Wednesday, August 1, 2012

LIV - Fine dining at White Oaks Resort, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Appetizer: "Shellfish 4X"
By far our favorite fine-dining restaurant in Ontario so far! About 1.5 hr drive from Toronto city centre, it's well-worth the drive (particularly if you like driving anyways and the QEW is not too jammed =P). We have been there on multiple occasions and it continues to "liv" up to our expectations every time. Some restaurants favs in the past have deterioated in quality over time, but not this place! The meal always starts out with warm bread selection and chef's complements, and is warm to the tummy all thoughout :)

Food - amazing local tastes, fresh ingredients, and you can tell there's been much care placed into the preparation and the "details" of any sauce/sides/drippings.  We have tried multiple different meats.  The favourite so far is the tenderloin for this season. Surprise: "blood-less"! When made rare, we almost thought it was over-cooked since it did not appear red when we cut into it! But on closer inspection the meat was indeed "rare", just with no ooey red blood running out.  It was perfectly tender and oh-so-tasty.

The Beef Tenderloin, with gorgonzola cheese and peppercorn demiglaze

Service - knowledgeable and friendly staff, professional, caring, attentive, etc. I could go on, what more can one ask for?

Ambience - very quiet restaurant overall, usually not too busy. Very very nice indeed for a romantic/quiet get-away.

"Treats" - amuse bouche, sorbet, mint-water, truffles etc to cleanse the palate as complemented by the chef before and in between and after courses. I wonder why other restaurants don't do this as much... it seems low cost, but gives the customer an "experience", and hey, who doesn't like free, good-tasting treats?!

Value - compared to the restaurants in Toronto, to get this kind of quality and ambience and service, one would be paying double/triple the amount. Again, worth the drive out!

LIV Restaurant at White Oaks Resort

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