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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Explore Architecture in Buffalo

2. Where to Eat

Watch Martin Danilowicz and his team prepare cleverly crafted dishes before your eyes at Martin Cooks.  

Prepare yourself for a prolonged but never-boring meal at Martin Cooks. The only option for dinner is a reservations-required five-course prix-fixe ($65), always creatively themed. A recent homage to Quentin Tarantino featured a Royale With Cheese (here, a foie-gras-stuffed cheeseburger held together with a syringe filled with ketchup); another week’s Godfather theme occasioned an antipasto course with a gun-shaped portion of balsamic vinegar and a braciole entrée. The restaurant’s 16 counter seats face the open kitchen, so you’ll get to know your neighbor as you enjoy an up-close view of chef Martin Danilowicz’s rambunctious cooking. Come early to check out the rest of the historic Horsefeathers Market and Residences Building where the restaurant is housed.

Dine in Art Deco splendor at Oshun Oyster Bar, set to open in early August. The space was built in 1946 by the Waldorf Lunch lunch-counter chain, and its sweet red-apple insignia is still visible above the door. Uninhabited for about a decade, the interior has been lovingly restored: original terrazzo tile, plaster murals in relief along the walls, and embellished columns are all now accented with new wooden framing and ribbed-glass light features. Sit at the raw bar in the back for a taste of seasonal oysters like Saint Annes from P.E.I. (market price) and to watch the kitchen goings-on through the open windows. Post-slurping, order small plates of seafood like Arctic char crudo with black garlic puree and truffled duck skin ($8) and African-spiced grilled octopus with farro granola and preserved lemon ($10).

Chow down like a glamper at the Lodge, a New American spot that has given downtown a much-needed jolt of culinary energy since opening last September. Grab a table near the open-to-the-street garage doors for an ideal view of the two-story space, dressed up in reclaimed wood and whitewashed antlers. Then choose from dishes ranging from elevated comfort food, like a spiced-up chicken-and-waffles sandwich with maple-bourbon dipping sauce ($12), to more elegantly rustic options, like venison kebabs with coriander chutney affectionately called “stag on a stick” ($15), or wild boar ragout ($24).

Published on Aug 1, 2014 as a web exclusive.