As all wine lovers know, it's not just about what you're drinking - what you're eating makes a huge difference in how you enjoy your wine. Food is such a pleasure and I've definitely indulged in some amazing meals recently. I thought it would be fun to share some of my fabulous foodie experiences on the blog - I hope you'll enjoy this new (semi) regular feature!
I stopped at Silversmith Brewery on a recent visit to Niagara. I was thrilled to discover that Tide & Vine Oyster Company had set up shop there for the weekend and was serving up delicious and very, very fresh oysters. If you haven't had Tide & Vine's incredible oysters you are missing out. As an entree, I had the chicken curry sandwich, which was nice and saucy and bursting with flavour - it was also the perfect size to hold me over until dinner that evening.
And, while I'm not a huge beer drinker, I have to say that what I tried at Silversmith was very tasty. I brought home some Black Lager for Shawn and he is eager to visit to try more. For the non-beer drinkers, Silversmith doesn't offer any other libations (that I noticed), but if Tide & Vine is serving food this is a must-visit. The gorgeous former-church setting alone is worth the drive.
For my birthday, Shawn treated me to a day in Niagara with dinner at one of my favourite places - Vineland Estates Winery. This is definitely a special occasion place for us, as it's a little more high-end, but it's absolutely worth the splurge. The estate is gorgeous and Chef Justin Downes has designed a menu that's simply divine. We still talk about the salmon appetizer we had there a few years ago the way you talk about a brilliant bottle of wine.
This meal was just as memorable. I started with the gnocci, which was plump and melt-in-your mouth good. I am a huge gnocci fan, but have found that a lot of restaurants over cook or over sauce it - this was just right and paired with their incredible house-made bread, I devoured it.
I followed up with the scallops, which were perfectly cooked and full of flavour. While I was surprised by the house-made chorizo that came as part of the dish (I don't eat pork and didn't see it on the menu), Shawn said it was some of the best he'd ever eaten. I have no doubt it was.
Dessert was a delicious cheesecake served with house-made brittle and sorbet. The presentation was almost too pretty to eat (almost) and I wasn't too full to enjoy this perfect end to the meal.
My birthday weekend also included a stop at The Good Earth for lunch. We've eaten here a number of times, but it's always worth a mention. A winery, cooking school and restaurant, The Good Earth has much to offer - their food is local and always tastes like it was made with a lot of heart.
Even a stop just for soup and a salad to tide you over on a long day of wine tasting is well worth it.
There were other Niagara stops that I'll include in future posts - the amazing Treadwell Restaurant being just one of them. Do you have any Niagara favourites we should try? Share them in the comments or on Twitter and Facebook.