One of the best reasons to visit the Okanagan Valley is to visit their vineyards. Granted the valley is not as famous as Napa Valley in California. But having visited some of the vineyards here, I think they make decent wines and of course, who doesn’t like the ice wines here!
The last time I toured the vineyards, I had lunch at Mission Hills and this time I chose to have dinner at Quail’s Gate, another one of the larger wineries with a nice restaurant. I was able to make a reservation for the Old Vines Restaurant through the Open Table app on my smartphone and spent some time tasting wines and making our purchases at the store in the main reception building before proceeding to our table.
For starters my partner ordered some Chardonnay and I got some truffle fries to share since I am not much of a drinker and I was driving. For beverages, I ordered a home made apple juice expecting the same type of apple juice that I had for lunch at The Bohemian Cafe in downtown Kelowna but alas it was not meant to be. We had seats out in the outdoor patio which was a nice way to spend the evening as it was getting cooler and we could enjoy the beautiful sunset while nibbling on the fries. A bread basket was also served before the main meal proper.
I had also ordered a bowl of white bean and celery soup which was very good and started the meal in the right direction.
For the mains, I had the Weathervane scallops, braised pork cheeks, Agassiz hazelnut and mascarpone risotto. This was one of the best and flavourful risottos I have had (not that I have much risottos in my life). I also enjoyed the crunchy texture of the hazelnuts while the scallops were perfectly cooked. Only the pork cheeks lacked a bit of flavour but I still did enjoy the dish and I actually gained some inspiration to cook my own risotto from this dish!
My dining partner ordered the West Coast halibut which I tried a bit as well. The fish was also perfectly cooked and served with parsnip & potato roesti, pickled apples, smoked bacon and tarragon cream. Presentation of the dish was nice though the portion might be a bit small but perfect for ladies I think.
The pace of the dinner was slightly slower than usual and being located at the patio, it took a while to get the server’s attention when you need them. In between courses, I even had time to explore the lawn beside the patio to get some beautiful shots of the sunset taking place around the time we had dinner. Remember that it was summer and thus the longer daylight meant the sun sets at a later time.
For dessert, both of us ordered a sorbet and the chocolate crémeux to share and they were both good but I did not find anything special about the sorbet.
The chocolate crémeux had a nice presentation and the chocolate was rich and smooth, while the addition of bananas and peanut sought to cleanse the rich taste of the chocolate. As a dessert and considering I liked chocolates, this would be my choice of dessert.
Dinner for the 2 of us came down to around C$140 with tips and taxes so I thought that was quite good value though I have to note my partner had 2 courses as she is a light eater while I had a nice 3 course meal. With the nice meal and the great ambience on the patio, I would strongly suggest dining at this restaurant if you ever visit the Okanagan Valley.