Biking down to the Niagara Wine region, we found a lovely B&B in Vineland and decided to look for a close by restaurant for our evening. Initially a friend talked about how amazing Peller Estate's chef is (but it was way too far) next someone else recommended the Vineland Estates view (but they were already full for a reservation) so we landed here.
dark ruby red
We took a stroll through Jordan Hollow Park and climbed up to this little oasis. It was quite the contrast from camping areas and wildlife to little boutique city with Lamborghinis parked around.
We saw a Inn On The Twenty sign, which turned out to be the hotel area. Across the tiny street was our destination - a classy dark brick building with white frame highlights and a large restaurant serif sign above the door.
As we entered, to the left was the Cave Spring wine tasting area, with a heavy-duty white fence, and to the left was a hallway followed by a large mirror, where one can feel the intimidation of all the people inside. A smiling host greeted us from his large booth area. He had a table ready for us and we followed him in the stony main hall, a few steps up on a balcony-like spot. AC blowing over our heads, with too much space, and feeling rather watched, we asked for the patio before we were even sat. The patio turned out to be the smaller front area, before we entered.
hint of smoke and fig
Gentle, black mesh metal chairs and tables with burlap-like table mats, wooden salt and paper all ready to go. The light burgundy menus with gorgeous gold leaf logo looked pristine. Inside, simple and spaced out, the menu was well organized with wine matched after each dish. We decided to try out their Voltigeurs Farm Chicken matched with Chenin Blanc (a variety unique for the area) and their Willowgrove Hill Double Pork Chop with Pinot Noir Dolomite. We also ordered a Pate En Croute appetizer with the Riesling Dolomite.
ripe tannins, medium-full bodied,
We hardly waited and out Riesling Dolomite came. Followed by slices of bread (two types) and a side plate of butter. Our pate arrived not long after. I was so excited as it looked like the one is France - shape wise and with the beige fat on the sides. It came with a bit of spring salad, egg, pickles, an interesting grainy mustard (looked like Dijon, but tasted a bit bitter) and a touch of volcanic salt (discovered by Cheri). Very nicely put. The pate was not as flavourful as I expected, and to make up for that, there were herbs and spices in there. We lingered on this giant piece, which came with more bread.
Next our waitress brought out two small toasts with gruyere-like cheese and an olive. Followed by complimentary salads. I think because they were hosting a wedding and ran late with the orders. We were getting full, expecting the portions would be smaller, so we cancelled the Pork main dish and decided to save a little space for dessert at the end.
We lingered on our spring leaves, goat-cheese, salads with cherry tomatoes, radish and walnuts.
The Voltigeurs Farm Chicken made its way with a moat of chill lemon poppy seed vinaigrette surrounding the chicken on top to barley pea risotto, side of asparagus and basil wine jelly. It looked and tasted amazing. The chicken with fragile crispy skin was unfortunately a bit on the dry side. The Chenin Blanc, similar to a Riesling, was crisp with smells of apple and honey - a goof compliment to the vinaigrette.
lingering, a bit spicy
We lastly we were very tempted by the Dessert Sampler for Two, but this would have to wait for another time. We instead went with that days' special, as the waitress was very enthusiastic describing it. It was a mascarpone strawberry shortcake with a side of fresh watermelon sorbet. Not a big fan on the pulp of watermelon in juice, but in ice chips and presented inside in a sugar shell - it was sensual.
Overall.. a big-hearted Cab Merlot.