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Tide and Vine Oyster House in Niagara Falls … Shuck, slurp, swallow, repeat

SONY DSCBy Michael Lowe

Almost three years ago I sat at the bar at the Angel Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake listening to Mike Langley share his dream of creating a business dedicated to the love of oysters. Caution: photos in this post may induce cravings for seafood.

Langley (below right) and partner Kat Steeves have established a well deserved following in the last few years. Dishing out the best the sea has to offer has become the trademark of the pair, and about seven weeks ago they took the dream to the next level with the opening of the oyster house.

SONY DSCThe restaurant is small, but that’s by design. Only 24 seats mean that the place will probably fill up and turn tables at least couple of times a night so reservations are recommended. Decorated in green-blue hues that invoke visions of the sea, the space is clean and contemporary accented with natural wood, glistening white ceramic tile, and stainless steel.

SONY DSCOn the night we dropped by there were no less than nine varieties of oysters on the menu, including my new favourite, the west coast Beach Angel. Accompaniments for the oysters consist of freshly grated horseradish, mignonette, and Kat’s deliciously fruity Scotch Bonnet hot sauce. In addition to the obvious, the oyster house offers a small menu which gives enough choice to satisfy most diners.

SONY DSCSeafood chowder, braised lamb shank, mussels, shrimp cocktail and more grace the menu. Prices start at $7 for a cup of chowder and top out at $27 for a roasted lobster tail with mushroom risotto. The savoury lobster profiteroles (below photo) make a great starter, along with a few oysters, of course.

SONY DSCA couple of plates meant for sharing are on the menu so we chose one as the main part of the meal. The colourful and tasty arrangement (below photo) showcased beet-pickled eggs, smoked whitefish pate, sesame crusted tuna, lobster sausage and cold mussel salad with a couple of pickled onions and green beans for good measure.

SONY DSCThe featured dessert (below photo) is worth digging into. Tide and Vine’s take on traditional bread pudding uses maple syrup topped with candied nuts and served piping hot.

SONY DSCTide and Vine also features some great local wine and beer selections to slake one’s thirst. I’ve followed Tide and Vine around the region as they shared great food at local wineries, breweries and food events. That trend will continue, but it’s nice to know that this place is there for those times when I need my seafood fix. The Oyster House is a most welcome addition to the dining scene and one well worth checking out.

Highly recommended.

Tide and Vine Oyster House
3491 Portage Road,
Niagara Falls, ON
905- 356- 5782