Niagara-on-the-Lake 2016

A few weeks ago we had a belated one-year anniversary brunch with my parents in Niagara. The reason we were about 6 months behind was because in the fall JDL had his knee replaced and then who wants to go to Niagara in the winter?

The day started with a visit to Southbrook Vineyards, Canada’s first bio-dynamic winery. We tasted a flight of four different wines, two whites and two reds, each highlighting the unique growing conditions and techniques at Southbrook. Our server was incredibly knowledgeable, having studied cuisine and wine at Niagara College. He was well spoken on the interplay between wine and food, something I completely lack and admire in other people.

After a few tastes of wine, we headed over to Trius Winery for our celebratory brunch. The brunch at Trius is a three-course tasting menu with the option to pair each course with wine as selected by the restaurant. Mom, being the classy and knowledgeable person she is, made her choices based on the wine; everyone else made their choices based on the food.

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The dining room at Trius has been recently redone, featuring bold furniture in yellows and reds. The main dining room features huge spherical light fixtures that resemble fireworks exploding in a night sky. The dining rooms open out onto a patio which overlooks the vineyards. In early April this is not quiet the focal point that it is in the summer. We were seated in the back of the restaurant, which was a little more private and with a view of the courtyard and vineyards.

After we were seated, we were immediately greeted with glasses of Trius Brut Rosé – all brunches should start with pink bubbly. It should be noted that this is apparently supposed to serve as a palate cleanser between courses and should last the length of your meal, not gulped down shortly after the first course like mine was. Oops. It was just too tasty to not enjoy that quickly.

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Chippy’s Fish & Chips

Last night GC was craving sushi but since we were on Bloor at 7 o’clock at night, all the sushi restaurants had incredibly long lines.To satisfy the fish craving we decided to go to Chippy’s Fish & Chips.

The restaurant is small and is one room containing the kitchen area, the cash and two bars with stools for people to sit. The kitchen is open to the sitting area so you can see how fresh everything is.

We both ordered the Halibut with chips. It is slightly pricey – typically when you order fish and chips at a restaurant they ask if you want a single or a double order but here you only get one piece of fish and it’s $13.99 plus the price of chips on the side. In my opinion that is pretty expensive. And maybe if it was the best fish and chips I had ever had I might be willing to spend that but unfortunately, not so much.

It would seem that I don’t have much luck with fish and chips. When I went to England last year I only ate fish and chips once and the fish was clearly from breaded and frozen and was terrible. It was at some pub in Liverpool where The Beatles did something – this is where I am relying on Liz to chime and say the significance of that pub. It was literally the worst fish and chips I had ever had. If I can’t get good fish and chips in England, where am I going to get it? Am I doomed to have sub par fish and chips forever?

The batter was crunchy and salt but it was thin, and so was the fish. Also, plastic forks and knives cannot hold up to deep fried things. It is a decent piece of fish but because of it’s price I don’t think it is worth it. The fries were not good. Obviously, I am biased because I am not a french fry fan but for a place that focuses on quality ingredients, these are not so great. You could tell they are fresh cut fries but meh, I’m not a fan. Neither was GC.

According to blogTO this is the second best fish and chips in the city. Well if that’s the case, this city is in severe need of better fish and chips. I think the fish and chips from Scallywags are infinitely better. That all being said, I am not going back. Sorry…