Author Archives: Mike Lowe

About Mike Lowe

Mike Lowe is a lifelong resident and promoter of Niagara. A lover of good food and wine, he was written about the food, wine and restaurants of the region since 2004. Follow on Twitter @foodwineniagara

Michael Lowe breaks down the chefs and food at Cuvée 2014

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By Michael Lowe

Ontario winemakers recently showed off their favourite wines at the 26th Cuvée Grand Tasting Gala. Although the focus is primarily on the spectacular array of wines, there is always a fine lineup of chefs presenting some delicious dishes for attendees to pair with them. Continue reading

Thursday at Coppola’s — make it a date!

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By Michael Lowe

Even if you’re not currently engaged in the dating scene, there are a few good reasons to dine out with that special someone. Local restaurants are offering weekday specials for two and Coppola’s “Date Night” delivers a memorable experience. Continue reading

Treadwell’s new digs in Niagara-on-the-Lake – the farm-to-table tradition continues

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By Mike Lowe

When it comes to upscale fine dining in Niagara one of the first names that comes to mind is Treadwell. Chef Stephen Treadwell’s reputation for tantalizing the senses with fresh, seasonal ingredients has made him one of the most celebrated and respected chefs in Canada. Continue reading

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Spring in Niagara: Chard Day in Niagara plus New Vintage, Oysterfest and Surf & Turf War coming up

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By Mike Lowe

Thus far, springtime in Niagara has meant no shortage of interesting events designed to lure the foodie and cork-dork in us all.

The Niagara Food & Wine Expo kicked things off in April followed by Wine and Herb weekends in May, hosted by Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and then there was the wildly popular  Food Truck Eats at Peller Estates. May wrapped up with a varietal-specific celebration, International Chardonnay Day, held on May 23.

Inniskillin’s Chardonnay Day featured some great Chards from Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs and Le Clos Jordanne. The wines were paired up with some scrumptious food provided by Inniskillin Chef David Penny and Jackson-Triggs Chef Tim MacKiddie, as well as local favourites Tide & Vine Oyster Company and Mario Pingue (Niagara Food Specialties).

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Tide & Vine oysters

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Pingue Porchetta on Ciabatta

In addition to the fantastic food , a highlight of the day was the appearance of Food Network Chef Lynn Crawford. Crawford was on hand to prepare Cheesecake in a Jar with Chardonnay & Vanilla-poached Strawberries.

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Cheesecake in a Jar

Before the show I had the chance to chat with Chef Lynn, as she is affectionately known. What is apparent from the moment you meet this amiable chef is her down-to-earth, good-natured love of life and passion for great food.

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Beef burgers with caramelized onions, bacon and smoked cheddar sauce

This was not Crawford’s first visit to the area and she recalls her early years visiting St. Catharines. “My grandfather was a shipbuilder and he lived in St. Catharines,” she shares. Crawford has also been guest chef at other events in recent years and admits that she has a fondness for the Niagara wine region. “Niagara is one of the most spectacular areas in Ontario,” says Crawford.

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Chef Lynn with Le Clos Jordanne winemaker Sébastien Jacquey

During her cooking demo she made sure much of the crowd gathered participated in what quickly became a riotous, fun-filled show.

The event was also the kick-off to Inniskillin’s seasonal offering of weekend menus to enjoy on the piazza. Weekend menus will feature their Market Grill and Smokehouse treats. For future Inniskillin event listings click here.

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If you were unfortunate enough to miss any of these great events  don’t despair. There is another lineup of fantastic gatherings throughout the month of June. Here are just a few.

The first Oysterfest Niagara will be held at Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers on Sunday, June 9. This much anticipated event will feature an oyster shucking contest and a cocktail competition. Food will be provided by local faves Tide & Vine Oyster Company, El Gastronomo Vagabundo, Avellas Wood-Fired Pizza and Hometown Ice Cream. There will be plenty of liquid refreshment from Angels Gate Winery, Silversmith Brewing Company and, of course, spirits by Dillon’s.

Entertainment by The Roxwells and LMT Connection will make this event one of those parties you won’t want to miss. I encourage you to get your tickets now and I’ll see you there!

The Niagara New Vintage Festival is set for two weekends in June. Beginning June 15th the festival will include an great calendar of events culminating in the popular Tailgate Party. Please click here for the complete lineup.

On Friday, June 21 Tide & Vine Oyster Company and El Gastronomo Vagabundo square off in what’s being billed as a Surf & Turf War. The event will be held at Hinterbrook Winery and promises some interesting twists on the classic meat and seafood combination. Click here for more information.

 

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A Taste of Verona at Casa Mia and Food Truck Eats at Peller Estates

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By Mike Lowe

Last week started and ended on high notes as I attended two food and wine events in Niagara. One featured traditional Italian dishes and wines from Italy while the other offered some awesome street-eats paired with Niagara wines. Continue reading