The sound of honking horns, chattering pedestrians, and singing puppets fades away when diners duck into Wine on Third’s dimly lit dining rooms. Here, the din of Third Street is replaced with soft music and tinkling wine glasses. Diners perch along a lengthy wooden bar sipping red, white, and sparkling selections from the eatery’s comprehensive wine list, which was awarded the Award of Distinction from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Small plates of tuna sashimi, assorted cheeses, and greek dips flood tables throughout a spacious dining area flanked by vibrant local artwork where guests linger over last bites of New York–style cheesecake and final sips of sweet martinis. Branching out beyond satiating taste buds, the elegant eatery plays host to special events including art shows and live music throughout the month.
Chef Carlton Francis forges an authentic experience for Niagara Falls' locals and tourists with his unparalleled island hospitality and menu of traditional Caribbean fare. He welcomes the community to sample such Jamaican favourites as akee and saltfish, oxtail, and jerk chicken, all of which can pair with breezy beverages including cola-champagne or the signature Ginger Breeze.
The dining room's decor mirrors the island warmth and pride found in Chef Francis and his staff. The walls pop with tropical murals and depictions of great historical figures, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Lincoln Alexander. Additionally, on weekends guests can relax while listening to live reggae, jazz, or blues songs about running out of sunscreen.
A hand-built pizza oven stands in the kitchen at Johnny Peppers Italian Grill, the wood-stoked flames dancing to the chatter of conversation and clinking glasses. It crisps the crusts of Neapolitan-style pizzas crafted from dough made in-house daily and covered with arugula, bufala cheese, and pancetta like the front row of the crowd at a Puccini opera. Wreaths of steam rise from plates on the way to the dining room, curling around linguini with grilled tuna, veal parmesan, and gnocchi dumplings with pecorino cheese. Bites of those Italian-influenced dishes punctuate shouts for requests launched at dueling piano players, who fill the adjoining piano bar with the songs of Billy Joel, The Who, and other classic rock tunes every Friday and Saturday night.
New Whistle Pig proudly carries the torch lit by its predecessor, the original Whistle Pig, and together, the two establishments have been a Niagara Falls staple since 1939. The restaurant's modern incarnation harkens back to old-fashioned American diners of the 1950s and '60s, right down to its homemade milk shakes and glass-bottled soda. The menu also conjures simpler times with its straightforward, no frills cheeseburgers and fresh-cut fries, which stand in contrast to the more complicated "The Whistle Pig," a skinless hot dog wrapped in bacon and smothered in cheese sauce. Throwback themes are especially evident on Friday nights, when classic-car owners park outside and compare all the weird places their vintage vehicles are starting to grow hair.
Restaurateur Tamas Brummer and his wife, Chef llona Deicsics, frequently welcome guests from all over the world to Savoury and Sweet Restaurant. Her menu showcases the traditional flavours of Western and Central Europe. Chef Ilona's old-world specialties include goulash, Hungarian stews, chicken paprika, cabbage rolls, and—as the restaurant's name implies—crepes stuffed with savoury or sweet ingredients. Cooks prepare every element of every dish from scratch, enhancing them with pairings of wines sourced from Europe. The continental vibe stretches from the kitchen to the dining room which features exhibitions of original art and occasional live acoustic music and poetry readings.
Big Texas Bar and Grill treats diners to the hearty, down-home food of the American South and Southwest, with a smorgasbord of cheesy quesadillas, tender pulled pork and chicken, and tangy signature barbecue sauce. Amid surroundings of rough-hewn wooden-picket fences and antique filling-station memorabilia, patrons dig into feasts of slow-smoked ribs and spicy hot wings fit for a hungry ranch hand or hardworking rodeo clown, along with cold beers that pair nicely with pizzas, battered onions, and grilled burgers. And as they dine, guests can enjoy cowboy-themed pastimes, such as listening to live country and rock music, singing at open mic nights, or saddling up for a turn on a rowdy mechanical bull.