Today’s Food Friday feature has a very special place in my heart.

I first discovered this restaurant through TravelZoo deal.  The deal was one night stay in a Classic Deluxe room at Shaw Club Hotel and Spa, $25 Spa credit, $50 dining voucher, full continental breakfast for two people, and tour and tasting vouchers for two to Peller Estates winery for $149.

Having never been to Niagara-On-The-Lake (NOTL), which is also known as Ontario’s wine country, this deal would be an amazing opportunity for my boyfriend and I to getaway and explore the gorgeous land.

Now don’t be confused, NOTL is not the same as Niagara Falls. A 25 minute drive separates both locations but the atmosphere is totally different. Niagara Falls is where you go see the falls, gamble, and just have a good time with friends.   NOTL is where you want to go to really getaway from the city and just relax.  You can sit on benches and look over Lake Ontario.

The restaurant I am talking about is Zees Grill. Ever since the first time eating there in June 2012, my boyfriend and I have visited NOTL on 5 separate occasions just to eat there.

[custom_box width=”60%” bgcolor=”#D5F2B6″ border_color=”#3F9F29″ text_color=”#3F9F29″ icon_url=”http://www.fionaman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/knife-fork.jpg”]RESTAURANT: Zees Grills
ADDRESS: 92 Picton St., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
CUISINE: Canadian
PHONE: (905) 468-5715
WEBSITE: http://www.niagarasfinest.com/properties/zeesgrill[/custom_box]

What’s so special about this restaurant?
The food is Canadian Contemporary which is just a modern spin on Canadian cuisine. Every food item is cooked to perfection. Best of all, Executive Chef, Jason Dobbie, sources local ingredients from Ontario. So I know that I’m supporting my local farmers and getting the freshest ingredients.

The service there is superb.  The wait staff is very attentive and always has a smile on their face.  Service was a huge reason on why we returned; specifically a server named Taylor who is also known as the Southern Belle. She’s from South Carolina and was spending the summer working there. She has such a bubbly personality. We promised her that after our hotel stay, we would visit again before the end of the summer. And we did!

From that point on, NOTL has been our special place of where we both grown an appreciation for wine, enjoy fine cuisine, and able to be “off the grid” for a few hours.

One time, I got a last minute wedding gig at NOTL and my boyfriend offered to drive me. To celebrate the success of my job, we went to Zees.  When we don’t know where to go for dinner, we drive 40 minutes to eat at Zees.  That’s just how much we love it!

When we get asked for restaurant recommendations outside of Toronto, we tell them about Zees.  Each time we get the same response, “Thank you for telling me about Zees! The food was delicious.”

I forgot to bring my camera on a few occasions so hopefully the few food photos can speak to you on how delicious it is.

For each meal, they start you off with a complimentary Amuse Bouche.  Most of the time, I don’t listen intently enough to the waiter so I don’t know exactly what I’m consuming.  All I know is that it’s scrum-dilly-umptious!

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche: Beef Tartare

Amuse Bouche: Beef Tartare

Chilled Gazpacho with Shrimp

Chilled Gazpacho with Shrimp

Seared Rare Albacore Tuna is actually my favourite dish. It’s the perfect fusion of Asian and Canadian cuisine. It’s Albacore Tuna that’s lightly seared, wrapped in seaweed, and finished with sea salt. The sea salt is the last item to really hit your tongue and adds such a pleasant finish. Also on the plate is warm soba noodles which is my all time favourite noodles.  The soba noodles with everything else on the plate is paired to perfection!

Seared Rare Albacore TunaWarm Soba Noodle Salad, Bok Choy, Daikon & Pickled Ginger, Sweet Chili Sauce, Miso & Toasted Cashews

Seared Rare Albacore Tuna
Warm Soba Noodle Salad, Bok Choy, Daikon & Pickled Ginger, Sweet Chili Sauce, Miso & Toasted Cashews

Risotto Balls

Risotto Balls

Grilled Calamari

Grilled Calamari

Nova Scotia Lobster PoutineHouse Cut Yukon Fries, Butter Poached Lobster, White Cheddar Cheese Curds, Red Wine Veal Jus, Hollandaise Sauce

Nova Scotia Lobster Poutine
House Cut Yukon Fries, Butter Poached Lobster, White Cheddar Cheese Curds, Red Wine Veal Jus, Hollandaise Sauce

Pan Seared Pacific Halibut Filet Lemon & Garden Herb Forked Potatoes, Warm Taggiasca Olive, Tomato & Fennel Dressing, Shaved Fennel, Cucumber & Basil Slaw

Pan Seared Pacific Halibut Filet
Lemon & Garden Herb Forked Potatoes, Warm Taggiasca Olive, Tomato & Fennel Dressing, Shaved Fennel, Cucumber & Basil Slaw

Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon FiletToasted Organic Quinoa, Sautéed Greens, Roasted Fall Vegetables, Cedar Jelly

Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon Filet
Toasted Organic Quinoa, Sautéed Greens, Roasted Fall Vegetables, Cedar Jelly

Garlic & Thyme Roasted Chicken BreastSweet Potato & Sage Gnocchi, Roasted Cippolini Onions, Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries, Arugula & Natural Jus

Garlic & Thyme Roasted Chicken Breast
Sweet Potato & Sage Gnocchi, Roasted Cippolini Onions, Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries, Arugula & Natural Jus

Braised New Zealand Lamb ShankMoroccan Spiced Lentil Ragout, Ginger, Tomato & Cinnamon, Heirloom Carrots, Taro Root Chips, Lemon Mint Yoghurt

Braised New Zealand Lamb Shank
Moroccan Spiced Lentil Ragout, Ginger, Tomato & Cinnamon, Heirloom Carrots, Taro Root Chips, Lemon Mint Yoghurt

Chocolate Sponge with Coffee Mousse

Chocolate Sponge with Coffee Mousse

White Chocolate Creme Brûlée & Mint Chocolate Fudge

White Chocolate Creme Brûlée & Mint Chocolate Fudge

 Do you have a special restaurant that’s close to your heart?

Zees Grill on Urbanspoon