Dining in Niagara-on-the-Lake

When it comes to dining in and around NOTL, there is an overwhelming choice. So much choice, I am sure I would have to write a dozen pages and still not cover all the options!

My wife and I (and many of our local friends) love food so we try to have a nice meal out at least once a week. Not always expensive places. In fact, we would run out of spare cash pretty fast if we only went to the fancy places so we tend to mix it up a bit. For example, a new pizza place opened a few months ago – Pieza Pizzeria.

This little place has a few tables and does mainly pizza but not your usual pizza with mass produced ingredients. These are hand-made, artisanal pizzas Napoletana (Naples style) with high quality meats, produced by a well-known local purveyor of sausage, prosciutto, hams, etc.

High quality mozzarella and tomato sauce or white pizza options are available and these thin crusted crisp pizzas are baked in an authentic pizza oven. They do take-out but also have a liquor license so if you want a Peroni or a nice Chanti, no problem! Located just off Queen Street, it is nice and central.

My wife and I are originally from the UK so occasionally, we like to go to the pub and have some traditional pub food and beer. Of course, us Brits are known for liking meat pies and warm beer in dark old pubs.

In many ways, the Olde Angel Inn on Regent Street near the centre of town fulfills all the requirements. It is a real pub, originally built in 1789 (it has been re-built several times but was spared from being burned down during the war of 1812 – it seems the Americans liked the beer!

Dining in NOTL - Olde Angel Inn

Olde Angel Inn on Regent Street

The dark interior with big old wood beams and stone fireplace all add to the charm and the line-up of ales such as Hobgoblin, London Pride, Tennants and Speckled Hen along with many good domestic beers all helps to add to the atmosphere. The beer is still a bit too cold for me but you can’t have everything!

The menu, amongst many things, offers traditional fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, bangers & mash, fish pie, steak & kidney pie and many other options. Live music several nights a week completes the scene and this place can get very busy!

If you want to splash out on some fine dining, there are many options. One of my clients was so grateful to me for helping them find their dream home after a year of searching, they offered to treat us to a meal at Peller Estates. This is one of the grander wineries on the edge of town. The impressive building has a wonderful, luxurious dining room where the service is impeccable.

Having run my eye down the menu, I decided to go for the Icewine Duck Foie Gras served with caramelized apple, icewine grapes and honey pollen brioche. There was a Muse Bouche to follow before the main course of Cabernet Duck Breast served with chestnut gnocchi, poached duck egg and honeynut squash.

A nice bottle of Shiraz accompanied our meal then to follow, for dessert, I opted for the Pistachio Mousseline with Cranberry Curd, Pistachio Crunch and Cranberry Pistachio Tuile. Finishing off with a double espresso and a glass of Grand Marnier, I felt the evening could not have ended any better.

Another wonderful experience that is popular with locals and tourists alike is the Afternoon Tea at the famous Prince of Wales Hotel. The hotel fist opened in 1864 and has always been popular but the Afternoon Tea is something special.

There is the fine tea served in quality china, of course, then there is a selection of gourmet hand-made sandwiches prepared on fresh bread, a selection of fine pastries, hand crafted by the pastry chef, then home baked scones with strawberry jam, Devonshire cream and butter. Do not come here if you are on a diet! All in all, a fantastic afternoon experience and one I would highly recommend.

Now, it is time for some exercise to burn off some calories…