Niagara On the Lake- Winery and Dining Ideas
Going on a day-trip to the Falls, and thought we would make our way back through NOTL. Looking for a decent lunch/dinner spot, as well any recommendations on a winery to visit. A combination winery/dinner would also work.
Here's my list of usual suspects for restaurants:
Ravine Winery - lovely, casual bistro with a gorgeous view over NOTL
Stone Road Grille - funky casual, locavore, "locawine" (made up word) restaurant in an unlikely location in a strip mall. Great spot to taste lots of wines from local wineries (unlike in a winery restaurant where you'll primarily get only the winery's own wines).
Hillebrand Winery or Peller Estates - full blown "winery restaurant" experience, excellent food at both, Peller is more formal (I prefer Hillebrand)
The Pie Plate - rather antithetical to the "wine country" experience, but it's a great little local cafe with great sweet and savoury pastries, pizzas and salads.
There are lots of other options, but it really depends on what kind of restaurant you want.
Stone Road Grille
238 Mary St, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA
The Pie Plate
1516 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA
Hillebrand Winery Restaurant
1249 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-lake, ON L0S 1J0, CA
If really cool winery architecture is your thing, then visits to Stratus and Southbrook are in order. If you're more about the small, personal wineries, then places like Lailey and Marynissen are good. Ravine is apparently getting some good reviews for their wines lately, so if you eat there, combine it with a visit to their tasting room, which is in a charming, rebuilt farmhouse.
Stratus is amazing for architecture.
Strewn is also really good. They have a beautiful winery, great wines, and the meals there are really good.
Peller is very nice, but with alot of the full blown wineries and restaurants you will pay a premium.
If you want a really nice meal at an excellent price, you could go to Niagara College, just on the way out of Niagara on the Lake. They have a culinary program and a wine program so you get a great meal with a good wine pairing at a great cost. The place is called Benchmark:
It really is worth visiting some of the smaller wineries, simply because most of their stock can;t be found at the LCBO so they are special finds. You can find bigger labels most everywheres...
Every year, I do a wine tour of the NOTL region. My husband and I and friends bike and taste, and have a chase car pick up the wine for us (we're tasters, not drinkers). We do a ton of the vintners,and focus on the wines that would be hard to find in the LCBO. Some of the vintners you might try are:
Konzelmann (for whites, just up the road from Strewn)
Henry of Pelham
Stonechurch (we LOVE their wines)
Chateau de Charmes
I could go on, but I won't.
You could easily do Strewn, Konzelmann and Stonechurch in one fell swoop so to speak...
OOOH Vinelands, I was going to recommend it but I couldn't remember the name of that vintner (you know, that place we went to with the separate dining place good meals lots of hills getting there on the back route...the joys of cycling through the region hitting 6 vintners a day for 2 days...) We had dinner there, quite beautiful, very nice. Totally agree.
Treadwell Farm-to-table. Hands down the best restaurant around the niagara region - it's not quite in niagara on the lake but I highly recommend reading the recognitions and accolaides on their website.
Another one I like is Inn on the Twenty, near Cave Springs.
61 Lakeport Road, St. Catharines, ON L2N 4P6, CA
Inn on the Twenty
3836 Main Street, Jordan, ON L0R 1S0, CA
A few additions:
Charles Inn. An upscale restaurant, but very elegant and with a fabulous duck entree (roasted duck breast on a bed of duck confit and vegetable hash). It's right on the main drag in downtown NOTL.
Other favourite wineries of mine: Tawse, Coyote's Run, Fielding, Le Clos Jordanne (you can't visit the winery, but you can taste the wines at Jackson-Triggs next door).
209 Queen, Niagara On the Lake, ON L0S1J0, CA