Today I went to Niagara-On-The-Lake and decided to have lunch at the Hillebrand Estates Winery Restaurant, located on Niagara Stone Rd (HWY 55) between Bradfield Rd and Line 3.
The dining room is bright and airy, with walls painted a vivid yellow tone and furnished with comfortable chairs and generously sized tables. Large windows overlook the vineyard, inviting the sun into the room.
We were first offered two kinds of bread, a plain one and a chilli pepper bread, accompanied with salted butter and grape seed oil. The chilli pepper bread was my favourite, with nice texture and mild spicy flavour.
I decided to start with the "In House Smoked Salmon", while my partner had the soup of the day. The smoked salmon dish had a wonderful aroma, topped with a rich Riesling Dijon dill cream and small side frisee salad with a contrasting citrus(?) dressing and miniature cherry tomatoes, a very nice appetizer. The soup of the day was a luscious puree of cauliflower with creme fraiche, a tasty creation with rounded flavor enhanced by herbs and probably some cheese(?).
My main course dish was a "Supreme of Quebec Capon" with roasted cashew basmati rice sautee, chanterelle mushrooms and red currant jus. The supreme of capon was well seared, preserving its juice, with only one side slightly overdone and dry. The sauteed basmati rice was aromatic, and the stronger flavoured chanterelle mushrooms and red currant jus anchored what would otherwise be a dish with very subtle flavour.
My partner had the "Pappardelle Noodles with Riesling and Chevril Cream", prepared with a selection of Forager's choice vegetables and Parmesan cheese. This was another rich and delicious dish, designed by Chef Tony de Luca to complement the Hillebrand wines, rather than overpowering them.
My choice of dessert was the "Gianduja Milk Chocolate Parfait Pyramid", with a duo of white and dark chocolate sauces. This dessert is a chocolate and nut lover's dream. The chocolate parfait pyramid was loaded with dark chocolate chips and roasted hazelnuts, surrounded by tri-colour raspaberries and thick dark chocolate sauce and a light white chocolate sauce. Very decadent.
My partner chose the "Rustic Purple Plum Tart" with citrus short crust and cardamom crème anglaise. It was correctly executed, but not of my taste. Coffee served with dessert was rich, aromatic and full bodied; perfect with our desserts.
Service was excellet; I was impressed with our server, very professional. Lunch for two (price fix menu) with two coffees and one glass of wine, plus tax and tip was $96.00. I would highly recommend Chef Tony de Luca's creations at any time. Enjoy!