The bean blazers at Boulder Coffee Company flame-roast their coffee before brewing signature coffees and espressos. Sink into a comfy couch or float lazily on the aromatic wafts of fresh coffee while sipping on the caramel macchiato, a vanilla latte topped with caramel sauce, or a spiced chai. An artful atmosphere beckons the caffeinated critic with walls lined with paintings and negative space for seeing what's going on outside. Boulder Coffee Company’s open-mic night allows anyone to sign up to deliver comedy or perform espresso spit takes; check the calendar for an idea of upcoming acts.
There's a lot to like about Legends Sports Bar & Grille, such as the nine 50-inch TV screens, the weekly lunch buffet, and the extensive array of draft beers. But to a dedicated local sports fan, there's one thing that matters even more: Legends is an official bar of the Buffalo Sabres, a fact that gets fans hip-checking each other with excitement come hockey season. Though it's located inside the Radisson Hotel, Legends feels a lot more like it's in the middle of First Niagara Center when the puck drops and cheers emanate throughout the expansive dining room. These cheers continue during intermission, though they're directed toward a menu that features pizzas, fried calamari, and other updated sports-bar staples.
Nathaniel's Pub’s menu of classic pub fare is complemented by a sports-themed dining room dotted with big-screen televisions and neon beer signs. Chefs bustle about the kitchen frying and grilling up hearty eats ranging from 10-ounce slabs of delmonico steak to half-pound burgers and crisp salads. Open until 2 a.m. nightly, the spacious pub hosts pre- and post-game parties for Blue Cross Arena events and keeps customers’ eyes diverted with a range of sports broadcasts, including boxing, UFC, and competitive coin flipping. To bolster guests’ cheers, the pub’s bartenders pour shaken libations and drink specials from the full bar late into the night.
There's a custard shop inside the vintage storefront at 72 St. Paul Street, but visitors will find much more to eat than the cold, creamy dessert. Abbott's Downtown also houses a kitchen in which chefs prepare comfort-food classics such as burgers, lasagna, and fried haddock. Patrons can also stop in for Sunday champagne brunches or to watch live bands perform in the evenings.
Teeming with scenic views of the Genesee River, Pane Vino's sunny brick dining room connects to a kitchen where chefs blend fresh ingredients into Italian-American lunches and dinners. Executive chef Kirk Smith, the newest addition to the kitchen, joins executive chef Darrell Madison in whisking up the restaurant's upscale menu, churning out his own handcrafted pasta, sausage, and ice cream. Additionally, chef Billy Grana of Grana's Restaurant contributes to the eatery's offerings by assembling housemade soups and sauces. Together, the culinary team feeds patrons both on romantic dates or at big private events by plating grilled pizzas, spaghetti carbonara, new york strip steak, and pan-seared sea scallops. And on Thursdays and Fridays, live music turns dinner into a complete night out.
When it comes to wine, David and Tasia Verno follow the same philosophy as Goldilocks: Why settle for one when you could try three? Trios of wines from across the world are thus a mainstay of their menu at Flight Wine Bar. These samplers come with themed names—Instant Zen and California Retreat, for example—and incorporate wines from Italy, Chile, France, and Germany in addition to the United States. There's the Bubbly Flight for sparkling wine enthusiasts, the alluring scents of Aroma Therapy, and Sweet Emotion, which matches a Red Newt riesling with a Bigi Orvieto Classico and an Elmo Pio moscato.
Of course, Flight Wine Bar also has wines available by the glass or bottle. In addition, the staff furnishes tables with artisanal snacks. Guests can order imported cheeses, such as the sycamore-leaf-wrapped Spanish valdeón. The dessert chocolates are all handcrafted, and the truffles are all handpicked from the secret truffle tree that you should absolutely not tell anyone about.