Where to eat in Buffalo?
Going on a shopping trip next week with my wife and looking for somewhere good for dinner in Buffalo. We are staying at the Mansion on Delaware (altho i dont know where that is)
We like nice food, in a casual environment.
Any help would be most appreciated!
Tempo is a wonderful choice, upscale food, excellent steaks, great service and close by. I love Mothers, great food, from wings to good seafood and steaks. Super bartenders who know how to mix a good drink. I wouldn't quibble with most suggestions. Personally, I don't like the chop house, I found it to be less than great for the money, and not as diner friendly as the other places mentioned. Enjoy your stay. Just wondering though, where are you coming from?
Mothers, Mothers, Mothers. We've had incredible meals there, sometimes just ordering a table full of appetizers and a salad. Ribs are incredible. Meatloaf is incredible. Mussels are incredible. I have yet to try a special that wasn't. We've given gift certificates to friends from as far away as Rochester and they were delighted. We now live in North Carolina and miss Mother's most of all.
I lived in Buffalo for a few years. It is a place where there are tons of restaurants but almost none are good. Buffalo restaurants tend to play to the local crowd: big portions for big customers; quality is an afterthought.
That said, there are two places I would recommend:
Oliver's on Delaware Ave - terrific, but formal. Nice martinis.
Siena- Main St & Harlem Road in Snyder. Bit far from The Mansion (nice choice, BTW) - young crowd, as trendy as Buffalo can possibly get.
Places to avoid: The Buffalo Chophouse is absurdly expensive and it is a humorous imitation of a proper steak house. Garish decoration, horrible food, inept staff. I would also warn against Sinatra's. It is exactly what you might imagine it to be.
Making broad, sweeping, generalized comments like "almost none are good" tends to make your comment unbelievable. Perhaps, in the future, you can be more specific with what actually bothers you about Buffalo. I doubt it was the dining.
Buffalo is like many other mid-sized steel-belt cities like Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, etc. To make a derogatory comment that lumps the whole dining scene in any particular city to a simple phrase like "none are good" will only discredit your opinion.
And in case you haven't noticed, AMERICA, not Buffalo, has an obesity problem. Big portions for big customers, is not a Buffalo-only phenomena.
To address your reviews, for the benefit of the original poster, I would like to comment on a few things...
Sienna is not known for their "young crowd" nor for being "as trendy as Buffalo can get"
Sienna is known for their wood fired pizzas and inventive pasta dishes. The crowd is of mixed age and demographics.
For diners interested in "trendy," I would recommend one of the online lifestyle sites like http://www.buffalorising.com/dining/ for what is the latest, hottest, ticket.
The Buffalo Chophouse (like Salvatore's Italian Gardens) has it's supporters and it's detractors, and people are often polarized on their opinion. Love it or hate it, you cannot deny that local designer Paul LaMorticella made the Chophouse one of the areas most sumptuously appointed dining spaces. With a knowledgeable sommelier, and decent wine list, this establishment has a legion of fans.
There are also a few other "proper" steakhouses in Buffalo, and their are Chow postings about them.
I am not sure what you mean diners are to imagine from the name Sinatra's, other than Italian. I believe Sinatra's is named for owner/chef Michael Sinatra, and is known for southern Italian (Neopolitan) cuisine, and their outrageously attentive, but unobtrusive, wait staff. I've eaten there recently and think the service at that restaurant is one of the best in Buffalo.
Tempo (first choice - upscale)
Hutch's (local's favorite - upscale)
Oliver's (not casual - upscale)
Mother's (busy - upscale)
Rue Franklin (French - upscale)
Left Bank (Bistro - Great Bar- casual)
Gabriel's Gate (great sandwiches - casual)
Allen Street Hardware (GastroPub - casual)
Nektar (inventive menu - decent cocktails -upscale)
Shango (Cajun - good wine & beer list - casual)
Trattoria Aroma (Italian - upscale)
Chef's (Italian - casual)
Santasiero’s (Italian - like nonna makes - very casual)
Towne Restaurant (Greek diner - very casual)
Original Pancake House (for breakfast - casual)
Good suggestions here. I'd also add Left Bank in that general area. Very good food, but can get noisy.
I do, however, disagree on Buffalo Chop House. I've had two poor experiences there and won't go back. E.B. Greens would be my choice for a traditional steak house--it's modeled generally on Mortons. (But I usually cook my own!)
Here's the standard guide to Buffalo and enivrons restaurants. Be careful though; some of the reviews are very old.
About 2 miles north on Delaware is a place called Hutch's - http://www.hutchsrestaurant.com/
It has a great bar to wait for a table and they do take reservations. It is a younger crowd, but still upscale. Sadly, Buffalo does not have many places like this.
A bit further north on Delaware and a bit more refined is Oliver's. I have had a couple of excellent meals there. I would put them a notch higher on food, but I like the vibe of Hutch's more. Be aware Hutch's is not very large and dining can be a tight fit, but this is Buffalo, so nothing is every that crowded.
I would also send you to Mother's which is right around the corner from your hotel - - Lively after work atmosphere and solid staples. They do a good meatloaf, have had a solid veal chop and B+ steaks.
And if you want a great steak -- The Buffalo Chop house is the best in town. It's the closest thing you will find to a nyc steakhouse. Waitstaff is a little pushy, but they tend to be local college kids (not professionals) who just follow the script. Also close to your hotel.
I listed some of the higher end and easier to find places. Let me know if you have any specific desires and maybe I can help.
Tempo is very good and run by the same people who run Hutch's and is just north of the Mansion on Delaware (near Allen St.). Other nearby places worth checking out are Rue Franklin (French) on Franklin and Bacchus on Chippewa. Do a search on this board for other suggestions or ask at the Mansion.