Ravine Vineyard Estates Winery (Niagara)

Torontonians love visiting wine country when the weather warms and Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery is one of the quintessential locations for a leisurely lunch. With numerous tables available outdoors and inside, you’ll find the seat for your preference. For me, being on the patio, in the shade is the perfect compliment for a glass of wine. On our Saturday visit, they even had a duo playing Nora Jones type songs, adding a calming melody while overlooking Ravine’s vast vineyard.

A generous portion of wild pink shrimp arrives on the Fogo Island shrimp toast ($19), practically smothering the two miniscule triangles of rye toast on the plate. Tossed with crème fraiche, a host of herbs, a bit of shallot (?), and slivers of chili, it’s a refreshing starter that wasn’t overly seasoned, so the shrimp’s flavours were retained. The dish just needed more toast to add that crunch and to balance out the creaminess of the sauce.

Presenting a fair portion of the main protein but less side ingredients tends to run throughout Ravine’s menu. The salad niçoise ($27) had plenty of flaked hot smoked steelhead trout around the plate but little salad greens to compliment the salty black olives and fish. Smartly, Ravine leaves the creamy boiled potato and crunchy green beans unseasoned, so I did end up spearing pieces of those with the fish and olives. 

Still, more of the greens would just help create a fulsome bite, especially if this is supposed to be a main dish. The soft-boiled egg was beautifully prepared with it’s glistening molten centre, for this ingredient I would have liked a sprinkling of salt as the smoky trout didn’t pair well with it.

Ravine’s fish and chips ($25) was delicious, the non-distinguished “lake fish” so fresh and very lightly battered so the crust easily breaks away as you cut into it with a fork. And while the fish itself was super crispy, the chips could use a double fry to make them crunchier.

With the lighter starter and main (I had the salad niçoise), there was plenty of room for a slice of coffee cream pie ($12) for dessert. More espresso is needed in the custard layer as I found the coffee tastes rather muted compared to the cocoa powder and smear of sauce on the plate. Although the crunchy espresso brittle makes for a pretty presentation, it needed to be thinner and preferably crumbled around the plate to make it easier to incorporate into the dessert. Overall, while decent, the pie didn’t leave me overly satisfied.

Maybe this is Ravine’s way of calling you to finish off the meal with another glass of wine. Because being nestled under a gazebo while overlooking their vineyard makes for a peaceful setting. Find yourself a designated driver and have a bottle of bubbly to end.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Niagara, Canada
 Address: 1366 York Road

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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