Vineland Estates Winery Restaurant

060908_VinelandsEstatesF.jpgThere’s more to Canada’s Niagara Peninsula than proximity to Niagara Falls. Within this small expanse of land, bordered by Lake Ontario to the north and Lake Erie to the south, you can stumble across a roadside fruit stand on a tour through rustic vineyards, gamble to your heart’s content, and, well, there is that amazing waterfall.

One great feature of any trip to the Niagara Peninsula should always be dinner at Vineland Estates Winery Restaurant. Exquisite Italian food and great wines are served by an enthusiastic staff on the wine deck or in the glassed-in restaurant, with a panoramic view of the vineyard and lake. The fresh lemon poppy-seed baguette is served warm, and the pasta is homemade (try the inch-thick pappardelle noodles tossed with Niagara hazelnuts, arugula, cremini mushrooms, and Montasio cheese). Feeling carnivorous? The chef pan-roasts local venison and partners it with parsnip-potato puree, leeks, and blueberry jus. Desserts are a happy marriage of local fruits and an imaginative pastry chef. 3620 Moyer Road, Vineland. 905/562-7088. $$$-$$$$

Photo Courtesy Vineland Estates Winery Ltd.