We got going around 2:00, and after a late lunch stop in Erie, made it to Buffalo just in time for rush hour at 5. We decided to cross the Rainbow Bridge, because we didn't want to get on the QEW, and the overhead signs said there may be a 2-hour wait at the Queenston Bridge. But somehow we missed any signage there may have been about Rainbow Bridge, and we ended up at Queenston anyway. But eh, not so bad after all, though it did take probably almost an hour. But then we were able to get right on the Niagara River Parkway, and we pulled in to the Cedar Gables B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake a little after 7:00.
After settling briefly into our rooms, we drove a mile or so to the Riverbend Inn upon our hostess' recommendation. It seemed that we timed it just right, because it appeared that a lot of people were leaving at that point to go to their 8:00 shows, so we had no trouble getting a seat on the lovely outdoor patio overlooking the Peller Estates vineyards. A wedding had just ended on the lawn (hence the bunches of balloons), and the bridal party was on their way into the nearby "Coach House" for their reception. I had a vegetable soup which was very good – a fresh tomato base, with lots of rosemary, and small pieces of various vegetables (zucchini mainly, but some others). The zucchini seemed to have been marinated and then roasted perhaps (?) before putting it into the soup at the end, because it had a very fresh texture and a flavor all its own. Then I had warm chevre crostini with heirloom tomatoes, tomato oil, and arugula – also extremely tasty! And a glass of a local Chardonnay. By the end though, we were being eaten alive by the mosquitos (the outdoor seating had sounded like a good idea at the time, but after dark, not so much) – so we were unable to partake of the (as I see now on their website) delicious dessert menu.
Instead, we drove back into the main street of town, and decided to walk around a bit and see if there was a cafe or something where we could get dessert. There was a bakery still open, with lots of yummy-looking treats, but no seating. So we opted for the Shaw Cafe and Wine Bar, across from the Royal George Theater, where I had Peach Wine/Mango gelato, and espresso. The others chose some yummies from the dessert case. It was about 10:30 by then, so all the shops were closed, but it was fun to walk around.