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Gourmando's Profile

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Summersville, WVa

Thanks for the info, everyone!

We wound up going to Dominic's Italian Chop House in Summersville.

I wasn't expecting much, to be honest, having been disappointed by "Italian" food in rural West Virginia in the past. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a great medium-rare bone-in Angus striploin, perfectly-cooked pasta, and a nice Brunello, all at a reasonable price with friendly service. The first bottle of wine was corked, and although our server didn't know what "corked" meant, when I explained it she happily brought another bottle. The restaurant is open and airy, in a nicely renovated old bank building, with lovely views of the historic court house next door through the large windows

On our annual drive home to Canada from the south after spring break, we used to stay in Beckley, but I would go back to Summersville just for the restaurant. I was encouraged to see a fair number of people in the place, mostly appeared to be locals, and I wish them well. Driving along the Interstates, the endless stream of chain restaurants, and apparently nothing else, is pretty demoralizing. It's great to know that the people of Summersville, and those of us lucky enough to have dropped by, have at least one much better option.

800 Main St, Summersville, WV 26651

Summersville, WVa

Looks like Bob Evans will be it...

Summersville, WVa

Hey Hounds,

Any better/more recent news than this for Summersville, WV? I'll be there Saturday night, and would prefer to avoid the chains if I can.


Going to Lexington, KY- any suggestions?

Anyone have any recommendations north of the city, around Georgetown? We're travelling with two young kids, so really fine dining is out, but good Italian or roadhouse-style would be perfect. Thanks!

Best LCBO scotch under $60

I'd second the Balvenie 12 Yr. Doublewood, and throw in Highland Park 12 Yr. @ $54.95.

Gluten-free in NotL?

Try this link:

I believe the Wild Flower Market & Bistro in Fonthill is celiac-friendly too:

Niagara on the Lake getaway

Not sure about Tetley's.

Mai Vi moved from the Falls to St. Paul Street in St. Catharines. Same Chef/Owner, and still very good, fresh Vietnamese.

Niagara on the Lake getaway

They have a few tables, as does their new store in St. Davids.

Non-tourist trap places in Niagara Falls?

Thanks for the report, oz! I've actually heard good things recently about the restaurant at the Skylon Tower. They have a promotion on for locals right now, with a $50 gift card that has been sent to our house. I'm really tempted to use it just to see if the good news is true. In the past, it has had a terrible reputation, but it might be worth seeing if they have seen the light.

Another place that I have yet to try is AG, but I've heard very good things about it.

The calibre of restaurants in the Niagara region has improved dramatically over the last decade. I think that the restaurants in Niagara Falls itself have started to figure it out. At least, I hope that's the case!

Non-tourist trap places in Niagara Falls?

Basell's, 4880 Victoria Ave., 905-356-7501. Sorry I misspelled it my earlier post.

Here's a website of sorts:

Niagara Falls Restaurant

Buttercupv, you won't find much right in Niagara Falls. Your best bets would be:

-AG, at the Sterling Hotel;
-Casa Mia Ristorante; or,
-Caffe Napoli.

If you are willing to drive 20 minutes, your range of places opens up substantially. Queenston Heights is a nice suggestion. Zest in Fonthill and Wellington Court or Treadwell in St. Catharines are all excellent. Stone Road Grille or Charles Inn in Niagara-on-the-lake are both great.

Niagara Apple Picking?

Puddicombe Farms in Winona is great for the kids, with a miniature steam train that runs through the orchard. They had some hail this year, so the crop may not be great.

Zees or Stone Road Grille

Agree with TorontoJo's rec's for SRG.

At Treadwell, the roasted beets and the heirloom tomato salad are wonderful right now, but the menu will change with the availability of ingredients.

The 7-Up braised pork belly is decadent. The house-made ice creams are superb. If they are offering any "Featherstone" lamb, definitely give it a try. I know that Chef Treadwell has purchased several of these lambs, which come from Featherstone winery, where they feasted on a diet of grape leaves that has made their taste quite unique. I went to a Slow Food dinner at the winery last weekend, where they roasted a whole lamb, and it was superb.

