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Sep 25, 2013 01:20 PM

Buffalo - Rehearsal Dinner

Need a place to hold a rehearsal dinner in June, in or near downtown Buffalo. Probably about 20-25 people. Any thoughts? Also (and possibly off-topic for this board), need suggestions on caterers for a wedding brunch to be held at the FL Wright Boathouse.

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  1. You might try Pearl Street Grill downtown. Basic brick interior, kind of a converted factory vibe. They do buffet or sit down, and they have a large outdoor patio and a small balcony. The only downside is the stairs to get up to the private function area. Not sure whether they have an elevator or not, but depending on your guest list you may need to consider that. Also, Acqua on the waterfront and Templeton Landing, which is downtown waterfront, are beautiful settings; and finally, Francesca's on Seneca Street.

    1. I like Bing's for catering. They're in Amherst, right on the outskirts of Buffalo, and they do catering all over Buffalo. Especially good for mouth-watering appetizers, like crab cakes.

      More expensive and trendier (with a guarantee of outstanding food) would be Torches for either catering or the rehearsal dinner. On Kenmore Ave, towards the Northern part of Buffalo. Highly recommended.

      BTW I have not heard good things about Templeton Landing (mentioned by another respondent), and I haven't heard of the other places, except for Pearl St. Brewery, which is the go-to pub after sporting events. So that would be OK if you want a very casual ambience.

      1. As Nadala says, the rehearsal dinner recs will depend on what kind of ambience/food/price you want. There are lots of possibilities downtown and nearby. If you want something more upscale than Pearl St. (which is fine but definitely casual) then you could look into places like Bacchus or either of the restaurants at the Lafayette Hotel. More middle of the road would be a place like Cabaret which has an upstairs room. Don't know if Seabar does private parties but if so that would be an idea as well.

        As to the catering, Bings is a good suggestion but of coure the Boathouse might have a list of caterers they use.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Cliocooks

          Now you are going in the direction that I am! We decided to break it down into two separate dinners (one for friends and one for family), so that both would be about 12 people and we wouldn't be locked into a private room with a "special" menu. I think the friends' dinner will be at Bachus. We're weighing between Mike A's and Rue Franklin for the family dinner. Any thoughts on Rich's for catering?

          1. re: ClevelandRandy

            Sorry, I don't know much about Rich's for catering. I think I've been to events they catered but nothing that stands out in my mind.

            For the rehearsal dinner, I know that Bacchus does have a private room, which seems to have its own outdoor space as well. I was there recently and thought it would be a nice place for a party. I don't know whether they'd limit you to a "special" menu but you could ask.

            If you are going to have two dinners, then either Mike A's or Rue F is a great choice. I've heard that Mike A's has changed its menu since we were there last January, but I'm sure it's still very high end.

            1. re: ClevelandRandy

              I've eaten at Mike A's since the menu shift, and the food and drinks are still outstanding. My only complaint about that place is that it can be very loud and somewhat dimly lit. Our last trip included a party of 8, including a couple of folks in their late 60s, and we found it incredibly difficult to have conversation, and the phones were out to shed light on the menus. Rue Franklin's food is less adventurous and bold, but still very delicious and classic, and the atmosphere may be more fitting for a larger party that wants to talk.

              In the chance that you'd still consider blending the fam/friends, you could check out Tempo. They have a room upstairs that you can request that doesn't require a special room fee or menu. I don't know if they'll do that for 24 people, but we did it for 16 a couple of years back, and it was fantastic. Might be worth calling. That way, you'd get a great meal with everyone together.

              1. re: RosemaryHoney

                I did consult Tempo, and they wanted both a room fee and a special menu (that was pretty expensive). I have eaten at Tempo and thought it was very good. But the set menus always are priced for the upper end of the spectrum in terms of how much people eat and drink. For my friends and family, that amounts to paying for quite a bit more than what we actually consume, which is why I'm trying to avoid it.