By: Megan Pasche | Photos by: David Haskell
Perched high up on the 25th floor of Niagara Falls Tower Hotel, sits Fallsview Blvd’s newest restaurant with a view: Marilyn’s Bistro and Lounge. Created with the memory of Marilyn Monroe in mind, this 75-seat restaurant offers a unique dining experience in Niagara Falls.
Owner Veronica Rudan notes, “it’s an iconic tower, so we thought we needed something iconic for the restaurant. And since Marilyn Monroe filmed a movie in Niagara in 1952, we thought we would name the restaurant Marilyn’s. We wanted to keep her energy alive in the area and since she’s an iconic figure and this is an iconic building, we thought it would be a nice marriage together.” And indeed it is.
The sleek and sexy restaurant was designed by Veronica herself, and she describes the décor as “urban elegance.” One wall is filled with a giant photo of Marilyn Monroe and depending where you are in the restaurant, you will have a great view of either the American or Canadian falls.
It is a great place to go and relax and enjoy some good food after work. The prices are reasonable too. Veronica shares, “it’s a place you can go all the time if you are a local. And with the complimentary valet, I think it’s a really good deal for locals to come down to the Fallsview area.”
Ambiance is one thing, and Marilyn’s does have a ton of it, but it has to be paired with good food, and thankfully (for our taste buds), Marilyn’s has that aspect covered as well.
The menu was created by Chef Olivier Jansen Reynaud, who is Veronica’s husband. Chef Olivier is from France, and is well known for his skills in creating French pastries (though he is an equally impressive chef of savory items). He is the owner of Clafouti Patisserie et Café, which is located on Queen Street West in Toronto. Chef Olivier is actually quite famous for a contribution he made to the world of hybrid desserts: He is the inventor of the Crookie, a light and flaky croissant, stuffed with double stuffed Oreos. In fact, news of the creation of this tasty treat went viral all the way to Australia. Chef Olivier and his creation were featured in numerous media, including CTV News, Perez Hilton, Toronto Life, TIME, Live With Kelly and Michael, Fox News and more. Chef Olivier is also a regular on the Food Network.
In creating the menu for Marilyn’s, Veronica explains that Olivier came up with a classic Mediterranean menu, but with a bit of a twist. She notes two of her favourite items on the menu are, “the Marilyn Pasta, which combines seafood (lobster and shrimp), with homemade pasta.” She also says she enjoys the Marilyn cocktail, one of the restaurants signature drinks.
The menu is set up with Marilyn’s movie Niagara in mind: items under “opening scene” are the appetizers, the “main actors” are the entrees, and the “best supporting roles” are the side dishes. Niagara was filmed in 1953 and starred Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton and Jean Peters. This was the film that shot Marilyn Monroe into her legendary sex symbol status.
Marilyn’s has a regular rotation of live music acts, varying from the smooth sounds of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, to more jazzy and bluesy bands. It all depends on the night.
It’s well worth heading down to the tourist area to check out this new and exciting restaurant. The parking is free, the view is unparalleled and the food is great.
Veronica notes, “so far, since we’ve opened up, we haven’t had any returns. All the plates always come back clean.”
And there is no higher praise of a restaurant than that.
Marilyn’s Bistro and Lounge is open every night at 5pm. For more information, visit the website niagaratower.com for more information.