No. 14: The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette
Since opening in 2017, the Restaurant at Pearl Morissette has raised the ante on Niagara wine country dining.
Its approach is omakase-style—blind tasting without a menu. But you can expect seasonal ingredients, often foraged and prepared with a French sensibility. Daniel Hadida and Eric Robertson, Ontario-reared chefs with cutting-edge experience in Paris and rural Belgium, respectively, are in charge of the kitchen. The atmosphere is agrarian-meets-modern; the dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows that provide IMAX-worthy views of the grounds. When you settle in, amuse-bouches and sparkling wines arrive swiftly, and the food that follows is inventive and delicious.
Raw scallops might come dressed with julienned apple, buttermilk and dill, or koji butter and foraged hogweed. Cured halibut is dusted with powder made from foraged sassafras. Cornish hen is cooked over a smoky fire of peach wood from the estate. Service is excellent, carving the perfect line between country casual and fine-dining professionalism. Rather than simply peddling the estate’s own excellent wines, sommelier Svetlana Atcheva oversees a list of global wineries that share Pearl Morissette’s approach: low-intervention, convention-bucking wines dominate. The tasting menu—usually five or more courses —is $88, including tip.