Guide to Italian Wine in Niagara Falls

Niagara is a world-renowned wine-growing region, home to hundreds of wineries and vineyards that grow high-quality grapes for the production of some truly amazing wines. And many of these Niagara wineries are producing wines that honour Italy’s historic and acclaimed viticultural traditions. From red and white to sparkling, Italy produces the most wine by volume in some of the greatest varieties ever known, which you can easily begin exploring, sipping, and savouring this summer.

The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra has Niagara’s most extensive Italian Wine list. Pair the right wine with great cuisine at The Rainbow Room. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Italian Wine List

Italian Wine

Red Wine

Italy’s red wine, or vino rosso, is lauded as some of the best in the world and is a title that encompasses wines created from a wide variety of grapes from vineyards all across the country. Some of the major red wine varieties from Italy are:

  • Chianti: Hailing from Tuscany and made with Sangiovese grapes, Chianti is an extremely popular Italian red wine that tends to be medium-bodied with a high acidity, and features floral and nutty notes, and a light aroma.
  • Barolo: This red wine is regarded as one of Italy’s finest and comes from the country’s northern Piedmont region. Created from Nebbiolo grapes, Barolo is noted for its fine aging abilities and full-bodied taste, with different varieties featuring complex aromas like roses, chocolate, spice, plum, and eucalyptus.


White Wine

Vino bianco is also produced all across Italy and is made in varieties that range from sweet to dry and pair amazingly well with a number of fish, chicken, and vegetable dishes. Some of the finest Italian white wines include:

  • Verdicchio: The Verdicchio grape variety is grown in central Italy’s Marche region and produces dry white wines that often feature citrus notes and subtle flavours that pair well with many types food.
  • Pinot Grigio: Although Pinot Grigio grapes are grown all around the world- and often referred to as pinot gris– Italian wineries produce incredible white wines from this grape in the Lombardy and Alto Adige regions. They are often full bodied white wines with a pleasant floral taste.


Sparkling Wine


Hot summer days and lively celebrations often call for a good vino frizzante, and Italy produces a number of great-tasting varieties, such as:

  • Asti: This sparkling white wine is also known as Asti Spumante and is produced in Italy’s Piedmont region. It’s made from the Moscato Bianco grape and has a sweet taste that makes it the perfect wine to pair with desserts.
  • Prosecco: Available in three different varieties – sparkling, semi-sparkling, and still- Prosecco is made from Glera grapes and is the main ingredient of the popular Bellini cocktail. It has a fairly low alcohol level compared to other sparkling wines and is often best enjoyed as an aperitif.


Enjoy a variety of Italian Wine at The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra. Reserve today with the ‘Find a Table’ widget found on our website.

Niagara Falls Seafood Dining Guide

Fish and seafood are an integral and delicious part of Italian cuisine as a large majority of Italy’s twenty regions are located along a coast. The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra’s culinary team loves to showcase this by utilizing high-quality fish in modern Italian dishes such as the following, which are all off of the restaurant’s current seasonal seafood menu:

Fallsview Seafood Dining Options

Calamari Fritti & Octopus Carpaccio

For a seafood appetizer, guests can choose to indulge in the fresh and delicious Calamari Fritti dish as well as the Octopus Carpaccio, which is served with charred corn and house-made soppressata. Both dishes make for a great start to any meat, pasta, vegetable, or fish entree and pair well with the local white wines offered on the wine list.

Pan Seared Wild Scallops

In the way of entrees, the Pan Seared Wild Scallops served with risotto rosso, a crisp fennel slaw and blood orange maltaise are a must-try.

Seared Sterling Salmon 

Niagara Falls Seafood & Wine Pairing

 And any seafood lover is sure to enjoy the Seared Sterling Salmon served with ricotta gnudi, Sicilian relish and a charred lemon butter sauce.

West Coast Wild Halibut

features with butternut squash risotto, truffle honey prawn and scallop and salsa verte.


Each of the seafood dishes on the Rainbow Room’s current seasonal menu offer a delicious twist on traditional Italian favourites, and when paired with the perfect glass of wine and breathtaking views of Niagara Falls, they offer a truly unforgettable dining experience in Niagara Falls.

