Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ravine Bistro- Perfect Niagara Dining

A Vineyard Bistro - with Vibe, Vino and Very Good Food

Any Friday night this summer, you might consider a visit to Ravine Winery - there will be fresh oysters from Rodney's, excellent Ravine Riesling and Chardonnay to wash them down with, and live music by the Waxbills, a local folk/rock group. Sit around the outdoor bar and barbecue, and enjoy a Niagara night in the vineyard.

The Bistro is also a special place for a vineyard lunch. The fare is traditional French bistro with a local accent. For starters, there's a very good pate de campagne served with picked mushrooms frisee and a chunky apple salsa, or the warm salad, with braised ham hock, frisee, caramelized mushrooms, and a maple Dijon vinaigrette.

Mains include an excellent version of the classic steak frites , Croque Madame, and moules served in several different versions.

Dessert the day I was there included a strawberry shortcake with vanilla chantilly, or an assortment of chocolate delights. The same menu is served for lunch and dinner.

The wine list is a wise one, with good selections decided on by the young and perspicacious sommelier, Alex Harber. He's smart enough to include the wines that Ravine does best - the Riesling, the chardonnays and the cab francs, and generous enough to include the best of his wine producing neighbours. So you will find Stratus' 2007 "Tollgate", an excellent value at $9 a glass, as well as the delicious Megalomaniac 2007 Statement Cabernet Sauvignion (($14.50 a glass).

Afterwards browse the little deli in the old summer kitchen for freshly baked breads, baked goods, sauces, and gourmet items.

Then you can linger in the tasting bar to try other wines that the vineyard produces.

The venue is attractive - with a clean 'Christopher Pratt' style minimalism that is both nice to look at and inviting.

I predict that Ravine is going to be a huge success story in the area. So drive out to St. Davids and experience it now, and bring your friends. They'll thank you for introducing them to Ravine.

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

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