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Aug 6, 2009 01:50 AM

Treadwell - Still Good? Need 'Re-confirmation'!!

Its been quite a while since I last visited Treadwell. ( and its only for lunch ). I'm planning to take my foodie brother-in-law there for our annual 'man - only' birthday celebration. Need to know its still good before making the long drive there. Planning to splurge, so, will be having the full blown tasting menu and bringing our own bottles from our collection. Feed back from fellow chowhounders who had recently tried their tasting menu will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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  1. I could be mistaken, but I don't recall Treadwell's having a BYOW/corkage on offer. Have you called to confirm?

    1. i had suspicions based on the layout of the menu and flashes from this board i believe.. but their "full blow tasting menu" is essentially a sampler of their regular menu. by the second course in i realized what i'd done and pretty much instantly regretted it. there were much more interesting dishes on the menu that i would have ordered instead.

      overall the food quality there is high for niagara region but i wouldn't say that it beats out the better meals i've had in toronto (some very personalized so in a way not comparable enough, but a minor fraction of the price as well). i defintely wouldn't call it creative. i know you're planning on bringing wine, not sure what their corkage is, but just so you know.... the wine pairings were overall pretty poor to me. only maybe one or two dishes (out of 6) did i feel it remotely complemented the dishes or enhanced either the food or the wine, but otherwise i felt they made the wine/dish worse off. i did appreciate the range of glassware they offered though for the wines.

      quick menu breakdown from last weekend: whitefish amuse - tasteless fish ceviche style with very strong citrus in an unpleasant way; foie gras on brioche with cherries - basic, not great foie gras thought reasonable sized portion; zucchini flower - completely uninventive though executed well; scallop with pork cheek bacon - bacon cooked to perfection and wonderful but scallop crusted with brown sugar and the sweetness overtook the scallop's natural flavour, points i guess for not using dry packed; whitefish or pickeral? changeup - it was on the menu with other "sides" but this time it came with beans and radishes, nice and well executed but again not very imaginative (in contrast i went to morimoto a couple weeks back and was presented a very plain fish dish, it was absolutely perfect in it's subtle simplicity... treadwells was just good); duck in foie gras sauce - ends of duck pieces were definitely overcooked and tough, the sauce while rich wasn't anything special; chocolate mint chip tart - molten in a pleasant though retro way with ice cream on top...again good but not astounding.

      wine was highly described in detail whereas food was not, mostly dropped off with a vague name while sommelier described wines and why he felt it would work. i'm surprised they didn't ask people for allergies and preferences at the start and so while the service is nice and not rushed (they forced a 6pm reservation on us though we were the only ones to occupy our table all night, with a few sitting empty all evening, and dawdled mostly because of their slower service until 10) it's missing the edge they seem to want to provide.

      so final thoughts... good but boring.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        Wow!!! Thank you Princess for taking the time to respond in such great detail. May be we'll head out to Rundles in Stratford nstead?!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          i haven't been to rundles so i can't comment on how they're currently doing.

          you're welcome for the notes, i was thinking of typing them up anyway as an update to the notl scene so this was quite opportune. have you considered blacktree in st catherines? again i haven't been but based on estufarians recommendation i was very curious but wasn't able to secure any reservations since they're not open sunday - tues (?). my major disappointment with treadwell was that we didn't get a "real" tasting menu, otherwise everything was quite competent. so if you dont' have your heart set on tasting menu it could still be a very viable option.

          best of luck!

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Been to Blacktree in Burlington's. I kept an open mind and tried hard to like it.

            He uses some MG techniques and cooks the food properly, but I find it was severely lacking in taste and highly disappointing. I might go back in a little while to give it a second chance before totally writing them off as I've seen on good buzz about Blacktree's here.

        2. re: pinstripeprincess

          Treadwell offers a $15/bottle BYOB charge to its guests. Also, the scallops used at the restaurant are dry-packed.

          1. re: niagara_wine_guy

            oops, that was a slip, i meant points for not using "wet" packed. i was super disappointed that jkwb was using wet pack at a recent visit as it seemed to go against their quality control and was happy that this one didn't have the chemical sting. but still... why crust it with brown sugar! totally killed the natural sweetness.

        3. How about Vineland?

          I always had a positive experience there. The service is very friendly and accommodating and their staff is very knowledgeable about wines and they do a great pairing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: blue bike

            Been there too many times to mention. Actually, Hillerbrands food is better.

          2. I ate there this past weekend, and the service was pretty bad. After coming back to confirm our order, they still managed to get both my appetizer and entree wrong. It was only a table of four!

            The food was generally okay. I ordered the duck, and the sauce that came with was quite beefy - seemed a bit wrong. My dining companions' choices were much better than mine.

            We quite enjoyed the service of the sommelier, however, who guided us through a blind tasting in the lounge prior to our dinner.