Ah, its spring again. The temperature is rising in Western New York and our spirits are rising along with it. Of course a young man’s fancy turns to love and the always attendant question “Where do we go for that perfect romantic dinner?” Fortunately, Niagara Falls, the “Honeymoon Capital of the World”, is blessed with many choices. Here are a few of my favorites.
Schimschack’s Restaurant, Upper Mountain Road, Sanborn
Schimshack’s Restaurant, in Sanborn, about 13 miles form Niagara Falls, has been the romantic venue of choice for locals and visitors since it opened in the 1930’s. Its number one attraction has always been its position high up on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking fruit farms, Lake Ontario and on clear days the skyline of Toronto. Seating in the restaurant is arranged in tiers, so that every diner has a good view out of the large expanse of glass.
Romantic couples can fantasize about following in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio who used to sneak away to Schimshack’s while Marilyn was in town filming the movie Niagara. More recent honors include being chosen by New York State’s First Lady, Mrs. Libby Pataki, as one of NY’s most romantic restaurants as well as being featured on the Travel Channel as a romantic destination to dine. The food is of a reasonable quality, with the feature dish being Prime Rib, but really, who cares about the food when you are dining with your honey on top of the world with the ghosts of Marilyn and Joltin’ Joe.
Lewiston, about 12 miles below Niagara Falls on the Niagara River, has a number of fine restaurants, but two in particular are favorites for that romantic night out.
Barton Hill Hotel & Spa, Center Street, Lewiston
The Barton Hill Hotel & Spa has quickly developed a reputation as being the place near Niagara Falls for a romantic getaway, but the restaurant in the hotel is also ideal for that romantic evening out. Dinner is available weekends from 6.30pm until 8.00pm and the restaurant offers superb food that features local farm produce and the unique in-house dry-aged beef that has to be tasted to be believed. The service is upscale and yet relaxed and can be the perfect starter for a romantic evening finished off with a stroll down the beautiful waterfront of the Lower Niagara River. If your romantic evening requires a more upscale ambiance, then Barton Hill is the place to be.
The Water Street Landing, South Water Street, Lewiston
If your romantic tastes run a little more urban, then just down the road from the Barton Hill is the Water Street Landing. The sharp modern décor is only enhanced by the view directly out over the River. What could be more romantic than a good meal, on a warm summer night on an open patio perched high above the mighty Niagara River. The food is adequate, as is the service, and one thing that can spoil the romantic mood is overcrowding on nights when there is a live band playing in the bar. But most nights, the view is a perfect backdrop for you and your lover, even if you only have eyes for each other.
The Barton Hillwww.bartonhillhotel.com
Water Street Landing www.waterstreetlanding.com