Latest posts by Trupti Devdas Nayak (see all)
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Maid of the Mist boat in front of the magnificent Niagara Falls
For most visitors to New York, the impressive Niagara Falls is a must-see natural wonder on their bucket list. One can get up close and personal with the gorgeous waterfall in a boat ride like the Maid of the Mist (be ready to get soaked!) or climb up staircases right next to the falls to marvel at it’s gushing intensity (now you are guaranteed to get soaked!).
The iconic Red Coach Inn
After a full day of exploring the Niagara Falls by foot, by boat, maybe even by helicopter, there’s no doubt you’ll be famished. A great place to grab lunch or dinner is the nearby bed and breakfast Red Coach Inn (walking distance from the Niagara Falls) which is also a great place to stay overnight.
Buffalo sauce, anyone?
Be sure to try the People’s Choice award-winning Coconut and Toasted Almond Fried Shrimp and if you’re craving Buffalo’s famous hot sauce (like I was), look no further than the delectable Mac and Cheese with Buffalo chicken topped with crumbled Bleu cheese that hits the spot. Portions are generous and served with welcoming friendly smiles.
Just married at the Niagara Falls!
Niagara Falls is also a popular wedding venue and newly married couples often visit the area to get photos with the spectacular falls in the backdrop. I spotted a just married bride and groom entering the Red Coach Inn for a bite during a break from their photoshoot. They were glowing with happiness and looked like they were having the best day of their lives!
Niagara Falls Culinary Institute
Another particularly unique venue for fine dining near Niagara Falls is the restaurant Savor run by the city’s esteemed Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, offering intimate seating with an open view of the kitchen.
Chef-students hard at work at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute
Students donning white hats work alongside trained chefs and professionals who wear black hats to conjure up a variety of exclusive dishes from savory lobster bread pudding to brick-oven pizzas topped with truffled mushrooms to melt-in-the-mouth pan roasted scallops to a hearty signature burger.
Left: Lobster Bread Pudding to die for! Right: Prettily plated seared scallops
Watching the chefs cook their magic in the kitchen, intently focusing on grilling over open flames and garnishing and plating every dish skillfully is an exciting part of the dining experience. And for those with a sweet-tooth, options like Mexican Gelato sandwich, Almond Peach Crostata and Pumpkin cheesecake abound, so be sure to leave room for dessert!
Almond Peach Crostata dessert for a birthday celebration!
After dinner, we got a private tour of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute where we met chef and teacher Scott Steiner (an instructor at the institute since it opened in 2012) who had spent most of the evening teaching his students the art of sous-vide. He proudly showed us the vac-seal machine and a tray of just-created sous-vide masterpieces which students had worked on and already taken home at the end of class to savor the results of their hard work.
Chef Scott Steiner at Niagara Culinary Institute
Reminiscent of many of the popular cooking competition shows on TV that I love watching, like Iron Chef, Top Chef and Chopped, the classrooms at the Culinary Institute are filled with larger-than-life shining stainless steel equipment. We even got to step inside their impressive freezer / ice-room … brrrrr. Wannabe chefs can be assured that no matter what creations they dream about whipping up, the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute has them covered.
Cozy interiors at the restaurant, Savor at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute
Make the most of your visit to Niagara Falls by indulging in some fine dining at the Red Coach Inn or at Savor, the Niagara Culinary Institute’s famed restaurant. Have you been to either restaurant or have additional recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: Delaware North, The Westin Buffalo, Visit Niagara Buffalo and JetBlue provided for my visit to Buffalo in exchange for writing about my experience. Regardless, everything I have said in this post reflects my honest observations and opinions.