No four lane highways lead to Fonthill…it’s rural Niagara at its best. It’s a very real community and you can feel how close knit it is when you eat at Hillfire Smk & BBQ. The team of Chefs Anthony Greco and Tim Hardy head up the open kitchen from where they can monitor which of their friends are in the house for lunch or dinner. There’s a lot of visiting that goes on during the slower times of the day.
It’s clear that owners Jen and Matt Speight have it figured out! Barn board from their other business, 26acre Cidery, lines the walls while thick slabs of black walnut surface the bar and the restaurant pass. This bar is my favourite perch. From it you can see the kitchen action but when Tim opens the foil wrappings on the brisket or pulled pork, a spicy, brown-sugary aroma wafts across the bar that is utterly mouth-watering.
While the menu could be found in a traditional southern BBQ joint, every aspect of Hillfire is pure Ontario right down to the wood they use in the smoker! These are two men who are deeply entrenched in the region and the food they and their staff are creating shows it. There isn’t a single dish that’s not absolutely delicious. K2 Milling in Beeton provides the corn flour that they use exclusively for their crunchy corn bread … you’re supposed to smear it with Rosewood Meadery’s honey butter.
All the meat is from Cumbrae Farms, one of Ontario’s original artisan butchers. The brisket is perfection and the pulled pork cries out for some of their Koslik mustard based sauce. A fellow diner swooned over the potato salad and I’d go back in a heartbeat for the smoked tomato baked beans…the beans themselves come from Jason Persall’s Pristine Gourmet in nearby Waterford. While it’s a decidedly meaty sort of place, there are a couple of vegetarian options.
The beers come from Ontario and there’s one, Kame & Kettle, that is brewed about one block away from Hillfire. The cocktail list is brief but, again, you’ll find Niagara written all over it. Only one word of advice, go with an appetite!
Contact Hillfire at the number below to reserve a Food Day Canada table.
Contactez Hillfire directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre Journée des terroirs réservation.
Hillfire Smk & BBQ
1455 Pelham Street
L0S 1E0 Fonthill, Ontario