A Taste of Niagara Falls: Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches From the Flour Mill Restaurant
Egg salad sandwich from Flour Mill Restaurant. Photo: Courtesy of Old Stone Inn Boutique Hotel
What started life in 1904 as a flour mill in Niagara Falls has been preserved as a historic inn with a restaurant known for its “blunch” and afternoon tea.
Ann Marie Nitsopoulos now owns the Old Stone Inn Boutique Hotel with her partner Lisa Tokuc and says it was once a private gathering place for the original proprietor’s friends and colleagues. It opened to the public in 1977, after two buildings were added to the original structure, and continues to be lovingly restored and updated.
The inn — which boasts rugged stone, wooden beams and barn board — is near the Skylon Tower and Niagara Falls Imax Theatre.
“This remains the only historic place to stay in Niagara Falls,” says Nitsopoulos. She shared a few thoughts about the inn’s Flour Mill Restaurant, which was named as a nod to the building’s industrial roots.
When Breakfast Meets Lunch
Jennifer Bain: The Flour Mill Restaurant is known for “blunch” — please explain.
Ann Marie Nitsopoulos: Traditionally, brunch is offered in restaurants on weekends. We feel that a guest could be visiting us on a Tuesday/Wednesday, which could very well be their weekend. With that said, we decided to create blunch — taking the best of both breakfast and lunch, we created blunch.
JB: How often is your afternoon tea served and what makes yours special?
AN: Afternoon tea is new to us. During this past holiday season, we launched what was going to be only a holiday afternoon tea campaign. It was so well received we modified and extended to Valentine’s and due to its popularity and growth in demand we have decided to add this as part of our food and beverage programming, available from Friday through Sunday. It’s a great option for special occasion celebrations along with bridal showers, couples — or just because.
JB: Tell us about your dining domes and cabins. Are they just for winter?
AN: Pre-COVID, we were the first in our region to introduce “outdoor dome dining.” The following year we introduced cabins, which added to the outdoor ambience along with more outdoor/indoor dining options. This primarily is a winter affair at this moment, however we are looking into year-round domes to expand into other seasons.
JB: What is the dining scene in Niagara Falls like right now?
AN: We are all trying to carve our own unique experiences to provide a vast number of options for travellers to choose from. In our case, our dining room is just that — a dining experience, not necessarily simply a place to go and eat. We, on any given day, are sharing in our guests’ special moments, whether it be a birthday, anniversary, engagement, graduation, etc. This has led us to renovate the lounge within our property into the 1904 Wine Bar & Kitchen. We will be offering Niagara regional wine flights, charcuterie and cheese board options and a bottle shop to purchase wines of Niagara along with wine-related souvenirs. This experience is more casual — easy to get a quick bite while enjoying the bounty of Niagara.
JB: What’s next?
AN: As noted with the renovation/redevelopment of the 1904 Wine Bar & Kitchen, this will be extended to the exterior private courtyard area. Live and DJ entertainment will be taking place weekly on weekends for the summer months.
This interview has been edited and condensed
RECIPE: Flour Mill’s Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
From the Flour Mill’s afternoon tea menu, this sandwich comes on house-made brioche bread and features an unexpectedly fragrant spice mixture. Roughly hand chopping the eggs and softly folding the ingredients together keeps “the good balance of white and yellow in the sandwich,” says chef Andrew Capone.
8 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp each: ground cumin, ground fennel (anise seed), kosher salt, black pepper
8 slices brioche or other sandwich bread
1. Fill a large saucepan one-third full with cold water. Add eggs in a single layer. Add more water until the eggs are covered by 2 inches of water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
2. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let stand for 11 minutes. Strain and run under cold water until the eggs are cool to the touch. Transfer to a bowl of ice water if desired.
3. Peel eggs under cold, running water. Roughly chop whites and yolks and add to medium mixing bowl. Gently stir in mayo and green onions.
4. In a small bowl, stir together smoked paprika, cumin, fennel, salt and pepper and then gently stir into egg mixture.
5. Spread egg salad evenly over 4 slices of bread. Top with remaining 4 slices of bread. Slice in half as desired.