16104 Niagara Parkway
In her opinion:
To top off our Fabulicious Saturday in Niagara-on-the-Lake; Edgar, Liz, Jacob and I had dinner at the Riverbend Inn and Vineyard. This is beautiful property that I have admired for a very long time but had never had the privilege of eating here. Fabulicious was the perfect opportunity.
The inn is inviting and gorgeous. We were shown to our lovely table for four and our water glasses were filled right away. After reviewing the wine menu, I realized that I preferred a cocktail...so I ordered my current go to cocktail...a sidecar. This one was tart and delicious.
Our waitress brought over some lovely Ace baguette and olive loaf for us to nibble on while we looked over the menu.
After some consideration and debate...I choose the following:
To start - PEI Steamed Mussels
(White Wine Tia Curry Cream Sauce, Fresh Cilantro)
These mussels were really really good. The Indian flavours were a treat. I love mussels and I love Indian but had never had them together...this was excellent.
For my entree, I had Truffle Brine Chicken
(Apple Pear Chutney, Roasted Fingerlings, Cauliflower Puree)
Flavourful and delicious. The truffle brine made this chicken so moist and delectable. The skin was crisp and succulent. I really enjoyed my main.
For dessert, I had Chocolate Cheesecake
This was a very good cheesecake. The chocolate flavour was not too overpowering and the cheesecake itself was moist and delicious. I just wished I wasn't so full from our lunch at the Charles Inn because I couldn't even finish this gorgeous dessert.
Overall, I had a really nice dinner at the Riverbend Inn. This is a lovely dining room. The service was attentive and friendly. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this restaurant to anyone.
In his opinion:
A visit to this 4 diamond award winning restaurant had been long overdue. We often dine next door at Peller Estates but seem to always miss its smaller next door neighbour. This was the perfect time to give it a try, especially since it was during Niagara-on-the-Lake's Fabulicious event.
The inn's old world charm, architecture and ambiance are extremely inviting for the discerning public. Its majestic front columns are the perfect facade for this well appointed building that includes the obvious inn, a vineyard, conference rooms and of course, the award winning restaurant.
The dining room is well decorated with an elegant feel and wonderful view of the nearby vineyards. In the summer the patio is open and helps you get even closer to the grapes. We were seated and given some water and home made bread to start our night. Since I was the designated driver that day, no cocktail or alcohol was consumed. The servers were very attentive and polite.
For my appetizer, I picked the Arugula and Spinach Salad (Ice Wine Butternut Squash, Woolwich Goat Cheese, Honey Roasted Pecans and Beet Dressing) the salad was surprisingly light and very fresh. The roasted pecans shared the spotlight with the goat cheese that provided creaminess and texture to the spinach. The beet juice worked well as a dressing and it was a great start to the meal.
For my main, I selected the Peppercorn Strip Loin (7 oz. Grilled Strip Loin, Saffron Potato Puree, Crispy Fried Leeks and Red Wine Jus). I rarely ever order steak in any fine dining restaurant that I visit so this was a surprise, even to myself. The steak came out medium as I requested and was extremely tender to the bite. The saffron potato puree was delicious and the crispy fried leeks were a good surprise as a steak topper. The vegetables felt a bit overwhelming as mandatory greens instead of a compliment to the meat but were well displayed.
For dessert and not to vary too far off the usual, I picked the Classic Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee. This was a very traditional vanilla creme brulee and I don't say this as a problem but actually as a refreshing way to have it. As so many attempts of variations of this dessert emerge, it's nice to see a very good example of the original dish. A highlight of the meal.
The Good: Good country cuisine and attentive service. Great location and views.
The Bad: The steak dish lacked a certain refinement...felt displaced.
The Verdict: Beautiful location, great amenities and very high standards make the Riverbend Inn a must visit. The restaurant's accolades speak for themselves but the food and service back the awards won and its reputation. A must visit when looking for a great meal in a great setting when in Niagara-on-the-lake.
I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating