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Niagara wine region

Paula from Toronto Jul 28, 2009 04:57 AM

I'm thinking about driving down to the Niagara region this weekend, and am looking for recommendations regarding good lunch spots, and if possible, good wineries to visit. Does Hillebrand satisfy both? Any other suggestions of places to visit would also be appreciated (food oriented or not).

Many thanks fellow 'Hounds!

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    torontochris RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 28, 2009 07:43 AM

    the lakehouse on the western outskirts of st. catherines, right on the qew, has great food and the location over the lake is fantastic. its eaiser to access on the way home, but its worth detouring for regardless.

    1. syoung RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 28, 2009 08:37 AM


      Thirty Bench - decent white wines. Went there 2 wks ago and they had 15% case discount "one day only!" but it seems they're having it again (per website), so it's one of these one day only... everyday!

      Tawse - nice winery, good rieslings by Niagara standards. Friendly staff.

      Vineland Estate - good boutique wine store, ok wines. Had lunch at their "CAA 4-diamond award" restaurant. Overpriced, not impressed at all. I remembered their appetizer salmon cake... it was bland at best and the side salad was soaked in vinegar which made it extremely sour which made the salmon cakes completely tasteless. The mains weren't better. Easy pass.

      Stratus - Beautiful scenic winery, decent wine (by Niagara's standards)

      Jackson Triggs - Beautiful large winery, decent wines (by Niagara's standards)

      Inniskillin - good ice wines

      Ch√Ęteau des Charmes - decent wines by Niagara standards

      Hillebrand - good variety of OK wines. Good restaurant.

      Peller Estates - decent wines (by Niagara stds), large winery. Probably the best winery restaurant in Niagara area. I would recomend this one for your lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: syoung
        haggisdragon RE: syoung Jul 30, 2009 05:57 AM

        What's with the constant qualification (by Niagara's standards) syoung? Niagara is making some pretty good wines these days, by anyones standards. The thing is the good ones aren't cheap.

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        LemonLauren RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 28, 2009 09:35 AM

        hi there,
        there are several threads on this if you search the board.

        i agree with thirty bench and stratus as destinations, and will add FLAT ROCK CELLARS - lovely architechture and great whites, my fave is the "Twisted" - if you are in the Beamsville area, then a great spot for lunch is Zooma Zooma Cafe in Jordan.

        2 Replies
        1. re: LemonLauren
          fleisch RE: LemonLauren Jul 28, 2009 12:09 PM

          The wineries are relatively "fancy" lunch places.
          If you're looking for something casual I'd strongly recommend Olson Foods @ Ravine Winery (in St. David's). Very fresh, homemade salads etc. and a lovely bakery too.
          I got turned on to it and stopped in a few weeks ago and loved it.

          1. re: fleisch
            swissmissy RE: fleisch Jul 28, 2009 12:11 PM

            I second Olson Foods. We had a wonderful relaxing lunch there a few weeks ago.

        2. j
          jayzie1 RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 28, 2009 01:27 PM

          I'd highly recommend Treadwell for lunch in Port Dalhousie. All local, fresh ingredients. The mussels are the best I've ever had.


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            Paula from Toronto RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 28, 2009 02:45 PM

            Thanks 'Hounds! You've certainly given me a lot to think about. Keep those suggestions coming!

            7 Replies
            1. re: Paula from Toronto
              niagarafoodandwine RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 28, 2009 02:53 PM

              Paula are you going to be spending most of yuor time around N-O-T-L or out around Jordan area?

              1. re: niagarafoodandwine
                Paula from Toronto RE: niagarafoodandwine Jul 28, 2009 03:02 PM

                My plans are still fluid, but Jordan was high on the list. If you have some suggestions, I would love some inside tips!

                1. re: Paula from Toronto
                  fivesensesreeling RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 30, 2009 01:36 PM

                  also Malvoire and Daniel Lenko Wineries. About Thyme Bistro or August for lunch.

                  1. re: fivesensesreeling
                    tuttebene RE: fivesensesreeling Jul 30, 2009 02:08 PM

                    We're planning on finally trying About Thyme Bistro in August. Are there any dishes that you would specifically recommend?

                    1. re: tuttebene
                      Full tummy RE: tuttebene Jul 31, 2009 04:48 PM

                      Yes, yes, About Thyme Bistro. Great food at reasonable prices. Swank little place, given what I expected from the humble exterior (it's in a quaint bungalow).

                      Also, Stone Road Grille. More sophisticated than AT, more pricey, too. But, nothing compared to some of the prices at winery restaurants, though the food does compete well against winery restaurants' quality.

                      And a nod to Olson Foods. Very charming place with very yummy, homey food. You could lunch there for $8 - 12, no problem. They were still refining the food service system when I was there; hope they have things under control.

                      The Pie Place is priced comparably with Olson; it's a little more rustic and rough around the edges. Fabulous butter tarts and baked goods. Plenty of yummy savoury items, too, like sandwiches and sweet potato fries...

                      1. re: Full tummy
                        TorontoJo RE: Full tummy Jul 31, 2009 05:31 PM

                        And a fabulous beef and guinness pie at the Pie Plate!

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          Full tummy RE: TorontoJo Jul 31, 2009 05:37 PM

                          Good to know. Will have to try it next time I'm out that way.

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              jacu RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 30, 2009 06:38 AM

              We spend quite a bit of time in the Jordan area really enjoy Fielding (2007 Pinot Gris is really wonderful), the honey from Rosewood Estates (thier Chardonnay is nice too), Angel's Gate Reislings, Flat Rock and Tawse are stunning wineries, Malivoire makes one of the nices roses in Ontario (Ladybug Rose).

              If you are interested in a very small winery, Organized Crime on Mountainview Road is very good. The wine consultant is Andrzej Lipinski, one of the best in Canada. Very mice unoaked Chardonnay and a lovely Chardonnnay Musque we are quite fond of.

              If you are going to NOTL, Stone Road Grille is wonderful - local ingredients throughfuly prepared, also highly recommend Olson's and for something much more casual the Pie Plate in Virgil is kinda fun.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jacu
                LemonLauren RE: jacu Jul 30, 2009 10:13 AM

                love love Org Crime - esp the Gewurtz!

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                OldGeezer RE: Paula from Toronto Jul 31, 2009 01:34 PM

                We have always enjoyed lunch at the Henry of Pelham winery, which has a Coach House cafe. We will stop there again next week for a tasty sandwich and a few bottles to take home. Their wines are very nice, and reasonably priced.

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