Pearl Morissette is a highly acclaimed winery in Niagara, Canada. Now it is home to one of Canada’s leading restuarants, too. Restaurant Pearl Morissette, which opened in November 2017, was voted fourth best restaurant in Canada in 2022. It’s based in a converted barn at the end of a dust road. It offers only a tasting menu (CA$176 for 10 courses, for both lunch and dinner) and the emphasis is on things that are grown on the on-site farm. The only thing from outside is fish, which is flown in. Even the spices are restricted to what can be grown locally. This is a superb restaurant – a gastro destination.
Before we ate, we took a tour of the restaurant farm with manager Shane Harper (above). He began as a pastry chef but is now a farmer. ‘We need more small farms,’ says Shane as he shows us some of the produce that’s used in the restaurant.
We looked at sweet cicely, which has a flavour like aniseed, and is used from April to December. It is juiced, fermented, frozen and dried.
Rose menarda, a type of bee bomb
Sweet grass, which is used in place of vanillin. This is used by indigenous people. Then rose thyme, which is aromatic, floral and expressive.
Ice plant, which looks like it is frozen. It’s a coastal plant which as a saline character and lovely texture.
We met the Muscovy ducks
Sockeye salmon from BC, with parsley and flowers and leaves
Clams, with cherry tomatoes and lemon balm
Halibut with day lillies, cabbage, squash, zucchini and sturgeon caviar
Potatoes and mountain sorrel
Lobster from Newfoundland with thin-sliced beef bone broth and wood sorrel (not pictured)
Grilled port, cherries, spice bush leaves
Raspberries, goat cheese mousse
See also: the wines of Pearl Morissette