One way we like to surprise one another and keep our newly-married life exciting is planning spontaneous getaways. Well, maybe not ‘us’…it’s all guy bird and I take no credit.

‘Good morning, beautiful! I brought you coffee.’

This in itself always starts the weekend off right and adds up brownie points.

‘Pack your bag, we are going on a local getaway.’

Brownie points off the charts.

It is one of the easiest ways to plan time together and keep that butterfly feeling you have when you are first dating. Where were we heading? Lewiston, NY.

Thirty minutes from downtown Buffalo, Lewiston is no stranger to us. Both hailing from Niagara County, it is a childhood staple. Additionally, we’ve celebrated the 4th there a couple times, spent our first summer of dating meeting up at Artpark’s Tuesday events, and had our first date on the river there. A beautiful town with live music, local businesses, and tons of history. Here is a way to make Lewiston a local getaway at any given time:


Our pick on where to stay:

Barton Hill Hotel & Spa


barton hill hotel & spa site

Built not so long ago, the hotel stands on the land where America planned its invasion in to Canada in 1812. Designed to look as if the building has been there for centuries, Barton Hill has river view rooms, spa services, and is great for weddings. Being very quiet due to the off-season, it felt as if we had the hotel to ourselves. Our Frederick Retreat room was lit by the fire and looked out over the river. The staff was very friendly and accomodating. After settling in, we prepped for date night- dinner at Jaguar at the Bistro.


Our pick on where to eat:

Jaguar at the Bistro

Having been on our list for quite some time, watching Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez and his sister Sous Chef Diana Parra at the Nickel City Chef Competition last week really made us stop putting off dinner reservations. Their restaurant, Jaguar at the Bistro, is in Youngstown- just north of Lewiston- tucked away inside the village. We went straight for the Tasting Menu which gives you the opportunity to have the chefs create what they want and truly gives you insight in to where their heart and soul lives. Always go for the chefs menu, anywhere!

It was a quiet Saturday evening, with an old inn feel and a pianist filling the air. Do not let the ambiance confuse you- the cuisine is a twist on Mexican cuisine and specifies pieces from the chefs childhood home of Acalpulco and their travels. Our server, Jessica, was joyful and attentive as we were led through the courses. There is nothing more exciting to us than not knowing what will be put in front of us!

First course: pork bone broth with corn

Second course: we have never had octopus as tender as this…

Third course: pork belly with mole, cactus, cotija…

Fourth course: 

Three parts to the dessert course! The first part…we ate. Sorry, guys! It was atole ice cream, made by Chef Victor Parra earlier that day. Atole is a warm drink made of corn, vanilla, and cinnamon. We could have eaten an entire pint. Part two: chocolate macarons with chocolate ganache and blood orange. Sous Chef Diana is the one who reigns over the desserts and it shows. We are suckers for beautifully plated food and flavor pairings you would never imagine would work.

Third part: flan with warm berries. It is safe to officialy say we will never want flan anywhere else. We learned that goat milk is the trick in making this so incredibly creamy.

Having the chefs sit down with us and tell us about the passion behind their food and where their inspiration stems from was a memorable and exhilarating experience. We love when the people behind the plates share their souls. You learn the story, you connect through food.

It has been a while since we were last blown away by a food date night and Jaguar at the Bistro nailed it. They are opening a location on the West Side in Buffalo this spring and we could not be more excited. So what does this mean for you right now?

Scope out their website here and plan your date night by calling for a reservation and get the Tasting Menu. Let them know ahead of time so the chefs can gather what is needed. You may be in quaint Youngstown but dress it up. You’re not gonna see a burrito on this menu (break out of that stereotypical Mexican cuisine mind), so get ready for an incredible experience.

We have towns and villages within minutes of Buffalo- or wherever you may be living right now. Venture out somewhere you usually would not and turn it in to a local getaway. It will allow you to reconnect with each other and rediscover what is in your own backyard.

Check out Part 2: Waking Up in Lewiston


entry in Barton Hill Hotel


jaguar at the bistro, youngstown, ny


inside jaguar at the bistro


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