Ensconced in the floral scapes of the Oakes Garden Theatre and proffering premium views of the American Falls, The Secret Garden combines victual tradition and natural beauty. A menu of Canadian classics promises farm-fresh eggs in the morning, back bacon and sausage over stir-fried veggies at lunch, and Ontario pork at dinner. Inside, colourful paintings and blooming floral displays line The Secret Garden's air-conditioned dining room. Diners who choose the extensive outdoor patio are seated among lush flower gardens, close enough to the hear the roar of the Niagara Falls, which might be able to drown out the roar of their date's empty stomach.
The chefs at Taki Japanese Restaurant roll more than 30 varieties of sushi and sashimi with eclectic and traditional ingredients ranging from sweet egg and salmon roe to sea urchin and yellowtail. Not satisfied with forcing their ingredients to do the heavy lifting, they also focus on aesthetics, arranging rolls in colorful tableaus on long porcelain plates or in mock naval battles on sushi boats. At lunch and dinner, they also fill the restaurant with aromas of Japanese cooking. As faces glow with light from sleek wall sconces amidst a warm yellow color scheme, tables fill with ginger pork, and wa-fu oroshi-style steak, and adventurous fusion dishes such as Japanese-style carpaccio.
Fortuna's Restaurant, appropriately situated in Little Italy, welcomes guests to stride through arched walkways and dine on ravioli, gnocchi, steak, and seafood. Since 1945, the staff has served Italian staples, including chicken alla Francesca—a half chicken baked in a lemon onion and white wine sauced and served with fettuccelle alfredo.
At Druxy's, diners select from a variety of fresh ingredients to design their own sandwiches, salads, and breakfast offerings. Customers calculate their mouth's circumference in order to choose regular ($6) or large ($8) sandwiches and then select from sandwich foundations such as french, kaiser, or gluten-free bread. Protein options such as deli ham and poached salmon prop up cheese and toppings, including artichoke hearts and mangos drizzled in a choice of sauce. Finally, customers watch as deli artisans assemble all ingredients in front of their eyes and accompany the newly formed sandwiches with a choice of coleslaw, veggie sticks, or potato salad and a sliced dill pickle. Mandibles can take a break from sandwiches and mix toppings into salads ($6–$9) or can enjoy breakfast offerings all day without having to constantly turn back the clocks to fool the refrigerator.
Since 1958, Mama Mia's has strived to stand as a bridge to the past, from its classic Italian dishes right down to its vintage red-and-white-checkered tablecloths. Chefs further evoke the Old World with housemade menu selections, preparing hearty sauces, pastas, and Italian specialties from scratch. They serve up generous portion sizes, reminding diners of attending big family meals during the holidays or sneaking into Parliament Hill during luncheons. Bartenders furnish glasses with red wines, white wines, cocktails, and popular liqueurs from the drink menu.
The epicurean alchemists at Curry Queen draw on Indian and Chinese influences as they simmer traditional Indian fare ranging from curries to rotisserie meats. The aromas of fresh coriander, ginger, and garlic waft through the air of a bright dining room where patrons nibble kebabs and rotisserie meats or count the grains of saffron-flavoured basmati rice in biryani dishes to ensure they have enough to fill their hourglasses. Indian-style Hakka Chinese fare delights tongues with flavours such as chili-based soya sauce and mustard. Traditional tandoor ovens bake dishes only after they’ve marinated in spices for a full 24 hours.