Colors and Magic at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Aren’t we so lucky to have these incredible museums right here in our backyard? As kids, we are exposed to them through field trips and as adults we get to relive those moments all over again but with fresh eyes and respect.

Beau and I have been Albright-Knox Art Gallery lovers for life. My school did field trips here and I was able to experience my Mother (now a retired Art Teacher) taking her students to it as well. We went as a family a few times and as a ‘big kid’, Beau and I have attended for live music and special exhibits. Now that we have Chloe, it’s a whole new adventure. We took her for her very first Albright experience last weekend and it was more magical than we expected.

AKG had a hands-on exhibit called ‘Art of the Senses’ which included works you could taste, touch, and hear. Great interaction for people of all ages, especially babies! Chloe was looking everywhere and seemed to love the bright art the most. The museum was packed and rightly so- the second exhibit featured the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami which was colorful, mesmerizing, and imaginative. (Think: the Japanese Lisa Frank)

AKG is stroller-friendly (can carefully take stairs, too, but there is a small elevator). There is a cafe inside you can grab lunch at- a sit down so you can enjoy your time. The gift shop is always fun afterward because you will find unique art supplies, books, and decor. You see classic artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Matisse and they even brought back the ever-popular favorite: The Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras. *bring socks so you can step inside!

We’re pretty cheesy, if you didn’t already know. Every time we had Chloe take some pics, she giggled and posed- clearly she has the cheese, too. Must be in our genes! How can you not want to get a cool shot in the Albright-Knox though??

These exhibits I mentioned have ended their time at AKG, but the museum is constantly curating new exhibits and artists to come. The best place to see what is currently there and arriving soon is on their website: Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Follow their Instagram, too!

This is seriously one of our top fav date places in Buffalo! You can solo, grab a friend, bring the kids and baby, cross generations, or go on a date.

Grab your camera, grab your person…even download their app to play some fun games. We are too lucky not to keep going to AKG again and again, to expose our young selves once again and of course to enlighten the future youth.

Details:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery // 2182 Delaware Ave. Buffalo 14216

Tuesday – Sunday 10-5 // First Friday of each month is 10-10

Parking in lot: $5 for guests

Available street parking behind the museum

Family / friends / solo / date night / day date

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 Story of Us

Before we made downtown Buffalo our home, our lives were slightly far away. It was one of those love-at-first-sight sappy love stories…we kid you not. On a trip back home to Newfane, NY for a girls’ night, I walked in to Taboo (now called Lock 34) and locked eyes with a very cute bartender (cliche, you say?). Nervous, I ordered a salad and my best girl acted as wing-woman to make sure we at least said more than our dinner orders to him. After the number swap and setting a date, the rest is history. Inseparable.

To give you the super quick version of how we met and fell in love, we want to share our Save the Date from fall 2014 with you. We wrote this story in a Tim Horton’s one rainy night after our engagement in 2013 and Vallarina Creative designed the fun layout with us!

icm_fullxfull.45474769_iim193x8kjk0s40csw44-page-001

Beau moved in to the Hotel Lafayette in early Spring 2012- one of the very first tenants in the newly restored building. We received a hardhat tour from Rocco Termini himself before it was even completed and signed on right away, dirt floors and all. I visited from Erie, PA every weekend and we explored Buffalo together- kayaking, trying new restaurants, watching Canalside being built, smelling Cheerios, and biking to Elmwood Village. The city was coming alive with new business and places to eat every month. In the Fall of 2012, I moved to Buffalo after it had impressed me so. There was so much fun to be had, how could I not be here during its rebirth?

Things were changing, yet people found our adventures hard to believe.

‘Ok. We’ll show you.’

And so became the Buffalovebirds idea. The story of us.

Okay, so there is the Save the Date Love Story…what about the wedding??

buff news 5
The Riggs Wedding, Larkin Square 8/8/15

Well you’re just gonna have to wait for the next post. 😉

 

-Lindsay

 

The Buffalovebirds

0014

It has been over 4 years since we moved in to downtown Buffalo at the Hotel Lafayette. The city was still quiet; on the cusp of its re-surge. There was no Canalside, no Marriott hotels, no Marble + Rye. No Harborcenter, Tappo, or Cars on Main. No Chippewa change-over, no all-glass DNC structure, no Pedal Tours. No Larkin Square, a coffee revolution, or brewery boom yet. We have been able to experience all of it right in front of our eyes- right outside of our front door.

cropped-0259.jpg
Beau // Lindsay

 

 

Things started to change here and no one outside of Buffalo believed us. One night, walking through Tifft, Beau had enough of it. He thought we should start documenting our dates and things we did around Buffalo so our friends and family near and far could SEE what was really going on. Growing up as Niagara County kids, we could not wait to change the views of everyone. Everyone had grown up with a different Buffalo and we wanted to share our experiences in downtown as it grew. After all, seeing is believing!

