Our second night in the Niagara Falls area brought us about 15 minutes
north of the falls to the highly esteemed and the 25/27/26 Zagat rated
PELLER Estates Winery Restaurant (www.peller.com), which is worth the
trip from hours away for sure!
We had a superb tour of the winery with Samuel and then a private
tasting with the sommelier, Gillian Evans. Everyone here went out of
their way to treat us so nicely. Indeed, we had discovered this warm
welcome at every winery in the Finger Lakes and Niagara region (save
for one-REIF, which we departed quickly with no purchases!).
The dining room is as clean and elegant as one can get, although the
weather was so divine the doors to the terrace were open and the fruit
flies were abundant as the grapes are near harvest just outside the
They use an in-house filter system called GAIA which produces a soft
sparkling water. Samuel got a special treat with an OJ, cranberry
drink mixed with Sparkling local white grape juice.
The amuse was Prosciutto, goat feta, fig & baby greens, a nice homage
to many local farms, which we enjoyed with Peller Riesling Private
We chose the tasting menu of seven courses(a 5 course option is avail
for $89) for $109 and included the wines ($154 total) and Samuel
ordered up the Niagara HEIRLOOM TOMATO Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella,
Basil Ice Cream, Popcorn Shoots & Pristine Soya Bean Oil followed by
the Willow Grove Hill Pork dish composed of Braised Pig's Trotters
Croquettes, Icewine Glazed Belly and Apple Smoked Loin. These came
with baby squash and green beans. He adored the croquettes, was
unfazed about the plainish loin and did not care much for the belly,
but overall it was a nice presentation and he gobbled up the veggies
Apricot, whole wheat and sourdough breads arrived with Icewine butter
(Peller is one of the top Icewine producers) and we proceeded with our
Next came Grapeseed Oil Sous Vide Pickerel (walleye) with Fingerling
Potatoes, Fried Capers, Smoked Mayo, Pickled Quail Egg, Roasted Fennel
& Green Beans paired with a superb oak aged 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Icewine Lobster, Black Truffle, & Basil Ravioli comprised of double
smoked bacon, Brebis (sheep) Parmesan & Chardonnay "sur Lie" Cream
Sauce. The Truffle Roasted Diver Scallops, Morel Mushrooms, Rigatoni,
Black Truffle Cheddar was in Pine Nut Sorell Sauce and served with
Seared Foie Gras. These two decadent and divine dishes were paired to
perfection with Peller Chardonnay "sur Lie" Signature Series 2009.
Our server Darryl brought out a Blackberry-star anise-Merlot ice that
was novel for sure.
Crouqail Farms Duck Salad with Arugula, Poached Duck Egg & Flaked
Confit had crisp potato, and Mustard Dressing and used the best of
local ingredients. I was curious again about the room temp
(66.7degrees F to be exact) duck egg which apparently is cooked for
hours at this temp and hence never warm. It worked much better than
the previous night. A Gamay Noir Private Reserve 2010 had depth and
pepper flavors more than I would ever expect from a light red and went
nicely with the duck and beech mushrooms in the salad as well.
Prosciutto wrapped Rabbit Saddle was served with Grilled Strawberries,
Green Beans, Chive Oil, Mustard Fennel Puree and shaved fennel, none
of which was too licorice-y at all! A 2009 Pinot Noir Private Reserve
The cheeses were 5 Canadian artisanal with blackberry compote, ice
wine infused raisins & guava jelly.
Cumin Gouda, Five Year Cheddar & Blue Mountain smoked blue all came
from Ontario with
Chevre Noir & St Henri hailing from Quebec. A Late Harvest Vidal (from
Peller of course) was paired.
Blueberry Cheesecake came with Goat Cheese Custard Blueberry Sorbet,
Graham Cracker Crumble and was served with a Cabernet France 2010 Ice
Wine...one of Peller's best wines and best years! We bought lots home
and would go back tomorrow if it was closer.