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  • Benchmark

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Benchmark
Benchmark
  • Address:
    135 Taylor Rd
    Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON L0S1J0
    Neighborhood:
    Niagara-on-the-lake
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: CAN$31 to CAN$50

Benchmark Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.niagaracollege.ca/dining
  • Phone: (905) 641-2252 x4619
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm;

    Dinner: Wednesday -Friday: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm;

    Saturday: 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
    Our dining room is closed on Sunday and Monday.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Bruce Worden C.C.C.
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Let us help make your day a success by catering your special event. We can accommodate 80 Guests for a sit down dinner in our dining room, 16 Guests in our private dining room and up to 200 guests with a stand up cocktail reception overlooking our greenhouse, winery & spectacular vineyard setting.
    We use top quality, often locally sourced ingredients to make simple, delicious and affordable food showcasing the talents of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Please contact Sarah Scott to discuss a custom made menu for your special event.
  • Private Party Contact: Sarah Scott (905) 641-2252 x4618

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Glendale Road
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Benchmark
The Canadian Food and Wine Institute's state of the art facilities are nestled into 114 acres of abundant Niagara land.
Benchmark is the next evolution of the hands-on learning process. Students begin their careers in the culinary and hospitality industry at this unique teaching restaurant.
Benchmark has been created to offer local, fresh food options for college students, staff and the external community at affordable prices.

