Benchmark
Benchmark

Benchmark

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.niagaracollege.ca/dining
  • Phone: (905) 641-2252 ext. 4619
  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Benchmark reviews from OpenTable diners
168 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
98% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (117)great for lunch (95)special occasion (95)good for groups (76)scenic view (65)neighborhood gem (59)notable wine list (42)romantic (33)great for outdoor dining (29)great for brunch (26)hot spot (10)kid-friendly (8)late-night find (4)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Niagara Falls Bound? The Perfect Place For Lunch!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    I had made a reservation for lunch on what turned out to be a very, very snowy day. My elderly mother and uncle debated if we should travel from Toronto to Niagara on the Lake for our two day excursion. I insisted we go, as on the way down, we were to have the surprise lunch at Benchmark. What a lovely experience for them. I had been to Benchmark before and knew of their high standard of culinary skill and service. Their contented smiles and praise of the well prepared food and excellent service certainly justified the effort to travel that day. Everything was marvellous - from the moment we were greeted at arrival to the settling of the bill. We had a variety of items- a potato chowder that had my mother smiling ( she comes from potato farming and it's hard to impress her with a potato dish) and the uncle couldn't stop licking his roast chicken covered fingers. I had the the chef's choice of pork tenderloin...one piece was a bit over done but the second was.....perfect!! I will continue to recommend (and return to) this restaurant as the go to restaurant in the Niagara-on-the Lake area. Food was fabulous.....service was superb...and we had plenty of money left to continue to the casino in Niagara Falls....and lose it there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    We were treating friends and it was a very pleasant lunch. Food was absolutely excellent and the service was outstanding. An all round pleasant experience and we will be back.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will be back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    This was our first time to Benchmarks. The dinner we had was great. Lots of vegetarian options. The Niagara College Cab Sauv was recommended and it was very good. It took a while for the entreat to come, but we were in no rush so it was fine. Towards the end of the meal (dessert) the service became a bit rushed. Overall a great dinner and we will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    we were a group of 6 who had just come off our second day of Taste of the Season. We had gone to 20 wineries that day and were ready for a great meal and more good wine. We started with apps that were delicious followed by our main course. Myself and Susan chose the 4-course meal that was outstanding. We actually closed the place down. Our reservations were for 7:30. Thanks for a wonderful relaxing evening after running for the past 2 days to 20 wineries!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Wonderful lunch. Service was outstanding. We weren't rushed and staff went out of their way to accommodate our needs. Reasonably priced, lovely view. Great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Benchmark NOTL
    Misty
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Two of our four meals were very good; one was good; and the other not good. The latter was osso buco -- not much meat and fatty, bone marrowy. Portions were larger than expected. Overall value was good. Biggest knock for us was restaurant ambiance (almost cafeteria hall like) and service was poor. We sat for half hour before anyone came to take drink orders. Granted these are students, but perhaps more training before being put on the floor would be helpful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great restaurant
    AlCathVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Food is always fabulous, beautifully presented. Nice wines by the glass, and the dining room is lovely, with nice views of the surrounding gardens and Niagara campus. On this particular occasion, service was quite slow (understaffed in the kitchen? Lack of organization?) and our server seemed frazzled. We mentioned the long wait between entrée and dessert to both our server and the person who appeared to be the manager on duty; there were excuses and blame, but no apology, which was unfortunate. Still, Benchmark is a lovely place to go on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for a leisurely lunch. You certainly won't be disappointed in the food, which is of the highest quality.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Niagara Treasure
    ivankaK
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Benchmark is a hidden gem! Tucked away in a quiet corner of the campus, adjacent to the hustle and bustle of QEW and the Outlet Collection mall is this lovely oasis of gastronomy. The menu offerings are imaginative takes on favourites, making it a challenge to choose just one. The service is friendly and the dishes are divine. The best thing of all: the prices are soreasonable. Bravo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prep'd & srved by culinary students
    travl412
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    A terrific spot for lunch. Servers are students.. Plates are beautifully and creatively presented. Portions are practical.. Beers are locally brewed. Wines also made at the college. Cobb salad was wonderful! Recipe for my desert was provided. It was delicious! Servers were warm, friendly and welcoming
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gals night out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We had a great dinner unfortunately there was a large group there who thought they were at a pub rather than an nice restaurant. Very loud and rude. Certainly took away from our dining experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow!( slight glitch too)
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We had the 4 course chef select dinner on a Saturday night with wine pairings...the service and food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Quality and quantity can improve
    Patryn
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    My pasta - noodles stick together not cook nicely felt doughy. The portions on small size, some yrs ago when I visited the portions are bigger. desserts appear beautiful but lack of wow. My spouse pork nicely done. Portions on small size. Ordering a course deal is better. Price is high side considering students cooking, next time I would visit the winery restaurant. It wasn't the place I visited a few years ago. It was my go to spot every time I drop by Niagara. My last time there was this yr June but it was fully booked. The wait staff was great! Very friendly and accomodating to kids. One of the few fine dining places which let family feel at ease.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • outstanding lunch
    melatsilkendreams
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Five friends to celebrate an anniversary, on a quiet Tuesday. Everything was very lovely… food was exceptionally well prepared and delicious.. every one scraped their plate clean and remarked on how good everything was…thank you
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • fred
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Fantastic. A little noisy. But the food and service was excellent. Jackie. Will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bravo students!
