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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
  • Email: benchmark@niagaracollege.ca
  • 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 WinnerGood for Groups
Diner Reviews
  • "Very nice experience dining here. Everything was top notch. Food and wine pairings were great, and the service was professional and friendly. What a great gem for young people learning "the ropes" for the restaurant, wine, and beer business. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We have been to Benchmark a few times and it is wonderful. Food is consistent and well priced. Nice service. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We love to go at Benchmark. The food and service are outstanding and affordable. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Great food and atmosphere. The students waiting tables and running the hostess stand could use a little seasoning, but overall it was a good experience and i would go back."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Portions are large so value is excellent. The bitter greens salad was very fresh, crisp, nicely dressed with a great complement of ingredients. The scallop appetizer was beautifully prepared and the soup quite delicious also. I had the quinoa-crusted butternut squash which was delicious. One of the squash slices wasn't quite as well done as the others but still very tasty. The chicken entree was beautifully prepared and very nicely presented. The dessert servings were substantial and the creme brule very delicious. Only the service was noticeably lacking. Although attentive, it was errors of how things should be done - not the server's fault. It would make for a much more relaxed experience if these issues were addressed."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Service was very pleasant and helpful but slow (or was it food preparation). However, it was a busy Friday lunch. Some food items were excellent (lobster salad and seafood entree) but steak was tough and pecan pie over cooked and tough. We enjoyed watching the students learn and having a brief chat with our server.t"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "the meal was good but the bun was not fresh and it was hard and burnt. I felt that the price was a bit high for the size of the meal I expected more. I will not come back."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Excellent choice of items, well balanced. Desserts very good ,nice presentation. Attentive service.Overall an excellent dining experience."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "While the food (winemaker's stew, followed by black forest cake) was very good, the portion size of the stew was extremely small for the $14. price. There was no bread and we had to ask twice before we received any. The dessert - black forest cake - was also very good and was presented in a pleasing style. The Niagara College wine we chose was also very good. Service was rather slow this time and we had to ask more than once for bread, then for the cheque."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We both selected the "Trust Us" item. The salad was delightful with a beef carpacio, micro greens and a maple dressing. Quail egg, goat cheese and thinly sliced beets rounded it out. Our main was a small steak with a fabulous chutney that was both hot and smoky. Dessert was a carrot cake. We were able to choose either a glass of wine or a beer for a terrific price of $25 each for the entire meal. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Out on an outing in Niagara on the lake and found this little gem in Niagara College. Great prices and awesome food with a nice scenic view. We had numerous items on the lunch menu and all were fantastic. We loved the atmosphere and enjoyed this restaurant from all aspects....food...service and the prices! Can't go wrong at Benchmark!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Went for dinner for a "surprise" birthday. Was pleased with the service, attention to detail, and the great surprise birthday dessert with Happy Birthday written in sauce. Great food, fresh and flavourful."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "and service levels were not up to standard.. food however was very good."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The service was top notch. Niagara College's Benchmark surpasses my expectations of a restaurant. This was my first time at the restaurant and will not be my last. Reasonably priced for the area and delicious. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I booked our reservation for a client lunch- great setting for this. Our salad with goat cheese and seafood was amazing. The servers were very attentive and respectful. The chef came to our table which was wonderful because he truly deserved to hear our positive feedback, our lunch tasted as amazing as it looked. I loved it!!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Thought food was outstanding. Chicken was as good as I've ever had. Daughter compared her meal to restaurants in Europe that she had recently visited. Little disappointed that they ran out of creme Brûlé , but our deserts were still great. Waitress was very pleasant and helpful. I enjoyed the layout of the facility. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to others!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Atmosphere was relaxed and a great view of the escarpment. Potato soup was delicious and the burger was one of the best burgers I've ever had. The waiter was helpful in suggesting a wine to pair with the lunch entree. The white chocolate cheese cake was a perfect finish to a great lunch. Definitely going to return."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The Niagara Culinary School trains culinary students with some notable alumni at "A" list restaurants across Ontario. The facility is eye appealing. Seating space is open. There are craft beers, wines, and other menu items available beyond the prix fixe we selected. The prix fixe menu for dinner was four courses paired with wine for $100 each. Wines were from the wine students. Space prohibits describing the variety of good food. The food outshined the service. We arrived at 7:30 and had wine served prior to each course. The delivery of each course from the onset of our wine delivery exceeded ten minutes at times. Other guests were in and out in less than the nearly two hours it took us for our meal."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I invited two friends to meet at Niagara College, Bench Mark Restaurant, as I had been a few times for business and wanted to share the experience with them. We enjoyed the Trust Us special, which is created by a Niagara College Chef in Training, and it was amazing. Started with salad topped with smoked salmon, ice wine jelly, fruit compote, delicious! Then the main course of sirloin cooked to perfection, roasted potatoes and onions, tasty and well presented. We finished the meal with a very large portion of cheesecake, which was perfect, but filling. For $25 which included wine, it was a bargain. I would recommend this restaurant for any and all occasions as after lunch we toured the Wine Centre then hiked on the Escarpment...perfect day!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We tried the "trust us" offering which provides an appetizer, entrée and dessert. It was all delicious and the presentation is amazing. I highly recommend this restaurant to others. What an opportunity for students in the food and hospitality industry to learn their trade and hone their skills."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We visited Benchmark because we wanted our grand-daughter to see Niagara College and the students' restaurant. She's interested in becoming a chef, and this school would be ideal for her. Every meal we ordered was superb: pasta, pizza, the chef's daily special called "Trust Us" and a seafood dish. The Creme Brulee dessert was also excellent. My husband and daughter enjoyed the wine selection, as well. (There is also a vintner course offered by the school.) We were so delighted with the restaurant that we plan to return with friends very soon."