There are potentially great advantages to having a meal at a winery restaurant. The location is likely to be bucolic, expansive. There would be some nice wines to choose from, and some tried and true food-wine matches. And, perhaps most importantly, that serene feeling—a sense that life really is good. In the Okanagan, Terrace Restaurant, an entirely outdoor patio affair, hits all the right notes in spades, in a splendid setting perched among vineyards. And with the extensive Mission Hill Family Estate wine portfolio at your fingertips, this is one of the best dining experiences anywhere.
Service is carefully calibrated, crisp, friendly, and knowledgeable. That comes in handy, since the food program, with chef Patrick Gayler at the helm, conforms completely to the winery’s overall mantra of organic, sustainable, local. Servers can, and do, share many telling little details. The terrific charcuterie platter is done in-house from scratch, most of the preparation and aging done during the off-season. Delicious handmade foie gras is marinated in icewine, and matches perfectly with the winery’s own reserve merlot icewine; and farmer’s vegetables are served with honey made from bees that live right on the property. Vineyards, of mainly pinot noir and chardonnay, stretch out below the patio as far as your gaze can go. In the distance is Okanagan Lake, and the shores of Kelowna on the other side seem a world away.
Roasted scallop with smoked pork shoulder is fabulous; the heritage Angus flat iron steak delectable, accompanied by the best frites in the valley (they are also available as a side, with some great asiago aioli). Fresh pastas, char right out of the lake, and Haida Gwaii octopus all are stellar.
There are suggested wine pairings on the menu, but feel free to wander around the list in case something catches your eye. Many of the parings feature Terroir Collection wines, which are only available at the estate. Terrace is a seasonal restaurant, so planning is in order—but this is a must-visit place, memorable in every way.
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