Date Night: The Best View of Buffalo Is Here

@sbronkie1@sbronkie1

Last Friday night was date night, as always. It’s one of my favorite nights because it is usually a guarantee that Beau and I will go out to eat somewhere new. We are tired from the week, know we have a packed weekend, and realize we will only have a couple of hours to hang out before it’s witching hour…aka- bedtime for 10 month old parents.

I secretly like when Beau makes reservations and doesn’t tell me where. Chloe would be coming with us (the norm) and he said we would be downtown. Hmmm. Then he said Panorama on Seven inside the Marriott Harborcenter. Wahoo! I had only been to events in their rooms the past two years so I was excited to eat there FINALLY. But with Chloe?

Right off the bat, Panorama was accommodating. We chose our table on the semi-quiet evening and they had a high chair for Chloe. A baby in a nicer place? You cray, Buffalovebirds. Yes and no. Chloe is a super chill and happy baby so we have been able to take her everywhere without a peep. Will that change? I’m sure. But for now we’re using it to our advantage. The lights were dim and the view of Canalside was so fun. You can see the ice skaters on the rink- it’s like watching one of those Christmas snow globes your grandma had where there’s little tiny ice skaters on a pond.

@panoramaonseven

We first ordered the Butternut Bisque and a Beet Salad. Well, dang. Simple and delicious. Chloe got to try the bisque, which she approved of tenfold. She ate most of our beets, which is fine. Baby munchkin prefers eating what we do now. Her book was in hand and she grinned ear to ear when we gave her bits of dinner.

Beau had the Prime Rib Grilled Cheese and I opted for the Bolognese- both of which were wonderful. Our server Yonis was excellent- always checking in on us and making sure any food Chloe was going to test did not have pepper or spices in it. We didn’t even ask- he just took the reigns. Service!

We ordered a side of Sweet Potato Mash for Chloe, which they even garnished for her. She had been quiet and smiley the whole evening. If she could have, she would have eaten the whole bowl of mash. It was delicious, we don’t blame ya kid.

Get it, girl

We made brief conversation with an older couple nearby who commented on how well-behaved Chloe is. (Yay, now don’t fail us Chloe!) Our tiny trick we do now when we are out to eat with her is requesting the bill right before we are finished. Beau makes sure to explain everything is great but we just prepare to exit before any malfunction. LOL Yonis scurried, mentioning he had something to bring for us.

Out comes a to-go box of their Sponge Candy Cheesecake for us to take home. Omg, someone knows the secret to our hearts! It was so nice of Panorama to send this off with us! I could tell Beau was thinking he could eat all of it before I even took a bite. There were pieces of sponge candy and dried cherries inside too and we informed Chloe she couldn’t have any. Luckily, she’s language-less right now.

As we packed up Chloe, I ran in to a co-worker and his friends so we said hello and did intros. He brought his crew to eat at (716) and brought them up to Panorama to show off the view. Rightly so, cause it may be the best in Buffalo right now. During daylight, you can see the city, Canalside, and the water. Love.

Before heading out, we inquired about their meeting spaces since Beau hosts clients and colleagues for events periodically at work. They have their M Lounge which is more casual for Marriott guests and beside their large event venues they have a great Boardroom capable of holding 12-14 people. Great view to show off to people!

We had a truly wonderful experience at Panorama and that was makes us want to return again and again and also to share with people what it is like. It’s a great spot for date night, hanging out for a drink or two with friends at the bar, and if you have a super well-behaved Baby then absolutely. (*if Chloe was not that way, we would not be taking her to places. not everywhere is for the two foot tall humans)

Chloe waiting for the elevator. Clearly something is funny.

Thanks, Panorama! We had a great night and can’t wait to visit again!

DETAILS:

Panorama on Seven // inside Harborcenter Marriott // 95 Main St. Buffalo

Parking: use valet! A tip given to us for next time. We had parked inside the Harborcenter ramp ($3)

Great for date night, friends, brunch // Business casual & clean

Follow them on social: @panoramaonseven

@stepoutbuffalo

Chocolate Date for the New Generation: Platter’s Chocolates


We love chocolate. Lots of it. So when we were invited to go hang out at Platter’s and experience their place, there really was no question on if we should go or not.

