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Peter Cellar’s Pub on the lower level of the Mono Cliffs Inn invites guests to get cozy in its homey atmosphere. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

On May 9, Vacay.ca will give away a Grand Prize for dinner for two, round-trip airfare and a luxury hotel stay to the winner of the 2013 Foodie of the Year Contest. Eligible entrants vote for their favourite Canadian restaurants and can submit their reviews of their dining experiences, some of which will be published. Louise Dorfman submitted the following entry about why she feels the Mono Cliffs Inn is the top place to dine out in Canada. Join in the debate over the Best Restaurants in Canada by sending in your vote to vote@vacay.ca, or providing a review of your own on our Have Your Say page!

Story by Louise Dorfman
2013 Vacay.ca Foodie of the Year Contest Entrant

MONO CENTRE, ONTARIO — I will start with the pub, because that is our favourite place to chill in the Mono Cliffs Inn. Peter Cellar’s Pub is an experience not to miss for anyone who plans on visiting the Hockley Valley in Ontario. Manager Wayne Biegel runs a pub like no other.

The rustic country atmosphere is matched by an upscale and delicious menu, which comes from the inn’s restaurant kitchen upstairs. This is not pub fare. Every appetizer, main course, and dessert is beautifully presented and of the highest standard.

Wayne makes sure everyone is at home. In fact, you feel that you have gone to a party at his home. If you are lucky, he will pull up a stool in the middle of the small room, in-between the tables, and tell great stories — seemingly all from his own experiences.

We have enjoyed intimate conversations there, at a table for two, and have met other locals who feel just as welcome, greeted by Wayne like long lost friends. It is so nice to enter a room and be greeted personally by the host, with a hug and a laugh, and “What can I bring you tonight?”

Sometimes Wayne asks us to let others join our table, if we are seated at one of the large picnic tables that surround three sides of the room. And we have met the nicest people that way, from the area, from Toronto, and from farther afield.

I do not drink much, but Wayne knows my favourite drink. I cannot turn him down, because he is so delightful. And hey, it adds to the evening’s fun!

You can go for a quiet lunch at the pub, or drop by anytime in the afternoon or evening from Thursday to Sunday night.

Reservations are not required — nor are they taken — but you had better get there early if you want a seat at the dinner hour.

Mono Cliffs Inn Delights Food Lover

For special occasions, we dine at the restaurant upstairs, where there is a larger menu to choose from, table cloths and great service as well. The atmosphere is sophisticated, and intimate, yet has the same country flavour as the downstairs pub.

The menu is on several blackboards around the room. Carol Hall, the owner of the Mono Cliffs Inn, often drops by our table for a chat. She is tons of fun, and makes us feel like special guests every time.

In the last few years, Carol has upgraded an adjoining room, off the main dining room, for private parties. When there is a wedding, the restaurant closes for the night — but that can be completely forgiven, as you know the bridal party and guests are going to have a wonderful time.

Carol and Wayne are very involved in the community, and have sponsored fundraising events for locals who have been in need. They also host and prepare the food for Mono’s Annual Day Out, which features local craftsmen, artists and live music.

More About the Mono Cliffs Inn

Location: 367006 Mono Centre Road, Mono Centre, ON (see map below)
Telephone: 519-941-5109
Website: www.monocliffsinn.ca
Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; closed on Mondays to Wednesday
Directions: From downtown Toronto, take the QEW west to Highway 427 North, exit onto 401 West and then take Exit 344 to Highway 410 North toward Brampton. Highway 410 turns into Highway 10, continue on that road. Turn right onto Mono Centre Road and the Mono Cliffs Inn will be on your right. The pub is downstairs.
Menu Prices: The pub menu generally range from $12-$24; the restaurant menu will include pricier options, including the popular Australian Rack of Lamb ($32).

More Coverage of the Mono Cliffs Inn on Vacay.ca

Good Times Roll at Rural Ontario Pub

More About the 2013 Vacay.ca Canadian Foodie of the Year Contest

Vacay.ca’s 2013 Foodie of the Year Contest features a Grand Prize of Dinner for Two at the restaurant of the winner’s choice on the 2013 list, round-trip airfare to that restaurant’s destination city and a luxury hotel stay!

To be eligible for the 2013 Canadian Foodie of the Year Contest, simply follow these steps:

Votes from the public will be added to those of the revamped Vacay.ca academy of judges and will be used to determine the 2013 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List, which will include a second annual People’s Choice winner (won last year by Ottawa’s Atelier).

Winners will be announced on May 9, 2013, in conjunction with the unveiling of the 2013 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List. In April 2012, Vacay.ca was the first publication to ever compile a list of Canada’s 50 best restaurants — and it was a huge success thanks to our audience members like Deborah Son!

More Vacay.ca Foodie of the Year Entries

Segovia Thrills Deborah Son

Joe Beef Delights Reader Jo-Ann Samo

Memories Makes for Unforgettable Dining in Regina

Holly Fraughton Makes Her Case for Foodie of the Year

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