Review: The Charles Inn, Niagara

I visited the Charles Inn for Saturday night dinner during my Niagara on the Lake Taste the Season Wine Festival weekend. From the moment that you walk through the door, you will know this 1832 Inn is truly a special place. Totally refurbished, this luxurious Manor House still retains its inherent dignity and elegance yet exudes a friendly intimacy. The Dining Room is located in the old parlour and still features its original crystal chandeliers. The room is painted a warm persimmon colour and offers comfortable upholstered banquettes and wing back chairs. We were seated in the center of the dining room and we all commented on how we loved the Big Band music playing in the background. I really did feel as though I was about to feast on a meal circa 1920.

The Charles Inn takes top prize as my favorite dining establishment in Niagara on the Lake. The service was impeccable, ambiance was a delight and the food, oh the food! Each plate was top notch: attractively plated using superb local ingredients which all harmonized on the palate. I can not rave about The Charles Inn enough! I have used an (*) to note my favorites:

We enjoyed:

* Butternut Squash Soup

maple creme fraise

Carrot and Ginger Veloute

toasted coriander creme fraise, almond oil

* Autumn Salad

daniels tender leaves, roasted squash, crisp pancetta, baguette croutons, shaved monforte toscano, brown butter vinaigrette

Celeriac Risotto

roasted celeriac, sauteed wild mushrooms, shaved parmesan, truffle oil and shaved black truffles

Crisp Skin Arctic Char

caramelized brussels sprouts, pearl onions, double smoked bacon lardons, white beans, white wine cream

* Roasted Loin of Ontario Pork

brown butter and sage spaetzle, sweet potato puree, braised red cabbage, roasted apple, mustard and thyme scented jus

Pan Seared Diver Scallop and 72 Hour Beef Short Rib “Surf and Turf”

parmesan and herb polenta, autumn vegetable ragout, roasted garlic and parmesan cream, red wine jus

Three Cheese Board

Monforte Piacere: pasteurized shee’s milk, semi-soft, surface ripened, scented with juniper, rosemary and chilies

Le Douanier: pasteurized cow’s milk, semi-soft, surface ripened, washed rind, centre ash layer, aged 2 months

4 Year Cheddar: pasteurized cow’s milk

 * Rich Chocolate Brownie

vanilla ice cream, coffee scented foam, toasted hazelnuts, cocoa tuile

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

#251 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

Charles Inn Dining Room on Urbanspoon

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