Features of Benchmark include a focus on fresh, local and Canadian cuisine, an educational kitchen and food, wine and beer pairings. We welcome all students, staff and members of the community to experience Benchmark.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Been here before, must have reservations, it's always busy. Unfortunately the patio was not open, disappointing, one of the few really nice patios in the area. Lunch went from bad (our fault) to wonderful. Ordered the kale salad though neither of us kale fans. Not doing that again. Chewing on big leaves of kale is like chewing on fibreboard. Dressing and other stuff fabulous. Ploughman's lunch heavy on meat (very tasty) and a bit light on sides. Fettucine Bolognese was good with fresh pasta. Try the cherry beer, seriously, refreshing and surprising. Tried to buy some at their brewery but they sell out as soon as it's bottled. Desserts were wonderful, cheesecake with 3 toppings and pecan tart to die for. Awesome value for the $!!!!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Thank you to all of the Benchmark crew for the scrumptious and tasty lunch that we enjoyed on Friday, July 4th. We enjoyed the wonderful foods that you presented to us in your fine setting. A special thank you to Bridgette and to Sarah for taking such good care of us."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "We went for a special occasion. There was enough variety for my husband who is a vegetarian and myself who does not eat pork. My husband loved the quinoa crusted butternut squash. A definite favourite, but everything we ordered was cooked to perfection. We had a 5pm midweek reservation so the restaurant was not very busy. The Wait Staff always checked in to make sure we were pleased. My only suggestion would be for my server to be able to provide a better description of the meal I was interested in (e.g. style of cooking, textures and flavours) rather than saying "everything is good". Nevertheless, Benchmark was worth the drive from Burlington. I can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "We always enjoy eating at Benchmark when in the Niagara region. The food is of great quality and meticulously prepared by the Niagara College students."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Absolute gem! This "teaching restaurant" has been designed as the Real Thing- with a beautiful building and setting. The menu is created from food sourced locally in one of Canada's best growing regions- and the featured wines are produced either at the college OR by alumni winemakers who now work in local wineries. We have dined in many restaurant in this busy tourist area- but The Benchmark stands out as one of the best."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Lovely dinner at Benchmark the scallops where spectacular with bacon buerre blanc and beet puree what a great combo. The trout had great crispy skin. Wonderful homemade bread. Rhe pecan cranberry tart was amazing wushed i ordered one each not to share. The rabioboos chai tea was wonderly delious just like the black tea hard to believe it was herbal. Our server was very attentive and informed. We chose the nc pinot noir which was deliciious the whole wine menu is reasonable with lots of choice. Highly recommend. They have great outdoor seating wonderful on a lovely night"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Anniversary weekend dinner at a 'special' place - and country (we are from Connecticut and went to Niagara-on-the-lake). Very good food; facility was like an upscale college cafe (there during pm, so not sure of exterior except walk-ways to/from parking lot). Had a 4-course food/wine pairing: the wine delivery was not coordinated with the food delivery, and waitress kept apologizing. She's learning, and that is what the experience is all about. We were quite impressed and glad we were there."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "We had supper June 21, 2014, to celebrate our 23rd anniversary. It was a great experience! The restaurant is nicely appointed, staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. The food was amazing - everything was bursting with flavour, and the dishes were very unique. We will definitely be back again. Thanks for a great meal!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Scallops were the best I had had in awhile. Stuffed chicken breast was delicious. Bitter green salad just so-so. Desserts were good too. Attentive and friendly service. A perfect dinner for my friend's 50th!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Very pleasant open-feel setting, definitely helpful and nonintrusive but friendly and attentive staff, absolutely wonderful food with upscale visual presentation and costs within line of other upscale eateries near Niagara-on-the-lake. Noise level was somewhat high but this may have been only due to long table of graduating students celebrating nearby. I would certainly come again when in the area taking in a Shaw Festival play."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "My daughter chose the Benchmark for her birthday celebration. The food is always very good, reasonable prices and great location. We were not disappointed."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "This restaurant is a treasure. We are so fortunate to have this calibre of dining in Niagara."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The meal presentation was "picture perfect", and tasted as good as it looked. The staff were very friendly and helpful."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "We visited Benchmark while on a weekend visit to Niagara on the Lake to celebrate our 45th anniversary and were not disappointed. We had the Saturday special four course pre-fixe dinner and each course was a revelation and a delight. From the duck and greens salad to the seafood endive salad and tender filet with crimini mushrooms and shallots, everything was unique and delicious. The chocolate hazelnut tart at the end topped off the fantastic meal."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "A large group of colleagues went to Benchmark for lunch. The food was very good although the wait time for the food was long."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "I came with a friend to visit some wineries in the area and wanted to support students at the Niagara College by dining at the Benchmark Restaurant. I'm not sure what I was expecting but my experience definitely exceeded everything I could have hoped for! The staff are attentive and the food was wonderful (ps. the portions were quite large for my friend and I)!! My favourite was the apple tart for dessert! Everything was of such high quality that my friend and I found it to be our favourite restaurant out of all the ones we'd dined at during our trip! The culinary future is very bright indeed!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Great food and lovely decor. We have visited several times and the staff has always been courteous and the food very tasty. The wait for food, although often worth it, can be somewhat long. Otherwise a lovely spot."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Benchmark is a learning facility. Our waiter is a student who clearly had minimal experience. Our food also had to be sent back. Having said that, the manager was fantastic and made up for these issues."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "My friends and I had a delicious dinner here after the Shaw theatre. The service is very attentive, you are greeted with a welcome and smiles and complimentary amuse bouche yo tempt the palate. Our group had fish, pasta, pork tenderloin and Osso buco and it was all delicious. The flatbread starters (grilled veggies with feta) were yummy and on a very thin crust."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "If you preorder, you have plenty of time to eat your meal at lunch time. The desserts are divine and great atmosphere...very energy from the servers!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "A wonderful dining experience with the gals! Two of us had been before and wanted to share the Benchmark with three friends. The food was really good and the beer and wine equally as nice. The presentation of the meal was creative and the bread was far too delish! For a Friday evening the dining room was only moderately busy so the service was fast and friendly. Will definitely return to the Benchmark!