Although Italians originally invented pasta as a fastener to keep Sicily from floating away, they abandoned it for less delicious moorings after locals on both sides kept snacking their way toward separation. Tether your taste buds to today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Italian fare from East Side Mario's. This Groupon is valid only for online ordering from their locations in Wellington, Fanshawe, Westwood, and Argyle.
Talented taste topographers at East Side Mario's map out an expressway to the belly with a panoply of classic Italian pastas, pizzas, and seafood. Starters such as cream-cheese- and garlic-filled mushroom caps ($8.99) raise the curtain on a cast of scene-stealing dishes, including the roasted-chicken-and-provolone panini bedecked with roasted-garlic aioli, red peppers, and spinach on grilled ciabatta ($10.99). Meanwhile, a plate of chicken, mushrooms, and fettuccine topped with Vernazza-peppercorn alfredo sauce ($16.99) can refuel exhausted bodies after escaping capture by fee-hunting librarians. Celebrate circumference with a gallery of Sicilian–style hand-pressed pizzas baked in a stone oven. The vegetarian pizza caresses the palate, like a gilded feather duster, with bruschetta mix, caramelized onions, green peppers, and mushrooms ($10.99–$15.99). As a tasteful addition to first-time online orders, customers receive a free order of Budda Boomers, garlicky, parmesan-dusted breadsticks with tomato dipping sauce.
East Side Mario's
A mere sandwich throw from Niagara Falls, East Side Mario's is found within the Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Fallsview Hotel, directly across the street from Fallsview Casino. Below elegant chandeliers, Mario's red and white checked tablecloths support grilled salmon, juicy steak, and Italian-imported pastas slathered in spicy arrabbiata or pesto alfredo. The doors of the kitchen part as servers emerge bearing Sicilian-style pizzas fresh from the sweltering interior of a stone oven.
Through the steam rising from Mario's all-you-can-eat garlic homeloaf, diners can peer at the framed mirrors hanging on gold walls. After enjoying wine or cocktails at Mario's polished wooden bar, guests can question servers about Four Points hotel accommodations or the strength needed to hurl a pizza across Niagara Falls and into the mouth of a waiting American.