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.
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.
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.
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.
Bridging moments of melodramatic bombast with sweet, gliding melodies, the compositions of Pyotr Tchaikovsky naturally lend themselves to classical ballet. That being so, the talented performers of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Neglia Ballet converge on stage in celebration of the prolific composer's career-defining masterpieces. Legendary choreographer George Balanchine's Serenade, which was written to Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C, famously laid the groundwork for American ballet, which typically eschews concrete storylines for abstract generalizations, emphasizes form and geometry, and requires all dancers to don star-spangled top hats. As a former student of Balanchine himself, artistic director Sergio Neglia carries on the legacy of his mentor with the dance troupe's performance of the timeless ballet.