Mother Nature blessed our Canadian landscape with acres upon acres of fertile soil. Ontario alone produces over 50 kinds of vegetables and fruit, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, honey, maple syrup and wine. For this, we are eternally grateful.
Food is a gift that is meant to be shared. It comforts us in sorrow and brings us joy in celebration. Age-old recipes connect us to family memories and to our cultural heritage, legacy, rituals and traditions, some of which have travelled with us from distant shores.
Food preparation is serious business for any vacation destination and Resorts of Ontario property owners take great pride in offering diverse culinary creations, using local ingredients whenever possible. While the following examples of creative dining experiences is far from complete, it gives you a sense of the myriad possibilities available from more than 100 Resorts of Ontario member properties.
Belief in truly sustainable farming and a commitment to use local ingredients guide the culinary team at the Bartlett Lodge to create a brilliant four-course menu, which caters to a variety of diets. Meals are served in the historical, casual, elegant dining room, renowned for its connection to the environment and the staff’s attention to detail. The lodge also offers special packages, such as the Craft Beer Experience, which includes gourmet dining for two nights, six Ontario craft beers based on two adults and one day of packed lunches. Or try the City and Cottage Dining Experience, featuring gourmet dining for two nights, one charcuterie lunch, two bottles of VQA Wine and dinner for two in Ottawa.
All room prices at the Couples Resort in Algonquin Park include a daily five-course dinner and breakfast, which also recognize vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and celiac diets. The wine cellar is considered “one of the best in the world” according to Wine Spectator. Evening dinners are special and require semi-formal dress for him and cocktail party attire for her. Live entertainment, featuring various musicians most nights, adds to the romantic ambiance.
Beachwood Resort on the shores of Lower Buckhorn Lake in the Kawarthas invites you to Frederick’s to experience fine country cuisine in a lakeview setting where chef Michael Henson performs his magic. For a special treat, don’t miss the resort’s Long Table Dinner Fish Fry Mondays when an all-you-can-eat pickerel buffet is cooked and served on the front lawn while you listen to live music.
Also in the Kawarthas, dive into a local’s signature experience at Elmhirst’s Resort, a large working farm where animals are raised and produce is grown on-site for the sole consumption by their kitchen. The resort also maintains partnerships with local suppliers to round out menu offerings that reflect the owners’ commitment to sustainability. Two on-site restaurants proudly serve food and drink in the casually elegant Hearthside Dining room or in the family-friendly pub atmosphere of the Wild Blue Yonder Pub and Patio.
Overnight guests on an in-season meal package at the Westwind Inn on the Lake in the Kawarthas get to enjoy delicious country dining and a spectacular view in the comfy waterfront Treetops dining room. Dine at your own private romantic Pine Harvest Table for Two as you bask in the warm décor and savour the chef’s mouth-watering creations.
At The Waring House in Prince Edward County, Amelia’s Garden presents seasonal dining at its best, with many ingredients supplied from its own garden and local food producers. The team adds international flair by fusing different cuisines from around the world. At the on-site Barley Room, a popular gastropub, guests enjoy friendly service, traditional pub food, local and international wines, craft brews and live music five nights a week. Share your talent at a “kitchen party” on first and third Wednesdays of the month for a traditional down east open mic night.
The Briars Resort & Spa invites you to “another world” on Lake Simcoe where delectable menus list traditional and contemporary favourites, beautifully served in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere and paired with a selection of Ontario and international wines and brews. Many of the fresh organic products on the menu are grown on-site in their 100-year-old sustainable garden.
A two-acre organic fruit and vegetable garden at the Hockley Valley Resort provides almost all of the produce for the on-site restaurant where an à-la-carte menu is filled with unique, fresh, locally harvested delights. Meals are served in Cabin, a 2,600-square-foot space combining rustic and modern décor elements including reclaimed hardwood beams from an old barn and a 16-foot steel and glass chandelier. Plan to tour facilities and sample your favourite vintage at the nearby Adamo boutique winery.
Expect an extraordinary tasting experience from the team of dedicated culinary professionals at the Millcroft Inn & Spa in Caledon. With luscious greenery and cascading waterfalls as a backdrop, patrons at the Headwaters Restaurant take pleasure in award-winning cuisine and fine wine. Local fare takes centre stage as executive chef James Buder prepares French classical cuisine with a country flair, thereby perpetuating the restaurant’s reputation as a top food destination.
In southwestern Ontario, the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa in Ingersoll features locally inspired cuisines. Soak up the relaxing atmosphere as you savour executive chef Andrew Smith’s seasonal dishes, reflecting the bounty of the local harvest. On Sundays, a traditional prime rib dinner is cooked to perfection. Throughout the year, watch for special dining events, such as a seafood buffet featuring fresh lobster flown in from Canada’s East Coast.
Savour Niagara’s finest dining at the White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where one of the founding pillars is living a healthy, well-balanced life. The culinary team takes advantage of the natural abundance of the area to fill the menus and your plate with the freshest, most delectable selections at three in-house dining venues. The menu at LIV reflects the season with a focus on locally grown produce served in a muted and chic ambiance; the sophisti-casual Play Bar + Grill is a unique, health-conscious restaurant featuring new takes on old pub fares; and the Grow Kitchen & Café is the ultimate in sustainable healthy eating.
The hospitality industry is facing unprecedented times and the story of food and beverage service continues to unfold. Understandably, current restrictions require Resorts of Ontario to temporarily adapt how meals are served over the coming months, however, be rest assured that quality, freshness, creativity and attention to detail will never be compromised.