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

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.niagaracollege.ca/dining
  • Phone: 9056412252x4619
  • 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 9056412252x4618

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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Benchmark reviews from OpenTable diners
155 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (100)great for lunch (84)special occasion (82)scenic view (76)good for groups (62)neighborhood gem (55)great for outdoor dining (46)romantic (45)notable wine list (42)great for brunch (25)kid-friendly (10)hot spot (8)late-night find (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • charming service and good food
    lilley
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    As a foursome for dinner on Saturday evening we thoroughly enjoyed both the food and the service at Benchmark. Our server was professional and charming at the same time. Three of us had the set menu with the four courses and enjoyed every bite. The fourth person chose from the a la carte menu and also enjoyed his dinner. We hope to return to Benchmark next time we come to the Niagara area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Future Looks Great
    Brian
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    NC is teaching our future restaurant talent very well indeed. Great service and food at a reasonable price. Enjoy today watching and experiencing our future unfold.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Benchmark is one my favourite restaurants in the area and I have been there many times. Sharon and her staff of students run a great establishment and I recommend it alot. I especially love to bring my out of town friends and during our annual wine tour in October my Northern friends always have lunch at Benchmark. Félicitations et merci pour la bonne bouffe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Benchmark
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Outstanding cuisine, wine list, and service. Wish I lived in the area so I could enjoy the food more often and stock up on the wine that is served at the restaurant and made by the college. Found the wine to be superior to what I tasted at some of the large commercial nearby wineries.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best in the Region
    Viizenstein
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Among the many choices in the Niagara region, this is the best for excellent food,service and ambience. I would rank it up there with several one-star Michelin establishments we'have been to in rural France.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Student designed menus
    goodeats
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Good service and good food. Nice space and great view. Food was a bit overseasoned for my liking -- too salty. Dessert was sweet enough to overcome the main dish, rib eye.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exquisite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    What more can we say. Our lunch was absolutely exquisite, delicious, WOW. We both had the "Trust Us" from the lunch menu. Every dish was well executed from the arugula salad, duck entree and the peach strudel. We also opted for the Niagara College wine pairing. Excellent
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great salad...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The food was awesome especially the bean/beet/peach salad. One issue was that one entree did not arrive until everyone else was done their meal - it was the fish and salad- which was disappointing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Keep trying....next time's a charm
    foodie
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We have dined at Benchmark many times. My husband and I took some friends to introduce them to Benchmark. I don't think they will return based on this experience. My complaint would be that the rib eye steaks were not prepared as requested. Unfortunately they were overdone. We did not complain or send them back, perhaps we should have, but I do not believe in that practice. On a positive note, the steak seasoning was great. The service excellent and the ambiance good. I miss the full linens but I realise how much extra work/cost is generated. My husband and I will return. I appreciate the concept and like supporting the school and the students. Unfortunately, this past vist was not as memorable as usual.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • variable
    flyr
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Have eaten at Benchmark any number of times. Lunch has always been superb, with simple menu items (hamburgers, fried chicken etc.) made from fresh local ingredients and well prepared. Actually, this is my favorite lunch spot in the area. Dinner, sadly, is unimpressive. Recently, of the two appetizers one was sent back as inedible (truly awful scallops) while the other (soup) was quite good. The fish main was boring - needed a better side dish. The steak was good quality but also boring. The osso buco and risotto were both without character and the meat too fatty. Some one needs to energize that kitchen. Service, as always, was charming with the students and supervisor really trying to please.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 5 star dinning for 3 star prices
    sudak091
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    What a great find! We went to the Benchmark restaurant with huge group of family and friends from all over the world. And there was something for everyone. The food was fantastic and a great selection of wine and beer (from the schools brewing program)! We had a 5 star dinning experience for 3 star prices! We will definitely be going there again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly recommend Benchmark
    BMNewFan
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Benchmark was highly recommended to me. My friend and I stopped here for lunch on our way to Shaw Festival. We ordered the 'trust me' option on the lunch menu and received a delicious 3 course meal along with a glass of excellent white wine. The setting is beautiful and the service professional and friendly. I will return again and highly recommend it. Great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding
    Sassa1
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We tried this restaurant a week ago & thought that it was so nice that we returned this week! Something on the menu for everyone!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    It was our first time at the Benchmark and we were really impressed, not only was the food very good, it was presented in the most original and refreshingly creative manner - an example was the black forest dessert in its upright round format. Many thanks, we will be back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another awesome meal!