Brock University Student looking for Inexpensive Good Eats in St. Catharines/Niagara area

Depends on the type of food you are looking for, and whether you are stuck in St. Catharines (i.e. no car). If you pick up a copy of Pulse, a free weekly that you'll find on campus, there are lots of suggestions. Here are a few ideas:

-In downtown St. Catharines, Carlos Cantina on St. Paul Street is great, authentic Mexican. In the Market, there is a vendor that sells delicious sandwiches; Helen's Deli on James Street is also great for German-style stuff. Right next to the market, on King Street, is a super little Lebanese place that does great falafals, baklava, etc. (can't remember the name, sorry). Spicy Thai on Church Street and Sahla Thai on St. Paul are also good choices. There are also a couple of sushi places downtown that offer all you can eat, but again I don't remember the names.

-In Fonthill, Keith's Restaurant is a nice little diner that serves some of the best homemade pie in the universe. Decent breakfasts too.

-In Welland, you can't beat the Blue Star on King Street for the authentic Hungaro-Welland cheap dining experience. Evelyn's Sandwich Factory on Niagara Street and Arcuri's Deli on Crowland are both great places for a sandwich; Arcuri's also has superb homemade Italian ice cream in the warmer months. The lemon ice may be the most refreshing thing you've ever tasted. M.T. Bellies on Niagara Street is a very popular bar and roadhouse with decent food that sets it apart from the chains. If you're interested in cooking for yourself at all, go to the Welland farmers' market on a Saturday morning in September. It may be the very best producers' market in Ontario, and at this time of year it is just bursting with fresh local produce. Last weekend I bought a heaping quart of assorted heirloom tomatoes for $2.50. Excellent meats and pastries are also available.

-For a whole weekend of affordable eats and good times, don't miss the Niagara Food Festival in Welland on October 3-5, 2008:

-The Smokin' Buddha has a restaurant on King Street in Port Colborne, but can also be found at the Fonthill, Welland, and Port Colborne farmers' markets. They offer an eclectic, well-made variety of foods from all over the world.

Kingston, ON - Lunch?

Luke's is open for lunch, and has a passionate focus on local food.

Non-tourist trap places in Niagara Falls?

Casa Mia and Napoli are both nice Italian places in the Falls. Casa Mia is pricier, but the quality is very good at both.

For your breakfast, head to Bassel's, a diner that's been around forever.

"Non-tourist-trap" and "close to the Brock Plaza Hotel" are not phrases that mate well in the same sentence. There is a very good Dim Sum restaurant in the Fallsview Casino, and 17 Noir in the Casino can be very nice, but very pricey, and sometimes uneven.

Niagara on the Lake (yes, again) - great coffee?

I think the coffee at Willow Cakes & Pastries is pretty good, but I haven't tried their espresso.

You could try Olson Foods' new location in St. Davids (about 10 minutes from the old town). I think they use Kicking Horse coffee.


Definitely try to hit the Winona Peach Festival this weekend. Lots of peaches available there and along the roadsides nearby.

As for crop damage, all of the hail that has hit Niagara has been very localized, so some farms got it while others down the road didn't. I got some really nice red havens at the Welland farmers' market this past weekend.

Niagara on the Lake's Best

Had a nice lunch at Riverbend yesterday. Their Chef, Chris Smythe, is very creative, and Dave Perkins from Wyndym Farm (a well-known local supplier) is managing a great kitchen garden for them this year.

I'll second the vote for Zest, but it's 30 minutes from NOTL. I also love Stone Road.

Best winery tour/tasting at Niagara/Niagara-On-The-Lake?

Thanks for the report, Mellie. The QEW traffic is worse than usual this year because of the construction. Anyone heading to Niagara wine country, especially the Beamsville/Vineland/Jordan area, would be well-advised to leave the QEW at Stoney Creek or Winona and take Regional Highway 81 (old Highway 8), which runs parallel to the QEW. It's a much more relaxing drive, and you'll pass by (or drop into!) dozens of wineries along the route.

olson foods + bakery

Here's the website:

They've just opened a second location at the new Ravine Winery in St. David's. The new spot is stunning, and has a great outdoor deck for eating lunch. I think the liquor license is still pending.

