The Buffalo Spree Best of Western New York Party

When I’ve dreamt about celebrating Buffalo, I’ve always imagined doing it at the Buffalo Spree Best of WNY Party, held at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Seriously, a gorgeous venue, lined with the area’s best food, drink, and dessert? Is this real life? Last night, it became a reality for me, thanks to a generous invite from the lovely Buffalo Foodie. We had a great time!

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Let’s talk for a minute about Shea’s. It’s been years since I’ve been in the historic theater, and one forgets the majesty of such a space, not to mention the cultural significance of the Broadway musicals and plays making their way onto the stage each season. I’m a musical geek at heart, and being back at Shea’s reminds me how badly I need to get back into the scene. I will make you mine, 2014-2015 theater season.

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The lobby of Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Via jimbush.com
Stick a DJ up there, and you've got a party, Via Sheas.org
Stick a DJ up there, and you’ve got a party, Via Sheas.org

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Let’s talk food. The smells wafting through the air from the moment we walked through the doors signaled a delicious evening. I couldn’t even make it through all of the different sample stations because I filled right up, but here’s what I did try:

Bacchus – The very creative “potato skin”, featuring a muffin-like potato, stuffed with all the baked potato fixins, gorgonzola, prosciutto, and green onion. It was fun.

D’Avolio – A quaint little salad, topped with a piece of bread for dipping, and topped with their blood orange infused olive oil. Truthfully, there was another oil and/or vinegar in there too, but I forget what it was. I should have taken pics.

Daniel’s Restaurant– I have only heard raves about Daniel’s for years, and if those folks can take a beet salad, top it with goat cheese and pistachios, and sell me on the beet scene, I just may be a patron for life. I’m the only one in America not excited for beets these days, but this sample salad was rich and delightful.

Delish – I went directly for dessert when I entered the soiree, and I’m not sorry. I sampled a crunchy, good sized chocolate chip cookie and a lemon macaron, and wanted to go back for more.

Gigi’s Cucina Povera– I’d never heard of Gigi’s until last night, and I’m glad I was introduced. I’m embarrassed to say, I can’t remember exactly what kind of meat we were served a warm bun with sautéed greens and parmesan cheese, but that’s because I was still in the “I’m staving, gimme,” stage. It hit the spot.

The Lodge Bar and Grill – I just visited The Lodge for the first time recently, and was pleased to see what a transformation the space has undergone. It’s fun, a little sexy, and the wild boar ragout we were served was enough to make me want to go have a sit-down dinner in the near future.

Ristorante Lombardo – Why haven’t I ever been to Lombardo’s in my entire 29.5 years? There isn’t a good answer. I’m going to end the stupidity this summer. Sweet little meatball sandwich. Loved it.

Sun Restaurant – I have heard so many things about Sun since returning home, and after tasting their Burmese black rice, I am sold, and need to eat a lot more. Soon. It was probably one of my favorite dishes at the event.

Lake Effect Ice Cream – Ahhhh what’s not to like? I couldn’t find anything. I enjoyed the super refreshing watermelon push-up popsicle while others enjoyed the pear Prosecco flavor. A really great last bite to sum up a fantastic cocktail reception.

Always enjoyable were wine samples from Gates Circle Wine and Liquor, beer from North American Breweries, and the photo booth sponsored by Eyes Downtown. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see how “photogenic” we were last night. Ha!

Now if only Buffalo Spree would choose my husband’s entry for the Delta Sonic detail package. He wants it sooooo badly…. 🙂 #winning

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