Benchmark

4.6
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1421 Reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Contemporary American
****Dining Room temporarily closed due to the evolving COVID-19*****

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 1421 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KN
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

NC served up one of the best burgers we have even had, plan to return soon.

F
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

This was not the first time we've been to Benchmark for lunch and we were not disappointed! The service was great, very attentive! We were in a bit of a rush, so we let the server know and we got our food quickly and we were able to make it to our appointment following our lunch without any trouble! The food was tasty and cooked perfectly! We look forward to our next visit there!

KF
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great lunch. The quality of the food was fantastic. A great Experience!

OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time! Love the food and the place!

DA
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visit the restaurant several times a year and it never disappoints. Lately some guests have complained about the service and wait times. They should lighten up it's a teaching restaurant. The food price and portion size are certainly comparable to fine dining restaurants in the area. Everything we've had has been excellent. The drink and dessert prices are well below other comparable restaurants and the desserts are a real work of art.

KC
Toronto
14 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Love to visit, but a few of our favourite menu items are missing. Notable the lovely, butternut “fries”. As a GF person, this was a treat. They have replaced the items with “vegetable” and “from the sea” similar menu items, (designed to upgrade the menu). Not my favourite.... they should stick with what is excellent. Still a great place to visit.

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Christmas with friends

s
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

3 of our 7 guests ordered the scallops, and each of them found them to be undercooked.
But the waiter and chef obliged and fixed them a new plate. Waiter was excellent.

The crazy ladies from Vineland.

JK
Toronto
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had scallops. They were excellent and as requested light on the butter. It wasn't full so the noise Ievel was good although I don't think it gets bad. The menu was diversified and the prices reasonable. Service good and friendly.

A
Toronto
10 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Benchmark never disappoints! The food is great quality and the service is friendly and professional. Also, the restaurant itself is super cute! The patio in the summer is lovely too. Love that they make their own beer and wine as well! Makes for a great experience!

S
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Three good friends celebrated a "Girls' Night Out" and paired a fantastic meal with a flight of wonderful local wines, including those from Niagara College. It was a wonderful evening! Thank you to all of the staff at Benchmark for a memorable meal!

h
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We went on Saturday night for my Birthday celebration. My dinner was lovely, however, my Husband's dinner was certainly not worthy of a restaurant like this. We don't mind spending extra money on a "celebration" restaurant however, we sent my Husband's meal back which I think we have only done twice in 20 years. He had the special meat selection, a beef tenderloin. It was so under seasoned and flavourless that we were quite surprised. When it came back from the kitchen, the same piece of meat, it barely tasted any different. As we were at a Culinary School's restaurant, I think the food should have been outstanding but this meal really lacked and that's why we sent it back. We are new to the area and dined here once before but not sure that we will again. The service was top notch, no complaints there at all from the greeting at the door to the end of the meal.

C
Toronto
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our time together over lunch in a festive setting.

JB
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our lunch was fantastic - compliments to the chef for the parsnip soup, shaved prime rib on a bun and roasted veggies on a bun

A
Calgary
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
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 on November 15, 2019
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
12 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
4 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
Toronto
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.