It doesn't look like much on the outside. In fact, it just looks like a little rusty colored home in a quiet neighborhood of Niagara Falls. However, when you walk in, you can see the old house's main floor has been converted into a quaint little restaurant. Small tables and wooden chairs line the room, surrounding a small bar and an empty glass display cabinet that would normally hold cakes. It is decorated with a collection of paintings and objects that make you feel like you've walked into a small European cafe.
What you don't see is the history. The house was built in 1850 and is placed on former battle grounds from 1812. The chef Jarmila has been living in Canada for +30 years and prepares all the food on her own. Literally from the ground up. She grows her own organic garlic, makes her own yogurt, pickles everything herself and even prepares fresh traditional European style breads for the delight of guests.
I attended this restaurant on Valentine's Day and enjoyed every bite of my meal. The dishes at the restaurant originate mostly from Central Europe with lots of Czech and Hungarian options to choose from. We started out the evening with garlic bread made from a fresh rye sourdough Jarmila had prepared that morning. It had been rubbed in her home grown garlic. The crispy dense bread inspired me to make it myself at home, but I fear I will have to wait until my own fresh garlic grows back in as the flavor just doesn't compare to hers.
Next I enjoyed a rabbit dish served in a tangy cream sauce she had finished with her homemade probiotic yogurt and freshly made dumplings. A perfect meal for a snowy winter day. My only hope for the dish would have been to have a bit more rabbit (It was delicious after all). Finally, the most unique dish of the evening was dessert. Cooked butternut squash that had marinated in white wine and spices served with vanilla ice cream. It was like winter's answer to fresh summer fruit and whipped cream.
After the meal we were so thrilled we bought a special package of homemade cookies she had on the counter made with peanut butter and almonds. They made a terrific treat with coffee later in the evening.
If you want a meal where every ingredient is appreciated down the the ground it came from. If you want food that is made with a clear sense of passion. This is a place you simply must try. Some of the best places are the hidden gems and this is certainly one of them.
**photo from Trip Advisor