RESTAU­RANTS

Where to dine in cottage coun­try

NOW Magazine - Hot Summer Guide - - CONTENTS -

How of­ten have you won­dered where you can get a de­cent meal in cottage coun­try? Turns out you don’t have to stay in T.O. to eat well dur­ing the sum­mer. NOW has scoured the re­gions to dis­cover the best in fine dining.

Northum­ber­land/Prince Ed­ward

THE RESTAU­RANT ON THE KNOLL at the Isa­iah Tubbs Re­sort (West Lake Road, RR #1, Pic­ton), 613-393-2063, 1-800-724-2393, www.isa­iah­tubbs. com The town of Pic­ton boasts some pretty de­cent spots, in­clud­ing Cur­rah’s Café

and Restau­rant (252 Main, 613-4766374). But in cottage coun­try, the water­side view’s the thing. We rec­om­mend the restau­rant at the Isa­iah Tubbs Re­sort over­look­ing the dunes of Sand­banks Pro­vin­cial Park. Fish spe­cials of the day are fea­tured, and prices – un­like those at some of the other haute spots – aren’t out of whack.

Muskoka/Huntsville/ Parry Sound

3 GUYS AND A STOVE (High­way 60, just east of Huntsville), 705-789-1815, www.whoscom­ing­fordinner.com Chef/owner Jef­frey W. Sud­daby, host of the cooking show Who’s Com­ing

For Din­ner (CH Global, Sun­days at 9 am), spe­cial­izes in healthy dining, so this isn’t the place for prime rib and cream sauces. But it’s a nice change from the pre­dictable fare the big inns are push­ing.

Niagara

THE CHARLES INN (209 Queen, Niagara-on-the-Lake), 905-468-4588, 1-866-556-8883, www.charlesinn.ca NOW’s go-to guy for out-of-town theatre, Jon Ka­plan, rec­om­mends this one in the Shaw fest area, first opened in 1832. The re­fur­bished dining room, helmed by chef Wil­liam Brun­yan­sky, still boasts the orig­i­nal chan­de­liers and has a ter­rific view over­look­ing the lake. Pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to the farm­house cheeses.

Elora/Fer­gus/Kitch­ener/Stratford/Lon­don

DOWN THE STREET (30 On­tario, Stratford), 519-273-5886, www.down­thestreet.ca The best place to smash the stodgy Stratford stereo­type is this hip bar and grill steps away from the Avon Theatre. Check out the frites – they’re for real – in the steak-frites combo, and, yes, those fami­lar-look­ing peo­ple sockin’it back at the bar are the same ac­tors you just saw on­stage.

Bar­rie/Colling­wood/Mid­land/ Oril­lia

OC­TO­PUS’S GAR­DEN ( 5198 Line 5 North, RR #1, Hills­dale), 705-8356591, 1-877-249-2374, www.oc­to­pus­es­gar­den.on.ca At this Hills­dale spot you can be sure that all the in­gre­di­ents in your gaz­pa­cho come out of the gar­den you’re look­ing at. Oc­to­pus’s hard-work­ing team – they also run a year-round cater­ing busi­ness for skiers and cot­tagers – of­fers pre-din­ner tours through the or­chards, where you can sam­ple heir­loom fruits and ed­i­ble flow­ers, and the place is sur­rounded by Crown land on three sides so you can eat in the midst of na­ture – dining in the eco-tourist mode.

Oakville/Hamil­ton/Burling­ton

THE BENCH BISTRO at EastDell Es­tates (4041 Lo­cust Lane, Beamsville), 905563-9463, www.eastdell.com Eat out while tak­ing in a view of rolling vine­yards, Lake On­tario and the Toronto sky­line – it’s one the big­gest plea­sures at Bench Bistro. And com­ple­ment your meal with VQA vin­tages fer­mented on site. The restau­rant is sur­rounded by over 5 kilo­me­tres of na­ture trails so you can walk off the food you’ve just stuffed your­self with. Note that on Sun­days the dining room’s open for brunch but closed for din­ner. Check NOW’s July Hot Sum­mer Guide (out June 28) for our picks of funky din­ers and mid-range eater­ies.

The Restau­rant on the Knoll

Bench Bistro

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