Monday, December 29, 2008

Tiara Dining Room

Saturday night, we had dinner at the Tiara Dining Room, inside Queen's Landing Hotel on Niagara-on-the-Lake. Havn't been back in many months, and I was really looking forward to it. Fine dining at its best.

We started off with 3 glasses of NV Champagne Louis de Sacy, Grand Cru. Lacking a bit of weight, but fresh and lively, smoky and perfect as an aperitif. We enjoyed it with a first course of tossed greens, and foie gras. The foie gras was a bit too tender, very rich. Reminds you why you can only have this dish once a year, because my cholesterol must have been through the roof after eating it.

For our mains, we drank 2002 Inniskillin Montague Estate Pinot Noir. As I've written about previously, I've drank and enjoyed the 2004. This is probably my only chance to taste previous vintages, so I'm willing to pay for it. It's dark, much darker than the already browning 2004. Rich nose of earth, bramble, that characteristic hot Niagara clay, and beautiful red berries dancing around the glass. Tight structure, quite tannic in fact. Beautiful, lustrous.....what a surprise! A fantastic, delicate wine that has great aging potential, I wish I could find a few more bottles! Surpasses any of the 2004 Niagara pinot noirs I've had. Great vintage character.

We drank the wine with lobster tagliatelle, steak au poivre, and pan-seared bass. All the dishes were exquisite. The lobster tagliatelle was so flavoursome, freshly made pasta makes such a huge difference. The steak was tender, what's memorable is the huge bone they served, so you could scoop out the rich marrow inside. So, so decadent, the marrow just oozes down your throat. My bass was perfectly cooked, subtly flavoured, with great texture. Firm, but so plump. Absolutely delicious.

This meal was lavish, yes. But we were determined to close out the year properly. A meal like this once a year is needed, to rejuvenate and replenish. I got pretty tipsy from all the fantastic wine, but the room was dark. Beautiful setting, beautiful palate was singing from the decadence.

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