Benchmark

4.5
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1407 Reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Contemporary American
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.
What 1407 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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A
Calgary
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Dinner was fabulous. our server was a little quiet and kept disappearing but someone was always there to chat us up and ask if we needed anything. The bread with honey butter was so amazing. I had the scallops. A little oily for my taste but my husband loved the one I gave up. His plate was clean after his steak. I had the apple pie for dessert, even though I had NO room and then couldn't stop eating it. BEST PIE EVER. Can't wait to go.

l
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We come to Benchmark at least 3-4 times per year. We come from out of town and make it our destination for lunch! Love that the food always changes and it reflects local farms and producers. The service is always good and attentive. We highly recommend Benchmark to our friends and co-workers.

LV
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Warm and inviting and the service was impeccable! We had a little issue with one of the meals and it was rectified immediately. You must try the Digby scallops with risotto! It was to die for! The scallops were cooked perfectly ! If you are ever in the Niagara on the Lake area, make Benchmark a MUST go to restaurant. It's very easy to find as it's in the Niagara College Campus. And bonus, there is a free parking area for Benchmark guests!

b
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice setting with all glass surroundings. My friend enjoyed the beer that is brewed at the college brewery. The appetizer of fried vegetables bites was quite good, The restaurant must have listened to one of the reviews that complained about the scallop and turbot dishes being too small because we found them to be ample portions and delicious. The presentation of my pumpkin cheesecake could have been better but the combination was very tasty. My friend was celebrating her birthday, and our server was able to substitute the vanilla ice cream for the peach marmalade flavour to go with the yummy apple crumble. Our server also got the kitchen to write Happy Birthday on her plate. Nice touch.

MG
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We love your restaurant and come at least once a year from Toronto. This year was very good except for the timing. We waited over an hour for our main course. The waitress did all she could for us and was fab. However we waited ages for our appetizer and then our entree. There was a party of sixteen whose order went in at the same time. We realize this is a learning restaurant and just wanted everyone to be aware that timing can be a problem. The dessert came almost immediately. It was delicious!!!

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is exceptional. They make their own wine, beer & spirits and have their own greenhouse for herbs and more. You want to talk fresh? They use local farms for their fruit & veg, when they can and there wasn't anything that passed my lips that wasn't delicious. The service is fantastic and they are all students learning their career trades. Can't rave enough about everything. Go there and you will see.

NG
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience1

The portions were horrible. Friend Talbots fish was the size of my thumb. Took an hour to get our food and no one came by to ask us if we wanted any drinks. Servers have no idea serve me a vodka with soda that was black. When I questioned she had no idea what I was getting at. I would never consider nor recommend a dining experience again.

SH
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great venue in a nice setting. Excellent service. Menu offers a good variety and the food is good. Interesting winelist features college labels. Problem with pricing: $19 pasta dish offered 1 cup of pasta. Count on $75 for lunch for two without wine.

VK
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed our meal very much and will be back again!

JM
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience. Like all culinary school restaurants it takes a little extra time to complete the meal but it’s worth it. A great extra from the restaurant is ordering a wine flight with four choices so you can put together your own tasting menu.

C
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was excellent all around. Fresh, local, scratch. Beer from the college was also very good. The wines tasted a bit young. Also very good service especially from students. A note from someone who worked in hospitality for many years: make sure the servers are all able to acquire and care for the appropriate clothing for service - e.g. - long enough pants, shorts sized so that the top button can be done up and tie tied, ironed, shoes polished etc. Minor but important detail. Otherwise - a great experience! Thank you.

TC
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

There were five of us and everyone was very pleased with the evening. Great food and service. Some older folks so the quiet atmosphere was important. Menu was short which was fine because it was diverse and everyone had an easy time choosing. All five picked different entrees' which speaks well of the choices. Some were unusual (Turbot) and not common. All were well prepared. Staff were enthusiastic and contributed to a nice evening.

j
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

A good first-time experience for us at the Benchmark. However, the time difference between appetizer and the main course was over 35 or more minutes. All in all, we'll be back. Thank you.

RT
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have told our many friends about the lovely meal we enjoyed on Saturday. Every dish was well presented and tasty. Chris was a great server and most attentive. Thanks for the special birthday treats of Caprese salad and the lovely ice cream presentation. It was a memorable meal that we ope to repeat when in the area. Keep up the great work!

AJ
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great food, presentation and service

M
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We had a very nice lunch, well prepared with a nice selection of wines. The staff were good and ensured that my food allergy concerns were properly addressed. The deserts were also great- one of the best cream brûlée’s I have had in a long time.

JF
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!!! A must!

RS
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience5

Service was just so-so. The local wine made at the winery was very good though. Not a huge menu selection.

