Tiara Dining Room, Queen's Landing Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

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Niagara Ice Wine Festival Ontario Canada - Inniskillin Ice Wine
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Canadian Icewine - Niagara Ice Wine Festival - Gourmet Vegetarian Tasting Menu

Niagara Ice Wine Festival - Ontario Ice Wine

by Wade Rowland - Part 6

Queens Landing Hotel Restaurant - Tiara dining room
Tiara Dining Room
Queen's Landing Hotel
Photo © Christine Collie

As we made our way back through blowing snow along the Niagara Parkway toward our home base at Queen's Landing Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we decided that the only dinner that could do justice to the afternoon's adventures would be the Vegetarian Tasting Menu we'd seen posted outside the hotel's Tiara dining room.

The food the previous night at the Festival's "Tastes of Ontario" Icewine Dinner from the same kitchen had been impressive, especially given the number of mouths to feed. But we wanted to see how chef Stephen Treadwell and his staff, known for their contemporary spin on French classic cuisine, would do on a regular evening in less corporate-banquet-like conditions. And anyway, we like to eat vegetarian when we can. It turned out to be the most exciting dining choice we'd made in years.

The vegetarian testing menu ($60./person) is seven courses, each a genuine triumph of flavour and presentation. We were frankly overwhelmed - who knew one could dine this sumptuously well on veggies and tofu? Chef Treadwell has provided proof, if any was needed, that choosing vegetarian need not be a compromise with taste, texture, aroma, or any other aspect of sheer dining pleasure. Among the artistically presented courses were "Crisp Tofu with Soy "Edamame" Corn Succotash and Cipollini onions, followed by a fricasse of wild mushrooms with white asparagus and balsamic syrup, served with an ashed goat cheese and white truffle and onion cream sauce. The grand finale was a truly spectacular dessert sampling tray for two that was a chocolate lover's dream. (Read the full review of the Vegetarian Tasting Menu.)

The Niagara Icewine Festival weekend we visited was the second of two that bracket the festival each January. The first, complete with an ice-sculpted outdoor bar, takes place in (or better, takes over) the village of Jordan, home of Cave Spring Cellars winery and the Inn on the Twenty with its famous spa, and the celebrated On the Twenty Restaurant.

Further information on Ontario wine, visit: www.winesofontario.ca
Or for Niagara Icewine Festival Touring Passport tickets: Contact the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival Office by Email: vidal@niagarawinefestival.com or Phone: 905 688-0212

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