Sunday, September 14, 2014

Old Winery Restaurant

An Italian restaurant that’s a favorite of NOTL locals

The Main Dining Room
     While visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) a couple of months ago, we dined at a favorite of ours – the Old Winery Restaurant.  Originally recommended to us by Linda, the mother of Jolene our favorite bed and breakfast innkeeper, we liked it from the start.  This was during a period, right after the
downturn in the economy, when we were looking for good food at a moderate price.  A few times we went for dinner and a couple of times we went for a later dessert in the cool, dark bar area where singers perform generally after 9 p.m.

     Lisa was up for it after checking out the menu, though it turned out to be slightly different from what she’d originally seen.  There’s a nice terrace, but we decided to stay inside.  It’s a darker interior with a lot of oak, cherry, and brick.  The service has always been professional and quick.  Basically, it has the energy and contrasts of a successful urban bistro.  

Arugula Salad

     Lisa and Neil both ordered the Arugula Salad tossed with beets, asiago cheese, and walnuts.  It was served with a vinaigrette and the size was enough
Soup of the Day

that Neil thought he could have shared it.  I had the Soup of the day, which was a tomato based bean soup with a squirt of basil oil to finish.  It had a kick to it.

Veal Parmiggiana
      Lisa chose the Veal “parmiggiana” with spaghetti tossed in pomodoro sauce as her entrée.  The veal was very lightly battered and flash sautéed; it was almost a piccata because the focus was on the meat.  It was tender and the tanginess of the sauce punched up the meat’s blandness.  I really liked what I tried of it.

     The Orechiette with seared beef tips, roast shallots, sweet pea and pistachio in a mushroom ragout was a very generous portion.  Yes, I had to help Neil finish it and I was able to avoid the mushrooms and really enjoy this dish.  It was like beef stroganoff with pasta instead of egg noodles.     

Black and White Linguine
     I had the Black and White Linguine with mussels, baby clams, and shrimp in a smoked tomato sauce (diavolo) with tarragon.  It reminded me of bouillabasse on pasta.  I probably should have foregone the soup since it was also spicy, but the sweet bitterness of the tarragon offset it well.  

     There were some lovely dessert choices and we considered returning after seeing the fireworks down by Niagara Falls.  We’ve eaten some excellent tartuffo in the past, but as things worked out we returned to our B & B for some treats with which Kristin and Eric had given us.  Thanks to Katy and Denny for providing dinner.

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