View our full menu at: Rainbow Room Fallsview Dining Menu


Amazing Massimo Capra Dining Experiences You Won’t Want to Miss

Massimo Capra’s dedication to creating world-class Italian cuisine extends beyond the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra’s Fallsview dining room in Niagara Falls and reaches as far as Doha, Qatar. With multiple restaurants and a number of ambitious culinary ventures on the go, his unique flair and delicious Italian recipes can be found and enjoyed at the following restaurant locations:

Boccone Trattoria

Located in Mississauga, Ontario inside Terminal 1 of the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Boccone Trattoria offers visitors fresh Italian cuisine that includes antipasti, minestre, pasta, pizza, panini, and more. A grab-and-go version of this restaurant called Boccone Pronto is also located in Terminal 1 where visitors can find and take away delicious Italian food and freshly brewed coffee.


Soprafino is Massimo Capra’s ambitious international venture located in Doha, Qatar at the Hamad International Airport. This “al fresco” style restaurant offers visitors a menu featuring signature Massimo Capra dishes such as minestrone soup, risotto, and tiramisu, along with a bright open-air atmosphere for a contemporary and unique dining experience.

Capra’s Kitchen

Serving lunch and dinner everyday along with weekend brunch, Capra’s Kitchen in Mississauga, Ontario is a casual restaurant that offers modern Italian fare like pasta, pizza, and antipasto. The high-quality ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible and every dish makes for a delicious and satisfying dining experience.

Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra

Located across the street from the thundering waters of Niagara Falls and featuring a spectacular Fallsview dining room, the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra offers an extensive seasonal menu and remarkable wine list that showcases the very best that Niagara has to offer. The current menu features dishes like Milli-Strato Lasagna, Fettucine Bolognese, and Maple Mustard Crusted Ontario Lamb Rack, and is sure to provide visitors with a delicious and one-of-a-kind Italian meal.

Exploring Some Spectacular Staples of Italian Cooking

Italy have given us some of the finest food and wine in the world and has been influencing the way people cook and eat for many centuries. Italian cuisine is known for its simplicity in ingredients, which results in incredible flavour and taste, and is also noted for its diversity based on region. These regions have given us a wide range of staple ingredients and foods that are now beloved around the world and we’re exploring and celebrating some of our favourites:

Olive Oil – This staple of Mediterranean cuisine is produced by pressing whole olives and is widely used in salad dressings and as a cooking oil. In Italy, it is produced on a large scale in Florence and Tuscany, however the largest production happens in Apulia and Calabria. Olive oil is a core component of Italian cuisine, but has also become popular for its alternative uses like as a home skincare remedy and a base for homemade soaps.

Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar is an Italian vinegar that has been produced since the Middle Ages in both the Modena and Emilia Romagna regions of the country. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is an inexpensive imitation of traditional balsamic vinegar and is the version that is commonly used in salad dressings and cooking. Traditional balsamic vinegar however is created from pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes, with the resulting syrup being aged for a minimum of 12 years in wooden casks.

Parmesan Cheese – Also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese that is very popular in Italian cuisine and named after the areas in which it is produced – Parma and Reggio Emilia. It is also produced in other places such as Bologna and Modena and is made primarily from unpasteurized cow’s milk. Parmesan cheese is incorporated into Italian cooking in a variety of ways, some of the most common being grated on top of pasta and stirred into risottos.

Pesto – This famous sauce comes from Genoa, Italy and is most commonly made from a combination of basil, crushed garlic, salt, European pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and pecorino sardo which has all been blended together with olive oil. Pesto is often enjoyed on top of pasta and is also used in some types of minestrone.

Get a taste for some of the most innovative and delicious Italian cuisine that Niagara Falls has to offer by reserving a table at the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra today. It’s an unforgettable Fallsview dining experience that’s unlike anywhere else.

Upcoming Spring Culinary Tours with Chef Massimo Capra

Following the upcoming Culinary Tour of California on March 3rd, Chef Massimo Capra and Chef John Casciato will be hosting the final two Niagara Culinary Experiences dinner events as part of the 2016/2017 series.

