Restaurant Pearl Morissette: The vibe
Drive 90 minutes from Toronto, turn right at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sign (eyes peeled for the rooster), head up a dirt road and you’ll find yourself at Restaurant Pearl Morissette — one of the country’s best dining destinations.
This idyllic agricultural setting in the heart of Niagara wine country puts city slicker notions of farm-to-table dining to shame. Many of the ingredients from the restaurant’s blind tastings come from as little as 100 metres away, grown in Pearl Morissette’s garden.
The rest of co-chefs Daniel Hadida and Eric Robertson’s inspired menu is a small but mighty lineup of local purveyors — Linton Pasture Pork, Tamarack Farms — with a farming ethos in line with their regenerative mindset.
Restaurant Pearl Morissette: What’s on the menu
The food here is so hyper-seasonal, with vegetables harvested at the perfect time for maximum taste, it can be hard to predict what’ll end up on your plate. Expect foraged herbs and show-stopping vegetables, fermentation aplenty, pasture raised proteins, plus razor clams and squid served with wacky homegrown experiments, like their habanaba peppers.
The wine pairings were spot on, but their kombucha and juice match-ups looked equally enticing. We enjoyed our 10-course lunch tasting in the now iconic black barn, with fantastic views.
Restaurant Pearl Morissette: Why it’s worth the trip
Pearl Morissette Winery is on the same plot of land as the restaurant, but until recently, it didn't offer tours and tastings. Now, you can head online to make a wine tasting or garden tour. This makes the restaurant a great way to learn about the producer’s ethos and attitude to winemaking. And their tasting menu isn’t just an exercise in self-promotion — we sampled wines from around the world, expertly expounded on by charming staff.
Restaurant Pearl Morissette was one of the first to remove tipping from their operations and the result is a lively, informed interaction with servers who are dedicated to making your meal memorable.
Restaurant Pearl Morissette, 3953 Jordan Rd., Jordan Station; pearlmorissette.com