(Missed Part 1? You can read that here)
After we finished our tour of the Albright-Knox and the Birchfield Penney Art Center, we found ourselves in the heart of Elmwood Village to check into our accommodations for the evening at Inn Buffalo. Though we are inclined to label this historic neighborhood gem a bed and breakfast, it has characteristics that make it feel like a combination of that and boutique hotel – but regardless of label, it was simply enchanting.
Owners Ellen and Joseph Lettieri purchased this gorgeous mansion at auction, and have spent the past few years restoring the property to its original splendor, which we were fortunate enough to tour with Ellen. Her attention to detail and passion for the unique decor inherent to each individual guest room was intoxicating- we too grew with excitement while exploring the impressive 3 story house. However, the rooms are only half the reason to visit this hotel; if you want to meet Buffalo’s unofficial spokesman and ambassador, just spend a few minutes talking with Joe. We gleaned insight into the history of the city and the wealth of the man whose residence this was (Herbert Hewitt, industrialist and inventor) and became overwhelmed by the depth of Joe’s love for Buffalo.
After getting sidetracked talking to Joe, we changed quickly and arrived for our reservation at Hutch’s Restaurant on Delaware Avenue. This fine dining experience felt like a look at classic Buffalo – perhaps not original, but still inspired. We are all too familiar with each wave and trend in food, and it was nice to sit down with a white tablecloth and feel like we were being romanced by comfortable, classic cuisine. Scott ordered the Shrimp and Lobster Bisque to start and the Jambalaya for his entrée while I enjoyed the Chicken Milanese; both were flavorful and everything you’d expect from a restaurant who has figured out how to remain after serving a generation of diners.
However, we decided that a nightcap should include a taste of New Buffalo, so we headed to Buffalo Proper for a cocktail. Scott and I have been to Proper two other times and though we have yet to dine in the restaurant, we have cozied up to the bar and enjoyed a variety of the libations on the menu. The atmosphere alone (candles, dark wood tables, and an expansive bar) – evokes a romance that is flirtatious and sexy on every date we’ve had at Proper. Trendy and sexy – the perfect Buffalo Date Night combination.
It was the perfect evening in the city – classic dining, trendy cocktails, and a unique and historic stay at an iconic Buffalo mansion. It seemed impossible that our 24 hour date could continue that well after being enamored with our first 8 hours, but it did. Stay tuned for Part #3….