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Niagara/Niagara on the Lake Dinners and Breakfasts?

I'm planning to take my wife and parents to Niagara for a weekend and want to know where people recommend for relaxed, wine country dinners, brunches and lunches.

I have always been partial to the Stone Road Grille for dinner and also have enjoyed the restaurant at Cave Spring (On the Twenty) and the one at Vineland. It's been years since I've been though and I bet some of the new vineyards have great eats as well.

Any ideas?

As well - I've typically stayed at Pillar and Post - any other recommendations for where to stay in Niagara on the Lake or surrounding area (bed and breakfasts or other cozy establishments)?

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Stone Road Grille
238 Mary St, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA

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  1. Definitely suggest Treadwell in Port Dalhousie, if you're not keeping entirely to the vineyards.

    In NOTL, other than SRG, I hear Zee's is good, though I haven't been. Ditto the Pie Plate in Virgil.

    In terms of wineries, I know quite a few people who are excited about Ravine's plans for their new, improved, expanded bistro. Not sure when it opens, though -- supposed to be sometime this month.

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    Treadwell
    61 Lakeport Road, St. Catharines, ON L2N 4P6, CA

    The Pie Plate
    1516 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

      I was just at Ravine last weekend and the new space is still very much under construction, so I'm not sure if they will be open this month. But I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product, as what I saw had a wall of glass looking over that spectacular view that they are fortunate enough to have. The cafe inside is still open though, and right now the menu consists of mussels (served 6 different ways), several of salads, soup, quiche, grilled cheese, etc. It's still a nice, casual lunch spot, but with the patio closed (either due to construction or because it was freezing when I was there!), I missed my favourite thing about the place, which is the view.

      I did see a couple of guys go by with 2 whole, trussed pigs though. I thought "OMG, roast pig!" But sadly, our brand new waitress had no idea as to the fate of those pigs. I know they were doing Friday night BBQs last summer. I hope that tradition continues this year. With roast pig.

    2. I love Stone Road Grille, Ravine and The Pie Plate. The Pie Plate, however, is charming in a quirky sort of way, and is in the middle of the town of Virgil, so doesn't have the "wine country feeling" that you seem to want. One of the best-kept secrets in NOTL is probably the restaurant at the NOTL golf club. It's open to the public and it sits right on the water (where the Niagara river meets lake Ontario). The view is amazing, and they have a huge patio. The food is ok, not the best in town, but certainly not the worst.

      I don't know if you've been given this advice before, but please avoid all the restaurants along the main drag of Old Town. They are uniformly bad, no matter how pretty they look! The only saving grace is The Epicurean, which is great for picking up a lovely lunch that I would recommend eating in the park by the river.

      The Old Winery is on my list of places to try. One of Tony de Luca's places, it's more casual and a lower price point than most restaurants in the area.

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      Stone Road Grille
      238 Mary St, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA

      Tony de Luca
      160 Front St, Niagara On the Lake, ON L0S1J0, CA

      Old Winery
      2228 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara On the Lake, ON L0S1J0, CA

      The Pie Plate
      1516 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Oh, and if you're looking to splurge on the full on wine country dinner overlooking the vineyards, then both Hillebrand and Peller Estates are good choices. Really beautiful.

        I've also heard good things about the restaurant at the Riverbend Inn, but I haven't tried it yet.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          You seem to know the area well - thanks for the suggestions - what about places to stay (I know this wanders a bit from the topics of the board)

          1. re: glickjor

            Folks, please keep recommendations focused on places to eat. Discussions about places to stay are beyond Chowhound's scope and will be removed.

      2. Concur with the observations so far.

        Riverbend is fine, but Peller and Hillebrand are better (of the two, I prefer Hillebrand's kitchen, but my hubby prefers Peller). Riverbend's porch is nice to dine on in the summer. There are mixed reviews on the Old Winery, but I've had a few good experiences there. Again, in summer, their deck is great.

        Definitely Treadwell's if you haven't been. Also, out closer to Jordan/Vineland is About Thyme bistro. Atmosphere isn't a good as other places, but the food is consistently good with a great local wine list (and really reasonable corkage if you bring a local wine).

        I've heard the Old Firehall in old St. David's (www.oldfirehall.com) is a local haunt, but haven't been.

        A number of the wineries also have casual fare prepared on site, e.g. Southbrook, Creekside to name a few, but not year round so you'd need to check if their patios are open. Great for a casual lunch bite. Also good for a casual lunch is Zooma Zooma in Jordan Village.

        Places to stay - there are lots and as you likely know they can be pricey in peak season. We like Oban Inn in NOTL and Inn on the Twenty in Jordan.

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        Treadwell
        61 Lakeport Road, St. Catharines, ON L2N 4P6, CA

        Old Winery
        2228 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara On the Lake, ON L0S1J0, CA

        Riverbend Restaurant
        4 Brant County Rd, Caledonia, ON N3W, CA

        1. Does anyone know if Flat Rock Cellars still has the "gourmet" catering truck or if it's a seasonal thing? It's otherwise got a fabulous view and if you're fortunate enough to get a tutored tasting with Ed the owner, he's charming and passionate about his products.

          3 Replies
          1. re: tuttebene

            Yes, they're still around! "El Gastronomo Vagabundo!"

            You can track their location on their web site or via Twitter:

            http://www.elgastro.com/

            Won't be at Flat Rock for a couple of weeks.

            1. re: tuttebene

              Seasonal to Flat Rock and returning on the Friday of the May long weekend ...

            2. Great area this time of year and the weather is finally coming around. If you can travel - take a trip into St. Catharines for a visit to Wellington Court restaurant. It's a gem in the heart of a city that doesn't have many. It's smallish - so you'll need a reservation. I agree about Old Winery, it's definitely hit and miss (mostly the latter in my experience) and I'd think you'd be disappointed if you're used to the quality at SRG. I haven't yet been - but some very good friends who love food have been to the restaurant at Vineland Estates in the Vineland/Jordan region and say it's on par or better than Peller / Hillebrand. Tony De Luca is good - probably equivalent to SRG in terms of quality but with a smaller menu. If you can across the border to the US side of Niagara on the Lake, a trip to Lewiston NY is in order. Artpark is beautiful and there are some good little restaurants there as well (Carmelo's for one). Hope you enjoy your weekend.

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              Old Winery
              2228 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara On the Lake, ON L0S1J0, CA

              Wellington Court
              11 Wellington St, St Catharines, ON L2R, CA