Brampton’s food scene boasts a wealth of options for a romantic dinner with your Valentine, which we apprecaite greatly. But outside of our city’s boundaries, there are hundreds — even thousands — of restaurants across Canada that you absolutely need to have a candlelit dinner at.
If you’re looking to get outside of our city for a cozy and romantic meal with your boo, there are many restaurants that are worth the drive for Valentine’s Day.
Here are five restaurants you could check out for Valentine’s Day dinner outside of Brampton (in no particular order):
5) Trius Wines
Whites, reds, sparkling wine, icewine, and more, Trius is first and foremost a winery in Niagara, so if you’re a big wine drinker or just want to have a luxurious wine experience (wine is extremely romantic after all), Trius is the place to go. Set on a few acres of land, this winery and restaurant is described by owners as an “unrushed sensory experience, a time out that lets you taste, feel and discover.” Looking for a niche wine? Try a showcase wine, where no two barrels taste alike, like the Single Barrel Chardonnays or the Showcase Riesling, made in small batches. This place also boasts nine winery tours — wine for days!
Now let’s talk food. Chef Frank Dodd is the brains behind the fine dining restaurant. His menu emphasizes local ingredients, working with farmers, growers and producers to bring fresh food to the table. There’s brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, and share plates, and menus are subject to change based on available ingredients. For dinner, you can try such interesting meals as the Maple Baked Winter Parsnips, or even White Fish from Lake Huron. Pictured below is the chef’s take on a charcuterie board.
4) O Noir
O Noir operates its dining experience from Toronto or Montreal — so you can either stay close to home or make the drive with this one. The novelty behind O Noir comes from surprises, so you and your Valentine can try something new to get your senses going.
It’s moreso the experience that you’ll be going for, though the food isn’t shabby itself. O Noir is all about dining in the dark. You’re served by blind servers, you rely on your other four senses (minus sight, of course) to eat, and you get an interesting sensory experience. What’s more — some of their dishes are listed as “surprises” so you won’t know what you’re getting until its in your mouth, like the surprise meat, seafood, or vegetarian starters, or the surprise main, or the surprise desserts. There are listed menu options if you’re not up for that many surprises in one night. Cajun fish, shrimp rosotto, and vegetarian stir fry are on the menu of mains.
Feeling stressed by all the surprises? Don’t worry — there is booze…but you’ll have to drink that in the dark, too. If you’re up for it, that is. There aren’t many photos of their food that exist (surprised?!), but check out their classy lobby. O Noir has three service starting times for Valentine’s Day, 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.
Over in the Hammer (a.k.a. Hamilton…or the Hamz, do people call it that?), you’ll find Toast Wine Bar, one of the best wine tasting venues in the city. This place is run by best friends Christine and Sara, who call their special wine bar a “full-bodied experience” that’s both “zesty” and “a little tart.” With descriptors like those, any quirky and wine-loving couple could enjoy their restaurant experience here.
Toast Wine Bar boasts only local and quality ingredients, and you can order such cozy dishes as meat and cheese boards (with cheese from the local Mickey McGuire’s), toasted potato sourdough topped with roasted squash or bacon and brie, or even a small plate of parsnip fries or sweet beets. As for Valentine’s Day, something pretty special is happening here — Winemaker Kevin Panagaka of 2027 Cellars will be at Toast Wine Bar to share and talk about his wines, while couples snack on loaded charcuterie boards. And, you’ll even get to take one home. Tickets are $150 for you to Sip’n’Snack Your Way to Love!
2) Il Buco
Il Buco Ristorante has been in downtown Barrie for eight years now, so you know they’re doing something right. This romantic Italian restaurant boasts lakeview dining, a “Nostalgic Italian” and “Old World” feel, and a fresh menu selection every day (they are closed on Mondays, though…but Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday this year — score!).
Their dinner menu has an Italian dish for everyone, includng salads like caprese, and beef carpaccio, apps like steamed musslels and oven roasted garlib with a goat’s cheese cream sauce, pine nuts, and sundried tomatoes, pasta like classic lasagna and manicotti, and a fresh pasta of the day, and entrees like fresh fish of the day, pollo florentina, and pork scaloppini gorgonzola. Not drooling yet? Maybe a glass of wine here will enhance your taste buds. As for dessert, you’re sure to find a mouth-watering tiramisu here that you and your boo can feed to each other. You should probably make a reservation well in advance here, it’s sure to be a Valentine’s Day hotspot. Check out all that wine.
We could not possibly have a Valentine’s Day restaurants list without a steak house on it! You’ll find Golf’s on Lancaster Street in Kitchener, alongside the Historic Grand River. You can even get a spot here with a view of the Grand River to kick up the romance a notch. This place is huge — you can get a spot in the Back Room which has frosted windows and is the most private area in the dining room, the Solarium Room with partial views of the river, the Front Room which is the largest area in the dining room, or the Inside Room which is the most “mobility friendly” — perhaps if you’re on a double or triple date this is a good spot for you.
On the menu you’ll find nearly ten kinds of steak, from rib eye, to Chateaubriand for two, to filet mignon, and beyond. You can also get a rack of lamb or a pork chop if you’re feeling a solid chunk of meat. As for seafood, Golf’s boasts such entrees as stuffed fillet of sole, surf and turf, or even jumbo lobster tails. Vegetarians don’t need to shy away, though, because this place has penne, lasagna, stir fry, and cabbage rolls for you. And let’s not forget about the extensive wine list of reds and whites by the glass or by the bottle! Golf’s has been around since 1975, so you’re likely to have a solid romantic dining experience here.