Of all the celebrated chefs in North America, dining at one of Jamie Kennedy’s restaurants has always been a top goal of mine. Since the opportunity to visit one of his Toronto eateries never seemed to come together, I jumped at the chance to check out Windows by Jamie Kennedy while staying at the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel on our recent visit to Niagara Falls.
I absolutely love Jamie Kennedy’s philosophy about food. His commitment to local, seasonal, sustainable gastronomy, and his relentless pursuit to define and celebrate Canada’s unique regional culinary character has made him a pioneer and trendsetting chef and restaurateur.
The first thing to mention about Windows is exactly that – the view is spectacular! The view of the Falls from the 14th floor of the Sheraton is simply breathtaking. The scenery alone makes dining at this restaurant worthwhile. The space is super bright and has a clean and natural feel. The decor is upscale yet comfortable.
As a marketing and branding company, one of the things that immediately jumped out at us was how consistent the brand experience is at this restaurant. From the logo, to the branded place settings, and even branded water bottles, there is no doubt who’s restaurant you are dining at. There’s also a great video running in the hotel promoting the restaurant that captures exactly what Jamie Kennedy is trying to achieve with his approach to food and dining. While the chef is prominent, he never overshadows the philosophy behind the food.
And now to the best part. The food! You know how you sometimes get all pumped up about trying something for the first time, and then when you do, the experience doesn’t measure up to the hype? Well, I’m happy to say that this was far from the case with Windows by Jamie Kennedy. I have to say that this was possibly one of the best dining experiences of our lives – and that’s saying a lot.
We started our meal with the Heirloom Tomato Salad featuring mixed Heirloom Tomatoes and Goats Cheese with Basil Syrup, and the Niagara Corn Chowder with house smoked Bacon and St. David’s Peppers. Right away you could taste the difference fresh local ingredients can make. The salad was crisp and flavourful without being overly dressed. Great ingredients, especially fresh vegetables, should be allowed to take centre stage without being overpowered by complex tastes. This kitchen clearly gets this fact. And what can I say about the soup – incredible! Silky texture and not overly rich or heavy. Perfect balance between the smoky bacon and sweet corn and peppers. Absolutely delicious!
And I have spoke about in the past that we occasionally indulge in our love for a guilty pleasure, Foie Gras when it is on the menu. So we couldn’t resist the Seared Foie Gras on a Baked Peach with Maple Drizzle. What can I say – unbelievably delicious. The peach was still firm and not mushy, and the foie gras was cooked to perfection. Again, this kitchen is masterful with these outstanding local ingredients. What a pleasure to experience dishes like these. Simply amazing.
Next, I have to make mention of our daughter’s meal. Judging by the amount she ate and how she was very hesitant to share, it probably was one of the best dishes she has recently experienced. How does Pulled Ontario Pork Poutine with Aged Smoked Cheddar and BBQ Jus sound? What an incredible dish. There was a write up on the process for making these famous JK French Fries – organic Yukon Gold potatoes, double deep fried in sunflower oil and seasoned with both coarse and fine sea salt and freshly chopped thyme. Crispy, yet soft in the middle. Outstanding!
For our main courses, we both ordered Pickerel, one from Lake Huron and one from Lake Erie. Both were incredibly tender and buttery and came with a variety of perfectly cooked seasonal vegetables and a very decadent Dill Beurre Blanc. You just can’t beat a piece of really good fish. This was one of those meals where all three of us were a chorus of mmmmmms throughout.
Although there was no room for dessert on this night, I should also mention that the wine list is excellent, featuring selections from famed Sommelier Tony Aspler. Really can’t rave about this restaurant enough. Service is outstanding as well. A must stop dining experience for foodies visiting Niagara Falls. HIGHLY recommended. For now, back to the cage.