This spring, Chef Massimo Capra and Chef John Casciato will be celebrating the neighbouring Italian regions of Marche and Emilia Romagna with A Culinary Tour of Marche on April 7, 2017 and A Culinary Tour of Emilia Romagna on May 12, 2017. These two dinner events will be spectacular evenings full of amazing food and wine that will connect you with authentic Italian dining experiences right here in Niagara Falls.

A Culinary Tour of Marche will showcase the cuisine of a coastal region that’s abundant in seafood and offers beloved dishes like Minestra di Lumachelle, a soup made with egg pasta, and Muscioli Arrosto, which are stuffed and roasted mussels. Marche is also a well-established wine-growing region that will celebrated with wine pairings from Garofoli Winery, which has been producing quality wines like Rosso Cònero and Rosso Piceno for five generations.

Bordering Marche to the north is the beautiful Emilia Romagna, which is the final Italian region to be explored and celebrated by Chef Massimo Capra as part of the 2016/2017 Niagara Culinary Experiences series. Emilia Romagna’s capital city is Bologna, which has brought us notable pasta dishes like tortellini and lasagna, and as a region has given us countless classic Italian dishes and ingredients such as polenta, balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan cheese. Emilia Romagna is also known for remarkable wines such as the red and bubbly Lambrusco wine and the white Albana di Romagna.

Experience two of the city’s finest spring culinary events by visiting to reserve your Dinner Only or Hotel Package tickets. Both evenings will feature delicious five-course menus, a mix and mingle with Chef Massimo Capra and Chef John Casciato, a standing cocktail reception, and spectacular views of the thundering Niagara Falls from the Rainbow Room’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

20 Delicious Dishes from the 20 Regions of Italy

Italy is divided into 20 beautiful regions that each offer a unique cuisine worthy of exploration and celebration. So here is a list of some of the finest and most popular dishes from each of Italy’s 20 regions:


Located in Southern Italy and known as the “greenest region in Europe”, Abruzzo offers a delicious dish called “gnello casc e ove” which is lamb stuffed with eggs and cheese.

Aosta Valley

Bordered by both France and Switzerland, Aosta Valley is a mountainous region that brings us a dish called Carbonnade consisting of salt-cured beef served with polenta.


Apulia is sometimes identified as the heel of the boot of Italy and has a wonderful traditional pasta dish called “Orecchiette alle cime di rapa” – an ear-like pasta prepared with rapini.


Featuring two coastlines, one on the Tyrrhenian Sea and the other on the Gulf of Taranto, seafood is a major part of Basilicata’s cuisine, which features fish dishes like “Baccala alla lucana”, which is cod with crunchy red peppers.


Calabria is the toe of the boot of Italy and has a cuisine that is Mediterranean-inspired and features a range of meat-based, vegetable, and fish dishes. A popular seafood dish from Calabria is “Pesce spada alla ghiotta”, which is swordfish rolls served in tomato sauce.


The region of Campania used to be known by the Romans as “Campania Felix”, which means “fertile countryside” and is the most densely populated region in Italy. Some famous dishes from Campania are Insalata Caprese, which is a Mozzarella and tomato salad, and Parmigiana, which is pran fried eggplant slices layered in cheese and tomato sauce and oven baked.  


Emilia-Romagna is an important cultural and educational hub – home to the world’s oldest university – and has a unique cuisine that has brought us classic Italian dishes like Cannelloni, Lasagne, and Mortadella, a sweet and aromatic pork sausage that originated in Bologna.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

The most north-eastern region in Italy, Friuli Venezia Giulia’s cuisine features Prosciutto di San Daniele, which is a famous ham that is exported and enjoyed all around the world.


Home to the country’s capital, which is also the largest city in Italy, the Lazio region offers “spaghetti alla carbonara”, which is spaghetti prepared with guanciale, pecorino and eggs.


Seafood comprises a large part of Liguria’s cuisine, however pesto is arguably the region’s most famous culinary contribution. Pesto is a popular green sauce made from basil leaves, sliced garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmigiano cheese.


Lombardy brings us a number of delicious Italian dessert dishes including Panettone, which is a sweet tasting Milanese Christmas bread made with candied citrus peels and raisins, and Torrone – a candy made from sugar, egg whites, honey, and toasted almonds.


The hilly and mountainous Marche offers unique dishes like “Olive all’ascolana”, which is fried stoned olives that have been stuffed with Parmesan cheese and pork, chicken, or beef.


