LOCAL FLAVOUR: The Lord Nelson

It is rare to find a restaurant that has the perfect balance of indulgence and simplicity; of warmth and familiarity with impeccable, sophisticated service. But it is an accomplishment The Lord Nelson has mastered.

It is no surprise, then, that The Lord Nelson has been a bastion of fine dining for more than 38 years. “Since day one we have believed in and deliverd the best quality and customer service. This does not change and will never change,” explains owner and General Manager Nick Vamvakas.

“You could say that is the secret to our success but really, it is what people want and what our customers deserve,” he adds.

It was in 1974 that Vamvakas and three partners came to Burlington to open what was, at the time, a relatively new concept: an indulgent, fine quality steak and seafood restaurant. The famed Tom Jones steakhouse in Toronto had opened just a few years before and Vamvakas' experience working at the legendary George's Spaghetti House in Toronto during its hey day, gave the impetus the partners needed to carve out a niche for themselves in Burlington. Thirty-eight years later Nick is still at the restaurant every day ““ and loving it.

“We have changed very little over the years,” remarks Vamvakas. “We've added to our menu but basically we keep the old-fashioned entrees that people love and come here for ““ and the big presentation.”

The food at The Lord Nelson is pure indulgence in taste, and exemplary in its refined simplicity. It is everything you imagine in a classic steakhouse: rich and flavourful Caesar salad artfully created at your table; larger than life jumbo shrimp cocktail; richly indulgent Oysters Rockefeller; succulent 22 oz rib eye steaks; and the nostalgic favourite, Cherries Jubilee.

Beef tenderloin, delicate veal, perfectly done steaks are all popular choices, but The Lord Nelson also offers a beautiful assortment of fish and pasta dishes.
“Freshness is key to quality,” states Vamvakas. “For 37 years I have had the same person bring me fresh fish from Port Dover two or three times a week. Freshness is the perfect ingredient.” 

No dinner, however, is quite complete without wine and here, again, The Lord Nelson delivers. With more than 3,000 bottles in the cellar, there is no doubt that the perfect pairing can be found. In fact, the whole inventory of wine is a focal point of the nautically-themed restaurant, as the glass doors showcasing the wine racks gently curve around the outer part of the restaurant.

Despite the nod to the old-fashioned steakhouses of old, neither the atmosphere nor the ambiance of this restaurant is old-fashioned or stuffy. Instead, there is an elegant subtlety and airiness to the room that is tastefully decorated in creams, beiges and dark wood. This contributes to the lightness of mood and quiet sophistication of the service and space, an environment that immediately makes you feel comfortable, but special.

“My guests are a pleasure ““ every one,” nods Vamvakas. “It makes me feel proud that we can do something that makes people feel good. It makes me feel good,” he beams.

RECIPE: Veal Tenderloin with Sea Scallop Napolitains

RECIPE: Tiger Shrimp Provencale with Savory Crí¨pe Tulip

– 650 Plains Road East, Burlington; 905.632.3463