Archive for February 11th, 2012

Let me start off by saying these are my favorite picks for intimate restaurants in Buffalo. By no means are these an end all be all, and several of these claims I’m sure will be rebutted.

This list is unfortunately not going to do you much good come Valentine’s Day in Buffalo because for a place were food is kind of a big deal, going out for Valentine’s Day Dinner is an even bigger deal. My first year here I made the mistake of calling a place 2 weeks in advance thinking I could get a reservation (ignoring the wife’s repeated pleas to call earlier). What a fool I was to defy her… Restaurants start taking reservations a month or more in advance in Buffalo. So while you may certainly try calling one of these places in hopes of a cancellation or just getting lucky, best of luck to you, sir. At the very least, this list should provide some acceptable options when your significant other demands a romantic night out to pay her back for not getting a reservation in time.

5. Left Bank

Had to start out a crowd favorite. Ask any Buffalonian what the best restaurant in town is, and often times Left Bank is the answer (or at least in the top 5). It’s small, has a lovely decor, and the food is phenomenal though somewhat pricey. To be honest, this is not my favorite restaurant in town, but like I said, had to include it because it’s a crowd favorite. Chances of getting in here for Valentine’s Day are non-existent. You might as well try and get a reservation at Dorsia. (716) 882-3509

4. Hutch’s

Another place with a great atmosphere is Hutch’s. Full of exposed brick walls and awesome huge retro posters, Hutch’s is a true urban restaurant and attracts a large downtown following. Offering several tucked-away seating areas, both the food and staff here are incredible, even if it can get a little loud at times.
(716) 885-0074

3. La Tee Da

If you are looking for intimate atmosphere, few places are as intimate as La Tee Da. This place is SMALL. Basically a narrow walkway filled with as many tables as they can fit, the ultra dark, ultra red interior was a favorite destination for the wife and I on Valentines Day for many years because of a single table they had by the front window. Because it was right against the window and doorway, patrons were given a blanket to keep warm while enjoying dinner which only added to the romantic atmosphere. They sadly have since move the bar over to that area, but the place is still a very romantic place to have dinner. (716) 881-4500

2. Russell’s Steakhouse

Ho man, now my mouth is starting to water… If you are looking for impeccable service, and one of the finest steak houses in Buffalo, Russell’s is hands down the place to go. There are other steak houses in Buffalo, yes, but none match Russell’s service and prices. With an incredible bar boasting 4 125″ HD Flat screen TV’s often playing some kind of concert whether it’s Michael Buble’, Sting or Andrea Bocelli, Russell’s is a favorite of ours not only because of the food and service, but because there is a hotel attached down the hall. So you can drink all you want and merely waltz down the hallway to your room where your jacuzzi awaits. And Russell’s specials are amazing. For $200 you get dinner for two, including an appetizer and desert and one night stay in a jacuzzi suite. You are hard pressed to find a deal better than that. Just make sure you come dressed to impress. Russ Salvatore himself is always there and is one of the Dandiest men in Buffalo. (716) 636-4900

1. Caffe’ Espresso

Caffe’ Espresso holds a special place in my heart because it was the first restaurant the wife took me to on my first visit back to Buffalo. The place has a wonderfully European feel to it; very small, very dark and hands down the best Italian food in Buffalo. Tucked away in a shopping plaza, the Caffe’ is unassuming and many people often confuse it for just a coffee shop. The dishes here are familiar to some, but have flavor to them that is unmatched anywhere (especially their mussels and tiramisu). Just don’t expect to get in and out in a hurry. Rose, the owner, is the only chef. And while the restaurant is small, it can still get busy (especially if some of the Sabres stop by as this used to be a favorite hang out after a game). Besides, you’re supposed to enjoying your time together and gazing into each others eyes. So enjoy. (716) 626-2233


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