A few weeks back, I had an enjoyable and memorable lunch at Niagara's Ravine Vineyard restaurant. Today, with an out of town visitor in tow, I was thinking of introducing her to some fine, local, wine-country food!
Unfortunately,what was supposed to be a leisurely 1.5 hours drive from my home to Ravine Vineyard Restaurant ended up to be an unbelievable 3 hours affair! A string of accidents along the highway delayed our arrival at the restaurant to 1.30 pm for our 12.30 pm reservation!! With the restaurant refusing to take us in and our stomach all growling from hunger, we were forced to seek a quick, last minute nearby ' chow-worthy ' replacement. Award winning chef Stephen Treadwell's place in NOTL automatically came to mind.
We dropped in without a reservation and were seated immediately with no fuss. As for our meal? Man! it was most enjoyable, featuring an array of wonderfully tasting dishes! Our cancellation by Ravine ended up to be a blessing in disguise!
The high light of our luncheon has to be the House made Gnocchi with Marc's Wild mushroom and Sauteed Swiss chard. May be the best tasting Gnocchi I have had during my 30+ years in Canada? The secret?......according to the chef, employing a bit of Chinese wok-hay technique to caramelized the morsels with the help of shallots, garlic, truffle oil and a secret ingredient.......soya sauce!! So darn good!
Other dishes like the Duck Fat fried artisan bread, ' East Coast Lobster Club Sandwich ' with Monforte Cheese and thick cut smoked bacon as well as the perfectly char-crusted, rare 'VG Beef' Flat iron steak were equal stand-outs! So simple a dish and yet being able to create so complex a taste profile?! Amazing!!
Service was professional and attentive with the chefs in the open kitchen chipping in, making friendly and funny gesture!
What a pity this gem of a restaurant is so far from Richmond Hill! Sigh!!
PS: Known for their fine wine list with a rare and strong focus on Riesling. I noticed they have brought in a rare Egon Muller - Chateau Bela from Slovakia! My ' to-try ' wine for my next visit and when I am NOT the driver du-jour!
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