recs for Sunday brunch in Oakville
I'm looking for a restaurant in Oakville on a Sunday for brunch for 6 ladies in their forties to spend the afternoon leisurely wining and dining.
Places we have gone in the past and enjoyed are Peller, Hillebrand and Stone Road Grill in NOTL, Globe, Boulevard Cafe and Kensington Kitchen in Toronto. We're looking for something similar in ambiance, food and service. Either in Oakville or Burlington (half the group is coming up from NOTL and the other half from Toronto so we thought somewhere in the middle would be nice!) and places I've found from previous threads are:
Grinning Gourmand - is it big enough to accommodate our group and is it full service?
Julia's - the website makes this place look ideal - is it?
Big Smoke - in case we're craving bbq ;-)
Spencers on the Waterfront - has anyone tried their sunday buffet?
SB Prime, Red Canoe, Benvenuto, Pasquale's, Seasons, La Cucina & Blacktree either weren't open for lunch, didn't have a detailed website or didn't fit what I was looking for.
Does anyone have other suggestions or a recommendation for one of the above?
Spencer's looks interesting and I have heard good things about it but unless you plan on eating A LOT it seems pretty pricey. I am really intrigued by the Big Smoke brunch menu and I think it is more unique than the other items listed (you can see their menu online.. it isn't just BBQ) so I would pick that one first myself.
I have been to Julia's a few times for dinner and personally don't think it is anything special (first time I had a great meal, second and third time was just okay). It depends on the atmopshere you are looking for though. Julia's is more of a higher end place (as is Spencers) while Big Smoke is more casual.
You could try Emma's Back Porch in Burlington:
I attended a Sunday brunch there about two years ago and really enjoyed it. The location is right on the waterfront so there were great lake views in the dining room. The all-you-can-eat brunch is $8.95 each according to the menu on their website. The thing I remember most vividly is the big plate of smoked salmon and the several mimosas I had!
Looking at the website, they seem to have more pictures of the "lodge" part of the restaurant on the lower level, but when I went there the brunch was in the upstairs part which wasn't so woodsy/canadiana in decor, although I suppose it is a little more...rustic than Julia's if that's what's ideal for your occasion.
I went to Julia's for a baby shower in March. All we had were cheese and fruit platters, and some hors d'oeuvres which were grape tomatos, mini bocconcini cheese and basil skewered together, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and served in little glasses. Not enough for me to be able to make any sort of judgment on the experience or food, but I can say the small room they had us in had nice decor with paintings by local artists on the walls.
Gotta agree with Burlgurl. The best brunch in the area without question is Spencers on the Waterfront. it's not cheap though... $36 but worth every penny. It includes the usual buffet style breakfast items but adds good antipasti, seafood and salad. Of note is the made to order lunch items such as rack of lamb, strip loin, waffles, omelettes that are quite good. Brunch includes champagne or smoothies and an above average dessert table.
I also saw a recommendation for Water Street Cooker. This used to have a really good brunch including seafood table. Sadly, in recent years the quality of brunch has faded. Not that it's bad or anything, just... not particularly special or memorable. Given the restaurants you cited as examples, Spencers would do you proud.
If you are set on Oakville... Olive Bonancini in Oakville Town Centre is a good bet. Don't let its mall location discourage you.
Finally, if you are in the area for dinner sometime, Blacktree is a must. IMHO, it is one of the best restaurants in southern Ontario.