Molise is Italy’s youngest region and features a cuisine very similar to that of Abruzzo. “Pasta e fagioli” is a famous dish from Molise, which is a pasta and white bean soup cooked with pork rinds and pig’s feet.


Surrounded by the Alps on three of its sides, Piedmont is Italy’s second largest region and brings us Panna cotta, a dessert consisting of sweetened cream set with gelatin.


Located just south of the French island of Corsica, Sardinia offers a warm and hearty dish called Panada, which is a type of bread soup with added eggs, beef broth and cheese.


Sicily is a cultural centre for music, literature, art, and cuisine and is home to classic dishes like Arancini, which are stuffed and fried rice balls, and Cannoli, which is a shell-shaped pastry filled with sweet ricotta cheese.

Trentino-South Tyrol

Trentino-South Tyrol used to be a part of Austria-Hungary and this influence is still evident in the region’s cuisine, which features a popular dumping dish called Canederli or Knodel.


The region of Tuscany is known for its simplistic cuisine and high-quality wine, with a popular dish being Ribollita – a twice-cooked vegetable soup, and arguably the most popular regional wine being Chianti.


Possessing neither a border with other European countries or a coastline, Umbria offers “Lenticchie di Castelluccio con salsicce”, which is a lentil stew prepared with sausages.


Veneto is home to some of the most recognizable dishes in Italian cuisine such as Risi e bisi and tiramisu, along with world-famous wine such as Prosecco.

Get a Taste of California Right Here in Niagara Falls

Some of the world’s finest vineyards and wineries are nestled among the rolling hills of California’s famous Napa Valley wine region, which is an incredible place worthy of celebration right here in Niagara Falls.

This March, A Culinary Tour of California dinner event at the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra will transport guests to beautiful California with an evening full of delicious west coast-inspired dishes paired with wines from Napa Valley’s very own Robert Mondavi Winery. The five-course dinner menu features dishes like Foie Gras Torchon, Big Eye Tuna Crudo made with California grapefruit, California Walnut Ravioli, and an assortment of delectable bite-size desserts.

Chef Massimo Capra and Executive Chef John Casciato’s innovative Pacific Coast-inspired dishes will be expertly paired with wines like Robert Mondavi’s famous Fumé Blanc, which is both rich and refreshingly crisp, and Moscato d’Oro, which offers incredible peach and lychee fruit aromas.

Book your tickets now to join us on March 3rd for this Niagara Culinary Experiences dinner event, which will be an unforgettable dining experience where you can discover the magic of California’s Napa Valley in direct view of the magnificent Niagara Falls.

Food & Wine: A Perfect Pair

Food and wine go hand-in-hand and when paired thoughtfully and correctly, can make for an unforgettable dining experience. Here at the Rainbow Room we pride ourselves on providing fresh seasonal dishes alongside an extensive wine list and want to offer a few quick tips on how to find the perfect pairing:

Vegetables – Both roasted and raw vegetables tend to pair best with dry white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Try pairing vegetable dishes like our fresh Niagara Greens with a crisp glass of dry white from a local Niagara winery.

Red Meat – Red meat like our AAA Beef Tenderloin dish taste best when enjoyed with a glass of bold red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, or even a medium red wine like a Zinfandel or Merlot.

Fish – Fish is almost always paired with white wine and with dishes like our Pan Seared Wild Scallops and West Coast Wild Halibut, a nice rich white like Chardonnay or a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio is best for bringing out the flavours.

Dessert – Wine can’t exclusively be enjoyed during the main course when there are so many out there that are perfect for dessert. The Niagara Region is known for producing some of the best ice wine in the world, which pairs perfectly with desserts like our Passionfruit Pavlova.

There is no doubt that a dish can be made more delicious when complemented with the right glass of wine, so why not experiment with different combinations to find a food and wine pairing that perfectly matches your tastes.

It’s All About the Appetizers

Eating at a restaurant is often a very entree-oriented experience, but here at the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra we think it’s important not to overlook the innovative and amazing flavours that can also be found in appetizers. So, here are some of the best seasonal appetizers currently on the menu at the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra, which are guaranteed to be unforgettable and will start your meal off with a bang.

