Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The venison bolognese paccheri from Home Block restaurant.

Lucas Oleniuk/digitial

  • Name: Home Block
  • Location: Cedar Creek Estate Winery, 5445 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna, B.C.
  • Phone: 778-738-1020
  • Website:
  • Cuisine: Wood-fired farm to table
  • Additional information: Open Wednesday to Monday, noon to 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.) Hours subject to change in winter.
  • Rating system: Casual dining


3 out of 4 stars
  • Name: Row Fourteen
  • Location: Klippers Organics, 725 Mackenzie Rd., Cawston, B.C.
  • Phone: 250-499-0758
  • Website:
  • Cuisine: Wood-fired farm to table
  • Additional information: Open Thursday to Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed from Dec. 15 to March.
  • Rating system: Casual


3.5 out of 4 stars

Dinner service gets under way at Home Block as darkness dims the view of Lake Okanagan from the esteemed new Kelowna restaurant.

Lucas Oleniuk/digitial

It wasn’t my intention to review these two new restaurants in the Okanagan Valley. I was there only for the weekend and dined at each once. (I usually visit restaurants twice for star-rated reviews.)

Story continues below advertisement

Instead, I thought I would wrap them into a feature about the Okanagan’s burgeoning foodie revolution and the migration of restaurant talent driven by Vancouver’s lack of affordability.

Then, as a colleague kindly reminded me, it’s actually my duty to assess them critically. And as one of the few food writers who has visited both independently (not on a paid media trip), I can tell you more honestly – although perhaps less definitively than usual – whether they’re worthy of the buzz they are receiving.

In short: yes, but for different reasons.

Home Block is a game-changing winery restaurant and the first in the Okanagan to remain open year-round. It has tons of money behind it and will put Kelowna on the foodie map. The approachable menu satisfies and contains a few surprising flourishes, but doesn't wow as much as the setting.

Deer roam the vineyard at CedarCreek winery in front of the Home Block dining room.

Lucas Oleniuk/digitial

Row Fourteen is a much more humble farm restaurant that’s so far off the beaten path, your GPS will probably fail and you might have trouble finding it. But once you do arrive, you’ll taste food so simply exquisite it will make your jaw drop.

Home Block is part of Cedar Creek Estate Winery, purchased in 2014 by Anthony von Mandl’s Iconic Wineries of British Columbia group (which includes Mission Hill, Road 13, CheckMate and Martin’s Lane).

The open-concept restaurant is clad in reclaimed barn timber and fieldstone with a soaring cathedral ceiling and fully retractable picture window, leading to a large patio, with spectacular views of Okanagan Lake and the Columbia Mountains beyond.

Story continues below advertisement

Warm and rustic, yet glossy and refined, the room evokes a luxury-lifestyle photo spread in the final days of Gourmet magazine, when it was hard to tell which took precedence – the fashion or the food.

Executive chef Neil Taylor hails from Berkshire, England, via Vancouver, where he launched Cibo Trattoria. He later opened Espana, a Spanish tapas bar in the West End, and briefly, a British-style gastropub called The Fat Badger.

Chef Neil Taylor seasons a steak bound for the wood fired grill at Home Block.

Lucas Oleniuk/digitial

His cooking at Home Block will taste familiar to the legion of Vancouver fans who have followed his career. There are comforting pastas, such as the standout silky paccheri smothered in luscious venison Bolognese.

Bone-in steaks are accompanied by puffy potato wedges triple-cooked to a pale-golden crunch and served with cumin-flecked ketchup.

Kelowna isn’t exactly known as an adventurous food city. And several menu items – wedge salads, battered squid and the fried-chicken sandwich – feel as though they’ve been added because they’re the least likely to offend.

There are some unusual suspects. For a Thanksgiving special, Mr. Taylor offered a beautifully marbled pork collar instead of turkey. And the fish, always fresh and sustainable thanks to a great local supplier called Codfather’s, was Haida Gwaii pickerel, which I’ve never even seen in Vancouver.

Story continues below advertisement

Both dishes, however, were muddled by too many elements on the plate. The pickerel was overpowered by squash purée and drowned in oily tomatoes. The pork fought with fried sage, charred Brussels sprouts, mustard jus, bread pudding and sweet-potato purée for attention. Neither tasted strongly of the wood-fired grill.

A dry aged steak cooks on the wood fired grill at Home Block.

Lucas Oleniuk/digitial

The fuzzy focus comes into sharp relief after a visit to Row Fourteen, located in the middle an organic apple orchard at Klippers Organics, way off the highway in the Similkameen Valley.

Anna-Marie and Kevin Klippenstein opened the restaurant at the end of August with Derek Grey, who is a partner as well as the executive chef. Formerly head chef at Vancouver’s Savio Volpe (he was Mr. Taylor’s pasta cook at Cibo and sous chef at Espana before that), Mr. Grey has more experience with a wood-fired grill. And his custom-made hearth, built by a local welder, is used to greater effect.

Padron peppers are blistered by fire until the charred skins limp loosely around the seeds. They’re piled in a bowl with glug of cold-pressed canola oil and sprinkling of Vancouver Island sea salt. It’s such a basic, yet utterly addictive dish.

Sweet beets and gnarly Thumbelina carrots are tossed straight into the coals then peeled clean to expose their earthy juiciness. They’re served over creamy labneh, drizzled with sticky-apple molasses and showered with toasted walnut shaved to a powder – which all support the toasty main act, without overpowering.

Whole-wheat farmer’s bread with chewy crust and a soft, airy crumb comes with gamey turkey pâté punctuated with sour pickles. It also makes the pedestal for a tall, meaty mushroom tartine topped with a softly runny fried egg and set in a glossy pool of brown butter.

Story continues below advertisement

This is food that never lets you forget you’re smack dab in the middle of Canada’s organic farming capital and that the fire grill runs the show. Even the dry-aged cheeseburger is crowned with crispy, charred onions and a hot pink smear of coal-roasted beet ketchup. A warm potato salad on the side is dusted with black onion powder.

If Home Block is a grand cathedral, Row Fourteen feels like a church mouse in comparison with its low ceilings and plain Shaker-style chairs and tables.

It’s so out of the way, fish (also from Codfather’s) has to be hand-delivered by a neighbour who works for contra. And it will close over the winter.

The restaurant shares the space with Untangled Craft Cider, which offers many interesting flavours (plum and shiso, for starters) but leans to the sweet side and could possibly benefit from a pared-down edit.

But the cooking, even at this early stage and from the small amount I sampled, has a strong, clear voice that commands attention.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies