Mahtay Café & Lounge draws inspiration for its menu and community-focused philosophies from the ancient, healthy yerba mate customs of South America's Guarani clan. Following centuries-old customs, baristas brew the tribe's traditional tea-like beverage inside a gourd, pouring the concoction alongside modern coffee drinks. Local farmers proffer fresh produce for the café's soups and salads, which highlight a smattering of vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes. Smoked salmon and apple jam fill sandwiches, and Upper Canada Niagara Gold cheese and local prosciutto crown flatbreads and pizzas.
Mahtay Café & Lounge fosters a haven for the local creative community, peppering its walls with an extensive stash of locally produced artwork. To further bolster the eclectic ambiance, the eatery regularly hosts events that focus on literature, art, and Vincent van Gogh's good ear.:
One look at U Need A Pita & Chop House Premium Burgers' menu, and it's clear that the eatery hopes to make an impression on taste buds by packing a variety of flavours into one dish. Tongues are wowed with 20 different pitas, including the philly cheesesteak and chicken souvlaki options, which overflow with meat, cheese, and a variety of veggies. Beef and chicken burgers, with 15 topping options and numerous sauces, further impress palates, as do loaded poutines crammed with everything from pulled pork to steak. Even vegans can surprise their taste buds with portobello-mushroom burgers, vegan poutine, and more than 10 vegan-friendly sauces.
With a focus on traditional Tuscan cuisine, La Scala Ristorante concocts a menu of house-crafted pasta, made-from-scratch sauces, and fresh seafood to whisk diners away on a culinary adventure through Northern Italy. Start your meal with an insalata di funghi ($9), wild mushrooms nestled in a bed of baby spinach alongside caramelised onions and goat cheese, or whet your antipasti appetite with the prosciutto di parma ($10)—grilled melon wrapped in veritable pashmina of prosciutto ham and anointed with a fig and wine reduction. Apennine aficionados can sink teeth into the vegetarian-friendly ravioli alla pomodoro ($17), twist a fork around the capallini alla pescatere ($21), a dish of sea scallops, shrimp, and spring vegetables in a creamy citrus sauce, or revel in La Scala's signature dish, the scallopini di vitello marsala ($26)—melting circlets of veal in a mushroom and wine cream sauce, traditionally served to patrons ordering by aria. A private wine list, along with VQA wines, adds flair to the already authenticated meal.
As a child, Lorraine, the owner of The Crown and Crumpet Tea Room, lived with her family above a restaurant in the United Kingdom, eventually owning her own teahouse, Petticoat Tails, in Winchcome in the Cotswolds. Years later, after moving to Ontario, Lorraine came across a historical brick house built in 1929, and immediately saw its potential as a classic teahouse. The home gives one the sensation of having stepped into another time and place, furthered by antique tea sets and imported British candies including blackcurrant licorice and toffee bonbons.
Beneath the crisp lines of British flags hanging from the walls, the family uses produce and ingredients from local farms to make lunch, high tea, and dessert each day. Lorraine’s rotating menus have included leek-and-goat-cheese quiche with fresh local asparagus as well as lamb with mango chutney carved tableside. In a sunny outside garden, cups click against saucers painted with colourful sprays of flowers like the world’s least intimidating monster truck.