Milli-Strato Lasagna

The Milli-Strato Lasagna is a very special dish that we’ve created in honour of the 87th anniversary of the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls Fallsview hotel. It features 87 amazing layers of hand-rolled pasta served with Massimo’s signature bolognese, bechamel, and grana padano, because we can’t think of a better way to celebrate an anniversary than with 87 layers of pasta.

Pear & Prosciutto

It’s pear season in Niagara and we’ve found that nothing compliments delicious Bartlett pears quite like some amazing pingue prosciutto. This seasonal dish features gorgonzola cheese, candied walnuts, and pomegranate caviar, making it a sweet and savoury fall appetizer that will be the perfect start to your meal.

Niagara Greens

At the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra we pride ourselves on using fresh and seasonal ingredients from across the Niagara region in order to offer guests a truly local culinary experience. And no appetizer has more of a local flair than our Niagara Greens dish, which features locally farmed, sweet potato “fieno” dried Niagara fruits, toasted pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, and balsamic ancient grain dressing.

Zuppetta Di Cipolla Onion Soup

There’s no doubt that Italian food and wine go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about the amazing flavours that beer has to offer. We’ve incorporated Niagara Brewing Company’s Amber Eh! Ale into our Zuppetta Di Cipolla Onion Soup, which also features aged provolone and grilled calabrese bread and offers a totally unique taste that is sure to warm you up.

Stop by the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra to try all of these amazing appetizers and experience the most innovative Italian cuisine that the city has to offer, all in direct view of the spectacular Niagara Falls. 

Embark on a Culinary Tour of Veneto this Fall with Chef Massimo Capra

The remarkable canals of Venice, historic Palladian villas of Vicenza, and medieval beauty of Verona all help to make Veneto one of the most spectacular and alluring regions in Italy.  And perhaps just as alluring is the region’s centuries-old culinary and wine-growing traditions, which have given us beloved Italian dishes like risotto, polenta and risi e bisi as well as incredible wines like merlot and prosecco.

Risotto is a quintessential Italian dish that has its roots in Lombarde, Italy and is now one of the most common ways to prepare rice in Italy. Risotto’s creamy consistency sets it apart from other rice dishes and its versatility means it can be served in a number of different varieties like risotto alla milanese, risotto alla zucca, and risotto al nero di seppia.

Risi e bisi is a creamy rice dish cooked with rice and peas that has a more soup-like consistency than traditional risotto dishes. It’s often prepared throughout Veneto in celebration of Saint Mark’s feast day and is mainly enjoyed in the springtime. The soup is so thick that it appears to be a risotto, but is in fact meant to be served and eaten with a spoon.

Polenta is another widely popular dish from Veneto which holds a rich history in Italy and is still enjoyed by countless people today. This boiled cornmeal dish is simple in terms of ingredients, but takes a long time to cook and requires constant stirring. Different forms of grain mush, similar to polenta, have been eaten in Italy since Roman times and the dish was often eaten by members of the lower class as cornmeal was often all they could afford. Polenta can be enjoyed as a porridge or can be left to solidify as a loaf, and in the Venetian tradition it is prepared with cuttle fish and tomato broth.

And let’s not forget about tiramisu. Although the exact origin of this delicious coffee-flavoured dessert is often disputed, most people believe that it has its roots in Treviso, Italy in the Veneto region. Tiramisu is made by dipping lady’s fingers biscuits into coffee and layering them with a mascarpone cheese mixture and cocoa, and is enjoyed in many different ways by people all over the world.

In addition to incredible food and dessert dishes, Veneto is a very significant wine-growing region and is recognized for producing some of the best wines in the world. It is perhaps best known for producing Merlot and Prosecco, although a number of other popular wines are also produced throughout the region.

Merlot is one of the most popular varieties of red wine and the dark grape was first found in Italy near Venice around 1855. Prosecco on the other hand, is a famous Italian white wine that can be either sparkling or still. Some people may know Prosecco as the main ingredient in Bellini cocktails, while others may know it as a great alternative to champagne.

The Culinary Tour of Veneto with Massimo Capra will bring all of the very best food and wine from Veneto into the Rainbow Room’s incredible Fallsview dining room. This special evening is taking place on November 18, 2016  and both hotel stay packages and dinner-only tickets can be reserved at