Built in 1930 from cobblestones left over from the construction of the Erie Canal, one of America's oldest miniature golf courses sits under the shade of pine trees near the shore of Lake Ontario. A landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 18-hole course known as Parkside Whispering Pines has challenged putters in the more than eight decades since. As such, its design recalls the charm of vintage courses, taking inspiration from such nautical items as boats and lighthouses and incorporating wooden posts to guard the greens.
Adjacent to the course, Parkside Diner?founded as a small, 40-seat restaurant?now hosts up to 110 hungry patrons hungry for a snack other than fallen pinecones. Curated by the two brothers, Jim and Greg Papas, who own the joint, the wide-ranging menu spotlights diner staples, such as homemade meatloaf smothered in creole sauce and burgers crowned with homemade chili. The diner's cooks also focus on generous portions of breakfast classics, from cinnamon-swirl French toast to six-ounce New York strip steaks paired with eggs and potatoes.
Toting a modest selection of chocolate confections and candies, Joseph A. Fowler entered the 1901 Pan-American Exposition hoping to plant the seed for a business in his newfound home of Buffalo. The company?founded in 1910?grew with each successive generation, and more than a century later, Fowler's celebrated chocolates continue to placate palates at several retail locations. The chocolatier has become synonymous with treats such as milk- and dark-chocolate truffles dubbed truffaloes, as well as sponge candy, which boasts a molasses-like flavor and an initially hard texture that quickly melts in the mouth. Like Count Chocula?s hairpiece, all of Fowler's fine-chocolate treats are crafted from the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree and use up to 60% cocoa solids for a rich cocoa flavor.
On the shores of Lake Ontario, two-tiered lakeside decks house tables crowded with plates of seafood and seared steaks while diners enjoy the setting sun. Since the 1920s, Castaways has been a shorefront destination for hungry travelers, serving up everything from fresh seafood to their specialty Cajun-rubbed, blackened prime rib. Inside, nautical-themed memorabilia decorates the walls, and a framed etching of a tall ship overlooks a long wooden bar made entirely from recycled peg legs. Diners can enjoy their meal out on the heated, two-tier patio or indoors while being warmed by the fireplace.
The pinnacle of Italian cuisine?pasta?is built from the ground up at Moma Ristorante Italiano. Chefs simmer potfuls of marinara sauce made from a secret recipe and mold seasoned meat into giant meatballs. Rigatoni, angel hair, and tortellini serve at the base for dishes flavored with pancetta, peas, and saut?ed shrimp. Other dishes that exude tradition include scallops over risotto, grilled steak splashed with a red-wine demi glaze, and pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach and gooey mozzarella cheese.
On select evenings, live musicians send a string of notes floating by tables as guests relax with scoops of creamy gelato and wine. On warm days, patrons can soak up some rays on the outdoor patio or dine under an umbrella to keep cool and hide from the government's spy planes.