Favourite Restaurants of Niagara-on-the-Lake
Did you know that Niagara on the Lake has some of the best restaurants in Canada? There is a large number of eating establishments competing for the 3 million or so visitors we have each year. It is seasonal tourism with the most activity between April 1and November 30th.
One unique feature of the town is that many of these restaurants are walking distance from your hotel or Bed and Breakfast. The accommodations are right downtown in close proximity to the restaurants.
Fine dining facilities serve an excellent selection of local wines and often the chef will select a wine to compliment each course. Because of the abundance of fruits and vegetables grown in the area, many of the chefs use fresh local ingredients.
Below are some of my own restaurant recommendations and the criteria by which I categorize them. I do not claim to be a food critic but have personally enjoyed meals at each of these establishments more than once. None of these places have paid me or provided compensation in any way for what I am about to write.
Best Value Fine Dining – “Rest” Stone Road Grille – Favourite of the locals this place is located in a strip mall. Good food, reasonable wines, it has a cosmopolitan feel and the servers are fun. Chef Ryan is very talented. He has an awesome sauce for the fresh oysters. Owners Heidi & Perry are always there making sure your experience is awesome.
Best Fine Dining – Hilebrand or Peller Estates Winery – It was difficult to choose between these two establishments. Peller has executive chef Jason Parsons who makes occasional television show guest appearances. Hillebrand has chef Fran Dodd, the 2010 Toronto Gold Medal Plates winner. Both places are best described as dining experiences as opposed to just dinner. Allow 2 to 3 hours to savour the moment.
Best View – Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club – Panoramic windows highlight a spectacular view of Fort Niagara across the mouth of the Niagara River. The interior was redecorated in 2008. There is an awesome outdoor patio with a limited menu but this year (2011) the chef has a great patio including mussels, perch and chips, ribs, wraps, a signature cheeseburger and a great Caesar salad. Order a cold beer or glass of wine and watch the sailboats go by!
Best Ambience – Escabeche – Prince of Wales Hotel. The food and service are good here too but the restaurant is one of those places that make you feel like a million bucks.
Best “Chef Owned Restaurant” – deLuca’s – Chef Tony deLuca has generated quite a following over the years with his mastery of culinary arts but finally he has his own place and the food is very good.
Best Italian – Gate House Hotel – A downtown location with an outdoor patio makes this a popular spot. The good smells just draw you into the place.
Best Asian – Ginger – This family owned & operated restaurant is known for favourites from Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, and China, are featured, in a western style presentation.
Best Pub – Old Angel Inn – Without a doubt the most happening place in town, the Angel is as comfortable for tourists as it is for the many locals who frequent the place. Serving “comfort” food and about 25 differen