I visited the Oban Inn for dinner on the Friday night of my Niagara on the Lake Taste the Season Wine Festival weekend. I bolted from downtown Toronto on the Go Train to Oakville Go Station where my sister picked me up and we attempted to zoom through traffic west. We parked the car in front of my Aunt’s new home just seconds from Jackson Trigg’s. She gave us a quick tour of her place, I had a quick shower and we jumped into the car bound for The Oban Inn.
Nestled in the heart of the historic Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Oban Inn is a historic property officially designated as a significant heritage resource. The Town’s first and original country inn overlooks Lake Ontario and the oldest golf course in Canada. This landmark property was built as a private home in 1824 by Captain Duncan Milloy of Oban, Scotland. For the love of friends and food, Captain Milloy opened his home to all his guests. Fine hospitality began at The Oban Inn and guests from all over the world return generation after generation. A devastating fire on Christmas Day 1992 completely destroyed the Inn, leaving only the foundation. Re-created as an exact replica of the former Inn, The Oban Inn again opened its doors in November 1993, proudly welcoming guests back to its grace and understated charm.
The front of the Inn features a beautiful garden and charismatic fountain. The sun had set and I could see the twinkle of lights from the dinning room interior. We were all prepared for a feast. I was impressed by the managements preparedness for my visit. They had been tweeting me before I arrived and were there at the front door to shake my hand and welcome my guests to dinner. The service remained consistent and attentive throughout the evening.
We were seated in the main dining room and spent the next few hours enjoying culinary creations that showcase the regions bountiful harvest. The Chef dropped by to say hello near the end of the meal and my Aunt exclaimed her love for the tiny white turnip which wowed her palate as it was grown on his family farm. All of the dishes were exemplary and the quality of ingredients was clearly a true focus on the kitchen’s philosophy. I have marked my favorites with an (*).
* Hillebrand Trius Brut
Konzelmann Estates Cab Sauv Reserve 2010
* Cave Spring Riesling 2009
* Rabbit Rillettes
puff pastry, beer mustard and thyme
roasted green apple and bacon
apple julienne, hazelnut praline, banyuls hazelnut vinaigrette
* Woodland Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin
baby arugula, crumbled goat cheese, balsamic reduction
Chef’s Daily Pasta Creation
fettuccine, red wine cream, beef tenderloin tips, mushroom, root vegetables
* Cumbrae Beef Tenderloin
8oz tenderloin, root vegetable dauphinois, caramelized onions, shiitake mushrooms, autumn veg
Pan Seared Tiger Shrimp and Nova Scotia Scallops
tiger shrimp and jumbo scallops, Israeli couscous, cilantro, roasted red peppers
Classic Lemon Tart
house made lemon curd, short crust, raspberry sauce
* Dark Chocolate Semi-Freddo
Callebault dark chocolate, Semi-Freddo Cabernet soaked cherries, sugared walnuts