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While the last year and a half has made it difficult to get out and enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant, London is chalk full of fine dining establishments that are ready to serve you now that restrictions have lifted slightly. There’s something special about taking the time to get dressed up to enjoy a brilliantly prepared meal and a glass of red in an upscale environment. The ambiance, the flavours and the service make for a memorable experience that, in our opinion, is well worth the premium.
David’s Bistro was opened in 1998 by David Chapman. After being the Chef and then Chef Owner of Anthony’s Seafood Bistro for 18 years, David decided to start over again and open a traditional French bistro-styled place with the emphasis on not just seafood but all aspects of food. With a daily prix fixe menu, regular menu and daily features, there is always a constantly changing selection. They offer a crispy roasted breast of chicken with mushrooms, bacon and whiskey sauce that is phenomenal. David’s Bistro provides an extensive and sensibly priced wine list, with chalkboard additions and everything served by the glass or bottle. All wine lovers are well taken care of here!
The name says it all. Garlic’s opened its doors in 1992 with the intention of spotlighting garlic as an integral ingredient as it enhances so many dishes that we know and love. Their garlic frites are a must try and the hot smoked garlic fettuccine will blow your mind. Owner Edin "Edo" Pehilj and his team take a farm to table approach with everything that they do and the restaurant itself offers a unique, artistic ambiance that showcases their deep rooted connection to the city.
They’ve recently introduced their "Hello Garlic’s" program where they offer pre-portioned meal kits so that you can recreate their delectable dishes in the comfort of your own home.
Located in the heart of Wortley Village is fine dining with a rock and roll twist. Company Bar is referred to by co-owner Gregg Wolfe as a culinary playground where they can have fun with creating their menu features and mixology. The space is approachable, casual and cool while remaining sophisticated and beautiful. They offer everything from the freshest east coast oysters and crafted cocktails to simple classics with a twist like burgers and beer.
One of the most loved restaurants in London, the Tasting Room is located in the heart of downtown. The atmosphere is warm and casual while remaining upscale. They have an extensive list of wines from around the world and offer flights for those who want to try a bit of everything. Their food menu is equally impressive and features everything from beef tenderloin to breast of chicken stuffed with both crab and lobster. If you manage to save enough room after dinner their Skor cheesecake is well worth the calories.
The Church Key follows the British tradition of the gastro pub by specializing in traditional food done with a gourmet flair. Chef Michael Anglestad has over 20 years experience in fine dining and uses seasonal, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The menu even features a ‘Game of the Week’ option where each week their chef creates a feature that showcases a different variety of game meat. Their lamb curry and eggplant moussaka are not to be missed! Owners Peter and Vanessa Willis have nearly 50 years combined experience in the restaurant industry and the opening of The Church Key in May of 2009 was the culmination of a long time dream.
Located just across from the infamous Covent Garden Market in downtown London, Abruzzi is a staple for upscale Italian inspired cuisine. Abruzzi uses local and sustainable ingredients working with farmers to source their products. Their wine list features both old world classics and local favourites from the Niagara region. While their menu changes with the seasons, their ricotta ravioli is a dish that we’d highly recommend.
A picturesque restaurant located inside of Museum London that isn't always top of mind, The River Room has beautiful floor to ceiling windows. With the restaurant overlooking the forks of the Thames, The River Room provides one of the very best views in the city. They offer an extensive menu that features everything from duck confit and pan roasted arctic char to simple classics like chicken wings and thin crust pizza.
Reverie is a place that can only be described as world class. This unique, 12-seat restaurant serves up an incredible Contemporary Canadian tasting menu every Thurs to Sat with only one sitting each night - so be sure to make a reservation! The menu at Reverie is creative, the food is presented beautifully, but most of all, it’s delicious. They offer a fixed menu that changes regularly and their wines are carefully selected to compliment the food you’re eating. Reverie truly offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience that can’t be found anywhere else in London.
A relatively new addition to the fine dining scene in London, Grace first opened its doors in 2019. While the restaurant itself embodies the word grace, it was named after owner Angie’s grandmother. Grace prioritizes beautiful, seasonal, local food as well as community and social responsibility. The menu offers both a la carte items as well as an incredible 5 course prix fixe menu. And if you enjoyed your dinner there, be sure to check out the 'Grace Pantry’, an online grocery/bottle-shop delivery service.
The Springs Restaurant, an upscale bistro located just west of downtown, has been serving savoury, seasonal cuisine to patrons since October 2011. Their menu pulls inspiration from all over the world and features everything from a delicious teriyaki prawn penne to an exotic mushroom risotto. The restaurant offers everything from indoor dining with live soft jazz to private corporate functions with set menus. The property is a renovated church with large windows, various levels, multiple patios and a small lounge adjacent to the primary dining floor.
As the name suggests, Micheal’s on the Thames is located on the banks of the Thames river. Since 1983, the restaurant has been a predominant spot for fine dining in London. Nowhere else in the city can you experience tableside cooking like this. Fantastic caesar salad, chateaubriand and flaming cheesecake are just a few of the dishes that they prepare right before your eyes. This restaurant has definitely evolved throughout the years and while it remains upscale, the atmosphere has definitely become more casual.
Well, there you have it. You’re now well equipped with a list of establishments that are sure to impress even the biggest critic. Lay out your finest attire and cleanse your palette because it’s time for you to get out on the town and enjoy the finer things. You deserve it!
Jesse Walker started @dinein519 in February of 2021 as a way to support local restaurants that may not have the time, resources or skillset to properly market their business. Dine in 519 supports restaurants by providing them with a professional photo shoot free of charge, writing about the experience and then marketing the photos through their digital channels. A lover of food and all things local, Jesse has been working as a marketing professional and photographer for nearly a decade. As the platform grows, Jesse looks to expand into other regions that may benefit from similar services.
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