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Jul 12, 2012 06:04 PM

New stuff in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Just thought I'd post a heads up that there is a new restaurant and two micro-breweries opening this summer in NOTL.

Garrison House is a new pub that just opened last night in the old Deluca's space. The menu fills a hole in the NOTL dining scene -- casual, but high quality food (very gastropub-ish) with all mains between $15 - $20. Current menu is high on the abundant local produce available right now, with the meats mostly organic or supplied by Cumbrae. 6 beers on draught, including blanche de chambly and stiegl. I enjoyed my dinner there tonight and look forward to heading back to try other dishes. Just the fact that they've got beer battered cheese curds should be enough to tempt anyone in. :)

And two micro-breweries are set to open soon:

Silversmith Brewery in an old church on Niagara Stone Road in Virgil across from The Pie Plate (one of my favourite gems in NOTL) and Niagara Oast House Brewers, also on Niagara Stone Road, but closer to Old Town.

Interesting to see a small shift towards beer in wine country.

Also, Ravine Vineyard has pizza Mondays from 2 - 7pm. They have a huge wood-burning oven outside and they make a pretty mean thin-crust pizza. Excellent crust -- good chew and decent char. A bit thicker than Libretto, but I actually enjoyed it more for not having the soggy middle. Service is outdoors at the bar that surrounds the oven. Gorgeous setting, good pizza and wine. Seriously, what's not to love?

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  1. In the same plaza as Garrison House, there is the Wednesday evening Supper Market. It goes from 4pm to 8pm, featuring local vendors providing amazing foodstuffs. Dessert options, too (if you're coming from dinner). Some run-of-the-mill and unique vendors, too.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ls150

      Yes, good call. I went on Wednesday night. It's very, very small, but rather charming. I had a suprisingly decent taco al pastor from Eh Jose. The rice and beans were totally meh and I would skip them next time, but I'd get the tacos again -- tasty hot sauce in that squirt bottle! Also had a good walnut sticky bun from a baker and a vietnamese summer roll from Sprouted.

      1. re: TorontoJo

        Is the Garrison house open for Brunch on Sunday morning. Is there a menu on the web??

        1. re: Herne

          Not yet, but they plan on offering Sat/Sun brunch soon, according to our server. She told us that they are still figuring out their hours, which is why they are not posted on their web site (this was after I gently chided them for not having hours on their site).

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Hey Jo, thanks for sharing. Does Garrison have a patio by chance?

            1. re: hungryabbey

              They do! A decent sized one, too. Unfortunately, it overlooks the parking lot, but it's enclosed on two sides and a third size look onto a vine-covered wall, so it's not too bad. And the whole thing is covered (shade!), screened in (no bugs!) and has a ceiling fan to keep the air moving. I had dinner out there on a hot day and it was quite comfortable.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Awesome. It is going on the list of possible spots for lunch this weekend.. where we end up depends on how far we get on the bikes before needing a break lol

                1. re: hungryabbey

                  Abbey -- I don't know if you or the beau like burgers, but I just tried the Garrison House burger and it is one of the best restaurant burgers I've had in a looooong time. Excellent fries, too.

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Really?! Thanks for the tip. We are going with another couple as well, so I will make sure they know its a strong option for lunch. Thanks so much!

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I know it's not NOTL, but has anyone experienced About Thyme in Vineland since Ryan reopened? How's the food and atmosphere?

        1 Reply
        1. re: CocoTO

          Everyone down here is so pleased that About Thyme is back in service. Food and atmosphere on point!

        2. Adding to my list of local discoveries -- I have always recommended The Pie Plate for it's fantastic pies, tarts and savoury meat pies. I've happily discovered that their food menu is delicious -- simple stuff, but great quality.

          The regular menu has salads, sandwiches and really good pizzas. But they have a new "small plates" menu with only 3 items: a blackened fish taco, pulled pork slider and a caprese salad. Each item is 5 dollars and doesn't come with any adornments. I've had all three, and must say that I was impressed with all.

          The fish taco is delicious (they use tilapia, but I'm ok with that), a very generously stuffed tortilla with shredded cabbage tossed with an avocado crema of some sort, lots of nicely seasoned chunks of fish and a juicy pico de gallo style salsa with big fat chunks of tomato and cilantro. I loved this.

          The pulled pork was on a homemade bun, which was a little dense for my liking, but may have been necessary to hold up to the sheer quantity of the pork. They really pile on the pork (I could have easily made a "normal" sized sandwich with the amount), which is chunky and tasty in a fairly light tomato-based BBQ sauce and topped with a mild cole slaw. They aren't calling it BBQ, and I don't know whether the pork is smoked or not (if it was, it was very mild). If you don't go expecting BBQ pork, it's actually a very tasty sandwich (but my least favourite of the 3 small plate options).

          The caprese salad, however, is particularly delicious. Thick juicy slices of heirloom tomatoes that they grow themselves, fresh basil that is literally clipped a la minute, good cheese and a good balsamic. For $5, this salad was a steal. Go while tomatoes are in season.

          I've also discovered that I have a weakness for their Italian sausage and roasted pepper pizza. Good crust, good sauce, good cheese.

          They tweeted that they will soon have 4 local beers on tap, including one from the soon-to-be-opened Silversmith Brewery, which is right across the street.

          So if you don't mind eating in a quirky, casual environment (picture grandma's house with lots of mismatched furniture), then The Pie Plate is a great stop for a light lunch or dinner.