    luv2dine
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    My husband and I went to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and had the special Saturday night four course meal paired with wines at each c course. We were definitely not disappointed!!!! We have been going to Benchmark for several years and every time is a great experience. We will definitely be repeat customers for years to come.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Evening Out
    Rarenightout
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed our experience at Benchmark. Our friend Meghan, who's parents own a B&B in the area recommended this place. She is a foodie....loves experimenting the flavours and wines in her own cooking. I asked her for recommendations in the area for the weekend. We thought to try the College restaurant to help support budding cooks, wine makers and beer makers. We were not disappointed. One of our favourite meals. Thank you so much.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food continues to stand out
    GurzaVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    overall, an excellent experience and all the more pleasing when seen in the context of a teaching restaurant. The food was excellent and a real effort was made to accommodate unique food sensitivities and special requests. One small criticism is that staff need to write down details (such as salad dressing on the side) rather than rely on their otherwise flawless memories. But definitely worth coming back to time and again for consistently well prepared meals and imaginative choices using local produce. And a remarkable achievement give the college staff regular turnover. Kudos to the management
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    Mona415VIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This place is a must if you come to NOTL. We have been coming to NOTL for ever and just found out about this place through Travelocity. The food is amazing and the price is even better. I highly recommend it!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Taste Explosions
    Blitzpacker
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Fabulous restaurant, fresh, new ideas, tasty old standbys. Bringing the creations of tomorrows chefs to the table today. The Chacuterie Plate, our first appetizer came on a thick board generously loaded with Terrine, cured meats thinly sliced, a cheese selection, pickled beets, crostini and house mustard. Each bite was tastier than the next. The pickled beets were an addictive flavor that kept me coming bajck for more! Next we tried the Potato and Roasted Garlic Chowder ; this creamy concoction was delicious. Grilled Canadian Rib Eye - The steak, cooked to perfection, mouthwatering flavor and texture. Heaven!!! Creme brulé and coffees finished this excellent meal. Excellent service! Only complaint is the Benchmark is not in my city!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Service D+
    Museumgrl
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The food at Benchmark, for the most part, was memorably delicious. Sadly, the service was memorable because we had one of the worst servers we have ever experienced. We knew we were being served by a student, but, even so, she provided a text book example of what not to do when serving at a fine dining restaurant. At every point of our meal, she made classic mistakes, including forgetting our wine and placing dirty utensils back on the table after we used them. The staff member working the front of the house stopped by our table several times and was very charming and informative about the food. Watching the other student servers, our server definitely seemed to be the bottom of her class. Come here for the food, not the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • what a gem!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    What a find within Niagara College - excellent food, service and all at very reasonable prices!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great quality
    goodeats
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Great menu, fresh. Excellent service. Recommend to friends (local and international).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch
    Cousins
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    An excellent place for fine dining at an affordable price. We will visit again when we are in the area.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Recent visit
    Golflady
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We were in the Niagara region and were happy to discover the restaurant was close by our hotel. We really enjoyed the experience. We had a small issue with one of our meals that was correctly immediately.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • College Students Do a Great Job!
    SusieQandDaveyboy
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This restaurant is a gem! Students and their professors offer a great menu of finely prepared and elegantly presented dishes at very reasonable prices. All five of us in our party raved about our meal. There is a good selection of wines, many of them from local wineries. They even feature wines and beers from the teaching winery and brewery on campus. The restaurant itself has a nice professional ambience, although it’s a bit “open” and not too “intimate.” I imagine it could be noisy when it's crowded. The only critical thing I can say is that our waiter was obviously inexperienced, but hey, you have to learn somehow! Our visit to Benchmark turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a pleasant surprise.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dining At Its Best
    Brian
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Great service. Excellent food/wine very reasonably priced. Indoor/outdoor seating both great choices. But most of all seeing our future food service providers in action and doing so well indicates NC is doing a great job.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Students got it!
