Memories of a lovely lunch enjoyed here many years ago when the restaurant first opened brought us back again, hoping for another memorable lunch. The best part of our recent experience was the lovely weather which allowed us to sit on the terrace and enjoy the outdoor view. The food was such a let down through the three courses we ordered from the a la carte menu. My tuna sashimi appetizer was a small heap of soggy grey mush with a barely visible streak of wasabi oil on the plate that may have served to decorate the plate, but offered no opportunity of taste. When I asked the waitress about the tuna, she said it came from one of the local lakes! I said that was interesting, but tuna is actually an ocean fish. She then went and asked the chef who told her that it came from the west coast. Wherever it came from, this fish was either not tuna, or it was so old and poorly prepared it should not have been served. It was also accompanied with "hung yogurt" aka Greek-style yogurt. The waitress also had no idea what this was. My partner had the melon and artisanal prosciutto. Paper-thin mandolin sliced cantaloupe with a couple of micro pieces of prosciutto left him sad.
We were then served granite of ice wine with strawberry syrup between courses, which did not serve to refresh our palates, but instead deadened our palates with sickly sweetness, and turned our red wines (Pinot Noir and a Merlot) bitter.
Although the bread is made in-house, it is unremarkable, and Peller would do better to serve one of the artisanal locally made breads, rather than serve the flavourless direct rise breads that they attempt.
My main of trout with butter beans and pancetta came sans beans but with a sub of canned artichokes. The trout was fresh and a generous size, but suffered from soggy skin. Partner's main of Cornish hen over risotto of chevre was a curious plate of whiteness, devoid of any vegetable. We were left wondering why canned artichokes and a lack of vegetables when we are in the heart of Niagara during the bountiful season?
Actually, the greens showed up with our shared dessert of chocolate crème with salted caramel and cocoa nib tuile. In a small ramekin of chocolate crème covered with caramel, sat a lid of a tiny soggy tuile. Pastry chef take note - there is no need to cram all the components into a small vessel - your creation never achieved any beauty or excitement - it looked like you were packing it up for transport. Not to mention that sad little soggy tuile. Why this ramekin was plated over a large wreath of pea shoot greens was inexplicable. Maybe a token mint leaf - but really, pea shoots? Where were these greens in the previous courses?
The service was friendly and chatty, but unfortunately service suffered due to the chattiness, with no one minding the table. We had to ask for water, wine, butter, etc. We were surprised how poorly informed our wait staff was about the food and wine they were serving. Although the restaurant was not full, it appeared everyone was waiting a very long time for their main courses, us included.
Go back ? - no. This place has lost its way. Lunch for two, three courses, with wine $150- $200.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.