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Where to go in NOTL?

Hi there,

I'm going to Niagara on the Lake later this week and have a day and a night to spend there. We are eating at the Charles Inn but need help with a great lunch option. I'd love to go to Vineland, but it's too far out; we need to stick to NOTL on this trip. Also, these are the wineries I'm thinking of visiting. We know wine really well, so not really that interested in the big commercial wineries (except for Inniskillin), but more of the intimate ones with great wines. Where to go for the best Icewine?

Niagara College Teaching Winery

Marynissen

Frogpond

Lailey

Reiff

Stratus

Chateau des Charmes

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  1. Stone road grill is hands down one of the best restaurants i've eaten at ever..(it's a destination-worthy restaurant (8 hours for me from NJ) ...i think they're open for lunch ...The only disappointment yer apt to have is the regret that you didn't go there for dinner.
    http://www.stoneroadgrille.com/

    1. If you have time, grab a slice of pie at The Pie Plate on Niagara Stone Road. Wonderful homemade fresh fruit pies!

      1. If you're going to be at Reif, then they have a 'not bad' restaurant there - I prefer it to most places in NOTL. But if you're at Reif then it's only a 10-15 minute drive to Treadwell's (almost straight along the lakeside route - only 1 turn) - which is easily(IMO) the best restaurant in the Peninsula.

        7 Replies
        1. re: estufarian

          I've got your back on that one Estufarian. Fully agree that Treadwell's is one of the best in Niagara. However, if six wants to stay in NOTL, honourable mention should go to Peller Estates Winery (pricy) or Stone Road Grill (a bit more reasonable.) Stay away from anything in the town core itself... overpriced and mediocre, particularly the Vintage Inn chain (Prine of Wales, Queen's Landing and Pillar and Post)

          1. re: cynalan

            Glad to read positive reports I'm booked next week at Treadwells. I am in the minority, perhaps, but I had one of my worst meals every at Peller. Though they did have a wonderfully buttery Chardonnay that I enjoyed (year and label escapes me).

            Any recommendations on breakfast?

            1. re: Apprentice

              My wife and I recently tried The Old Winery Inn. Chef Tony de Luca who recently left the Oban Inn runs this restaurant located a stone's throw from the old town. We had the best eggs benny that we've ever tried. Not a huge menu but found it to be an enjoyable brunch dish.

              Sorry that you had a bad time at Peller. As for the Chardonnay, could it be the '96 Reserve. I bought several cases for the same reason... a really full-bodied, buttery, nicely oaked Chard. One of my favourite Niagara wines.

              1. re: cynalan

                Thanks for the recommendation for TOW and the Chard tip.

                1. re: Apprentice

                  Oops, notice a typo... that should be the 06 Private Reserve.

          2. re: estufarian

            Had a wonderful experience at Treadwell over the weekend. Ordered the tasting menu and wine pairings. Food was good to excellent. I've never experienced such enthusiasm and detailed explanations for each wine pairing - it was fun. They are a great group of hosts. I was really impressed with two wines in particular a Reisling by Ravine (suprisingly very German) and a 13th Street Gamay Noir.

            1. re: estufarian

              Hubby is loves Treadwell in NOTL. Not to be missed!

            2. As a Niagara dweller, I definitely recommend Stone Road Grill. If you're going on the weekend definitely make a reservation to secure a spot. They can be really booked up sometimes.

              For smaller wineries, I recommend -

              Cattail Creek
              Ravine Vineyards (they are located in a spot that has Anna Olson's second location)
              Lailey

              A couple of spots to visit that have great architecture -

              Stratus
              Southbrook

              Hope this helps.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Jenni_Bee

                Love Stone Road Grill! I had Kobe steak there....very good.

                1. re: Ironchefa

                  Really - haven't seen any Kobe steak in Ontario for 5 years - just how did they manage that?

                  1. re: estufarian

                    uh- maybe by stretching the hard facts on the provenance of the beef.
                    You see it everywhere- ask a server where an ingredient comes from and the answer is always "it's local"- ask for a bit more detail and see the sweat start to bead up-

              2. I have to get down to NOTL soon as well-I am hearing of some changes. The chef at Zee's has left and is opening up at Peninsula Ridge. There is a new chef at Riverbend.
                Prices have either dropped or portions are getting bigger at some restos.
                Anna Olson has pulled out of Port Dalhousie and is now just at Ravine in St David's.
                Lots to see it seems-I might wait a month or so -craving a salad picked in front of me at Riverbend Inn.

                1. In grimsby/beamsville, check out Angels Gate Winery (but don't eat there) and Hidden Bench. both fab. eat at 13 mountain street bistro.

                  in virgil, eat at the pie plate and not anywhere else.

                  in notl, the "old winery" (it was actually a frame shop) is average italian food. srg is nice but quite predictable. the epicurean usually has something nice going on for dinner (but the lunches are mediocre to bad). i like the hot turkey sandwich at the stagecoach (i think that's what its called, on the corner of queen and ? near kennedy's general store.

                  don't eat in the falls, unless you can find the one thai/buddhist rest i kept hearing about but could never find (and i lived there for 10 years). oh, the exception is the flying saucer, which is a hoot. i usually had the french fries with chili and cheese and a strawberry shake.

                  i find stratus to be massively pretentious. jackson triggs has gorgeous architecture. definitely visit both Lailey and Marynissen. Frogpond underwhelming, NCT expensive for what you get. oh, don't miss Henry of Pelham, the wines are fab and they used to have a cute sandwich shop.

                  enjoy the best of niagara and report back!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: stapler

                    In regards to the Thai/Buddhist restaurant- that isn't the one on Lundy's Lane between Dorchester and Drummond? Pho Second Bowl? It is Vietnamese, not Thai, but maybe something was lost in the description to you?

                    It's an excellent restaurant, by the way.

                    1. re: stapler

                      Henry of Pelham is my favorite in the area -- wonderful boutique winery with some unique products. Great little cafe too. Try their Late Harvest Vidal -- better than icewine and half the price.

                    2. I hope I'm not too late with my recs:

                      I've tried the Vidal Icewine at Reif and quite liked it (although, I'm not a huge icewine fan). When I was there a couple of summer's ago, I remember people mentioning that Reif is known for their icewine.

                      Although not icewine, If you're going to Marynissen, try their merlot. Yummy.

                      1. Does anyone have any recommendations for pancakes/waffles?