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

Hotspot: Jake’s Cafe at The Westin


This past week, Jake’s Cafe opened its doors to the public inside the new Westin on Delaware Ave. A clean, modern cafe with bright lighting and an open kitchen concept- Jake’s boasts coffee & espresso, omelets for breakfast, and salads & burgers for lunch.

There is a grab & go section with yogurt parfaits, salads, juices, and sandwiches plus fruit and bakery items to take with you.


Great for a morning capp or a lunch meeting, Jake’s is the first part of new Delaware North building to open as a retail service to those in the building and the public. Pantina 250 will follow in September. (see our inside look photos of it on our Instagram!)

We feel that this will be our new go-to!

Details:

Breakfast 7-11am…Lunch 11-3pm…open 7 days a week! (good to know for downtown weekenders!)

Parking on street or paid in lot

*enter through the front of the building on the corner of Delaware & Chippewa, for now!


 

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 

Toutant- A Sunday date

  
Haven’t we all kept our eyes on Toutant the past few months? Another Genesee Gateway goodie with exposed brick interior and a menu you can’t resist. (It could be we just get pumped about anything within walking distance to our home at the Hotel Lafayette!)

Sunday night. Date night reservations made online two weeks ago. The bar and high rise tables were packed already at 5pm when we entered. Sunlight spilling in to the entrance. Greeted by a smiling hostess, we were led upstairs to the second level. We could not wait to dive in to this menu…

 
Our signature move is going all out at a new place- we started with the Hush Puppies (which were sprinkled with jalapenos inside), Blue Crab Bisque, and American Country Ham. 

 
Yea. That didn’t last long. The presentation alone with the crab bisque was impressive- the bowl was brought over filled only in the center with crab and our server, Christine, came with a carafe and poured the bisque over top the crab. We haven’t experienced that in quite some time. The cayenne oil left a distinct, mouth-watering aroma. The American Country ham was so delicious- aged perfectly, with house pickles and red eye mustard. Wait, we are supposed to SHARE these plates? But we want our own!

 
seating on the second floor, interior view of buiding courtyard

After settling on what we would be splitting for our main courses, Christine asked our preference of heat for our Jambalaya dish- 1 through 5, highest heat at 5. Big fans of ‘things that clear your sinuses’, guy bird tends to want to push it even further. Compromising at 3, Christine promised to bring over their hot sauce for him to add if he wants more. 

After a long week and a busy weekend of being out of town, biking over 50 miles, and sneaking in wedding prep here & there- we played catch up as we anxiously awaited our Jambalaya with shrimp and sausage and Biscuits & Gravy.

   

 Not. Disappointed. At. All. So again..we are supposed to share?

So here is the best part of date night: when we thought guy bird was going to die.

Well, at least one half of Buffalovebirds thought that. 

Taking a moment to break away from devouring the biscuits, girl bird looks up and across the table- guy bird is DRIPPING in sweat. His brow and cheeks were sweaty and tears were trickling down his face. He was quiet and taking it like a champ. Was the jambalaya really that potent?? Nope.

 
Suzumebachi. Yea, Google that. It’s an Asian Giant Hornet and has killed people with its venom sting. He had put it on his jambalaya and looked like he had run a marathon through Hell. Stiffling laughter and also annoying him with, ‘Are you okay? No, really, are you okay?’- within 5 minutes he was back to normal. He recalls the last time he had heat like that was at Hot’s Kitchen when he was taste-testing habañero sauce and drank a quart of milk afterward. This hot sauce is awesome. (but now you are warned)

Always pulling out the cheesy line of ‘I have a seperate stomach for dessert’, we ended the date with an Ooey Gooey Cake and a Meyer Lemon Curd Jar. 

 
We could eat these all day. 

Finding out that Toutant also has take out, we now know we are in trouble! After hearing nothing but raving reviews, we gladly jump on that bandwagon. Toutant leaves you wanting to come back and order the rest of the menu and that’s just what we will be doing. It is that southern comfort food that you can never get enough of. Snag your friends for some cocktails and shared plates, bring your out-of-towners here to show off our diverse Buffalo cuisine, and make sure you have a date night out with your other half. See ya there!

DETAILS

Toutant // 437 Ellicott St. Buffalo, NY 14203 // 716.342.2901

Reservations are easy! Make them online. 

Street parking & paid lots // Open for brunch on Sunday

Monday 5p–2a
Thursday- Saturday 5p–2a
Sunday Brunch 11:30a–3:30p
Sunday Dinner 5p–2a

   

  

  

 

Toutant is coming…

  
(Pic: buffalorising.com)

The past three years, we have seen quite the change on the Genessee Gateway. From clearing out run down facilities to bringing in Dog e Style and Marcos, around the corner (sometimes known as the Flower District, where Maureen’s is on Ellicott) another development is happening. Toutant.

The awesome view of overflowing disposals line at 437 Ellicott this morning outside of the future restaurant, which we hear is aiming to open May 15th. The chef? Former Park Country Club extraordinaire James Roberts. He has named his new (up-and-coming) hotspot after his great grandfather’s trapping & fishing camp in southern Louisiana (you just know this is going to be cool!). [pronounced: too-tawnt]

The cuisine already has us grabbing our drawstring pants out of the closet- cast iron corn bread, jambalaya, oysters, hush puppies, biscuits and gravy, sweet potato pie…arghhh, how will we ever look good for this wedding in August we are the starring roles of?

Looking to serve up brunch and dinner, the Toutant website is already up for your viewing pleasure and is accepting reservations (ours are already made!). Get ready, WNY, for another opening in downtown Buffalo- ain’t no stoppin’ us now! 

Get all the details on Toutant’s website & stay tuned for how our adventure goes…

Queen City Pop-Up

Both of us Buffalovebirds live & work in the heart of downtown Buffalo. So whenever there is a new restaurant opening, construction happening, or new local shops popping up- we are there. Recently, Queen City Pop-Up has returned to Main Street. A creation molded by the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, this pop up was an effort to test the waters on how we can bring shops back on to Main St. and showed much success in its first round this past fall inside Market Arcade.

The concept: retailers submit an application to receive free rental space in a Main St. building for a certain amount of time. This is to coincide with ‘Cars Sharing Main Street’ and the revival of downtown. This spring, the pop-ups are located inside the Pierce Building (directly across from Shea’s) and have 5 local retailers to browse.

On Monday, girl bird popped in to the Pierce Building and perused the retailers. The 5 pop-ups this spring are: Life & Love Events (an events coordinator with gifting and events goods for sale)…Survival of the Gear (outdoor-sports items)…Yar Mo’s Muse (apparel)…MMW Style Studio (apparel)…and Ginametrical (graphic arts/paper goods).

  
(the front of the Pierce Building with the Pop-Ups)

Here is what girl bird left with:

   
 

After spotting the seed bombs from Love by Bean on Instagram, she quickly discovered they would be for sale at Life & Love Events at the pop-up. And who doesn’t love Buffalo-inspired cards? These are at Ginametrical‘s shop and she has every occasion, thank you packs, and prints. 

So if you live or work downtown, head over to 653 Main St. to pick up some gifts for yourself or for Mother’s Day and support locally owned small businesses! 

open: Monday-Friday 10-6; Saturday noon-5 // now thru June 30th

   

     

*we are out [seed]bombing the city. watch for random daisies as part of our ‘pop-up’!