We noticed Platter’s Chocolates new digs up on Niagara Falls Boulevard in November of 2016 when they opened their new shop. Located in the old Wurlitzer building, they’re more than just a spot to grab some candy- it’s become a full-on destination filled with a modern industrial design and cozy hangout areas for anyone to chill at. Platter’s started with a husband and wife team in 1938 who created their chocolate in their home. After retiring in the late 60’s, a former neighborhood kid bought it in 1972 and kept the tradition while growing at the same time. The family continues on with making it bigger and better!


Saturday afternoon we headed up to North Tonawanda with BabyLovebird Chloe in tow, expecting to peruse shelves full of chocolate. But hold the phone- this place is WAY more than we thought it would be. We were greeted by bright and bubbly Nicole, one of the managers and also part of the owner’s family. Their new location has coffee, lattes, teas, Perry’s ice cream, sundaes, candy, sponge, smoothies, chocolate…it’s a complete surprise when you walk in!

we’re suckers for some good plants

 

 


The space is huge and has nook areas with seating, fireplaces, tv’s, and large windows that look in to their candy and chocolate factory. (of course there are still shelves filled with chocolates and gifts to grab) We both opted for coffee- one iced with Toasted Marshmallow and another hot with orange chocolate- and Beau HAD to get the orange sponge sundae.

 

 

Poor Chloe!! Sorry, baby, you can’t have any yet!The place was bustling; filled with kids and families…a mom and her two college-aged daughters…an older gentleman sitting and reading the paper with his coffee…it’s a new generation of chocolate shops.

While there is no sponge production to watch right now (since it’s humid in the summer!), the machines and operations were all quiet. But come fall, the place will be making and baking like crazy. You will be quite surprised how large their 24,000 square-foot space is and the various types of machinery they use (some even from Germany!).

You can see inside their production room!


Now you can’t pass by Platter’s- you have to go see for yourself! (psstt! It’s only minutes away from the Boulevard Mall) It is too charming not to go again and again and again. We are looking forward to visiting soon to watch the Platter’s and the Chocolate Factory work their magic come sponge season!

Details

  • Platter’s Chocolates / The Wurlitzer Building, 908 Niagara Falls Blvd. / North Tonawanda, NY 14120
  • 716-693-5391
  • M-F 7am-10pm…Saturday 8am-10pm…Sunday 10am-10pm (they’re open late!!)
  • grab chocolate gifts, watch them making sweet treats
  • perfect for family, kids, solo, casual first date, dessert, coffee date
  • Platter’s Chocolates Facebook

 

  • The Orange Chocolate custard with Orange Chocolate Fudge and Orange Chocolate Sponge! Whoa. So damn good!


    they even have teamed up with the new events space inside the Wurlitzer building to have their Chocolate and Sponge at weddings held there!

Fun Date: Ya Gotta Go Get Cookie Dough

kaylena’s got mad dough // pic: kaylena’s insta

Raise your hand if you have risked your life spooning out large amounts of raw cookie dough and scarfing it down like there’s no tomorrow before you even have baked your cookies. 

Ha. That’s a lot of hands.

Guess what? There are now TWO edible cookie dough spots in Buffalo where you can get your sugar rush: Kaylena Marie’s Bakery and Dough Boyz.

Kaylena’s is located in Orchard Park and this young entrepreneur has started filling waffle cones up with dough like M&M’s and Funfetti. It’s definitely like that cookie batch you’re about to make- doughy, sugary, filled with the goods. You can  share this since it is so rich. Or not…

kaylena marie’s m&m cookie dough

Dough Boyz just opened in Cheektowaga at the Walden Galleria Mall near Jack Astor’s. A local guy in Depew started this up and plans on expanding locally and in other large NY malls. You don’t have to share this cup of dough. It’s a little lighter and you can mix scoops (depending on the size). Like S’Mores or Red Velvet. Nom nom nom.

dough boyz s’mores on bottom, americano on top

So if you need a little dessert date or somewhere to go after dinner- now you know where to get your edible cookie dough. You’re welcome. 

*The Cookie Dough Cafe sells their cute little dough containers at Tops and Orchard Fresh, too! pick up a late night treat.

