April 2010

by Matt Steinberg

If you’re craving Italian food, Buffalo has you covered. From Chef’s downtown to Cecelia’s in the Elmwood Village to Lombardo’s in North Buffalo, there are a ton of places here where you can satisfy your pasta jones. This is also community that loves mom and pop places – we are serious locavores. This being said, there is a chain place out in the ‘burbs that you should seriously consider trying. Bravo! is located on the ground level of the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga, and I had a fantastic lunch there recently. My friend, who is an Italian cuisine connoisseur, recommended that we go there, and I wasn’t disappointed. She started with a delicious tomato bisque, followed by a perfectly pressed mozzarella, tomato and pesto panini, while I had salad and a wonderful plate of lasagna that seemed to be homemade. The decor is a fun, family friendly Romain ruin, and the menu had something for everyone’s taste.

I know what you’re thinking – it’s a chain, and it’s in the mall. But don’t let that stop you – Bravo isn’t your typical mall eatery. It’s definitely worth a trip.

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by Denise Drews

This weekend I am looking forward to attending one the coolest nights out in Buffalo. It’s a Multi Art & Music Party being held from 9pm – 2am. I’m also very intrigued of the location for this event. It will take place at Rock Harbor Yard 57 Tonawanda Street in Buffalo, just a few minutes from Buffalo State College and Elmwood Village.

In the past 21 incarnations of Hallwalls’ Artists & Models Affair, a multitude of Buffalo sites have served as the locus for temporary artistic expressions and controlled insanity: the Broadway Market, abandoned factories, warehouses, auto showrooms, roller rinks, deserted downtown malls and department stores, the Tri-Main Center, and the Buffalo Convention Center. This year’s event—officially, the 22nd version of Artist &Models.

There will be 30 Artists’ Installations, including 404 Error, Alice Alexandrescu, Kyle Butler & Marc Tomk, AWK, Steven Ansell & Tammy McGovern, Katrina Boemig, Michael Bosworth, David Butler, Buffalo Hackerspace, Scott Bye, Collective Collective, Jax Deluca, Aasta Deth, John Fink, Chris Hausbeck, HERO Design, Jimyn the Singing Mine, Jill Johnston-Price, Evelyn Killaby, Alison S.M. Kobayashi-Emily Gove & Jennie Suddick, Al Larsen, Marty McGee & Mick Gross-, R.J. Melnyk & Ariane FulkLorna Mills, Vincenzo Mistretta, P.J. Moskal, N.J. Parisi, Shasti O’Leary Soudant, Timothy Scaffidi, Gary Sczerbaniewicz, R.M.Vaughn, Heather Warren-Crow, Christopher Young

Live Music from Family Funktion & SitarJamz, Divi Rome Royal African Sound, Orchestra Stimuli, MC Wizzalot & Tip Top Hip Hop Orchestra, DJ Bev Beverly and Strip Teasers (Burlesque)

Cost is only $15 in advance and for Hallwalls members, or $20 at door

Advance tickets are available at Hallwalls -Talking Leaves Books (both Elmwood & Main St.), Sweetness 7 Cafe (Lafayette & Grant), Rust Belt Books (Allen St.), Room (Hertel) and Clarence Coffee Center (Goodrich Road).

For more information go to www.hallwalls.org or call 716-854-1694

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by Matt Steinberg

My family and I had lunch recently at Chef’s, my favorite restaurant in Buffalo, and one of the city’s landmarks. Open since 1923, Chef’s has served generations of Buffalonians understated but exquisitely prepared Italian fare like lasagna, veal parmesan and chicken cacciatora. However, on your first visit, one of your party must order their signature dish, spaghetti parmesan. Pasta doesn’t come with simpler ingredients or preparation – a plate of lightly sauced spaghetti covered in mozzarella, then baked, and served with a cup of their famous tomato sauce for dipping. I’m not sure what the secret is (I sure can’t replicate it at home), but decades of practice has perfected their technique. Combined with a loaf of warm bread, a meatball or sausage and a glass of wine, this is a classic (and filling) meal that I order almost every time I go. Aside from it’s delectable dishes, Chef’s is also where many of Buffalo’s movers and shakers congregate to make deal or just share a meal, so you never know what CEO, media type or ballplayer you’ll see in the dining room. One caveat – reservations are highly recommended any time, but are an absolute necessity whenever the Sabres or Bandits are in town; without one, you won’t get in.

For more information, check out www.ilovechefs.com, or take a trip to the corner of Seneca and Chicago Streets and taste it for yourself. This trip was my son’s first experience, and judging by the smile on his face, it won’t be his last.

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by Kathy Benzel

I’m ever in search of fun things to do with my grandchildren, and because their ages range from seven to fifteen, it can sometimes be a challenge to find something we’ll all enjoy. Delaware Park has always fit the bill, and we find plenty to keep us busy!

