In 1828, Reuben Burr sold his property to a family of wealthy carriage makers, the Cosfords, who christened their new home with the name Oakland Hall. More than 170 years and several owners, purposes, and names later, Tom and Irene Ntoulas transformed Burr's homestead into the Oakland Hall Inn, a fine-dining restaurant whose history complements its classic, upscale food. Chef Charyk plucks flavour and inspiration from the herb garden behind the inn, culls Ontario-sourced veggies and lamb, and brings in specialty cheeses, venison, quail, and perfect French pronunciation from Quebec. He aims to surprise his guests with flavours they've never tried, and more than 200 Old and New World wines ensure that each new experience is expertly paired with a delightful vintage.
As diners sink their teeth into an herb-marinated drumstick from Chick-Felays, their taste buds savor a fusion of Portuguese-style coking and traditional North African spices. The roasters at Chick-Felays strike this flavorful balance with the fiery peri pepper, kicking up heat levels according to each customer's preference as opposed to an international spice standard set by world leaders. Besides half-chickens, chicken kebabs, and wings, diners can order steaks and ribs aged to juicy perfection as well as burgers formed with beef, chicken, or veggie patties.
Surrounded by the colors of the warm Italian sun, diners at Mamma Mia Trattoria feast on authentic wood-fired pizzas and sauce-slathered meats and pastas. Inside the cozy dining room, servers present plates of fresh spinach gnocchi, mushroom risotto, and veal-stuffed ravioli, pouring red and white wines into awaiting chalices for romantic dates and ceremonial pasta sacrifices. During lunch, chefs also line hot paninis with homemade meatballs or grilled Italian sausage.
Cachet's menu, like the natural beauty of Fairy Lake, changes with the season. Their offerings include sandwiches, pastas, and chicken, which round out a slate of seasonal global flavours, complemented by elaborate martinis—bartenders shake in lychee liqueur or rim glasses with chocolate. A patio overlooks the lake, which patrons can admire while lounging under an umbrella or a table.
Chefs at Crepe Delicious swirl paper-thin layers of batter onto their piping-hot crepe griddles, perfuming the air with the enticing aroma. Shortly after, the cooks lift away delectable crepes ready to be stuffed with savoury ingredients. The crepes themselves weigh in at only about 130 calories each with just 3.5 grams of fat, but they sate appetites during any meal.
At Al Casale Ristorante, master sommelier and seasoned restaurateur Elio Radocchia infuses a traditional Italian menu with fresh, organic ingredients in a recently refurbished 200-year-old farmhouse. Celebrate a tongue's first rolled r with dishes such as the bistecca di manzo, a 12-ounce AAA Alberta sirloin ($28), or the grilled salmon fillet with mediterranean salsa ($24). Starch lassos abound as well, such as the spaghetti alla casareccia, with sausage and rapini ($18). Diners can complement hearty meals with an extensive array of Italian wines ($6+). Homemade desserts such as the house-made crème brûlée ($9) or tiramisu ($7) end dinner debates over the last digit of pi on a sweet note. Diners devoid of a sweet tooth can opt instead for a postmeal glass of cognac, port, grappa, or italian coffee.