    gld1
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Our dinner at Benchmark, the restaurant of the Niagara College Culinary Institute, was remarkable for it's innovative menu, excellent service and lovely ambiance. The students are to be commended for the expertise they showed in preparing a dinner worthy of our friends' anniversary. The young people who served us were professional, cheerful, attentive, and well versed in the details of the food preparations. The portions were generous and plated beautifully. Restaurant was a bit difficult to locate in the dark from the parking lot. Wonderful evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • will visit again
    ht31
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Great food, selection of vine and location. Had a great lunch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Menu choice was unique and varied. Staff were pleasant and accommodating. Will certainly return.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pricing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Shouldn't be priced as a five star with culinary students in learning mode. As good as the food was, pricing isn't accurate.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem
    PEIgirlatheart
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    This restaurant can be easily forgotten as it is at Niagara College but it is not to be missed. The food is delicious, the service amazing and it is a gem!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vacation lunch visit...romantic!
    Fantastic
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    My girlfriend and i recently visited for lunch...what a gorgeous restaurant! Great service, view, ambiance and FOOD! Would definitely like to visit for a dinner experience, really enjoyed the lunch! Glad we had reservations as it did get full fast. We would go back in a heartbeat to experience this wonderful dining again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Checkmark for Benchmark Oct. 11/14
    RedPen
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Great food overall and good service. Disappointed that Black Forest dessert was not served with cherries as described in menu but raspberries instead; did not have any roasted beets in salad as described in menu. Bread was fresh and delicious, but a choice would be nice. Apple dessert was frozen when it arrived at table and difficult to eat with a hard crust and crumbly cheese filling. Steak arrived medium rare and was sent back. Medium steak arrived promptly. Meat portions were generous. Surprised that on Thanksgiving weekend, no turkey options on menu. Appetizer freebie a nice touch. Excellent welcome upon arrival and very friendly staff. I would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent!
    Teas
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    My family thoroughly enjoyed each dish and the presentation was lovely. Benchmark was recommended by a client who enjoys the dinner series all winter long. i would recommend it to any one. Keep up the great work.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great experience
    goodeats
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Had dinner for 2 on Saturday. Pleasant service and great, fresh food. Excellent local wine list. Always pleased with the idea that Benchmark supports student learning, hospitality training and success and sources locally-grown products.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best of wine country
    moerzedong
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Supporting local industry of all kinds by eating at benchmark the niagara college enterprise is worth every penny. Five star food at ridiculously good prices, plus great vieW's and service. Eat at least once before you die.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My mom loved it!
