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  • Benchmark

  • Online Reservations

  • Address:
    135 Taylor Rd
    Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON L0S1J0
  • 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.
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
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    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."
    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"
    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!!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "What a find within Niagara College - excellent food, service and all at very reasonable prices!"
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Great menu, fresh. Excellent service. Recommend to friends (local and international)."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "An excellent place for fine dining at an affordable price. We will visit again when we are in the area."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Have dined at Benchmark several times, and always get a lovely meal, along with great service."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Much improved over three years ago, now going back upscale. Food is very good, portions ample and service was attentive."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Very nice atmosphere, the food was very good, bread a little heavy/thick on the club house and the tomato lettuce etc was a little skimpy. It did take quite some time for the food to come out but the prices were very good compared to some of the local wineries. overall we would definitely go again"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "A great restaurant! Wish we were closer, would be here more often. Will definitely be here again when we are passing by the area!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Used a Christmas gift certificate for lunch...enjoyed a flight of beer,appetizer,main course & dessert...all gourmet! Server was informative,friendly & efficient. Don't miss this great Niagara dining experience"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Appetizers were amazing- trout & kale salad and charcuterie plate. The entree of seafood bouillabaisse had large pieces of fish with generous portions of clams and mussels. The squash was delicious and creative. Dessert was excellent also Our waiter, Christian, did a wonderful job."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Couldn't find restaurant due to poor signage. Main parking lot was under construction. Meal was cold especially the mash potatoes - not even warm. Our server was not attentive although the maitre'd did come around several times. Waited far too long for bill to arrive. Benchmark was one of my husband's favorite restaurants in the NOTL area. It's off the list now."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Good, creative local food. Would go there again. We've been twice and it has been enjoyable both times."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "The views are of the escarpment are always wonderful. In addition, this time we had huge groundhog just outside the window entertain throughout the meal. The food is everchanging to reflect the peak local items. The dishes are always innovative and delicious. Be sure the wines made by the college themselves. They are equal or better then any of the local wineries especially the Dean's List ones. The service was OK but below the normal excellent. It was disjointed and the desert order was messed up."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "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