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.
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.
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.
The culinary wizards at Annalisa Asian Fusion Cuisine & Lounge whip up a toothsome menu replete with Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai fare forged from fresh, high-quality ingredients. Kick off feeding frenzies with the palate-pleasing fried-scallop appetizer paired with tartar sauce ($6.99 for six pieces), or paint mouths to match newly implanted jelly-bean teeth with bites of the rainbow roll ($9.99 for eight pieces) brimming with hunger-refracting goodies including tuna, avocado, and caviar. The crab on the beach ($11.99) stars a handsome soft-shell crab lounging on a shore of steamed rice, basking in balmy surrounds amid an adoring coterie of vegetables and yellow curry. Tongue buds weary of quotidian tastes get whisked away on a tropical sojourn with nibbles of the thai-pineapple fried rice ($9.99) featuring egg, chicken, and fresh mango, and the Hue-style vermicelli soup ($7.99) hosts a protein party of beef and vietnamese ham hot-tubbing in a piquant broth.
Chef Marcello Anastasi, whose cooking show appears on Rogers TV, weaves the flavours of Morocco, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Spain into a multidimensional dinner and lunch menu. The baked tomato short stack hushes rowdy stomach trolls through the nurturing prowess of fresh basil pesto, ricotta cheese, and a sweet balsamic-honey reduction ($12). Two can share the Valencia-style seafood tapas platter, an ensemble of shrimp, calamari, and crab cake ($45), or celebrate their individuality with the A Dash of Sass dish, rosemary-marinated flank steak spiced with chimichurri ($19). In the jamon Iberico, olives and bocconcini cheese complement Spanish prosciutto as elegantly as teenage mischief complements Fabergé eggs ($14). The Scorpion Mediterranean Bar & Grill houses the work of local artists, such as J. Lloyd, within its cool-coloured interior. A Spanish guitar player sets tableside rap duels to a beat by tickling keystrings on Thursday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m.