Walk into any one of the Marriott resorts and spas in Niagara Falls and it is easy to see why they are consistently on top of their game in food, wine, spectacular views, and customer service. Not only does the Marriott excel in hospitality, but they also rise to the occasion when love is in the air. With February being the unofficial month for romance, the Marriott Hotels have some sure-fire ways to ignite the flame with your special someone.

Milestones Restaurant
Marriott Gateway on the Falls

What inspires Executive Chef Jerry Nanda of Milestones Fallsview Restaurant is talking to people and finding out exactly what his customers are looking for and catering to their preferences. “I prefer creating something more custom rather than giving them something standard,” says Chef Nanda. This attitude towards food and customer service makes Milestones the perfect location for any occasion.

Chef Nanda has travelled the globe, giving him a plethora of styles and techniques to draw upon when planning menus for couples, groups and special events. He is often inspired by and enjoys working with local products. “Food excites me, especially when I have a great ingredient,” says Chef Nanda. When asked which ingredient he couldn’t live without, Chef Nanda replies, “That question is like asking your mom which son she couldn’t live without. If I had to pick, I would say three things: good quality cheese, good quality olive oil, and good quality wine. These three ingredients have to be top notch before I begin cooking.”

From Bing Bread to Kolache, exploring with new food trends is always an exciting time in the restaurant. “For 2016, the trend is smaller portions and sharable plates like a miniature dessert plate, so people get to try more,” says Chef Nanda.

Chef Nanda’s philosophy on food is simple: highlight the product. “Don’t mask things in sauces. Give it the respect it deserves and let the quality and product speak for itself,” explains Chef Nanda. He makes a conscious effort to know what the customers want and caters to their needs.

Milestones, although famous for the Bellini, has an extensive wine list. “Even though we are running a franchise we have the leverage where we can create our own wine list. We have a sommelier on staff and we can go beyond when compared to other Milestones,” states Executive Chef Jerry Nanda.

Every night is date night at Milestones. Enjoy a perfect little romantic dinner immediately after a long day of work or after seeing the sites from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. where two can dine for $50.00. Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner amongst the fireworks or a simple bottle of wine delivered by room service in front of the fireplace, the Marriott Gateway on the Falls won’t disappoint you or your significant other. Wednesday evening’s hosts a more extensive date night where the two can dine special offer is honoured until close.

Currently unattached? Swing by Milestones on Monday night for Ladies Night Out for the special 4/4/40 – Four Bellinis and four appetizers for forty dollars. The beer lover can choose a 60 ounce pitcher of domestic beer and four appetizers for forty dollars.  You will appreciate an evening of catching up with old friends or meeting new ones at Milestone’s secluded bar.

From creating desserts with company logos on them to surprising guests by turning the lights out when the fireworks are exploding over Niagara Falls, the Marriott is committed to making their guests’ experience memorable. “Everyone does a great job on food it is the entire experience and package that counts,” says Nick De Rosa, General Manager of Food and Beverage at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls. “It’s more than just a dinner. We want them to leave saying, ‘That was an experience.’” Marriott has a culture we try and we go beyond – it’s our staff that make the difference.”

Going the extra mile for romance is only one of many reasons why the Marriott staff go above and beyond to make their customers feel special. “This young girl, 16 years old, was dying of cancer and all she wanted was Fettucine Alfredo. Her parents organized it as a surprise. We had room service bring it to her with a bucket of her favourite drinks. She was so excited. It may not be a romantic story, but it is emotional and we share it because everyone on staff was so involved in it,” says Chef Nanda.

With a distinguished Chef who has won numerous awards, creates wonders in the kitchen, and promotes exceptional customer service, it is easy to see why couples return to Milestones year after year to celebrate their anniversary or special event. For more information
visit milestonesniagarafalls.com

Chef Jerry Nanda’s Pick for a Romantic Dinner for Two at Milestones

Start with a Bellini or a glass of Trius Cabernet Sauvignon.

Appetizer – “A California salad with mixed greens, candied pecans, goat cheese, strawberries, and a shallot vinaigrette dressing. One of the highlights on the menu is a very romantic sharing platter. It has six different appetizers it is the most spectacular thing you would see on any menu it includes shrimp and chicken bites.”

Entrée – “For the ladies a double chicken breast with creamy parmesan mushroom sauce with vermicelli noodles and seasonal veggies. For the men steaks and prime rib. Our prime rib is cut to order and done fresh every evening in a 10 or 12 ounce portion.”

Dessert – “We have a brand new range of desserts. Our peanut butter and jelly cheesecake is one of the best that we have here and it definitely sets the mood. Or enjoy a bubbly glass of champagne with roses and strawberries in your hotel room.”

Terrapin Grille
Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa

Renowned Executive Chef Ron Kneabone from the Terrapin Grille in the Fallsview Marriott Hotel and Spa has been a pillar in the community for the last fifteen years. Participating in local events, making spectacular dishes and sharing his knowledge with the general public is what he does best.

His experience began at the age of seventeen when Kneabone travelled to Prince Edward Island, Canada to attend culinary school. From there the Brantford, ON native worked his way through France and ended up in Toronto; giving Chef Kneabone over 30 years of extensive experience above and beyond your regular chef.

