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Mark Picone Culinary Studio

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Location: 4075 Moyer Rd, Vineland, ON
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Website: http://www.chefmarkpicone.com/
Cuisine: Unclassified  

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User Reviews

  (2 reviews)
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reviewed by goume,   visited on 2006-12-07 ,  overall
I had a real treat last night: Dinner with 12 friends at Mark Picone's Culinary Studio in Vineland. It was one of the most memorable meals I have ever had.

The facility and the food were equally stunning. Chef has converted his garage into a beautiful cooking/eating space, with glass doors front and back. The room is mainly furnished with beautiful carved wood cabinetry from France, and black granite counters, with a long table in the middle for the feast. The back doors open onto a patio that looks over the Picone vineyard and down the escarpment to Lake Ontario: a quintessential Niagara vista.

Food highlights included a ricotta and parmesan quenelle atop walnut pesto; seared foie gras served atop candied spaghetti squash with small greens and pomegranete seeds; Tuscan ribollita, a hearty bean soup with root vegetables and kale; Elk tenderloin wrapped in a prosciutto "sleeve" with purple potatoes finished in the foie gras remnants; and creme brulee with a spiced peach ice cream "cone". Every flavour sang brilliantly all the way down.

The studio is BYOW, and my friends and I had a beautiful assortment of wines that included a 1988 Barsac with the foie gras, and three different Meritages with the elk, including the last two bottles of the amazing 1999 Maleta Vineyards Meritage from Stan Maleta's personal cellar.

I'm saving the best for last: our host. Mark is an incredibly talented chef who has cooked in wonderful restaurants in Canada and Europe, has been involved in training many of the best chefs in our region, and is widely considered to be one of the best that our country has produced. His knowledge of food and food producers, both globally and locally, is encyclopedic. More than that, though, he is a warm and delightful person who obviously delights in opening his home to people who share his passion for fine food.

oh, our gang eagerly accepted the invitation to arrive early to help with the cooking. I made the custard for our creme brulee in an $1800 Thermomix gadget that had me running home to amend my letter to Santa!

If you are looking for a truly unique dining experience with a group of people, give Mark a call, and he will create an evening for you that will simply blow you away.

reviewed by foodfan,   visited on 2006-11-25 ,  overall
I also had a great meal there. Additionally, Mark offered to have people arrive a few hours early and serve as "unpaid kitchen assistants" - he then educated those who accepted (not including me) on what was involved in preparation. For example they went out and picked fresh figs for the dinner, with explanations of which ones were perfectly ripe.
A big advantage is the BYOB - but a caution here, as some people MAY be tempted to overimbibe - and it's a long drive home for most people (unless you stay in a B&B locally).
No question on the quality, although I found the pricing relatively high (I'm guessing that an implicit corkage charge is built in). And also, you pretty much have to go as a group as the kitchen cooks for just the one table (actually it's all the same room) - which means you can't just drop by; somebody has to plan.

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