Sunday, June 30, 2013

Art, Architecture and Food Finds in Buffalo

I was looking forward to exploring more of Buffalo, New York, a town I had only briefly stopped through before. I had my friend Lynn along with me and our day was filled with quite a mixture of activities – and restaurants.

We were up fairly early and headed to breakfast at Betty’s, a popular place recommended by Peter Burakowski of the Buffalo-Niagara Tourism Board. The menu did indeed look quite appetizing and we had a tough time narrowing it down.

We finally decided to share an Asparagus and Artichoke Quiche along with the Peach French Toast, which was filled with cream cheese and topped with streusel and blueberries. They were both good, but the French Toast was my favorite.

We had gotten passes to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and enjoyed walking around seeing works of old new artists, all leaning toward modern and contemporary art.  

The exhibits here change often so you can always plan on catching something unique whenever you go.

After the museum, we met Margie Stehlik for a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House. The house was closed since it was a Tuesday, but we got a private tour of this former home designed by the famed architect. From the unusual greenhouse to the detail in every window, it’s quite a spectacular place that’s well worth a stop.

From downtown Buffalo we headed to East Aurora. This quaint village was highlighted by the Roycroft Inn, a National Historic Landmark in a town known for its background in the arts. I loved the old world charm and it was a picturesque setting for lunch.

We started with the delectable Inn Made Truffle Chips with smoked gorgonzola cheese and white truffle oil. I also enjoyed the Asian Chicken Vegetable Soup and an excellent Turkey Apple Panini, which had caramelized onions, cranberry mayonnaise and provolone cheese melted on sourdough bread.

After lunch we went to downtown Roycroft and walked a bit. I was fascinated with Vidler’s 5 & 10, the biggest store of its kind I had ever seen. I don’t think there was anything you couldn’t find in there, from souvenirs and old fashioned candy, to handmade soaps and natural cosmetics.

We had some time to rest a bit before we went to VeraPizzeria for dinner. It was just Lynn and I so we decided to go for a little of this and that (I think the phrase “small plates” was invented for me.

The cocktails were pretty classic and there were a lot of whiskey drinks, rather surprising for a pizza place. We ended up sticking to wine and I really enjoyed the Caleo Fiano, light and lemony.

The Goat Cheese Arancini was crispy, but not greasy. The Wheat Berry Salad, with figs walnuts and gorgonzola in a honey balsamic dressing was sweet and fruity.

We ordered a Caprese Pizza which was a perfect mixture of tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic. The Spring Pork was excellent. It had a honey and lavender brined and came with roasted asparagus in blackberry butter and a smoked gouda gratin which were also fantastic.

For dessert we had a delicious Nutella Cannoli and then headed back to Hotel Lafayette.  In the morning it was off to Niagara Falls to continue our trip.




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