Chef Kneabone is an active supporter of local wines and community events; participating each year in events such as the Food and Wine Expo and brings his knowledge and experiences back to the Terrapin Grille. “Our guests enjoy the light Niagara wines, so my menu is 99% local wine,” he states. Chef Kneabone has observed a shift in women’s preferences. “Wine isn’t just for women anymore. I am seeing craft beer on the rise with women and men as well.

What makes Chef Kneabone rise above the competition, like the perfect loaf of bread, is his commitment to adding a personal touch to his customers dining experience. “I like to come and talk to the guests and see what they like,” he says. The individual connection he makes when he has the opportunity to leave the kitchen and step into the dining room is a special moment for his customers. “It would be nice if I could talk to each person before I cook for them,” he adds.  “I enjoy going off the menu.”

If you are uncertain of how to surprise that special someone in your life, contact the Terrapin Grille and ask about one of the many packages and special events available to tourists and residents across Ontario. “February is full of romantic getaways and the Fallsview Marriott offers wine tastings, dinner vouchers, and spa treatments. We also pair up with local wineries to offer wine tours,” says Chef Kneabone. The Days of Chocolate Event, where a flavourful glass of wine is paired with a succulent chocolate treat, is also a popular event throughout the month of February and perfect for your romantic getaway. “I often receive emails for anniversaries and birthdays requesting specific types of dishes and wine. They email what they want and we get it for them,” states Chef Kneabone.

Although Chef Kneabone admits he does not subscribe to cable television or watch Food T.V., he is active on Facebook and Twitter sharing his recipes with guests and further developing relationships with his customers and followers. “I am contacted all the time for my recipes and I send the recipes to them,” says Chef Kneabone. With the fast pace of the modern age, Chef Kneabone receives recipe requests from individuals reading reviews on TripAdvisor before he is even aware of the review. “Sometimes I haven’t even left work yet and I am getting requests for the recipe,” he adds. “It is an honour to know people liked my meal so much they want to make it at home.”

Chef Kneabone believes that his love affair with food will never end and he finds inspiration for his culinary creations in the most unusual of places. “You have to be adventurous and try new things. I love to eat and drink and I will try anything,” he explains. As an avid music and dramatic arts enthusiast, Chef Kneabone travels across North America attending concerts and musicals. “I love travelling and trying new dishes. I was recently in Pittsburgh, PA and New York, NY for shows and went to local restaurants to try local favourites.”

Chef Kneabone has specific predictions for what 2016 will hold for the food and wine industry. “Everything has to be fresh,” he states. He predicts that “Farm to Table” will continue to grow along with a rise in gluten free meals and dishes that include flavour bursting baby herbs. “Also, braised loins of beef that haven’t been done in a while will be popular,” he adds. Equipped with a menu that changes seasonally, the Terrapin Grille is prepared to amaze you all year round and rest assured, Chef Kneabone will remain ahead of the competition with tantalizing creations for his diners.

A love of being immersed in different cultures and events, trying new foods, and incorporating them into his dishes is what drives Chef Kneabone’s enthusiasm in the kitchen. “You meet people from all over the world in this industry,” he says. “That is one of the things I like the best about my job is meeting new people.” Having a chef who incorporates his experiences into his dishes is what makes the Terrapin Grille a cut above the rest. This season grab your significant other and head to the Terrapin Grille for a meet and greet with Chef Kneabone, you won’t be disappointed. For more information
visit
terrapingrille.com

Terrapin Grills’ Chef Ron Kneabone’s pick for a Romantic Dinner for Two

Appetizer – The Terrapin House Salad with our renowned icewine vinaigrette.”

Entrée – “Ontario trout with Masticated Lemon Sauce and Chicken Cordon Blue with 4 different cheeses. I recommend for couples to share two dishes by either going half and half or flipping the plates halfway during the meal.”

Dessert – “I would suggest the Apple Tart Tatin with cinnamon Gelato.”

Serenity Spa
Marriott Fallsview Hotel

Relax, refresh, and revive. These are the three words that embody the philosophy behind the Serenity Spa located in the Fallsview Marriott Hotel. Their treatments are guaranteed to provide serenity and stress relief for any couple in today’s high paced world.

“Our spa is one of the largest couples’ facilities in the region,” states Diana Morrison, Spa Manager. “We have multiple couples’ suites, so we are able to accommodate multiple couples’ treatments at the same time.” The Serenity spa was designed with couples in mind and include private showers in some of the treatment rooms. Cozy fireplaces, beverages, fruits, and a tranquil atmosphere can be enjoyed throughout the secluded lounges. “We also have a co-ed sauna and steam rooms in the pool area where couples can relax together before or after their treatment,” adds Morrison. A spacious salt-water pool and hot tub is also available for spa guests.

“Our Romance package includes a 60 minute couples massage, pedicure and hand paraffin treatment, but any one of our services can be made into a couple’s treatment,” states Jillian Woodhead, Assistant Spa Manager. “We can even take our body wraps and other services and turn them into a couple’s package. We will cater to your needs.”

A trip to the spa will be the remedy for you and your significant other regardless of your reason for the treatment. “Your visit can be a date night or a way to reconnect with each other,” says Morrison. “It’s a time to relax and spend quality time together.” If you are looking for a relaxing and romantic experience with warm and comforting staff, then Serenity Spa is the place to be this season.

For more information visit serenityspabythefalls.com.

By Jill Tham