Preview and Photos by Michael Lowe
Your eyes are guided by high stone walls and sloping ceiling and are immediately drawn to the view of the stone patio and vineyard beyond. It’s as though the inside was a mirror of the restaurant’s surroundings.
Earth tones, stone, and glass further support the feeling of a “sense of place” mentioned on Redstone’s website. At the recent preview of the Restaurant at Redstone it was clear that sense is carried through to the menu.
Our tasting at Redstone included Digby scallops with strawberries (above photo). The scallops, cooked sous-vide, are chilled and paired with both unripe and ripe strawberries pickled with white wine vinegar and honey. Unripe berries provide delicate tartness to contrast the natural sweetness of the scallop while the ripe ones complement the same. A touch of basil oil ties the berries in beautifully and buttermilk balances the whole. Almond crumble adds an earthy note as well as contrasting texture.
Rhubarb is one of spring’s great offerings. Poach it until tender with just the right amount of sugar and the taste is amazingly refreshing. Redstone adds a twist by marrying it with fresh tarragon and foie gras (above photo). The fois gras has previously been cooked, usually sous-vide, then frozen so it can be shaved as a topping — something I like to call foie gras snow. The dish was a stellar match with Redstone’s Gewurztraminer.
No dish tastes more like spring than chilled pea soup and Redstone’s version (above photo) is simply delicious. With the classic, judicious addition of mint and zesty preserved lemon, the combination balances the creaminess and slightly salty ricotta — from Upper Canada Cheese Company.
Lake Huron Pickerel (above photo) sports a golden-brown, crisp skin which contrasts the delicate moist flesh beneath. The pickerel is matched with sweet, tender-crisp cippolini onions, wild leeks and cultured cream resulting in a dish that is as beautiful on the palate as it is to look at.
Seasonal rings true again with a plate of white and grilled green asparagus (above photo) dressed with a smooth fennel puree.
With a spanking new pizza oven imported from Italy, we just had to give the pizza a go. The pie pictured above has tomato sauce, chorizo sausage, arugula and goat cheese. The crust has lovely chewy texture and touch of char from the intense heat and serves as the perfect base for the peppery arugula, mildly spicy chorizo and semi-firm goat cheese, also from Upper Canada Cheese.
Lunch concludes with a colourful and refreshing combo of buttermilk pastry cream, fresh strawberries and mint granita. By now, it is clear to me that Executive Chef David Sider (below photo) has a clear sense of season, an innovative approach to marrying ingredients, and a firm grasp on the integration of flavours into cohesive dishes.
The Restaurant at Redstone opens officially this coming weekend for lunch and will gradually phase in dinner service. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression and Redstone made a very good first impression. I was left inspired to get in the kitchen and come up with new ideas. Like any new restaurant it takes time to hit your stride but, in my opinion, the restaurant is poised to become a premier dining destination in the Niagara region.
The Restaurant at Redstone
4245 King Street Beamsville ON, L0R 1B1
Hours of operation:
Lunch: 11 am- 3 pm
Dinner: 5 pm – 9 pm
Lounge/Wine Garden: 11 am- 9pm
Note: For Rick VanSickle’s reviews of the wines from the new Redstone Winery, go here