to be a tad on the al dente side for my liking, however the pasta was definitely made a la minute and was so delicious.
I myself had chosen the Artichoke Veloute with a smoked trout garnish * I always enjoy when soup is poured after they explain the garnish at the bottom of the wide brimmed bowl, it puts a smile on my face and I anticipate the first plunge into the bowl, making sure to scoop a bit of everything,
This was followed by a brie crusted beef tenderloin (rare and perfectly rare) with herb rosti, sauteed greens, and red currant foie gras jus.
The service and quality of food was just amazing. It was about ten p.m when we decided we had enough of sitting around. Our deserts (white chocolate mousse, and Chocolate tart) were nothing to rave about, my guess is that there is not a pastry chef in house. However they were delivered to our room with the leftover pinot, mmm. That kind of service is enough to forget the bland sweets.
All in all the experience was great. It is difficult to find respectful cuisine in a city loaded with bright lights and fast-food chains this was certainly a gem in Niagara Falls.
I agree that the food is excellent- I was there over Christmas.
My only complaint was with the service. It was full the night I was there and they were definitely understaffed.
Here's a review i wrote at the time:
What a treat- In a touristy area with a sea of mediocre restaurant, AG stands out above the crowd. The emphasis is on fresh, local ingredients. The food is well executed and absolutely delicious: I had a beef tenderloin that I could cut with a fork. My boyfriend had lamb that fell off the bone. The combination of foods and ingredients was unpretentious, flavourful and well presented.
My only complaint about AG is the service. The servers were friendly and did their best, but there were not enough wait staff and they seemed to lack the training required for a restaurant attempting to position itself as a high end destination. We weren't in a rush, and spent 3 hours eating, but it was obvious that the wait staff couldn't have moved any quicker. Also, there were a few small things- like my tea came as a tea bag and hot water in a cup, not a pot, and our waiter dropped off an amuse bouche without telling us what it was- that detracted from the level of restaurant AG is trying to be/become.
I would suggest improving the front of house to enhance the overall experience, but either way, a great meal.
Price We had 2 $25 dollar vouchers because we were staying at the hotel and our meal which included 2 appetizers, 2 mains, 3 glasses of wine and 3 beers (over 3+ hours), 1 dessert and 1 tea came to a $115 Canadian. a bargain considering the drinks alone in Toronto would have cost well over half that.
I totally agree on these points. A brief explanation of what I am about to enjoy is much appreciated. I'm not a fan of mysteries either. We did not have tea or coffee, come to think of it, it wasn't offered. We both probably looked full to the brim after our mains were inhaled. P.s. We had wanted earlier resos but were told they were booked until 8. When we got there at 8, hungry as hell, the place was pretty empty.
Any who, tea in a bag should be thrown at a server in a high end restaurant that is charging $3.50 for the darn thing. Loose leaf teas are certainly a pleasant ending.