Perfect for: day or night, dessert date, in moderation with kids, after a breakup, when you wanna treat yo’self.

258s
kaylena’s
kaylenamariesbakery
kaylena’s // pic: step out buffalo
kaylenamaries
kaylena’s // pic: step out buffalo
dough boyz inside the galleria


the goods at dough boyz
dough boyz

Fun Date: Hertel Ave. Poutine & Cream

Ok, guys, you’re gonna like this one. Allen St. Poutine just opened their second location on Hertel and not only do they have the poutine but also debuted Freak Shakes and Creamy Buns. 

What?!


I met the head honcho, Marc Adler, at the Hertel location as he was greeting everyone who came in to check the place out. What a nice, down-to-Earth guy! He began the Allen St. Poutine Co. a couple years back and also is the CEO of his own business Why Not Marketing, LLC. He was inspired by the crazy milkshakes he was noticing in big U.S. cities and knew he had to bring them to Buffalo. They also make their 12 flavors of ice cream right there- it is creamy and yummy! He even traveled around the states to taste-test, study, and get inspired by others doing similar creations so he could get it right. Sounds terrible! 🙂


The Creamy Buns are donuts filled with ice cream then pressed in a panini-style grill to warm the donut up. The Freak Shakes are decorative, fun shakes served in glass-handled root beer mugs.

philly cheesesteak poutine
the chocolate mouse freak shake

We really dig this location- Hertel is just bumpin’! And suddenly…it is becoming a very fun ice cream/dessert destination with Lake Effect Ice Cream opening their second location (FINALLY!!!), Lloyd beginning their soft serve next to the taco factory, and now Allen St. Poutine with their shakes and donuts. Don’t forget- you have Blackbird Sweets and Romeo & Juliet’s with all the baked goods you need to satisfy your sugar craving. Good grief, Hertel!! 

So plan out your visit- get some poutine and end it with a shake or creamy bun! Sharing optional.


 

Hertel Ave. Poutine & Cream // 1488 Hertel Ave. Buffalo , NY 14216 (next to Family Video…you can park in the lot)

716.551.6995 (they can do take out orders! can you say at-home date night?! quick bite?!)

Perfect for: fun and quick dates / family dates / lunch / to-go / dessert!!

pic: poutine & cream


img_8075
ice cream made right there


 

 

-Lindsay

The Last Date as a Couple: Las Puertas

Baby Lovebird is coming.

Soon.

With three weeks left until her due date, Beau wanted to get in one last date night just the two of us. Many of our couple friends encouraged it and we knew we would be checking out someplace new before the little tyke arrives. Perfect timing, Las Puertas!

night scene from the front of Las Puertas.

We have been waiting for Victor Parra Gonzalez to open up in Buffalo ever since we had died and gone to heaven at his former Youngstown establishment: Jaguar at the Bistro. Buffalo is the perfect place for Victor and his team to spread their wings and bring new artistry and life with their progressive cuisine in the city. You can’t do that everywhere. With Casa Azul up and running (and soon opening their upstairs dining), Las Puertas is finally ready to open the minds of those seeking fantastic and unique Mexican.

Back to how date night as future parents went. 

Getting pants on is a challenge in Week 37. Going out at, what once was easy and exciting to do at 8pm, now is exhausting and time-consuming. Not much longer! We had not had the time to do an evening together in a while, so this was nice to feel like we were dating again- dinner at night just talking and enjoying everything on the menu.


Las Puertas is located on the West Side- a continual up & coming neighborhood- and seats about 35 people with tables, one large party area, and bar seating. It feels like a hidden gem in a big city. We opted to sit at the bar since we like chatting with staff and chefs as they bounce about, getting their perspectives and suggestions. As we always do, we started mapping out which dishes we would be sharing- it’s our best suggestion when having a dinner date night. Try. It. All.

First up: Guacamole- a fresh spread of avocados with salty caramel brittle & tostadas. The sweetness of the brittle was surprising with the guac! We both tried the Hibiscus Tea- which was like a summer dessert. (Full bar coming soon)

guac. brittle. hibiscus tea.

Next: Beau and his oysters. The raw bar is at the front bar set up so you can watch as the fresh plates are carefully curated and artistically designed.

oysters. cucumber.

