Windermere House gets Oliver & Bonacini food
By Chris McGregor
TORONTO—Overhauling of Windermere House in Muskoka continues with Oliver & Bonacini taking over foodservice at the resort hotel.
Starting in 2007, Windermere was renovated with more Victorian-era features and updated “state-of-the-art accommodations.”
In 2009, hotel owner Paul Jeffrey built a luxury fractional ownership development, The Cottages, adding to Windermere’s stable of 56 hotel rooms.
Jeffrey, founder of the Kelsey’s and Montana’s restaurant chains, hired O&B to change up the foodservice offerings at Windermeres foodservice operations: Rosseau Grill, P.J.s Lobby Bar, Windermere Pub and Patio, Wasabi Sushi Café and event catering.
Chef Markus Bestig leads the kitchen staff and said changes are coming to the various restaurant menus. “Michael (Bonacini) and I both feel strongly that the direction of the menus at Windermere should be fresh, approachable and whenever possible, local,” Bestig said.
“The pub classics will remain like fish and chips, mac and cheese and of course prime rib burgers with all the fixings; but we also want to introduce more Asian flavours, like a really great butter chicken, steamed potstickers and a signature ‘pub’ sushi roll.
Fine dining at The Rosseau highlights seasonal ingredients, while taking cues from O&B restaurants Jump and Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill in Toronto.
“We want an interesting assortment of North American and Mediterranean cuisine, with a strong focus on handcrafted pastas, steaks and chops. On the weekends, we plan to showcase local market and forager treasures,” Bestig said.
O&B director of marketing and communications Theresa Suraci said, “Windermere gives us a really fantastic offsite space for conferences and weddings.”