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“Yummy food on the hillside”

The Bistro at Hillside Winery
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Ranked #13 of 210 Restaurants in Penticton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$6 - US$27
Cuisines: Canadian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Riddle Road
Description: Head Chef Brent Pillion and his team at The Bistro serve exceptional, contemporary wine country cuisine complemented by breathtaking views of vineyard and Lake Okanagan. Located in the heart of Naramata Bench wine region, Hillside prides itself in proving its customers with the “Ultimate Naramata Experience”. Hillside’s well-equipped cellar, under the direction Winemaker Kathy Malone, produces top quality Okanagan Valley wines destined for many markets. Unique, small-lot, and terroir-driven are terms best used to describe our wines. Our focus is showcasing hand-crafted wine made exclusively from our estate vineyards and other Naramata grape growers.
Reviewed August 26, 2018

A nice find along the Naramata Road and surrounded by vineyards and views of Lake Okanagan. As with many eateries in wineries, the produce heavily flavoured foods in small tapas like portions to facilitate sharing and pairing. The food here was quite excellent, and unlike the near molecular gastronomy of Liquidity, Hillside's approach was more robust Tuscan influenced.

We had the wagyu beef carpaccio with rocket, shaved gouda, potato chips all drizzled with white truffle sauce....I could have eaten the whole plate and ordered another. Grilled farmer's sausage, sauerkraut and house baked sourdough was enjoyed by the kids. The richness of the duck rilette was balanced by the tangy sweetness of the cornichon pickles against the plain background of the roasted shallot crackers. Honey roasted beets with mixed greens, pecans and pesto worked well together. Wines and a colourful variety of warmed olives are always a hit. I really enjoyed the lamb Merguez pasta as I'm a big fan of rich, spicy, grilled Moroccan merguez sausages. This was tossed in a rich rose cream with peas, penne topped with refreshing ricotta cheese. The calamari fricassee was similar in a spicy, tangy thick coating of roast pepper and chick pea puree, soft calamari, toasted bread and rocket. Nice but heavy. We also had fish tacos that looked good but were delivered to the other end of the table and never made it's way to me to at least have a photo. The pork belly on steamed bao with fresh slaw and jalapeño aioli was delicious. Soft bao and deeply flavoured pork belly make for an awesome combo. If you're touring the Naramata Bench area and are looking for some food to balance a few dozen wine tastings, this is the place. If you're not touring there, but are looking for a nice place to lunch over the valley views, this is still the place...and have some wine while you're at it!

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Thank nyeemd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 16 of 474 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2018

We keep returning to this Bistro on every visit to Naramata and are never disappointed. The dishes are creative, original and tasty. The lamb pasta is outstanding as well as the calamari. The service is always great.

Thank Goodstay_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 24, 2018

Had a lovely time catching up with family at the Hillside. Love the Patio ambiance, great service with a knowledgeable server who happily answered all of my picky foodie questions. Did not judge me when I got a wine other than what was recommended for my main. One star taken away because of the big ego in the kitchen that wouldn't do a med well steak for my cousin. This is not New York, and you are not Anthony Bourdain (God rest his soul). On a lighter note, that fish was cooked perfectly for my taste, super moist and warm throughout, just enough for the opacity but not too much to lose any precious juices. Sexy.

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1  Thank cerebraloddity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 17, 2018 via mobile

Great wine, amazing food, awesome service. Really recommend the wagyu carpatio & fish or pork belly tacos.

Thank Ryan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 17, 2018 via mobile

I was so excited to go here but left feeling like I got a bad tourist deal. We were given a Bistro postcard from our cottage rental that offered free tastings and a sharing menu that starts at 30 per person. We were told by the management those are fall/winter prices. Today’s menu is 45 pp and wine is $15 extra. Not sure why it’s okay to charge more but that’s their right.

The menu seemed tasty and the reviews said we must try this place so in we went. I don’t mean my comments to be harsh but when a restaurant has recommendations and high prices my standards go up too. We dine out a lot and have travelled extensively and this menu didn’t appear extravagant to us.

We went for lunch on a Friday without a reservation. Sat on the highly recommended roof top patio. The diners were an assortment of people in spandex bike shorts, families with kids, and couples casually dressed. I believe reviews claimed the patio had a view. I did sit facing the lake but the wall is so high I couldn’t see over it. I could see the view if I hunched and looked between the beams. After the beams I saw power lines and a parking lot. So I’m not sure about this view claim. The chairs and tables are basic patio sets without cushions so not too comfy. There was no breeze so it was pretty hot. Maybe they could use a fan? ( check out rooster or lake breeze for amazing ambience ). We were given ice water without asking and the napkins were linen... but mine had food on it. I was given another.

We had a wonderful server who explained some menu choices were small portions to be intended to share as tapas style. Problem is the prices didn’t make it easy to order a selection. Most appetizers choices were $11 which is fine but not when you forwarn me to expect small portions. I ordered the rosemary sourdough bread for 6 dollars (4 pc) and added goat cheese for another 5 dollars. The bread was very tasty. The goat cheese was soft like yogurt and was okay. I also ordered the kale Caesar salad $11. The waitress warned me it was a small portion and suggested I might like the warm Mediterranean salad which surprise was $17. I declined this odd up sell. Hot salad on a hot patio? I paired my lunch with a white bistro wine. I thought $10 a glass was a bit steep considering I’m at a winery but then was even more surprised when she carefully asked me if I wanted 5 or 8 oz. don’t most places use 6 and 9 oz?
My salad was about 2 cups. It had lovely pieces of real bacon. Unfortunately the kale was not destemmed and the leaves were so large I had to cut them with a knife. Salads should not need cutting. Sadly it was lacking something. It tasted more vinegary than it should. Like it was missing the garlic.

My husband ordered a lamb pasta. $21 The portion was about 1.5 cups. It included ONE lamb sausage. He was expecting actual cuts of lamb meat. The description didn’t indicate sausage. It was tasty but nothing phenomenal. A bit stingy for the price.

We examined the wine list a bit more and noticed they sell bottles of their wine ( instead of a glass). The cheapest bottle was $48-50. But they sell lots of their wine at much lower prices 22, 24,26. That was confusing.

Needless to say we did not stay for dessert. I was so excited to go here and left feeling hungry and unimpressed. I think the bill was 65-70. That’s steep for a tapas lunch menu. I think it’s just a hot patio with uncomfortable chairs and okay food, not phenomenal but okay and an overpriced wine list. I’ve been to the other places on the bench which have comparable prices better portions and offered more unique settings and menu choices. In my opinion..

Their red wine is fantastic and priced well for what it is. We bought 4 bottles after leaving their tasting room. Could have spent the money in the restaurant but it wasn’t worth it.

Thank vancvrkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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