    SawABlackSquirrel
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    This restaurant was recommended by a local. You have to make reservations ASAP because dinner is booked at least a week in advance. I was able to get a lunch reservation on the second day of my visit from the US. My mom didn't like her first dish but she totally loved the pasta with beef dish. The Cobb Salad was delicious but small and overpriced but I enjoyed my entree. Our waitress was great but I didn't like the fact that I paid her in US dollars and was told they only give change in Canadian, which not correct after using the conversion rate on my phone.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday celebration
    luv2celebrate
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    My husband and I were at the Benchmark for lunch on October 8 on the occasion of his 67th. (you don't need to tell him I put his age down) Birthday. We loved the food, our attentive waiter. I enjoyed my glass of wine and Jim enjoyed his craft beer which you didn't have the last time we were there. It was such an overall wonderful experience and made his birthday so special and because of that we have decided to make this a new tradition - for our birthdays we will drive to your restaurant (about 1 1/2 hours each way) to celebrate. So, we will see you in June when I will celebrate my birthday. We both think the is is a perfect way to celebrate the special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    My mother and I lunched at Benchmark as she had never been to the restaurant. We were seated promptly and water was served immediately. However, we waited for 10 minutes without any attention from a server and finally had to flag someone. This was surprising since there were very few diners at that time. The server who attended us was not the usual server for our table but he quickly took our orders and was very attentive throughout the meal. The soup was delicious and my mother , who is a light eater, ate her entire pizza. Overall it was a very pleasant experience with a tasty meal and only the hiccup at the beginning. I would certainly return to Benchmark. Also, the wine from your cellar was very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We had a wonderful time/ meal even though the birthday guests desserts got mixed up! Will definitely be back 😋 Will recommend to family and friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Substance without flash
    krs10
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Our dinner here was solid; nothing too flashy but enjoyable meals. Adequate but not passionate serving combined with small details not executed perfectly kept the meal from being entirely memorable. Bitter greens salad a bit plain & skimpy on some elements. Bread was served once asked for, but both the cold cheese bread and butter could've benefitted from a quick warmup. Organic chicken got lots of compliments for pureness of flavour and the added fun of the poutine bed. Fish was nicely prepared and the herbed orzo had good flavour. Greens still a bit too bitter and the BEURRE (spelled wrong on the online menu) blanc sauce a bit heavy. Glassed in circular setup of the restaurant kept the ambiance fun and intimate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • no complaints
    quiche1956
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    On a recent visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a friend recommended we eat at Benchmark in the Niagara College. What a fabulous place. The service was spot on and the food was delicious and presented so artistically. I had the pork tenderloin and it literally melted in my mouth. The desserts were wonderful as well. I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant. Do yourself a favor and enjoy for yourself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fine dining at Niagara College
    AlFromOttawa
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    We try to have dinner at the Benchmark restaurant whenever we are in the Niagara region. Consistently good food with interesting new menu choices each visit. A good selection of local wines, many of them from the college's own teaching winery. Attractive modern room.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed results
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Five of our party of 9 had a wonderful meal -- every course delicious. The other four were disappointed. The three who ordered pasta were very disappointed -- chewy tepid noodles, insufficient sauce.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Burgerdelux
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    What a great experience; food, ambience were terrific. It made me want to go back to College!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Niagara gem
    1212
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Wonderful experience. A Niagara gem. We had lunch with a friend and the food was excellent. The wait staff were delightfully enthusiastic but a little rough at the edges which is completely forgivable given this is a teaching experience for them.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • menu choises
    NAOTL
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    There were five people in our party each ordering separate entres. I enjoyed the arctic char and another person liked the vegetarian dish. All enjoyed the Benchmark.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and location
    Wday
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Our group was looking forward to an amazing experience at Benchmark; we were not disappointed! The menu offered many local options and the Chef's plate exceeded the value.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Group of Twelve
    12togo
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We had a group of 12, and the food very good, I have already told a few that I have been talk since Saturday what a great place it was. I personally had the 4 course meal, I found the soup lukewarm. We were able to talk with out being bother to much. I don't know how you kept track of confirmation the reservations. I got an email from Open table and then got a phone call on Friday early afternoon to confirm my reservation, which I did. Then I got another call the evening for the same thing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food in Niagara region
    EnroutetoNiagaraFalls
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Fantastic food, environment and service. This is the best stop when travelling through to niagara falls to enjoy real food and wine/beer at very reasonable prices. Tried the "trust us" 3 course meal (app, main, dessert), very impressed with freshness of ingredients, quantity and quality of food and taste.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Niagara College Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Try a flight of local beers or wines. Excellent menu choices. Emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Desserts were excellent. A great spot for a relaxing dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Choices on the menu were varied and delicious.....prepared and presented perfectly......wine selection complimented our meals....a definite return visit!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.