**DISHCRAWL IS NO LONGER ACTIVE AS OF 2013
On Wednesday July 24, 2013 we embarked on the first ever Dishcrawl Buffalo in downtown BLo for a nosh fest of 4 surprise restaurants. After a tweet from @DishcrawlBuff, we knew this would be a great date night and we couldn’t wait to see what it was all about. New to WNY, Dishcrawl operates in many large cities all over the nation and is rapidly expanding. The idea is to showcase restaurants within a walking radius in order to introduce people to new food, drinks, and experiences. Best part of it was the fact that we did NOT know where we were headed until it was announced. But we knew there would be food food food!
where you are told! rain or shine; light walking
$45/person; cash/credit separate for drinks
Our initial email had us meeting at Osteria 166, the first stop. We were pumped to check this out since we had been wanting to visit this new Italian hotspot downtown since its grand opening a little over a month ago. Arriving at 6:45pm, we were greeted by our ambassador, Katelyn, with a beaming smile. After signing in and grabbing a name tag, we landed a drink at the bar and snagged a small table along the sun-drenched window, anxiously waiting to see what would happen! The bar area was full of people- young couples, distinguished couples, girlfriends, guy friends, small groups, solos…we peeked in the rustic dining area of Osteria which was beginning to fill up with wine-hungry guests. We knew right away we would be visiting for dinner in the near future.
166 Franklin St. Buffalo, NY 14202 (across from the convention center)
M-F 11am-9pm, Sat. 4pm-10pm, closed Sunday
Slightly after 7, we were introduced to Nick, the owner of Osteria, who hopped up on the bench- greeting us with an animated voice, open arms, and passionate welcome. It was a great first impression of the Dishcrawl, as Nick exuded charisma and excitement to an already ecstatic crowd. Giving a background on Osteria and description of what we would be eating, Nick and some staff began rolling out our samples, post-applause. Yep. We will be here a lot. Here was our ‘menu’ at Osteria 166:
Our next stop was announced: Soho Burger Bar on Chippewa- one of our fav spots we walk to from the Hotel Lafayette. We were escorted to the rooftop (just for us!), where an acoustic guitarist/vocalist was wooing everyone and the bar was open to quench our thirst.
Soho Burger Bar
64 W. Chippewa Dt. Buffalo, NY 14202
M-Th 11am-11pm, Fri & Sat 11am-12am, Sun 12-9pm, bar hours til ?, brunch Sun 12-4pm
The sun was setting on Chippewa, giving it a warm glow of city life. In an enclosed room, we grabbed our plates and situated ourselves with a view of some skyline and wild people-watching. (we didn’t see Jay, Soho’s owner whom we usually shake hands with during out meals, give an intro to our samples). On the roof, people gathered at high rise tables, low lounge benched seating, and bar stools- taking in the live music and fresh air. For some reason, we always get a kick going to Soho because we remember the old days when it was a wild bar- seeing the transformation of it in to a wonderful downtown restaurant makes us hopeful for the rest of the strip. Here is what we had at Soho:
Directly across the street, we hopped over to Bacchus Wine Bar (another favorite- we were lucking out!) where we sat inside the event room (formerly Third Room, for those who remember THOSE days!) which has been completely overhauled with beautiful exposed original brick and luscious woodwork. Our seating was at a King’s Table- where somehow we sat last at the two head seats with a great view of the Dishcrawl partiers. The back of the event room shows off large windows to their back patio, which was hosting a Wednesday film night on a big screen in front of diners. This had been on our to-do list for summer, so we booked a reservation to see ‘Moneyball’ in August after our Dishcrawl sample!
Bacchus Wine Bar
56 W. Chippewa St. Buffalo, NY 14202
Tues-Thurs 5-11pm, Fri & Sat 5pm-12am, closed Sun & Mon (*champagne brunch happening Sun 7/28)
We were floored by the presentation at Bacchus for this event. Keeping up their status of amazingness, our plates were beautifully served to us under the dusk lighting of deep reds and lush woods. Catherine has welcomed us to Bacchus, explaining the history & the food we would be trying- as well as what we were seeing on the patio for the film series. Her contagious personality of happiness and positivity left everyone in high spirits! Here is what we had at Bacchus:
Stuffed, happy, and having made new friends- we all headed to our fourth and final destination for dessert. Where else? Chocolate Bar!
114 W. Chippewa St. Buffalo, NY 14202
Head honcho Chris led us upstairs and introduced us to our special Dishcrawl dessert menu where we could pick our own treat and receive $2 off our martinis. (Chocolate Bar martinis happen to be a lovebird weakness!) Choc Bar isn’t just about chocolate…they have a full lunch and dinner menu, apps, and salads. Monday’s they offer martinis and manicures while Wednesday’s you can get a message with your drink! Here is what dessert looked like on the Dishcrawl:
At the end of the evening, Katelyn thanked everyone for taking part in Buffalo’s first ever Dishcrawl Through Downtown. It had been a success! We caught personal snippets here and there about how some people had never been to these places and had always wanted to try it…how they were so impressed by the food…that they were so happy they came to the event…how they couldn’t wait to tell friends about it…and murmurings of ‘When and where is the next one?’. And think about this: if you wanted to try all these different delicious samplers- you would be paying full size and we added it up…that’s over $100! So the ticket price is well worth what you are getting with food, meeting the owners, and getting the whole experience.
Whenever the next Dishcrawl is…Allentown? Elmwood? Hertel?… we highly recommend you make this a date night! It is perfect for not only couples, but friends, family, and even if you brave solo!
*a big thanks to Osteria 166, Soho Burger Bar, Bacchus Wine Bar, & Chocolate Bar for amazing hospitality & food!