Those chocolate almond toffee bars got my sister-in-law through her second pregnancy. I wasn't allowed to go to their house without picking some up on the way.

Where to eat in Ottawa?

By coincidence, I was at Sweetgrass on Saturday night too. I had been wanting to try the place for some time, and unfortunately we wound up having a very uneven experience. I think there was something seriously wrong in the kitchen, and once the wheels fell off, they had a hard time recovering. That said, I had the chili-rubbed roasted bison marrow that was delicious, and unlike anything else I have had before. Like placet, I also had the lingcod, and it was very rich and satisfying.

Now for the not-so-good. The rolls that came before the appetizers were dry and tough. When the appetizers came, three were delivered a good 5 minutes before the fourth arrived at the table. After we finished our appetizers, we waited well over an hour, probably 90 minutes, for our mains. At one point, one of the servers explained that the kitchen had run out of pasta that was part of one of the mains. She offered the chance to order another dish, but said that it would only take them 5 minutes to make more pasta. My friend stuck with the pasta and prawns dish she had originally ordered, and we did not get our mains until over 30 minutes later. One of our party is vegetarian, and was pleased with his meal, but my wife ordered the lamb loin, which to my eye was unappetizingly underdone (i.e., raw, not rare), and she found it to be very bland.

After we finished our mains, we were afraid to order dessert, and the server graciously removed the appetizers from our bill. I overheard them taking things off other patrons' bills as well, so we were not the only table affected.

The service was very pleasant, and we made sure to tip on the full amount of the bill for that reason. From everything that I have heard about this place, I truly hope that we were just there at the wrong time, but it really was a shambles.

Lunch in Niagara Falls, Ontario?

Betty's Restaurant in Chippawa (10 minutes north of the Falls) would fit the bill: You could also try Basell's Restaurant and Tavern downtown, at 4880 Victoria. I haven't been there for 20 years, but even then it was an institution. These are both places I would take my in-laws, who sound very much like your Dad.

Help me w/ NOTL Planning..

A solid choice for a "family-style" breakfast is the Little Red Rooster restaurant just north of the corner of Hwy 55 and Mary Street. It's pretty basic omlettes and such, but good quality and value. For a cafe and croissant, Willow Pastries at the same corner is excellent.

Niagara Eats

Cat123 is correct. He is still at Riverbend. Sorry to hear about the bad experience there!

Help me w/ NOTL Planning..

Embee's given a very good run through the options. One that has not yet been mentioned is Tony de Luca's restaurant at the Oban Inn. I would suggest that for the "high end tasting menu". His other restaurant, the Old Winery, has a beautiful patio for wood oven pizzas at lunchtime.

stone road grill - notl

I was there for lunch yesterday. The "Winemaker's Lunch" is one of my favourites, and did not disappoint yesterday. A plate of house charcuterie, various house-made preserves (cornichons, ramps, chutney, etc.), and two generous pieces of cheese (Thunder Oak smoked gouda, and something from Monforte) came with great bread. My friends' sandwiches were excellent too, and we shared some wonderful fried calamari with aioli. Haven't been for dinner recently, but maybe soon...

Ontario Wine: Beamsville vs. Niagara

I heard a wonderful comment recently from a friend who works in the industry, on the subject of terroir: "We now know that the [Beamsville] Bench is the tenderloin of the Peninsula." A perfectly Chow-ish analogy, I think, and I would tend to agree that on the whole, the best premium wines in the Niagara Peninsula seem to be coming from the Bench. That said, the NOTL and St. David's areas are also producing some superb wines too.

Jordan/Beamsville wineries

I'll second all of zindfandellover and Cam D's choices.

Niagara Vineyards with light refreshments

Henry of Pelham's Coach House Cafe would fit the bill perfectly, but it's not on your route. You could try a cheese plate on the patio at the Charles Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake, with a nice glass of local wine.

Charles Inn
209 Queen, Niagara On the Lake, ON L0S1J0, CA

Henry Of Pelham Winery - duplicate
1469 Pelham Rd, St Catharines, ON L0R, CA