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We have a great cooking college where we live and therefore expected great things of Benchmark. The service started off great until the food arrived. After checking back on our order we did not see our server again until long after we finished. There were two problems with the order; one that couldn't be fixed, which was a Club sandwhich with so many layers it had to be eaten with a knife and fork, while it lay in pieces on the plate after removing the scewers. The other problem could be remedied, but no offer was made, and that was that the salad accompanying the ocean plate had extrreme amounts of salt sprinkled on it. It's a shame that a cooking school would even think to put salad on a plated salad or not offer to fix the problem."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We arrived on Saturday, May 31 for lunch and were greeted by the friendly maitre d'. After being seated on the patio we all ordered the "Trust Us" prix fixe and we were NOT disappointed! This was a fantastic meal. The salad was very creative and contained a variety of tasty greens and herbs. The arctic char main was seasoned and cooked to perfection and the rhubarb tart for dessert was to die for! The student servers were all very attentive and obviously enjoy working at Benchmark. All this for $25 per person. Oh yes...and this included a glass of fine wine or craft beer...all made at the college. What a deal! We are looking forward to a return visit to you restaurant and will recommend it to all. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Glenn"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We visited the Benchmark May 30th for my wife's birthday. We have been here many times before & have always enjoyed it. This evening was very poor. The wait staff did not appear to pay attention. We were a table of six at 7.30pm. The wait times for drinks & dinners was very long. The food was not up to the usual standards & the original orders were wrong. The waiter even apologized for ruining the evening. The lady who appeared to be the supervisor offered complimentary desserts as consolation but it didn't seem to be sincere. It was almost 10pm by the time we left. It did not appear that anyone cared enough to do their jobs properly"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "The service was outstanding they went above and beyond with the birthday arrangements. For desert the even wrote happy birthday on the plate which was a nice touch with character. They were very flexible with their menu selections. The atmosphere was very nice with a backdrop of the escarpment. The water was highly filtered and clean with the most clean dishware and glasses I have seen in a while at a restaurant. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We were very impressed with our dining experience. We chose the Niagara College wine and beer and both were excellent! The food was delicious. We will definitely recommend Benchmark to our friends."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "The meal was amazing! There were 5 of us dining (including one vegan), we all really enjoyed our appetizers, main course and dessert. I would definite recommend this restaurant to anyone and I will definitely dine there again. The serving staff was attentive and very professional."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We celebrated a very special anniversary recently and it was recommended that we dine at the Benchmark. We had a wonderful meal and service was topnotch as a very conscientious staff made sure that we had a pleasant dinner. Would we go back? You bet and already have as we booked lunch reservations for the next day and again we were not disappointed. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Brought our mothers for dinner while in NOTL. Our server Branton was very personable as he has been in previous dinners here. Salad was slightly over salted but considering these are students learning how to cook their food was better than many restaurants we have visited over the years. Try the student wine too.. the deans list chardonnay is terrific !! If you go in the summer ask for a table on the patio.. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Location and atmosphere in restaurant is excellent, food is creative, thoughtfully prepared and delicious. Service can be a bit random, a little too slow clearing courses, not offering refills on water, having to ask for part of our order, no explanation of the wines paired with the 4 course dinner."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "There surely are students in the kitchen preparing the meals but, with the exception of an underdone risotto, the meals were exceptional. You would think they were all highly experienced Take advantage of the chefs menu with wine pairings for $60 on Saturday nights. You won't be disappointed. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We chose the "Trust Us" menu as it is the best deal. Three courses and a wine or beer pairing for $25, or minus the pairing for $20. The appetizer (arugula salad) and dessert (cheesecake) were excellent. The main course (duck confit) unfortunately did not live up to Benchmark's usual standard. It was very salty for myself and my group, and as it turns out, other tables thought the same. When we told the server of this at the end of the meal, when we were asked for feedback, we were told that "duck is usually salty". We didn't feel like pressing the issue, but this defensiveness was uncalled for and factually incorrect. We will still continue to dine at Benchmark as we have previously been impressed by them."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "It's a bit out of the way from Niagara-on-the-Lake, but worth the 15 minute drive. A wonderful setting with great food. The scallops appetizers were the best scallops we've ever had. It's nice to support the students, but the food, wine and the setting make it even more worthwhile."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Excellent food complete with chef's description of the courses, which enhances the enjoyment, lovely service & a beautiful spot in the middle of a thriving garden."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "really enjoyed our lunch - a beautiful setting, vigilant service, fun to interact with the chef who was preparing salads & desserts. - also enjoyed talking with the students who were serving us & hearing what their post graduation plans were - a very friendly atmosphere -we also took time to visit the greenhouse while on campus - the 'trust us' menu was perfect for us - the food was great & it took away the 'stress' of menu decision making! - a great dining experience for both of us "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "This is the 4th time we have eaten at Benchmark, and each time we have enjoyed ourselves. The food has always been very tasty. The dessert course was particularly good this time, and the discovery of the tea sommelier pairings elevated the experience even further. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "we had a great saturday night at benchmark , food was very good service was excellant , deserts were well presented .had a very nice chat ith the chef and the leader of jr team canada , school should be very proud of them "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Wonderful service, excellent food! We would highly recommend dining at Benchmark."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "For the past few years we (my girlfriend and I or with friends) have combined a bike trip along the Welland Canal and dining at the benchmark, and has never been disappointed so far. This year was almost perfect, well actually perfect, we both thoroughly enjoy the entire dining experience. We also take advantage of the College accommodation so that we can walk to the restaurant in case we indulge too much. Great Food, reasonable pricing, knowledgeable staff. We also love the local beer produced by the college staff."
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "We once again had a great experience at Benchmark. We have been going there for the past 10 years and have never had a bad experience. The food is always great, the service exceptional and the overall experience is fantastic. I couldn't think of a better place to celebrate my birthday. Thanks once again Benchmark for an excellent experience. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014