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“Excellent food, enthusiastic service, local emphasis”

Benchmark Restaurant at Niagara College
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Canadian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Glendale Road
Reviewed August 21, 2011

I've had wine from Niagara College's winery on previous trips to the area, but this time we decided it was a good time to try out their restaurant, too. (I still think the perfect day may be a massage at their massage studio, visits to the teaching brewery and winery, lunch at the restaurant, and picking up plants from the greenhouses.)

The restaurant's quite good, with clever vaguely chef-y/cooking school elements: chive oil in the beet salad, properly composed sauces for the fish, a meringue-y topping for the cobbler. The kids serving seem to vary in skill and comfort, but the'yre trying hard.

It was good value: certainly, as compared to Niagara on the Lake restaurants, it was great value. I'd enjoy coming again.

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1  Thank melted_snowball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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278 - 282 of 287 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2011

We made reservations at the Benchmark Restaurant which is the new name of the dining room at Niagara College, about 20 minutes outside NOTL. It is located on the way back to the Toronto area. This college teaches vintner and brewmaster courses as well as culinary skills. The students, well-supervised, cook and serve the meals.

This is gourmet food in an airy, bright dining room, at an unrushed pace. We sat and ate and enjoyed delicious food for over two hours. I had the lamb which was seasoned perfectly, and a medley of steamed vegetables, and my partner had the marinated beef strips with seasoned potatoes. We enjoyed appetizers and dessert for a total cost of $70 per couple. It's not cheap, but it is gourmet. No question it would have been much more in a big city.

Because we'd been wine tasting all day, we did not have wine with dinner, but our friends bought student-made wine from the store. And I bought a chocolate bar seasoned with mer de sel, $5.

Niagara College deserves kudos for the quality of their food, beverages, and the charm of their student servers. We've been there once before this, and we'll be going back again!

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5  Thank miraclecruise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2011

Simple decor feels nicer than it is because of the high ceilinged room next to the college greenhouses and overlooking the pretty grounds. Very extensive menu and very interesting - arugula salad with strawberries, peppered goat cheese and an icewine with a hint of mint vinaigrette; venison with blackberry reduction, etc. Great wine list - and very low markup allows you to try higher end wines without payingg a premium - discovered a wonderful wine (single vineyard Syrah) from Kacaba, a small winery which was listed at $36 and sold at the winery for $28. Service is quite good considering everybody is in training. The food preparation was excellent - the venison was cooked perfectly to med. rare and was well trimmed of all fat. Portions are ample. Definitely share desserts unless you can take home the leftovers. Biggest complaint I can thing of was that the butter for the bread was ice cold. Will definitely come back - the quality of the food relative to the price is outstanding and although it is a bit of a drive from Niagara on the Lake well worth it. Do a matinee and then come here for a leisurely dinner.

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4  Thank alwaysplanahead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2010

Overall the food was very good. The restaurant and campus are beautiful.

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Thank Cindih
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2009

In a gorgeous, soaring, round dining room evocative of Arowhon Pines in Algonquin Park, a delicious dinner endearingly served. Salad was over-dressed but main courses and desserts were excellent. High-end prices. We thought that, being a cooking school, they might have offered a comment card to solicit our opinions on-the-spot.

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

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