Rated #1 three years running in the Zagat National Chains Survey for best steak, Outback Steakhouse specializes in dispensing classic menu items such as seafood, steak, and pasta. The restaurant draws inspiration from the continent of Australia, alluding to its namesake outback with seared prime rib and lobster tails, grilled meats such as chicken and salmon, and juicy, marbled rib-eye steaks. A menu for kids lets youths sample morsels from the upside-down part of the world while right-side up, and creative desserts and generous cocktails round out the offerings.
The dedicated guides of Niagara Fun Tours escort flocks of visitors around the Niagara region during scenic seasonal tours. Seasonal winery tours visit and taste at four wineries studding the Niagara Wine Belt, where settings range from mountain chalets to baroque and modern castle decor to rustic wood farmhouses. Visitors can also opt for a discovery tour to glimpse Niagara Falls. Guides often conclude their tours with stops at locales such as the fresh-fare-focused Kurtz Orchards marketplace or Chocolate FX, where chocolate artisans fashion often-unconventional taste combinations using traditional panning and moulding techniques. Oenophiles and sightseers embark on a new microbrewery and winery tour, a seasonal winery tour, or scenic tours of Niagara Falls. The five-hour winery-and-microbrewery bus tour makes stops at three nearby microbreweries along with two wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Participants enjoy tastings at each location, have a chance to grab some lunch at Harvest Barn Country Market, and receive a wine tasting at Rancourt Winery. Niagara Fun Tours also provides round-trip transportation for each tour, loading guests into large shuttles that accommodate up to 48 passengers or into vehicles that accommodate up to 24 giraffes.
On Tours of Niagara Falls' expeditions, participants can look down on the iconic waterfall from a helicopter or follow a footpath behind its massive curtain of water. Boat rides offer a perspective from calmer water, and the views from the observation deck are far preferable to the views from a surfboard.
However, the company's guided tours occasionally eschew the waterfall in favor of other local landmarks. To wit, a winery tour highlights local vintages, and a wintertime tour showcases holiday-lights festivals. Even those tours centered on the waterfall make stops at other scenic locales, such as a butterfly conservatory.
During the weekend of April 26–28, 2013, representatives from local and international wineries, breweries, and restaurants flock to the Scotiabank Convention Centre to showcase their specialties. While experts from Vines Magazine lead tutored tastings, local musical acts such as Jesse Parent and Duo d’Amore perform onstage. Elsewhere, chefs demonstrate their signature dishes on the chef stage and a silent auction to benefit the Breast Cancer Society of Canada lets guests bid on guided tours by experts, such as Iron Chef America’s Kevin Brauch.
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.
Though most people may picture winemakers among sunny coastal knolls, Jamie Macfarlane can often be found staying up late each December, waiting for the thermometer to hit -8 degrees Celsius. It's at that point—frigid, quiet, dark—that Jamie knows his vidal grapes are ready for harvest. Left to freeze, thaw, and freeze again, the grapes have already matured throughout the season, allowing the robust notes of apricot, peach, butterscotch, and honey to develop under the outer layer of stone-cold skin.
Once the mercury hits -8 degrees, Jamie and his team head out to the vines to handpick the grapes while they're still frozen. They rush them to the winery, press them through the night, and transfer the concentrated must to the fermenting tanks before the sun rises and demands its keg of morning coffee. The Ice House Winery grows vidal, Cabernet, and Riesling varietals. In the tasting bar at The Ice House Winery, visitors can peer at these batches-in-progress as they lean on a rough-cut support beam or barrel table, listening to Jamie spin yarns about the days when his grapes were still young and in diapers.