LCBO Food & Drink Early Summer 2024


DAYTRIPPER Eating Niagara Whether you’re exploring wine country or heading to the Falls, the Niagara Region offers a wide range of delicious dining experiences. Here are a few of our top picks for the area. –JH

A Short Guide to Cast-Iron Skillets Affordable, durable and dependable, cast-iron skillets have a cult-like following among serious home cooks. Here’s why. Cast-iron skillets are inexpensive and should last a lifetime. They’re oven-safe and won’t warp, even after repeated exposure to high heat. They retain heat better than any other type of pan, and over time the buildup of carbonized oil (aka seasoning) makes the surface effectively nonstick. What are good brands? Lodge is a dependable, widely available brand of cast-iron—look for discounts at Winners and HomeSense. Connoisseurs prefer discontinued vintage brands like Erie, Griswold and Wagner; look for them at antique shops and flea markets. What is so good about a cast-iron skillet? Cast-iron skillets are perfect for outdoor cooking, whether you’re frying eggs and bacon over a campfire or roasting vegetables in a pizza oven. You can also make alfresco smash burgers by heating up a skillet over a grill. How do you take care of them? Contrary to popular belief, you can use a little soap when washing cast iron, though don’t scrub it with anything too abrasive. To maintain the seasoning, heat the clean pan over high heat until smoking. Remove from heat and rub it with a little vegetable oil. Return to heat until smoking again. Remove from heat, wipe away any excess oil and cool. What are the best uses for them in summer?


Located on Niagara-on-the-Lake’s main drag, this celebrated restaurant has a skilled hand with its French-influenced, farm-to-table cuisine, while its wine list is among the area’s best, representing local producers, both big and small. Snag a table on the lovely covered patio, or if you’re dining solo, enjoy the action at the eating counter. Chef Jason Parsons and winemaker Katie Dickieson work closely to develop impeccable food and wine pairings in Peller’s fine dining room. Whether you order the tasting menu or à la carte, the signature linguine with icewine poached lobster and black truffle is a must. The patio offers a breathtaking few of the vineyards. FAT RABBIT Nose-to-tail dining underpins the shareable, genre-defying menu at this new resto-cum-butcher in St. Cath arines. The hot spot’s focus is a wide range of house-made charcuterie and slabs of meat grilled over wood, though chef Zach Smith does have a way with vegetables as well. The quirky wine list is more for Europhiles than locavores. PELLER ESTATES THE WINERY RESTAURANT


This seasonal smokehouse operating out of Niagara Oast House Brewers serves up Texas-style barbecue that’s a natural match for the brewery’s refreshing beers. A great lunch stop on the way into NOTL, the rustic, two-storey patio is a scenic spot for tucking into everything from meat-and-three platters to chicken tinga tacos.


Campfire cooking doesn’t have to mean hot dogs and ’smores. In Chris Nuttall-Smith’s Cook It Wild (Penguin Canada, 2023, $40,, the Toronto-based food writer makes the case for gourmet camping. For each recipe, he helps you plan, prep, pack and finish, ensuring happy campers every time.



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