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“Great food marred by slow service”

Epicurean Fine Foods
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Price range: $5 - $29
Cuisines: Cafe
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed August 5, 2014

When we head out to the Shaw Festival at Niagara on the Lake , we also plan on dinner. If we have time, we go to the superlative "On the Twenty" , but lately we have returned to Epicurean so that we don't have to rush back to the theatre performances at 8.

We stroll through charming Niagara on the Lake, buy our 6 small jams from Greaves, wander into Cow's, do the regular and figure that reserving at 6 should give us ample time for a leisurely supper at Epicurean : Festival Hall is only 10 minutes away. We are seated immediately but wait easily 10-15 minutes before the server comes by. She is all ready scurrying and we get the vibe that even though there are so many servers and food runners on the floor, there may be a problem with service. We order our wine and dinner together.

In a reasonable amount of time our appetizers of beet salad and corn soup arrive. In spite of it being so early they are all ready out of one of their day's specials, my husband's first choice of sausage. My beet salad appetizer is good, with not many bits ( like 3 crumbs) of mozzarella cheese. The vinaigrette that combines grapefruit juice is fresh but something is missing from the seasoning, a spice or a herb to bring it to life. The corn soup, again, a very small portion is declared very good.

Time marches on and we are getting squirrely as the waitress tries to smile, apologizes to other tables, etc. We finally speak to the hostess as we had explained on our sitting down that we have the theatre to get to. It is 7:30 and still no mains. We give it 5 more minutes and they arrive. The halibut has a great crust and is perfectly cooked. Although the pea risotto is very tasty, the rice verges on slightly mushy. Again my husband feels that 3 small, but delicious lamb chops for the price is not a great deal. Worse yet, I feel such pressure to pay and get over to festival hall that I cannot enjoy the food. The waitress shrugs demurring that the kitchen is very small and that is the reason for the delays.

Overall, sitting on a leafy veranda with very good food is not a great way to spend supper when you hear the clock ticking so loudly. Next time we will reserve for 5:30.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank unhappytraveller123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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487 - 491 of 800 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2014 via mobile

Also a recommendation from our B&B I thought the prices were high for the food. Our dishes were between 30-35. I had the halibut special and although the description sounded good it lacked flavor. I admit I like spicy food and it may have just been mellow for my pallet. The other dish ordered at our table was the steak frites. It tasted great but didn't feel like it was something we couldn't have ordered at any other steakhouse. The patio was big and ambience was nice with the warm weather. Service was fine.

Thank Kendra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2014

A fun place for a casual lunch of fresh salads and hearty sandwiches that are ordered cafeteria style. Seating is inside or on one of two patios. We opted for the small patio in front and enjoyed the steady stream of people walking by along with our meal.

Thank MIFtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2014

Have been here a few times but the most recent visit was earlier this month for dinner. After spending some time at wineries, we were looking for a yummy but reasonably priced dinner at a place that could accommodate gluten free. We called earlier that day to ask for a table and they made a reservation for us with no problem. When we arrived earlier than our scheduled time, we were still seated right away. We had an excellent server who was attentive but not intruding and was able to answer any questions we had about the menu with confidence and, if he did not know, he would immediately ask the chef and return promptly.

Aside from the great service, we both loved our meals. We both had a starter and a main and we shared gelato for dessert. I thought everything was perfectly seasoned and beautifully presented. The atmosphere was great as well, it was a beautiful space with a lovely view of Queen Street and the Royal George Theatre. Would highly recommend!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank classicflickchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2014

Everything we tasted for dinner at Epicurean was fresh and nicely portioned. We had fish and lamb (wine, salads, etc...). While fresh and very nicely cooked, the main courses had little taste. Maybe the regular diners are watching their salt in-take and don't care for spice. Too bad. Great potential.

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

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