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“Impressive”

Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery
Ranked #36 of 572 Restaurants in Niagara Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: Gastropub
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We decided to try this restaurant after looking at top ranked places on tripadvisor. Our itinerary was to do some shopping at the outlets, early dinner (unfortunately), then magic show at 7:30 pm (hence the early dinner). We made reservations (recommended) for 5:00 pm, but running behind from shopping and gave them a quick call to not lose table and arrived around 5:15 pm.

Our table was by the fireplace, close to the door of the brewery where the vats are (more on this later). It was quiet when we got there, but it got busy very fast. I was pretty much decided on prix fixe from looking at the menu online and knew what I wanted going in. My wife wasn't so sure, but was impressed with the menu.

Unfortunately, our server did not advise us of items that were not available on the food and beer menu. We wanted to try the beers and got the tasters, but was advised the red ale was not available, which was definitely disappointing. Our food items were available, but we overheard other items were not as people were ordering.

The food was good. I wasn't too impressed with the Caprese salad as the menu describes fresh mozzarella cheese, but it appeared simply to be slice bocconcini cocktail balls sliced in two. Otherwise, soup of the day, lamb shank and chicken supreme were good. The location of our table was awkward at times as groups of people have to walk by to get to the brewery for the tour and beer tasting. It felt like one of our chairs was somewhat in the way and probably not the best table for intimacy.

Service was good overall but there were a few minor issues. Our server forgot to replace my utensils prior to my main course coming out. A bit slow on clearing empty glasses as we did sample and order pints as well. Do note that they got some red ale after and we were given a sample for free, but a bit late as we committed to pints at this point. We did not order our dessert at the beginning as we were undecided. Our server told us it's on the way out shortly, but told her otherwise. Either way, it came out quite fast considering.

I was contemplating an excellent rating, but am a pretty tough critic. Overall, it was impressive and definitely one of the best values around. My wife's family often take visitors to the Niagara Falls area and I have highly recommended that we try the place the next time we go as a family with or without visitors. We took home a 'growler' of their IPA beer and look forward to having it refilled with the lager.

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Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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659 - 663 of 1,027 reviews

Reviewed March 17, 2013

My wife and I took another couple to experience the Syndicate.
We had been there once before and liked it.
This time we made a reservation and when we arrived we were taken to a table.
Then we had to move to accommodate a larger party so they could push tables together. Not a big deal but we had to move.
We asked about going upstairs but you have to ask when you book.
Anyway we ordered wine, drinks and then dinner.
All was ok, except service was very slow. Probably about 10 minutes with all glasses empty before someone took a refill order and another 10 minutes for the refills to come to the table.

It was the first seating so the only rush we saw was at the end when they needed the table for the next seating.
Food was good. No complaints there. We just felt like we were being pushed out.
Water was not refilled. Fresh ground pepper was not offered but we saw other tables getting it.
It was just a disappointing night due to the staff there.
Probably wont take people there again.

3  Thank MauryM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

My boyfriend and I live nearby, so we went over for a beer and an appetizer one evening to check it out after hearing good reviews. I found the staff to be unhelpful and too "cliquey" with the local regulars sitting at the bar. We felt out of place and unwelcome. Not impressed to find so few vegetarian/vegan options in a newer restaurant. Ended up getting mediocre fries and awful beer. The decor and prices were decent, that's the positive. Won't be going back there, which is a shame because it's so close by.

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3  Thank Ashley K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Our family of four had plans to eat elsewhere but changed them when Syndicate was recommended to us. The staff were friendly and attentive but only one of us enjoyed the meal. Our son loved the caesar salad and pasta but was less than impressed with the cheese plate. My husband and daughter had the porter beef and said it was ‘okay’. I had the pickerel and thought it, along with the veggie side, was very plain. The chocolate creme brulee was okay but really can’t compare to true creme brulee. It takes like chocolate pudding with sugar on top.

I did, however, enjoy their brewery beer. Both the red and the blonde were quite nice.

Overall, we were disappointed. It didn’t live up to the glowing recommendation we received.

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3  Thank The_4_Youngs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We were in town for a weekend, looking for a place to eat that wasn't prime tourist ground. Having some familiarity with that industry, I worry about quality control.

Checked the mobile TripAdvisor app for something near and mid-range; found Syndicate Restaurant. We walked in on a Friday night. It took three staff to determine that some reservations didn't show and they could seat us. Odd, I thought.

First off, the large brewing vats are in view. This encouraged me to try a flight of the local brews. They were out of their red ale, but their others were quite enjoyable. Their brewmaster is clearly a fan of hops. I found their beers well flavoured and well hopped, generally enjoyable.

We took advantage of their $20 3-course prix fixe menu.

Appetizers
The Caesar salad was crisp and fresh, and not over-dressed. I enjoyed a carrot-ginger soup of the day that was so heavy on the ginger, my lips tingled. (Hey, it's Niagara Falls, and tingling lips fit in well with the romance!)

Mains
As these rich foods do, the lobster ravioli looks smaller on the plate than it feels once eaten. Good sized lobster chunks wrapped in tender zebra pasta, covered in a complementary sauce, delighted my wife's palate. I decided on the strip loin of of the day. A seasoned crust is often overdone elsewhere, but at Syndicate it complemented the meat's flavour without overwhelming it. It was a fair cut of meat, but the cooking was a little uneven from one end to the other. I quite enjoyed its flavour.

Desserts
The chocolate crême brulée diverged some from tradition, to good report. I opted for the chocolate tart, fearing the volume of food and determination to sample the local beers. It was a very nice finish to a superior meal.

Recommended.

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    • Food
1  Thank PaulMmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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