We hope to inspire you with our adventures and see everything Buffalo has for a great date night! Follow us as we fall in love over and over again- with each other and the city.

-Lindsay & Beau

Local Getaway: Barton Hill Hotel & Jaguar at the Bistro **JAGUAR IS NOW CLOSED- CHECK OUT THEIR OTHER SITE AT CASA AZUL IN DOWNTOWN BUFFALO

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

 

Expo Market: Newest Buffalo Hot Spot

Finally! Expo Market hit the ground running today, 2/18/16, with its open-market style and five eateries inside for you to grab ‘n go or sit ‘n stay. The newest hotspot to open in downtown Buffalo is located in the 600 block of Main St., diagonally across from Shea’s and connected to the Market Arcade. We are extra excited because it’s a 10 minute walk from our home and offers a healthier option for not only for a quick lunch but also for a later dinner in downtown.

inside EXPO
We’ve been watching and peering in over the past few months and knew it would be a very small version of girl bird’s favorite food markets in Europe but, hey, we’ll take it. Here is the run down of what we experienced:

We walked in to happy hour vibes at the bar, classic 80’s music pumping out, pockets of people laughing and taking pictures, and smiling pop-ups ready to serve. You can park on Main St. or Washington St. or if you’re coming in from the Northtowns and do not wanna drive- make sure to park at UB and take the subway in. It will drop you off at Fountain Plaza and you walk one block to Expo.

Let’s talk who’s here:

Newbury St. 

The original location makes home in Elmwood Village and is, in our opinion, one of the best salad joints in the area. Build your own or grab one of their specialty items. Perfect for lunch or to take outside and bask in the sun (when the heat comes back to WNY).

newbury st.
GBGB’s (Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar)

Here is where you’ll want to grab your drinks and hang with friends. No food here (that we noticed) but is definitely where you’ll want to pop in to for your happy hour. Craft beer and specialty cocktails. In the morning, espresso and coffee will be served. Yes, please!

 

GBGB’s
Sun Roll

This child comes from Sun on Niagara St.- home of Black Rice and a local favorite on the West Side. Rolls, Thai iced tea, and Mango Black Rice pudding are at your fingertips here and it is nothing short of amazing.

 

sun roll

Crush Juicery**as of December 2016, Crush is no longer at Expo and instead set up with Newbury St. on Elmwood***

The little sister of Newbury St., Crush is the juice and smoothie bar that concocts up wheatgrass shots and oatmeal bowls for breakfast. They’re opening at 8am for those pulling in to the city in the morning.

Osteria 166’s ‘Mercato’

Create your own pasta, gourmet sandwiches, and meatballs. We ‘built’ a tortelli alfredo and continued to salivate after we had finished. This is the child of Osteria 166 on Franklin in downtown- which never ever disappoints.

Mercato’s pasta station

Bobby Alfman’s Old World Deli

An old world deli perfect for those looking to grab and go. Classics that are sure to leave you satisfied. We can’t wait to try the Number Three: porcetta, sauteed greens, gravy. Guy bird took home an Italian Trio.

While there, we went for a Nickel City roll at Sun and a create-your-own pasta at Mercato. Grabbing a sandwich to go and ending with black rice pudding- we commented on how great this is for Main St., the lunch crowd, and for those who tend to finish their day later and sometimes want something quick to eat that isn’t fried fast food.

 

pasta from Mercato
nickel city roll from Sun Roll

We ran in to Ashley, the General Manager, who we knew from the Hotel Lafayette and helped us with our wedding guests last summer. She was thrilled to be part of this new downtown adventure. Make sure while you’re taking it all in that you scope out Casey Milbrand‘s colorful murals throughout the space. Thank you to Sinatra & Company Real Estate and Paul Tsouflidis (Crush Hospitality- which brought us Acropolis and Newbury St.) for making this concept a realty and adding on to the nonstop growth of our city. We’ll be back again and again.

EXPO 

617 Main St. Buffalo 14202

716.220.8468 

M-F 11am-9pm (Crush & GBGB’s start at 8am for breakfast & espresso)

Sat 11am-8pm

Sunday: closed

cash/credit at all

There in the day time? Shop local at two of our favorites inside Market Arcade: Buffalo Adore and Rust Belt Love. 

Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Website

date night approved // kid friendly // girls night out // meet up with the boys //happy hour