LK
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful setting. Service great. Food delicious and well presented

LS
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent, the atmosphere was nice, and the service was very good as well. Good value for what you get.

DR
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The service was excellent and the food was prepared perfectly. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Casual and pleasant atmosphere and delicious food!

HG
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We were a group of four (two couples) with a reservation for 5:30. We were seated immediately. I ordered a glass of Two Sisters Unoaked Chardonnay and was presented with a glass of red wine. I didn’t say anything and just drank the red wine. We waited a significant period of time for our appetizers, but because we were friends catching up and chatting we didn’t really notice the time. After our appetizers we’re cleared we waited for dinner; and waited, and waited. About 20 minutes after our appetizers were cleared our server told us it would be 10-15 minutes for our dinner, which was followed with with another visit to advise it would be a bit longer. The two people that ordered steaks said they were very good. I had pork, which was very good as well, but my friend had the chicken supreme and was very disappointed. We will come to the restaurant again because we like the food and the service, and know that it’s a teaching restaurant, but the wait for food was a disappointment.

A
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed our dining experience at Benchmark. The students working there were very friendly and very professional. The venue was comfortable and quiet with a nice view of the surrounding campus.
Looking forward to going back some time.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent menu selections that accord for a range of dietary needs, including vegan (latter is rarely available in Niagara-On-The-Lake dining establishments). Excellent service & delicious cuisine!

JO
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service - very personable staff. Requested modifications to meal because of allergies and they were very accommodating. Food was delicious, highly recommend the restaurant.

DD
Ottawa
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food5service4ambience1

Great food, very good service, noise, inconsiderate and disrespectful bridal party that ruined the experience. Many people complained but unfortunately after the manager asked them to tone it down they were rowdy again. The manager ended up calling security when one of the other guest confronted them about their lack of consideration. The bridal party had finished their meal but were allowed to remain and drink rather than being asked to leave. I will think twice about returning after this episode. I paid good money for the evening but did not enjoy it, nor did my guests who were there for the first time. It is suppose to be a pleasant dining experience that should be kept that way. Please empower your staff to remove people who are there to be loud and obnoxious so that others may enjoy their experience.

G
New England
11 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Always innovative, locally sourced food. The waitstaff is eager to please and well versed in all the offerings available. We come as often as possible.

M
Toronto
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

While the four of us enjoyed most of our lunch choices, there were a couple of things that should be noted for reference to the chef. The Risotto tasted fine but had too much corn as a filler in it. The Misto looked like all the fish were hidden in what appeared to be a breaded coating, so much so that you couldn't distinguish the different fish. However, we were very happy with the server and the service received, and would recommend Benchmark to our friends.

w
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

good place to have quiet leisurely lunch. Service bit slow but food is great. After the lunch, toured the greenhouse, the food labs, the flower and vegetable market and the beer building . My foreign guests enjoyed the tour as much as the food. Certainly better to eat here then shop at the outlet mall. Overall, it was a memorable experience.

GC
Toronto
30 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent lunch on the patio.

SD
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brandon our server was extremely courteous, and couldn’t do enough for us as we had a few questions. He did a fantastic job.

DV
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience. Celebrating our anniversary - the entire evening at Benchmark was incredible, from food to staff - Highly recommended.

OT
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience5

You have to visit the restaurant with the mindset that it’s students cooking and serving you. There will be hiccups and mistakes and i think depending on the time of year visiting, you may encouter brand new or more experienced students at different capacity. The ambience was nice, food presentation was excellent. Half of us liked our food, the other half had some issues with the doneness of the meat. Our server was quite unexperienced and had a bit of language barrier but was very pleasant and she tried hard. Overall, good experience but definitely needs some improvement. Would love to give it a second chance some day.

VC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food at decent prices. Every time I go to Niagara I will definitely return!

ES
Toronto
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The meal was delicious and beautifully presented . Waitress was very pleasant and competent. A lovely meal altogether. Will certainly return.

R
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Delicious food at great prices. One of the better restaurants on Niagra on the Lake. Well worth the drive out to get lunch and MUCH better than most offerings on the strip for lunch, which are over priced and not of the best quality. My only regret is not finding out about this place sooner as we come to Niagra on the Lake quite often. Don't miss out on eating here. The pork belly dish was delicious!

HJ
Toronto
22 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing experience. Loved the service, eating area, noise level (dome shape keeps noise low), food quality and value! Can't believe the large portions with the superb quality. We'll be back.

BD
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fabulous! The service was above expectations and the delightful hostess made a point of stopping by to ensure that all was well throughout our stay.

OI
London
11 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were able to enjoy the patio and a delicious lunch. I highly recommend Benchmark

BG
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my second visit to Benchmark in the last month. Both experiences were excellent in terms of quality of food and service. I will definitely return and recommend it to others.