One of Frederick Law Olmsted’s first three parks in Buffalo, Delaware Park serves as the focal point of the Olmsted system and today contains many of Buffalo’s cultural institutions. Simply named The Park by Olmsted, this 350-acre setting serves as Buffalo’s “Central Park.” Delaware Park is the crowned jewel of the Olmsted system, with 350 acres of meadow, forest and lake.

The first thing we usually do is to play in one of the three playgrounds. Elijah’s favorite is in Rumsey Woods which is on the Lincoln Parkway side of the park. Next to the playground is the Rose Garden, which is extraordinarily beautiful when the roses are in full bloom. Hoyt Lake is next – a great place to explore or just sit peacefully, with rental boats on the lake during July and August; $10 for 30 minutes and $15 for 60 minutes for up to 4 passengers. Then we’re off to explore the many trails throughout the park. This could take days, and there’s always something new we discover.

That’s only one small part of Delaware Park. The other side of the park borders Parkside Avenue, and there you’ll find a golf course, baseball and softball diamonds, football, soccer and rugby fields. There’s lawn bowling courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, a couple more playgrounds, with plenty of picnic tables and shelters. And don’t forget the Parkside Lodge which houses the new restaurant, The Lunch Box and a Golf Shop.

And if Grandma isn’t exhausted by this time, we’ve sometimes even built in a trip to the Buffalo Zoo! But that’s a topic for another day!

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by Melissa Barrie

Jersey Boys is not just your average musical. It is the biography of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons; from their beginning as blue-collar kids on the wrong side of the tracks to becoming one of the greatest sensations in pop music history, selling 175 million records worldwide before they were 30. The show traces the rise and fall of their careers while satisfying your craving for jukebox hits such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Enjoy this Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award winning musical at Shea’s April 21st- May 9th. Ticket prices range from $22.50-$127.50 and can be obtained through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or at the Shea’s Ticket Office at 650 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203.

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by Matt Steinberg

Spring has come early to Buffalo, with sunshine and 60° temperatures the norm now. And with the onset of spring comes the opening of the Buffalo Bisons season. Today is Opening Day at Coca-Cola Field, as “the Herd” take on the Pawtucket Red Sox at 3:05. Baseball has a 125 year history in Buffalo, and Buffalonians have seen many major league stars-in-the-making. The Bisons had a rough year last season (as did the parent club, the New York Mets), but are bouncing back this year and are aiming at a return to the International League playoffs. And the game itself isn’t the only reason to come downtown this summer – there are promotions galore at the ballpark this year. There’s a pre-game party and post-game fireworks at every Friday home game, Father’s Day giveaways, celebrations of Irish, Hispanic, Polish and Italian heritage, the annual Independence Day celebration with the Buffalo Philharmonic orchestra (and more fireworks, of course), appearances by Dora the Explorer and the Famous Chicken, and much more. Tickets are still Buffalo’s best entertainment value – the best seats are only $11 each! Major league quality action at very minor league prices. For more information, check out their website at www.Bisons.com.

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by Susan Braun
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director JoAnn Falletta have just announced the programming for the upcoming 2010-2011 season which will celebrate the Orchestra’s 75th anniversary. Kleinhans Music Hall, home of the BPO, will be celebrating its 70th anniversary as well. The M & T Classics series which begins the first of 16 programs in October, 2010 concludes in June, 2011. Some of the highlights of the classical concert schedule are listed below.

In 1935, the BPO’s debut performance opened with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. In honor of that event, the BPO will again begin the season by performing the Egmont Overture at the Gala Opening Concert on October 2nd, 2010. The concert will also feature violinist Midori as the guest artist. A program featuring the music of George Gershwin will include the Concerto in F and the Second Rhapsody on November 19th and 20th. The featured artist for that concert will be pianist Orion Weiss. These concerts will be recorded for an upcoming CD on the NAXOS label. The Chinese classical pianist, Lang Lang, who is well-known internationally for his flamboyant playing and personal style, will be making his first appearance in Buffalo on January 29th, 2011. Christopher O’Riley will be returning to the BPO to play Grieg’s Piano Concerto April 30th and May 1st, 2011.

The Pops Concert series, sponsored by BlueCross and Blue Shield, includes 11 programs. Opening Night on September 25th will feature Michael Feinstein. The series includes performances by Jose Feliciano, the Four Tops, ABBA: the Hits Symphonic Tour and ends with the Duke Ellington Orchestra on June 11th, 2011.

The popular Friday morning “Coffee Concerts” have been expanded from 5 to 8 performances. They include classical, pops and a Holiday Pops concert on Friday, December 10th, 2010.

Some special events have also been planned to celebrate the BPO’s 75th anniversary. These include a 75th Anniversary Book, a Commemorative 75th Anniversary Calendar, and the release of a special 5-disc set of music featuring the BPO under the direction of past Music Directors. The BPO is also collaborating with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library to develop a display which will be on exhibit at many branches of the Library.

More lower-priced seating will be available for the new season and a special section for students has been created on the main floor. For more information about the concerts and tickets, please contact the Box Office at 716-885-5000 or visit www.bpo.org

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