Home Block: Indulge all year-long at this Okanagan destination restaurant
CedarCreek Estate Winery has been undergoing a beautiful transformation. One of Kelowna’s landmark wineries has been reincarnated into a stunning new group of stone walled buildings creating a distinct European village vibe. The entire project has not quite been completed, but the gorgeous tasting room has opened offering a chic and spacious space surrounded by floor to ceiling windows to absorb the views and ambiance of the winery.
The winery’s restaurant Home Block opened first this summer as an ambassador for the redefined CedarCreek brand. Lead by the genius of Chef Neil Taylor at the kitchen helm and GM Michael Ziff, the duo has executed a perfect launch of this new Okanagan destination restaurant. Both have moved from Vancouver to join our Okanagan food scene and both bring with them impressive histories in the restaurant industry and their sophisticated urbanic charm and wealth of knowledge.
Neil has won several awards over the years because of his talent in not only creating a delicious menu but also for having an eye to pair a unique character and style in the room. From his early career in London at the River Café to opening Cibo, Espana and The Fat Badger in Vancouver – he is a humble star, we are so lucky to have him here.
On theme with the entire project, the Home Block building is crafted from fieldstone and 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood adding warmth to the modernesque design. The room offers a super sensory experience with stunning detailed décor throughout this wide-open space. There are several different seating options ranging from the stretch of amazing outdoor terrace with a perfect view of Okanagan Lake (with heaters to extend the season), to banquettes and bar seats and a private dining room — indoor and outdoor.
The huge open kitchen has a sleek design allowing customers to watch the hive of activity as they dine. Neil’s menu offers an exquisite range of rustic Mediterranean and Spanish inspired cuisine made Okanagan style – all offering a power punch of flavours and layers of texture. These are thoughtfully created dishes, and all pair beautifully with the wine list featuring the CedarCreek winery family.
The calamari here is something of a phenomenon in its perfection. Chef says there is no secret to its preparation, making it even more mind boggling. The pastas are rich and hearty, the fish specials offer something unique and delicious like monkfish or John Dory – not the usual suspects, which speaks to their very progressive food philosophies here. The dishes feature ingredients in season and source the best possible sustainable projects. They are locavores, even much of the gorgeous pottery dishware used was thrown by a potter just up the road from the restaurant.
Best news is that Home Block is open all year long allowing locals to build them into their lifestyle and become regulars. This room will become cozy and romantic with snowflakes falling on the surrounding cedars and the winter light reflecting onto the beautiful stonework. Calling for a bottle of their best red, a braise or a pasta, will be a perfect night celebrating winter in wine country.
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