visiting ontario and need restaurant recomendations
my husband and I are visiting ontario in early may and would love recomendations for lunchs and dinners in the following; picton, kingston, niagara falls and on the lake, london, prescott, ottawa, brockville, guelph(lunch) stratford. We are both in the restaurant bizz, foodsales, and a server and personal chef, so we are kind of picky, do not have to eat high end but no chains, and prefer local foods. thanks everyone!
Picton is a local food lover's dream.
For Guelph: the Diana restaurant (on Wyndham St) always had great Indian food...I haven't been in ages, but just thinking about it makes me hungry for their samosas, fresh made naan, yummy entrees and mango shakes. The Bookshelf is a neat little bookshop/theatre/cafe/restaurant and while their menu is quite limited (changes frequently) the food has never been disappointing. There are a few other Indian places (curry in a hurry, and another one over by the train station I can't remember the name of) that have been recommended to me many, many times but I can't speak from personal experience. Babelfish is also supposed to be excellent, and for a casual lunch, I personally love the Carden St Cafe.
Kingston: LOTS of fantastic options in this city. Woodenheads has the best pizza, hands down, with an authentic wood oven. They also have other great entrees and appetizers (lobster and shrimp bisque stands out, as do their take on spring rolls). I can't get enough of this place, and neither can my friends or family. It is not to be missed. You will HAVE to make a reservation, as it can be extremely busy, even in the middle of the week. It is reasonably priced for the quality. Chez Piggy and Chien Noir have both been very impressive, but check out the menus beforehand to see if they appeal to you: they change seasonally and sometimes the options aren't in line with my preferences. Casa Domenico is excellent: try the Tonno Terzetto entree for tuna served (rare and/or raw) three different ways, each bite a new explosion of flavour. Olivea is good, (they have some nice options on the menu, including sweetbreads, and duck) but I think Casa Domenico has them beat (but by a narrow margin) for Italian food (but pricing in the two restaurants reflects this). Pan Chancho's is owned by the same people as Chez Piggy and a great option for a quick lunch. They make great fresh breads and salads and things. And the Sleepless Goat is a great little gem. Very eclectic atmosphere, student hangout, but they have phenomenal cinnamon buns, coffee/tea/etc, and it is one of the better places for homemade desserts.
Picton: I don't know a whole lot about this area, having only visited twice (compared to having lived in both Kingston and Guelph) but I can definitely say that you MUST go to the Waring House. Great food. They are also an inn, and offer packages to stay and dine. There are lots of other fantastic options in Picton as well...it is one of the food capitals of Ontario. The Waring House is the only one I can vouch for from personal experience.
In Niagara on the Lake I recommend Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine. Hands down my favourite restaurant in the area, even ahead of the oft praised Stone Road Grille.
Check out the Farm-a-licious event going on this month. I participated in the January event and the dinner was quite a steal especially given their a la carte prices. Great value without sacrificing quality.
In Ottawa I would recommend a couple of standards for lunch:
- The Wellington Gastropub is a little out of the downtown, but worth the trip for delicious, finely crafted food and a great atmosphere. Also, great prices at lunch.
- Chez Lucien for the best burgers in Ottawa if you are into that type of thing - my favourite touch is that they serve every dish with half fries and half salad - you don't have to pay an extra $1.50 for the privilege. :)
- I would also recommend Play in the Byward Market for lunch or dinner - a little higher end for a special meal? Great small plates and wine.
I could go on but you have a lot of other cities to hear from, so I will stop now. Happy eating!