Jan 6: Peller Estates ★★★
Driving up to the most illustrious resort of Niagara Wine Country is a scene out of a James Bond movie. Wall lights light up the mansion amidst unending dark fields. If you are to visit only one winery, this should be it. The ubiquitous name at the LCBO actually serves a dinner inside its mansion. But not many people seemed to know about it, or seem to care (it is also not wine season, I guess). The restaurant was empty for most of the night. I ordered a 5 course tasting menu, a carte-blanche for the chef. I added a wine-pairing that serves a glass with each course. The glass sizes are not much smaller, I think, so this is an effective (albeit expensive) way to become intoxicated. I could not finish some of the glasses. The atmosphere and service are exceptional. The food is hit and miss but generally above average. The tenderloin and Brussels sprouts is an overdone vestige of haute cuisine but still tasty and well presented. The soup had an elusive bitterness that in itself gave the meal depth but was understated as to not make the flavours unpalatable. The foie gras jam (again, hackneyed haute-cuisine) was a guilt-inducing tasty but the accompanying fennel salad was flavourless. The fries were soggy and cut into pudgy little rectangular prisms. Peller Estates does many things well but might be a little out of its depth.
$124 with Wine Pairing