I may or may not have eaten ‘more than a sharing portion’ of the Beef Chilmole (short rib with hominy grits and pickled habanero onions)…Beau had the Scallop Aguachile to himself (the joy of ‘nothing raw’ while pregnant rule)…and we ended with the Curated Duck and charred tomatillo sauce.

beef chilmole. can i get more??
scallops. cucumber. cilantro. apple.
duck. tomatillo.

Each plate is beautiful and more unique than the previous. But the major scene-stealer could have been the Lime Semifreddo- one of the desserts for the evening. Las Puertas has the genius pastry chef Jennifer Batt behind its sweeter concoctions and ever since Beau experienced the Las Puertas pop-up at the Hotel Lafayette a while back, he has been waiting for more of her creations.

We got both the ‘sweet’ and ‘refreshing’ options for the night. Our favorite was hands down the semifreddo. 

chocolate almond cake. passionfruit. mango.
lime. strawberry. cucumber. black sesame.

I thought Beau was going to lift his bowl and drink the strawberry and cucumber sauce when we finished. Luckily, he kept himself professional. 

Las Puertas is perfect for date night and gathering with friends. The plates can be shared (or not!) and you can take your time admiring the art of plating and the ingredients Parra Gonzalez has carefully chosen. We can’t seem to stay away from his restaurants- and we don’t see that as a bad thing…and once Baby Lovebird is here, she may just be craving all that Mexican spice.

Las Puertas 716.806.1141 

385 Rhode Island St. // Buffalo 14213

street parking // reservations suggested 

date night // friends // sharing, lite fare

progressive Mexican influence 

Facebook

smaller, intimate dining with the open back kitchen part of the scene.

The Ultimate Love Guide: Part 1: Where to Eat for Valentine’s 2017

overhead

Valentine’s Day. Some call it a Hallmark holiday. Others make it a ritual for taking time to hang together. However you view it ya gotta admit- February is a great time to rekindle love, get some time away, and feast on some fantastic meals- complete with wine. And some sweets.

Beau and I fall in to the category of ‘Every Day Should Be Like Valentine’s Day’ (yea yea, gross right?!). With Baby Lovebird arriving in a little under 4 weeks, we are using this year to hold one last date as a party of two. You will have to wait and see where we go! But for now read up on our two lists compiled just for you, Buffalovers! First up, FOOD. Second round, cool things to explore.


Part 1: For the Foodies

‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.’ -Virginia Woolf

coffee-date
we do coffee dates. alot.
If food is the way to your heart, book a date with some of the best places in WNY:

2/8: Giancarlo’s: Cakebread Cellars Wine Pairing Dinner– a five course menu perfected with wine pairing.

2/8: Aro Bar de Tapas: Food Is Art– a culinary tour of Spain and the beauty of its food.

2/8: Albright Knox Art Gallery: The Art of Dining- The Spanish Hearth– Gallery members to be wined & dined by Mike A. and chefs from Toutant, Oliver’s, and Rue Franklin. Call for details.

2/14: Rusty Nickel Brewing Company: Valentine’s Beer Pairing– umm, so this menu has us salivating.

2/14: Nickel City Cheese: Cheese & Sparkling Wine Pairing– really, you cannot go wrong with this combo. They also have a Tour of France coming up on 2/28.

2/17: Osteria 166 & 42North Brewing Company: Brewer’s Dinner– a five course dinner with beer pairing

2/18: The Lodge: Love at the Lodge– all week, The Lodge is offering Valentine’s specials & menus. Make it a late night on the weekend.

2/21: New York Beer Project: New Orleans Food & Beer Pairing– four courses of N’awlins dishes that is perfect for combining Valentine’s romance and Mardi Gras craziness.

2/23: Buffalo Zoo: Polar Bites– the Zoo’s fundraiser is back at it. Do food tastings instead of dinner!


More places to book now for your lovefest:

Roost

Las Puertas

Oliver’s

Hutch’s

Sear

Tempo

Mother’s

Aro Bar de Tapas

Panorama on Seven

Toutant

Marble + Rye

The Chocolate Bar (for fun martinis)

Elm Street Bakery

Mangia

What are your plans, Buffalovers? Do you have a tradition? A favorite? We want you to share with us!