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Not from Niagara area, but we seek out your restaurant for special occasions...family of 5...3 children in their 20's. Always excellent service and menu using local food in season...a real treat for all of us. Really enjoyed our meal last Friday...everything delicious...only minor comment would be pizza crust a little tough...but delicious flavour. Our waiter was most accommodating and very professional. Will certainly be back...your restaurant is always our first destination choice!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Benchmark was a great experience. We visited for lunch on a Saturday afternoon and found the restaurant busy but not overwhelming. The menu is interesting, reasonably priced and a step up from regular fare. The food was tasty and would have received an excellent rating if it had not been for the temperature. The dishes that should have been hot were lukewarm at best. Still tasty, however would have been delicious if the correct temp. We will return and give it another chance!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The $25 trust us lunch is great value for money, especially as it includes a glass of Niagara College made wine or beer. The three course meal was very good and I liked the attention to detail, for example the plate upon which the main course was served was exactly the right temperature. You would never know you were in a student-run facility as food and service were both top-notch. Kudos!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "For my first visit to Benchmark, I chose the Saturday table d'hôte special. In short - I was impressed. The amuse bouche managed - despite its size - to have a surprising number of flavours which were distinct and yet went together. The serving of the rack of lamb was more generous than I had expected and not overwhelmed by the mustard-and-something rub. The chocolate dessert was satisfyingly dense - not the fluffery I expected. The wines were all fine - nothing unpleasant, nothing world rocking. I recall that the lightish cabernet sauvignon was a good choice for the lamb."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "At a culinary/hospitality school you expect good food & service with a couple hitches along they way since they are learning. But wow, everything about dinner exceeded my expectations & nothing to complain about. The restaurant is beautiful, the service is great & friendly, and the food was exceptional! Was there on Feb 15th, so dined off the Valentine's Day set-menu. Was very surprised by the oyster starter as the amuse bouche & the truffles to finish which were not on the menu. All the dishes were amazing but if I had to pick, I would say my chateaubriand was my favourite. It was perfectly cooked (med-rare) and very well seasoned jus. Will definitely be back, especially when it is warmer and during the day to sit on the patio."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "it is a special building with a open air view to renew your scenses. The servers and chefs are young people aspiring to become great in what they do , worth the try for that thought alone except the food and service are special by themselves"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Entire dinner took 2 hours 30 minutes or so. My food was amazing, my gf's food was fair. Her medium rare steak was well done and tasted like a poor rost beef."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We had a wonderful evening. No complaints. Our waitress was great. Thanks."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The Niagara College students shine in their restaurant. Service, Food and presentation very good. Our party of 5 was celebrating two 50th birthdays. The staff provided appropriate decorated desserts for the celebrants. Low key but perfect. I had the 'trust us' prix fixe menu. Great value which includes a glass of wine from their own vineyard."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "It is always a pleasure to dine at the Benchmark. Lunch is my favourite meal to have there and I always invite a friend to share the experience. Good food, good service and just the right amount of energy happening around you plus, believe it or not ,comfortable chairs. I include it in my list of Top Ten restaurants to recommend."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Benchmark continues to surpass expectations. Food is expertly prepared, with the chef coming to the table to explain his choices. Their "trust us" selection is a wonderful idea and diners get great value. Service is impeccable--friendly and genuine. Niagara should be proud of this gem of a restaurant and newcomes should put it high on their list of must-dine venues. Yes, it's that good."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Having been to the brewery and winery several times we thought my husband's 30th birthday was the perfect time to try the restaurant and we were not disappointed. I had the coast to coast perfect dish with 3 different types of fish. My husband had the "Trust Us" set menu - the beets and smoked trout were a great start, chicken with bacon butter and rissotto cake were delicious and the fruit flan ended the meal perfectly! Paired with Niagara College wine for me and beer for him. Delicious. We will be back!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "The cheesecake is amazing!! Its the most heavenly thing to ever taste. The creme brulee is good too. The teas they pair the desserts with are also fantastic. They give you a small teapot with loose leaf tea, very good. The service is very friendly and attentive. The appetizers are also very good. Fresh slices meats and cheese, and potato creme chowder is great. The main course was delicious. The students who cook there really seem to care about their presentation of the food, and the food quality. It is nice knowing there is someone cooking for you who cares so much about doing a good job. :)"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Great food and service - overal an excellent experience!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "I have been to this restaurant a handful of times over the past two years and it never disappoints. The food just melts in your mouth. It is gourmet dining at regular prices. Service is excellent and staff are warm and friendly, always treating me as though I were their most valued customer. At Benchmark it is about the whole dining experience, not just the food. This is one of Niagara's best kept secret. I highly recommend it."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "Usually Benchmark is extremely good, but on this particular day, the food was not up to par. Will not deter us, however, from returning, as normally the restaurant's food is delicious."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "Dining at the Benchmark restaurant is an above average experience. We enjoy that the tables are not crushed together and the open concept with all the windows makes it feel like an outdoor experience without any of the tiny annoyances of eating outdoors at restaurants. The staff is friendly and helpful. The desserts are artfully arranged and always a pleasure. The Benchmark is my goto place for unexpected company or just for lunch with friends. It's always good."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "We recently had lunch at Benchmark and LOVED it! I had the Schnitzle and I can say that I could eat that everyday. It was really really great! Loved the decor and feel of restaurant too. Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Had a great afternoon at the Benchmark. Food was professionally done and taste was top-notch. The chardonnay was a bit too oaky, but very enjoyable with the fine stemware. The mussels were done just right and the source was terrific, especially with the fresh bread. The coffee was brewed freshly. We had a great time and definitely will come back. Our complements to the chefs, and your team. It was a great experience."
    Dined on 1/9/2014