Buchanans Steak and Seafood is redefining the mainstream steakhouse experience. From unique flavour combinations to its perfectly cooked, homegrown, hand-cut steak and alternative proteins, this modern steakhouse goes above and beyond when serving Niagara Falls.
The restaurant, located on the second floor of the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, is instantly impressive. Floor to ceiling windows flood the large restaurant with natural light, highlighting the vaulted ceiling and natural stone detail that frames the walls and lends the restaurant a lodge reminiscent feel – leaving customers with the sense that they are in a mountain resort chalet rather than a hotel adjacent to the busy tourist district of Niagara Falls.
And just as the interior is a surprise, head Chef Cairo Khairallah is not what is to be expected either. Khairallah’s thoughtful and soft spoken tone, dedication to his food and proclaimed drive to educate future chefs is a refreshing advancement towards modernized kitchens.
“I was a bit older when I went to culinary school,” said Khairallah. “At 26-years-old, culinary was a second career; my parents are from Lebanon and are old school parents— very specific with what they thought their son should do. So I went to school for engineering. After a couple of years, I was miserable. So my wife suggested I try culinary—as I had experience in the kitchen while growing up and working part time.”
Today, the first generation Canadian has had years of experience leading some of Niagara’s most impressive kitchens; all experience that has helped him to create breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for Buchanan’s which overflow with bold flavours and ethnic twists on traditional entrees. Each menu offers a generous serving of classic grill options and from the sea accompaniments alongside a diverse and seasonally influenced menu of creative appetizers and alternative proteins.
It was their 8oz marinated sirloins, bacon wrapped let mignons and mas- sive 18oz rib steaks that put the homegrown Buchanan’s on the map as a Niagara Falls restaurant to watch—even grabbing the attention of USA Today, as they were listed on the prominent American media outlet’s Top Ten Steakhouses in Niagara list.
Unique for a proclaimed steak restaurant, Buchanan’s has also created a selection of rich and full flavour alternative entrees which do not pale in comparison to the promoted red meat items.
Rich tagliatelle egg noodles smothered with Black Tiger shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, shallots and garlic; grilled chicken tikka bites marinated and served with plantain chips and mango chutney; balsamic and honey marinated King Cole duck breast; and fresh Lake Erie pickerel served with avocado vinaigrette. Mouthwatering, to say the least.
“Even though we are a steak house, we like to have options for the families that stay [at the hotel],” said Khairallah. “On a bad day when it’s raining or cold or snowing and people decide to stay in house, we understand that steak is not for everybody—so we like to have a little bit for everybody.”
With this in mind, Chef Khairallah said Buchanans will be adding more gluten free and vegan options to their repertoire. A quinoa tofu bowl with a Korean barbeque sauce and a rich quinoa, chickpea and kale patty tower will be joining the menu in the near future.
The secret to the menus success is simple, said Khairallah: continually use fresh, never frozen ingredients from the top suppliers in Canada.
“We always do local; everything we carry is Canadian,” said Khairallah. “Whether it is sh [mostly coming from the East], all the meats we have are from Ontario. Everything comes in fresh—nothing comes in frozen.”
Khairallah said the menu is given a fresh feel once a year, with over a dozen changes being made in 2018.
What will remain the same though is the incredible prices; with dinner entrees starting at an incredible $18 dollars and steaks at a jaw dropping $25 dollars each with sides included.
“We make a conscious effort in [keeping the prices reasonably low] because if you really look at recently, the competition in the steak house eld has increased,” said Chef Khairallah.
“People tend to go after the brand name [steak house], because they think it’s best. So a lot of times you get looked at as if you are ‘that other steak- house’. But then the people that do come, they try the food and look at the prices, they are impressed.”
Along with the menu changes, Khairallah is always making changes to his kitchen—educating his staff and taking on culinary students in pursuit of a similar career to his own.
“Every year is a surprise; every year is a new challenge,” said Khairallah. “I enjoy bringing students into my kitchen and training them to be dedicated and hardworking by pushing my influence onto them and my hard working attitude.
“If you treat people well, they will do a good job for you; I have always believed that.”
Buchanan’s is also available for weddings and private events. Visit their website buchanansniagara.ca for their full menu and reservations.