By Micheal Lowe
The Niagara Food and Wine Expo got underway last night and runs through this Sunday. Here’s a quick tour of what to expect this year.
Held once again at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, the expo’s tag line this year is “Where Flavour Happens.” Indeed, some enticing aromas greeted us as we entered the hall, snatched up tasting glasses and proceeded to plan our route.
The first bite of the night comes from one of my favourite local chefs, Oscar Turchi (above) of Savoia Hors d’ oeuvres. Wild mushrooms on a cake of grilled polenta sets the palate up nicely for an evening of tasting.
Our next stop was at the Old Tomorrow craft beer booth where Kaitlynn (above photo) described the line up of brews on display. Their Monty’s Golden Ryed Ale hit the spot with notes of honey, spice and a beautiful balance of hop and malt.
Chef Tintin Muhittin Fidan of Marilyn’s Bistro (above, left) dished out salmon with rice pilaf, and a dish which, in my opinion, exhibited some of the best flavours of the show, escargot in lemon cream, above right). Speaking of great flavours, Moksha Indian Bistro is in the house this year. Try their chicken tikka skewer (below photo) for a bold, taste sensation. If you haven’t been to the bistro yet, put it on your “must visit” list.
If you tour Niagara wineries with the frequency I do, all of the wine tasted is savoured, swished and then politely deposited into a spittoon. Just once I would like to tour, taste and swallow the wine without worrying about the driving.
As we round a corner we spot a classic London cab displayed by Coventry Transportation. Now that seems like a great way to go! Katelynn Wild (below photo), manager of the black car and limousine division describes the company’s services leaving me yearning to plan my next tour with an added touch of class.
A visit to the booth of celebrity guest Stacey Simon (below photo) couldn’t have been timed better. Simon gives me the lowdown on her food and travel TV show, Rendezvous, — I am watching an episode featuring the Niagara region as I write this — on the Gustotv network.
We pop by Roberto’s Pizza Passion where we are treated to a slice of heavenly truffled mushroom pizza (below photo). Memo to self — visit the restaurant ASAP.
The night would not be complete without some wine. Over at Greenlane Estate Winery we taste our way through a few shining examples of their work (below photo), including a first for the winery — a ripe, fruit-forward Meritage.
Wrapping up the night we stop at Rockway Vineyards where a taste of their fruity, refreshing rose, Patio 9 (below photo) invokes visions of spring.
The Niagara Food and Wine Expo runs through Sunday. Tickets are available for $12 online here or $15 at the door. Tasting sample tickets cost $1 each. Eat, drink, mingle, and explore the flavours on show this year.
Niagara Food and Wine Expo
Scotiabank Convention Centre
Saturday, 12pm- 10pm
Sunday, 12pm- 6pm