*TORO IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED AS OF 2015
We are all about simple weeknight dates after a long work day. One of the best areas in Buffalo to create your own night is in Elmwood Village. With no particular plan one Wednesday night, an easy date night happened. We drove our car to each place but the beauty of Elmwood is that you can bike or walk along its streets at a leisurely pace and take in the sights.
If you are tired of your average cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, then head to D’Avolio Olive Oils & Vinegars. Now set in their new location, it boasts a variety of infused oils, vinegars, gourmet salts, rubs, pasta, & gifts. It’s not just a spot to run in and grab something- you can taste test each product! Descriptive labels give way to your tastebuds and all you have to do is put a little in to a cup, grab a piece of bread, and savor each unique flavor. We use the oils and balsamics to cook and mix with our salads, marinade with salts and spices, & like to give small samplers to friends as shower, wedding, or housewarming gifts. D’Avolio also has locations in Williamsville, East Amherst, Lewiston, & Ellicottville (in case you want to try closer to home!)
D’Avolio Olive Oils & Vinegars 814 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14222
Sun. 11-5, M-F 11-7, Sat. 10-7
After picking up some new spicy oils, we decided on ¡Toro! for dinner since we hadn’t stopped in for a while. Being only 5:30, it wasn’t overly crowded and we sat near the open garage-style door in front. (who doesn’t love that summer breeze in WNY!?) We enjoy ¡Toro!’s atmosphere- modern, a little Spanish tossed in, open air, and a nice bar to head to. ‘What is ‘tapas’ anyway?’, you may ask. It is a style of eating, popular in Spain and having developed hundreds of years: small plates meant to share (think appetizer-like) and the idea is to spend quality time together and with great conversation. While in Spain, one of the Buffalovebirds spent all afternoon with friends eating tapas style outside a beautiful vineyard- it is definitely a fabulous way to get together with your other half or friends and just enjoy life and time.
¡Toro! Tapas Bar 492 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14222
Sun. 5-10pm, closed Mon., Tue.-Sat. 5-11pm (kitchen times)
Toro has two cool personalities: dinner for all ages, a bar to accommodate a crowd, and Saturday nights a DJ spins and the floor is cleared of tables & chairs. Turning in to a hot spot to dance, Toro brings in a good variety for everyone. We have been at both times and had a blast. But don’t let the party discourage you from dinner- it doesn’t happen til later at night.
Once summer hits, one of the must-dos is to grab some ice cream at your local stand. We were a little surprised at downtown Buffalo’s lack of late night mom & pop ice cream stands (maybe that’s due to our Niagara County homelands) so we decided to try every spot that has a Perry’s sign in its window this summer. Driving slowly along Elmwood, we spotted that famous sign and we shrieked like little kids and pulled over. Fowler’s Chocolates. Known for their amazing chocolates since 1910, we are no strangers to their sponge candy and gift boxes. But we weren’t here for those melt-in-your-mouth sea salt caramels…Having a good selection of scoops, we ordered waffle cones filled with Red Velvet and Caramel Praline Turtle and headed outside to saunter along the sunny sidewalks of Elmwood Village.
Fowler’s Chocolates 746 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14222
Mon.-Sat. 10-9pm, Sun. 12pm-9pm
Fowler’s has locations in Hamburg, Webster, East Aurora, Tonawanda, Cheektowaga, and Buffalo.
There are many choices for dinner and shopping on this strip- so pick your combination and enjoy a relaxed weeknight!
***notes: for these three spots, street parking is what to do. read signs for info on pay stations (if needed). the cool thing about the pay stations is you can use your card instead of cursing for lack of quarters!