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.
The brainchild of owner Dale Ali and chef Sergio Aquino, Epic Restaurant and Lounge captures diners’ interest with dishes that showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients as well as the chef’s mastery of culinary techniques ranging from classic French to peasant, according to Buffalo Spree. The menu—which the Buffalo News called “ambitious” and “totally different from any other in the area”—comprises upscale dinner fare with unexpected twists: the grilled rib eye arrives with pomegranate jam, and the duck breast is flanked by a cilantro-nutmeg emulsion and rubber-ducky bodyguards.
The eatery also strives to be epic in its drink selection with a varnished wooden bar offering more than 25 imported or microbrewery beers as well as an extensive wine list. Diners can kick off the weekend with dinner, drinks, and jams every Friday night, with entertainment alternating between salsa and live bands.
At Laughlin's Hearty Bistro, chefs concoct a menu of rustic, bistro-style fare that spotlights quality cuts of beef, fresh fish, and meaty sandwiches paired with hand-cut fries. Steak- and seafood-laden plates make their way to the cozy dining room, where warm lamplight illuminates dark-wood tables and exposed-brick walls. A mezzanine populated with plush, black leather easy chairs overlooks a copper-topped bar. Here, friendly bartenders and repurposed paint shakers mix a mean martini, and the bar's glassware also brims with wine and beer.
Taking its name from 1920s dance slang, Bees' Knees Dance introduces amateur duos to the joy and expressive power of dancing. Beginner Swing rotates material each month, alternating between intro to eight-count steps and intro to charleston steps, which are the foundations of swing, the lindy hop, and extreme hopscotch. In Beginner Movement, classes cover a variety of dances performed to corresponding music, ranging from swing and 1950s and '60s rock 'n' roll to Bollywood and disco. Instructors promote a positive, enthusiastic energy, encouraging students to socialize and support one other as they build confidence and overcome anxieties about dancing at an upcoming driver's licence renewal. The fall schedule starts September 12 and clusters classes on Monday nights, kicking off with Beginner Movement at 6 p.m., immediately followed by Beginner Swing at 7 p.m.
The Shades of Blue build upon their 46-year history at each stop of their nationwide tour. The group reassembled in the early 2000s after surviving a series of lineup changes and the format shift from vinyl to earworm, reacquainting ears to their 1966 hit "Oh, How Happy" and performing R & B staples such as "My Girl" and "Stand By Me." The Legendary Teenagers, the former backing group for Frankie Lymon, also weave their harmonious voice threads on stage with their signature hit, "Why Do Fools Fall In Love." Two of the original Teenagers have teamed up with a pair of established R & B crooners to recapture the sounds that vaulted the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
ComedySportz's teams of improv artisans compete for belly laughs in a fast-paced, unscripted stage match fueled by audience participation. With humor hampers full of fluffy, clean jokes, the players act out suggestion-based scenes and yodel out impromptu songs while vying for the viewers' glow-stick votes. A referee officiates the games and penalizes off-color language by making the speaker wear an unfashionable brown bag for a bonnet. Much like snowflakes, no two shows are the same, and all are best enjoyed with an outstretched tongue.