I visited The Charles Hotel 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 at The Charles Hotel 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 centre 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 Hotel takes top prize as favourite 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.
Butternut Squash Soup
maple creme fraise
Carrot and Ginger Veloute
toasted coriander creme fraise, almond oil
daniels tender leaves, roasted squash, crisp pancetta, baguette croutons, shaved monforte toscano, brown butter vinaigrette
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