When meeting up with a client or potential customer, sometimes a quick coffee shop meet-up or office visit will do the trick. Other times you want a memorable atmosphere, something out of the ordinary, something that will wow them.
Northeastern Ontario certainly has its fair share of restaurants that are a cut above. Whether you want a trendy but casual lunch, a private room in an exotic setting, or a hidden gem of fine dining, choose any of these restaurants to impress your client.
Trendy: Fromagerie Elgin
Artisan cheese is experiencing a renaissance. Small cheesemakers are springing up across Ontario and Quebec aiming to capture some of the success of long-standing family outfits such as Thornloe Cheese.
Many of these high end cheeses are featured at Fromagerie Elgin, a hot spot in downtown Sudbury. With its reclaimed chic décor and soaring ceilings, this lunch and dinner café would fit perfectly in Queen West, Toronto, or Williamsburg, New York.
Choose from a gourmet cheese plate with slabs of multi-coloured cheeses, fresh baguettes, and a bowl of olives and pickles, or something more substantial like an omelette and soup.
There is often live music in the evenings and rotating art exhibits by up-and-coming artists, so there’s definitely an arty vibe. The demographic is diverse – from families to seniors to groups of young people to business folk taking a lunch break.
Fine Dining: Cedar Meadows Resort
Trade the generic chain restaurant for 175 acres of forested wilderness surrounding a 49-room resort. Cedar Meadows in Timmins, Ontario offers its guests Nordic baths and full-service conference facilities, but their Le Voyageur Dining Room offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner to day visitors as well.
There are also private dining rooms in case you’d like somewhere quiet to discuss important business. There are hearty traditional northern offerings; such as venison pemmican and bannock, or a cheese and spinach crepe with potato soufflé for the vegetarians.
Room With a View: Rock Garden Terrace
What would better inspire lofty business goals and limitless deals than an expansive view of tree tops and the perfect blue waters of Lake Huron? Rock Garden Terrace Resort on Manitoulin Island has an unmatched cliff-top view to go with their $45 fixed course menu of hearty German fixings that includes homemade spaetzle, goulash, and schnitzel.
Before dinner, perhaps take a stroll along the one-mile nature trail, which includes a mystical cave. There are also rooms for overnight guests and a spa on site.
Hidden Gem: The Dish Cafe
The Dish Cafe in Kirkland Lake prides itself on using fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. It offers a three-course dinner for a very reasonable $35. And the variety of the ever-changing menu is amazing – one day you’ll find curry cauliflower stew and white wine braised rabbit the next. The Dish Cafe is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner and offers a quiet, refined atmosphere perfect for a business meal. If your guest isn’t from the area, they will be impressed with your insider knowledge of this hidden gem.
Exotic: Kabuki House
You don’t need to go to a major city to have an expert Japanese chef prepare your stir fry right in front of you. For a quarter of a century, downtown North Bay’s Kabuki House has served up spring rolls, sashimi, tempura, and every imaginable delight from the Land of the Rising Sun.
When you make your reservation at Kabuki House, be sure to request a table in the main dining room with a view of the Teppan table, the grill where Chef Masa cooks up his culinary creations. Upstairs there’s a Tatami room where guests sit on cushions on the floor as they enjoy their meal in traditional style. If you’d like a private atmosphere for your meeting, the Tatami room is the place to reserve.
Don’t settle for a loud or ordinary spot for your next important business meal. Clients will appreciate the diverse offerings of Northeastern Ontario’s urban and rural restaurants.
What are some of your favourite restaurants? Let us know in the Facebook comments, or tag us using #neontario!