    Moe244
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Grounds at niagra college are beautiful - great outdoor spot for lunch. Servers know their stuff and explain menu well. Worth the chefs taster menu for something special. Trying the beer and wine at lunch made us want to visit the winery to sample (and buy) more wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Special Occasion Spot
    SpecialSpot
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    We were there for a double anniversary dinner, and after a harried day, walked in and immediately relaxed. The service was impeccable. The first course was so good - we shared several ways. The main course was superb - we had four different dishes and exclaimed over each. One of our group is a chef, working as Head of Kitchen in Manhattan at a large restaurant (American Whiskey). He was very pleased. The College wines are delightful. Altogether a pleasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch at Benchmark
    luv2lunch
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    This was our second time, my husbands third. Our server was outstanding. He was professional, knowledgeable, and had a very good sense of humour. My daughter and I started with a ceasar salad.WOW..by far the best I have ever eaten..and I have eaten many throughout my travels. The pasta was delicious ..my son in law had the coast to coast..loved it...my daughter had the stew. disappointing..very soupy and was not served with bread. Our server was kind enough to bring some at her request. My husband has had the stew 3 times and his looked much like stew should and is was served with bread. My husband had the burger, while he did like it he said the bun was to big..to much bread. Overall the experience was great and we will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Corner-cutting is evident
    luvveggies
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Our first visit since it rebranded as Benchmark. Room is still pleasant but not as pretty. The music was too loud. I ordered the Cobb salad because I really wanted some avocado but it was missing. The server apologized & said the avocados were underripe so I got extra egg instead (wow, 4 slices instead of how many??). The salad is named Cobb with avocado--I should have been informed prior to order delivery. Also, a hunk of iceberg lettuce just doesn't cut it in my books. My husband had the fish combo (pickerel, salmon and 3 scallops with a side salad for $17). His meal was well cooked and he especially enjoyed the seared scallops. I left hungry and disappointed. They used to serve wonderful bread--I guess that's out of favour now.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but teach
    ToffersThoughts
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The experience was good. Our server was very nervous and forgot the bread, brought the wine pairings after the food arrived, and made some basic mistakes, but it is a teaching restaurant and the girl was trying her best. My only issue is that it is a place of teaching and that should translate to the costumer. We had the four course tasting menu with wine paring. Basically the food was delivered and so was the wine and then the server just left. I should be told what I am eating and why the wine has been paired with the food. There should be an experience beyond just eating. I do not put this on the server as none of the other servers were doing it either, so it is something that needs to be done by the teachers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Benchmark Fantastic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Our group of 13 people had a fantastic dinner at The Benchmark Restaurant. They were accommodating and the service was great. The food was better than we imagined. We ordered from both the a la carte menu as well as the Special Saturday Four course meal. Everyone loved their dinner; and that's amazing with 13 people!!! The wine and especially the beer was delicious. Thank you for a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • You GOTTO eat here!
    mvks1
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    I went with my grandmother-in-law, daughter and myself and it was our first time. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left the staff were very kind and accommodating! We had 2 intolerances at our table and the waiter was more than willing to see how any dish we wanted could be created/ adapted to our needs...AWESOME! The presentation was excellent and all of our dishes were delicious!!! Our entrée picks were Atlantic Char, Chicken dish and steak. Highly recommend checking it out!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyable experience!
    AMur
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    My wife and I came to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. Food was fabulous. Service was exceptional. It was raining outside, but we still had a lovely time.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Meal!
    Rachy1326
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Our group of six came for lunch before embarking on a bicycle wine tour and we were NOT disappointed! The food was incredible! Beautiful dishes served by great wait staff. We can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceed Expectations
    delicious
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Had Lunch with my son, he tried the trust me menu which was great value, 3 courses including a glass of wine, the desert was outstanding and I had the coast to coast dish which was also very nice, the restaurant was very clean and bright and the grounds outside were beautifully landscaped,definitely will go back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Some students deserve to flunk
    CitizenOfTheWorld
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This has been our dining choice whenever we take in a show at the Shaw Festival. We've had a number of excellent and very creative meals over the past few years. But this time we struck out. Very poor service and mediocre food. Since OpenTable has a very low limit on the number of characters available for a review, check out TripAdvisor for details.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Could have been better!!
    food2good
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    We've been to the Benchmark many times in the past, and when we started going there we really liked the food and found the prices to be reasonable. Lately we feel that the quality of the food has not been the same, and there is nothing different on the menu that has new and exciting flavours as we would expect from a culinary teaching school's restaurant. The desserts as always, were excellent. The service is very friendly and courteous. We would highly recommend that they start being a little more imaginative and creative with the choice of dishes that they select for their menu to keep their regular clientele coming in.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Benchmark Restaurant
    niagara
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food choices have varieties to suit all different preference. The presentation of the dishes are excellent. Service is very good. We will definitely go back and recommend to our friends.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Have dined at Benchmark several times, and always get a lovely meal, along with great service.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.