Delish! Cooking School, whose classes were voted as some of the Best of WNY by Buffalo Spree, is known for its quality instruction and taste. Within a comfortable urban space, customers can pick up sweet selections such as fresh fudge, scones, bar cookies, and hand-dipped chocolate. Fresh-brewed espresso drinks accompanied by baked goods or housemade ice-cream sandwiches tempt tongues, while a range of cooking tools, sauces, and spices line shelves for at-home chefs to use in their own kitchens.
Experienced chefs lead cooking classes geared toward the home cook looking to hone skills without memorizing transcripts of the Food Network’s full broadcast. Students sip wine during classes such as The Exciting Foods of Thailand, Casual Italian Supper Party, or The New Vegetarian Cuisine.
Chefs at Toro Tapas Bar infuse their genre-defying tapas with creative fusion cuisine such as bison quesadillas and saffron lobster. Waiters transport small- to medium-size plates to glossy red tables, where diners share bites family style, as mixologists behind a dramatically backlit bar fill goblets with more than 100 wines. High ceilings with exposed girders soar above the space, and terra cotta walls bear abstract paintings that, if stared at long enough, reveal a 3D image of which diner will pick up the bill.
Proprietor Nick Kotrides’s open-kitchen concept offers Empire Grill patrons a low-flying bird’s-eye view of chefs plating hand-cut 12-ounce steaks and Cajun shrimp alfredo. Modern light fixtures and floor-to-ceiling windows keep the two-story diner bright and welcoming, and semicircle booths surround a stocked bar. Flat-screen high-definition televisions and free WiFi let patrons tweet their most up-to-date thoughts on big games and sated stomachs inhibiting their ability to digest the importance of big games.
For over four decades, Buffalo Harbor Cruises ships have plied the waters of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, and the Black Rock Lock and Canal, inviting tourists and locals alike to take in the rich history of Buffalo's scenic waterways. Party boats ferry revelers past the city skyline with open bars and pumping music, and chartered cruises and tours send guests sailing on a relaxing lake trip on a double-decker ship.
The cooks at Scarlet populate their menu with creative seafood and steak dishes as well as an assortment of grilled pizzas. Diners can enjoy shrimp and grits with andouille sausage and a hot-pepper cream sauce or taste lobster tail with lemon and garlic shallot butter. Bacon and gorgonzola mashed potatoes accompany prime cuts of filet mignon, and grilled pizzas rest on housemade dough.
Niagara Cafe offers a menu filled with fresh, tasty Puerto Rican–style cuisine that makes mouths water like panting clouds. Start with tostones ($2.50)—chips made from expertly sliced plantains—or a beefy deep-fried empanadilla ($1.84), and then taste test a quarter rotisserie chicken served with fries ($5.52). For lunch (11 a.m.–3 p.m., Monday through Friday), patrons can try the fried pork chops ($4.60); dinnertime guests, on the other hand, can enjoy the chicken stew ($8.28). All lunch and dinner plates are accompanied by yellow or white rice and beans, which are side staples for most Caribbean culinary traditions and Tritons. For dessert, appraise the custardy contents of homemade flan ($2.30) before escorting leftovers down the gullet with a small gulp of parcha juice ($1) or a 16-ounce soft drink ($1.50).