Thursday, April 2, 2015

Peller Estates Winery Restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake

It was a great, 
memorable experience

Peller Estates Entrance
     Neil and I have toured the Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake a couple of times in the past few years.  The tour hasn’t really changed, which is fine because the spectacular vineyards have retained their beauty and that’s
the point of the tour for us.  Although there is a charge, there’s also an equal credit in the wine shop.  Ice wines put the 
region on the international wine map in the ‘70s, but the winemakers have developed many fine white and reds since and those are now attracting most of the customers from around the world.

     On a number of occasions, we said how much we’d want to go to the restaurant at Peller Estates.  It was expensive so we thought it should be a really special occasion.  Last summer, after we tied the knot, Lisa generously took us there.  
Main Dining Room
The dining room was elegantly appointed and bright and looked out on a long terrace with views of the vineyards.  The surroundings complement the food because they are beautiful without calling attention to themselves. 

Ontario Berkshire

     Neil had the Ontario Berkshire prosciutto with strawberry, split garden beans, salted cheese curd, and chiffonade romaine lettuce.  It didn’t look that special, but tasted fabulous and Neil would order it again if we returned.  
Niagara Heirloom Tomatoes
Lisa’s choice was the Niagara heirloom tomatoes with goat feta, house made basil cracker, basil pesto, and balsamic salt.  She thought the tomatoes were incredible.  I started 
with the Pomodoro, which was duck confit on black truffle linguine with pancetta, pine nuts, and fresh oregano.  It was a generous portion and complexly flavored with a spiciness that was surprising. 

Beef Short Rib and Cheddar Croquettes
     We shared an order of the beef short rib and cheddar Croquettes.  These could have been an entrée.  The meat was melt in the mouth tender and the mashed potatoes had the texture of a savory marshmallow, accompanied by a mustard aioli sauce.  This is one of the best dishes I’ve had anywhere in the last two years.  The palate cleanser was frozen ice wine with champagne and strawberry basil syrup.  It was so awesome that we adapted it for a party later.

Wild Boar Loin
     For the entrée, Lisa and Neil both had the charred Wild Boar Loin with bitter greens, which were stronger than Neil expected and needed to be combined with the pommery mustard purée, and blackcurrant au jus.  The meat was extremely tender and the tomatoes sweet.  It was balanced 

Pan Roasted Lake Erie Pickerel
beautifully.  I had the pan roasted Lake Erie Pickerel, which was perfectly flaky, with poached lobster, confit peppers, roast garlic, and creamy polenta.  

Pastry Gourmand
     We shared the Pastry Gourmand.  This consisted of four desserts featuring chocolate, strawberry, raspberry, and a cheesecake.  Gorgeously presented, they looked like a composition that Kandinsky forgot to paint.  There was enough for us to taste each one.  We also had a glass of complimentary champagne (and I had a glass of wine) so we were certainly full, which is something that might reassure prospective diners.

    Service was friendly, attentive, and attuned to our needs.  There were a couple of tag team service moments and they were handled smoothly and correctly.  The hostess was somewhat inexperienced for a restaurant at this level.  Otherwise, this was an outstanding experience at a world class dining destination. 

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