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Jul 28, 2009 04:57 AM

Niagara wine region

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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  1. 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. Possibilities:

      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

        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.

      2. 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

          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

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

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

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

            7 Replies
            1. re: Paula from Toronto

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

              1. re: niagarafoodandwine

                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

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

                  1. re: fivesensesreeling

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

                    1. re: tuttebene

                      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

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

                        1. re: TorontoJo

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